2091 – Britain under 24 hour curfew… When a youthful misdemeanour is discovered, Lee is downgraded to Level 6 and starts to discover the real basis of society…
So far, this is my favourite of the original stories created for this second season of Dangerous Visions, as Sacha Dhawan and Sian Phillips make an unlikely pairing for a cross-country journey through a post-avian flu Britain. He’s a young student who’s desperate to find his virtual lover (Jaimi Barbakoff as the eponymous Iz) – all he knows that she is in London – and she’s an octogenarian spy who, in the best traditions of such people, has been able to see through some of the political fictions.
Emmerson provides clues along the way, making the final reveals not as shocking if you’ve been paying attention, but that doesn’t alter their power – nor can the various characters’ actions thereafter necessarily be predicted. It’s a cynical piece, but you can easily see those in power taking the actions which provide the back story for this drama – a further play quite definitely needs to be commissioned relating that history – and if you happened to watch the Click report from gaming show E3 last weekend, you’ll know that such immersive virtual reality is nowhere near as far away from our current technology as you might think.
In some ways this is reminiscent of the Edward Woodward/Wilfred Greatorex series 1990 from the late 1970s; the backstory and the mode of population control are different, but the aims are pretty similar, and I’d definitely like to hear more from Emmerson’s Dangerous Vision.
Verdict: A strong view of a dystopian Britain. 8/10
The next Dangerous Vision is part 1 of The Zone, on June 18th at 2.15 pm