Nineteen Ninety-Four

Nineteen Ninety-Four is a parody series of George Orwell's 1984 which starred Robert Lindsay, and ran for six episodes in 1985. A second series aired in 1987, but was entitled Nineteen Ninety-Eight during which David Threlfall and Hugh Laurie starred. It also did not featured named episode titles.

Series 1

1. Work Is Freedom

Twenty-seven year old Edward Wilson lives in a dystopian world, which also contains various robots and artificial intelligence that communicate with him and each other. He is soon contacted by phone by a man to confirm an interview with the Department of the Environment in the afternoon. Arriving for his interview, he meets receptionist Sophie after arriving late though is made to wait as his prospective employers check up on his life. Quickly being offered the job, despite not knowing anything about what the role entails, Edward is told to keep a low profile and start whenever he likes. Eventually turning up the following week, he makes it to his office and takes to learning the mainframe system by way of playing games. At lunch, Edward meets Charles and also learns that Sophie is a sanctioned mole currently using the role of a receptionist. He is encouraged by Charles to choose his own job, and settles on Sub-officer for District Co-ordination, before receiving instructions that his task is to produce a report on an apparent earthquake in Cumbria.

2. Freedom Is Choice

On the train to Cumbria, Edward travels to Sellingfield, and alights into the dark night. Arriving at an electric fence, Edward is given permission to enter through a gate and shown his way to a bed. The following morning, he is introduced to Kendrick who reveals Cumbria has been sealed off to experiment on a population who are bombarded with advertising. Charles meanwhile continues to pull strings behind the scenes, and sets Sophie on Edward's tail. While out and investigating, Edward is handed a gun by a mysterious character who advises him to follow. The man claims he is part of a revolutionary group, and soon introduces Edward to the other members, who claim that Edward is their leader in their attempt to overthrow the Sellingfield project. While out buying food for the group meeting, Edward wins a prize in a competition leading him to be chased by people. Encouraged by the group members to use the gun, he manages to shoot down a helicopter which crashes into a power station, leading him and the group to go on the run believing the revolution has begun.

3. Choice Is Progress

Back at Edward's home, the robots are communicating with each other and discussing when he might be back. The news turns on via the television which is reporting on the unrest which has started in Sellingfield. A small fire in his apartment begins from the television however, though it is soon suppressed by the sprinkler system. Edward meanwhile takes to staying with Sophie at her apartment, though she insists that he sleep in her bed which results in them being disturbed by a preacher on the various appliances around the house who has broadcasted Edward and Sophie's time together to the world. Heading off to work the following day, he encounters a Dr Ericsson who brings him in under the guise of a product marketing redesign, where his job title seems to be changing at an alarming pace. Sophie and Charles attend a party celebrating the Difficulties with a surprisingly large number of advertising agents. As the topic turning to Edward and Sophie suggesting that Charles is worried his job is under threat by the newcomer.

4. Progress Is Power

The police begin making arrests for Difficult Day, with Edward being manhandled by officers and believing that he has cracked a rib, before being taken in for questioning. The group take to relaxing afterwards at a cafe where they watch the riots on the television with the mob being attacked by water cannon while the pundits provide commentary on the events. However, when a power cut strikes the cafe, Edward is left miserable. Sophie tries to cheer him up by taking him parachuting along with Charles, whose altimeter gets stuck mid-jump and results in him getting injured when he hits a shed. At work, Edward manages to come up with a new idea for Kotzanbrau, a beer which is performing badly, and launches a new marketing campaign which revitalises the product leading him to be celebrated. They also task him with working on a campaign for toilet paper, which leads to sales almost doubling. Head of the Environment, Sir Desmond, suggests a change to Edward's job after just one month, and tasks him with the role of Creative Development Spokesman on a television show which also has him performing well.

5. Power Is Happiness

Edward takes a trip to the Mega Market with Sophie, and the pair take a trip through the World of Romance. However, he believes they are being followed by two men carrying a laundry basket, and thinks that they are talking about him. While waiting for Sophie, Edward finds the laundry basket can talk, due to a man hiding inside. The man offers him a golden key card for an office room at the department with the suggestion that he has "won The Environment". Heading back to the department, Edward finds the correct office and enters where he discovers that he is now in charge of The Environment and may run it as he wishes though the situation proves confusing. As Edward gets into the swing of things in his new role, Edward discovers that he only has nine friends and sets about investigating them. Sophie pays a visit to Charles, who is preparing to go out, questioning whether he has spoken to Edward after he went missing after returning from the World of Romance. Receiving no answer from Charles, Sophie heads around to Sir Desmond's to find out what happened to Edward, whose roles as head of the Environment begins to lose its lustre as his decisions become more unpopular.

6. Happiness Is Work

With Sophie and Charles in the Solomon Islands, they receive a call from Sir Desmond who suggests they return in the next two weeks. He also takes to observing Edward in his work at the office, who is having trouble with one of his robots, Dreamer, after he took it to never speak to him again. Edward soon spots the cameras and microphones and begins to smash them to prevent being watched, leaving Sir Desmond and his secretary to observe Edward from filing cabinets. They soon discover his mental state is all over the place, as he begins to have various hallucinations, and has come to realise that The Environment is the enemy of free-will. Returning to Southampton, Sir Desmond greets Sophie and Charles who have gotten married while they were away, though Charles is taken into quarantine after his blood test flags up a potential infection. Sophie meets Edward to find out how he is and reveal her news. The Environment meanwhile is marked for closure as a perfect society has believed to have been created, as Sophie and Edward pick out a child, while Charles looks forward to the New Year.

Series 2 (Nineteen Ninety-Eight)

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6