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Roadrunner

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Roadrunner

Conflict arises in a West Indian family when a secretive son returns home to sort out some passport problems

1977 52 mins

Overview

Jason Archer, a black Briton, lives in Sweden and hasn't seen his North London-based parents for six years. Conflict awaits the secretive young man when he returns home to sort out some passport troubles. This superb 'family at war' drama from the Guyanese dramatist Michael Abbensetts explores inter-generational tensions, but not without humour. A terrific cast is led by Trevor Thomas as Jason, with the Jamaican playwright Barry Reckord in a rare acting role as his suspicious Windrush generation father. Nadia Cattouse is also memorable as his kind and supportive mother.

The stage plays of the Guyanese dramatist Michael Abbensetts, such as Sweet Talk (1973), are acknowledged as some of the first and finest to give a voice to postwar Caribbean settlers in Britain. Abbensetts' television work is also groundbreaking and includes Crown Court: Inner City Blues (1975). In 1977 two outstanding and beautifully acted West Indian 'family at war' dramas, Roadrunner (ITV) and Black Christmas (BBC), paved the way for his popular BBC drama series Empire Road (1978-79) which starred Norman Beaton. His television work also includes Big George is Dead (Channel 4, 1987) and Little Napoleons (Channel 4, 1994).