Writing in the Times, Sally Kinnes previews a BBC drama that lifts the lid on the snooping society:
With the would-be energy and pace of the American series 24, The Last Enemy is a cautionary tale about where such a technology-driven society might lead. It tells the story of Stephen Ezard (Benedict Cumberbatch), a brilliant but reclusive mathematician who has obsessive-compulsive disorder. He returns to Britain after several years when his brother (Max Beesley) is killed, and finds that it is an ID-demanding, card-swiping, body-searching nation where surveillance is omnipresent.
For Berry (who also wrote Prime Suspect 6), the germ of the idea was planted when he saw two men at Euston station. “They were businessmen, in overcoats, and one was larger than the other. The larger one picked a piece of lint from the smaller one’s coat, as though he owned him. The other one looked completely powerless.” For Berry, this was a metaphor for identity cards. While The Last Enemy is not about the rights and wrongs of ID cards, the threat that the technology behind them will get out of hand makes for high, perhaps paranoid drama.
“The idea of having to account for yourself to someone who has power over you is so appalling,” Berry says. “You may not have to carry it, but if you don’t, you will have to report to a police station within 24 to 48 hours. I don’t want to live like that.” Anyway, like all technology, ID cards are open to fraud. The series demonstrates how to forge fingerprints for £10.
(ID in the News)
The Last Enemy starts on BBC ONE on Sunday 17 February at 9pm