The Two Of Us 1987
Not Rated | 1h | Documentary, Drama, Family | Episode aired 25 March 1988
Matthew is a boy who just left school. He is handsome and athletic and believes himself to be gay. He retains a friendship with only one school friend, Phil, who has stuck by Matthew despite hostile reactions from his peers. As their relationship grows more intense, Phil’s girlfriend Sharon and his classmates become vindictive and aggressive. The two friends find themselves ostracized by both friends and family and decide to run away.
It is important to view this benchmark TV film in the context of the time it was made. Positive and non stereotypical representations of gay characters was extremely rare on British TV up to this point and to have a programme of this nature made for the Schools/Education market had been unheard of.
Whilst by today’s standards – post Queer as Folk – this may appear tame it was groundbreaking when first shown. To get an understanding of this, the version broadcast in 1988 is different to the version made available on VHS with cuts to some scenes where the two protagonists kiss and the ending changed to have one of them return to his girlfriend (thankfully the VHS is the restored version). In 1988, I clearly remember the tabloid press going into frenzy with calls from MPs to have it banned. It was later shown at night to allow teachers the opportunity to assess its suitability within the classroom.
I would urge the importance of this film but bear in mind the time it was made and the social climate we lived in then – and you should get a lot out of it.
Director: Roger Tonge
Writer: Leslie Stewart
Stars: Jason Rush, Lee Whitlock, Jenny Jay
Release Date: 25 March 1988 (UK)