Z For Zachariah: Audio Visual Transmission Guide #45/52a - A Year In The Country
Z For Zachariah is a novel by Robert C. O'Brien that was published in 1974 and has been made as a Play For Today drama for television by the BBC in 1984 and as an American film in 2015. The 1984 Play For Today adaptation is a particularly dour and unsettling piece of drama. This is partly because of the inherent nature of its themes, background and plot but it is quite possibly heightened by it only being available as an umpteenth generation version, with the resulting washed out grey-green colour palette. Also, I was quite aware when watching it that the background of its making and broadcast was the real life threat of a peak in tension during the Cold War, which possibly made it less entertainment than a form of almost speculative documentary. When I watched the 2015 film version I was actually quite surprised by it; the film stars three well known actors - Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine - but it is a fairly downbeat, understated feature. (Curiously, in a revolving mirror manner of what often happens with film and television adaptations when they cross the Atlantic, the book was originally set in the United States, the story was relocated to Wales for the Play For Today version and then returned to the US for the 2015 film version.)