Summer Of Rockets Episode 1 – The DVDfever Review – Keeley Hawes

Summer Of Rockets
Summer Of Rockets is a new Stephen Poliakoff drama set around the beginning of the Cold War, circa 1957/58, and while I’ve not really been able to get into his earlier works, this one did seem quite accessible from the start.

It follows Russian Jewish inventor Samuel Petrukhin (Toby Stephens) who’s living with family in Britain, and the clever guy invents a staff locator, which is a pager, really. Accompanied by his colleague, Courtney (Gary Beadle), he also makes a packet by selling his version of the hearing aid, which is the first ever to include a volume control, and has a number of wealthy clients including one to Winston Churchill, who’s now in his post-PM days.

Such success allows him to purchase a massive new TV to impress the family, but is it a 200″ OLED 3D 16K extravaganza? No, it has curved corners and is approximately 15″ in size.

The man also gets a bit of stick at times, as some think Toby’s a spy because he’s Russian, and this leads to him being followed, but for reasons not yet known.


Summer Of Rockets Series Trailer – BBC One


Given the era, it’s a time for a different kind of uncertainty, as satellites going up into the skies to explore space, and a nuclear bomb has been dropped by mistake, but it didn’t have a warhead so wasn’t dangerous. Even still, it’s a concern to many.

Elsewhere, Samuel’s daughter, Hannah (Lily Sacofsky), is being presented to the Queen, although she’s such a wet blanket when her heel snaps; Peter Firth is a demon headmaster, and despite the presence of Keeley Hawes, the romance between her and hubby Richard (Linus Roache) is a bit dull.

Overall, this was very much an opener episode, also introducing Timothy Spall as the uber-posh Lord Arthur Wallington. However, while there was a lot of build-up, there was not much in the way of pay-off, especially when we were just about to find out who these mystery ‘follow’ men were, when…. it faded to black and the end credits began.

Hence, I’ll try a second episode, but it really must improve by the boatload to keep me on board.

One plus, though – on BBC2, for once, we didn’t get the continuity lunatics waffling over the score, here, from Adrian Johnston, as the end credits played out. If only that was the case EVERY time, not least for the recent broadcast of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Still, thanks to them, I’ve had almost 2001 hits on it 😉

Summer Of Rockets continues next Wednesday on BBC2 at 10pm. It’s available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on July 1st. If you missed it, you can watch the first episode on BBC iPlayer, and in fact every episode of the series if on there now, and for the next three months.

Also online now is The Stephen Poliakoff Collection, comprised of Dancing On The Edge, The Lost Prince, Gideon’s Daughter, Perfect Strangers and Shooting The Past.


2001: A Space Odyssey – RUINED by the BBC! – DVDfeverGames



Episode 1 Score: 4/10

Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Producer: Jean Holdsworth
Writer: Stephen Poliakoff
Music: Adrian Johnston

Cast:
Samuel Petrukhin: Toby Stephens
Kathleen Shaw: Keeley Hawes
Hannah Petrukhin: Lily Sacofsky
Richard Shaw: Linus Roache
Courtney Johnson: Gary Beadle
Sasha Petrukhin: Toby Woolf
Miriam Petrukhin: Lucy Cohu
Field: Mark Bonnar
Aunt Mary: Claire Bloom
Matron Jeffrey: Suanne Braun
Lord Arthur Wallington: Timothy Spall
Esther: Rose Ayling-Ellis
Tezler: Peter Firth
Walter: Ronald Pickup
Max Dennis: Adrian Edmondson
Barney: Steve Furst


Previously on DVDfever:

May 21st:

Summer Of Rockets tells the story of Russian Jewish inventor Samuel Petrukhin (Toby Stephens) and his family, set in the UK during the Cold War period and tumultuous year of 1958, when fear and excitement of the future permeates the lives of all.

The series also stars Keeley Hawes, Linus Roache and Timothy Spall, it’s written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff, it begins tomorrow night on BBC2 at 9pm, and check back at 10pm when you’ll be able to read our review.

The cast and trailer are below:

Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Producer: Jean Holdsworth
Writer: Stephen Poliakoff
Music: Adrian Johnston

Cast:
Samuel Petrukhin: Toby Stephens
Kathleen Shaw: Keeley Hawes
Hannah Petrukhin: Lily Sacofsky
Richard Shaw: Linus Roache
Courtney Johnson: Gary Beadle
Sasha Petrukhin: Toby Woolf
Miriam Petrukhin: Lucy Cohu
Field: Mark Bonnar
Aunt Mary: Claire Bloom
Matron Jeffrey: Suanne Braun
Lord Arthur Wallington: Timothy Spall
Esther: Rose Ayling-Ellis
Tezler: Peter Firth
Walter: Ronald Pickup
Max Dennis: Adrian Edmondson
Barney: Steve Furst

Check out the trailer below:



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