Russell T Davies attacks Tory 'liars' and government plan to privatise Channel ...
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You could say it is trite to gaze out at Britain, note its societal ills and say it is akin to some sort of dystopia.

But consider Russell T Davies' 2019 drama Years and Years, and the comparison sounds like less of a cliche and more terrifyingly accurate.

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The drama observes a family living from 2019 to 2034 and throughout the years (and years) they come up against a range of issues from economic to a refugee crisis. And some of these issues ring eerily similar to the current state of affairs in the UK.

Don't believe us? Here are 11 ways Britain is looking increasingly like the set of the dystopian drama


1. Pandemic

The show hints at a widespread illness called 'monkey flu' that wreaks havoc in 2029. Back in reality, we didn't have to wait all that time for a global pandemic and in 2020 the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, causing numerous lockdowns, thousands of of deaths and economic chaos.


2. The rise of Liz Truss

The drama features a right-wing politician played by Emma Thompson called Vivienne Rook who rises to power over the series. Screenshots of Rook's character look creepily like real-life right-wing Tory leadership candidate, and the new prime minister, Liz Truss, who has even taken to wearing the same dresses as Rook.



3. Economic crisis

In the series, a banking crash causes a huge economic crisis. And in the real world, we have record levels of inflation, and a cost of living crisis that is so bad, that it is expected that 54 per cent of households will be in fuel poverty by October.


4. Supply chain crisis

In Years and Years, the characters mention that it is not possible to get bananas anymore. Chocolate also disappears in episode two (heaven forbid) and the pharmaceutical industry collapses, causing vital medicines to run out.

Could you imagine such a thing happening in real life? Well in 2021 there was a supply-chain crisis caused by a number of factors including Brexit and Covid. This led to barren supermarket shelves and popular food chains like Nando's temporarily closing some of their stores.


5. Climate change

The spectre of climate change looms over day to day life in the drama. The characters experience 80 days of continuous rain, for instance. Meanwhile, last year the UK experienced extreme rain which led to dramatic floods and this year we've had so many heat-waves that there are hosepipe bans in parts of the country.


6. Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Davies' drama sees the Ukrainian army taking control of the Ukrainian government and Russia moving in to “maintain stability”, leading to Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK.

In February, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and claimed the war was just a military operation. This has led to Ukrainians becoming displaced and coming to countries in Europe as well as the UK, through the Homes for Ukraine scheme.


7. The US overturning Roe v Wade

In what was perhaps the most prescient plotline in the show, Years and Years predicted that abortion would be overturned by overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade case.

In June this year, the Supreme Court did just that. In the 6-3 majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, "Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views" and placed the decision over whether to permit abortions to individual states.


8. The rise of deep fake videos in politics

Years and Years shows politicians falling victim to deep fakes - when a person’s image and voice are digitally manipulated to make it look like they've said something controversial.

In 2019, a fake video that appeared to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drunkenly slurring her words circulated on social media in an attempt to discredit her. While it was eventually debunked, it seemed people fell for the hoax.



9. The energy crisis

In the world of Years and Years, the country is submerged in random blackouts when the energy suppliers crash.

We are currently facing an energy crisis with spiralling prices and with concerns about supplies running out, it has been reported that businesses and even some consumers could face blackouts in January, under the government's latest “reasonable worst case scenario”, which isn't concerning at all.


10. Immigrants and refugees sent to internment camps in the UK

While the government would likely do a spit-take at the suggestion they are making internment camps for refugees, you could argue that their controversial Rwanda scheme to send immigrants to the country has at least some parallels to the plot in Davies' drama.


11. Small boats crisis

Two characters in the dystopian drama sail in an overcrowded boat from France in an attempt to reach the UK. But the boat sinks, drowning most of the passengers.

If this sounds familiar it is because in November 2021, 27 people died by drowning after a small boat capsized in the Channel on the way to Britain, triggering debates about the UK’s strict immigration system and the role of people smugglers who facilitate the dangerous crossings.

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