White Heat (TV series)

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White Heat is a BBC TV series, written by Paula Milne, and first broadcast on BBC Two from 8 March to 12 April 2012. The series follows seven students who first meet in a London, Tufnell Park[1] flatshare in 1965 and consists of 6 one-hour episodes, set in 1965, 1967, 1973, 1979, 1982 and 1990.

The series was trailed in Radio Times with an article titled Our Friends in the South, an echo of Peter Flannery's 1996 TV series Our Friends in the North. Milne herself rejected a direct comparison however; "Our Friends in the North was absolutely seminal. But it didn't have a lot to do with women, and it didn't have a lot to do with race, and it didn't have a lot to do with sexual politics." Milne, who had experience of both the Central School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art in the mid-Sixties, said her experience most tallied with that of the character Lilly (MyAnna Buring).

"The mix of the personal and the political is framed by a flash-forward to the present day, in which the house is revisited by the former friends after one of their number dies and makes them the executors of his or her will."[2] The identity of the dead character is withheld until the final episode.

Milne has said she thinks its theme is "the disappointment of the Left. [...] Edward, Jack's father, says to Jack during the 1979 episode (when Margaret Thatcher is elected), that 'this is the end of consensus politics and it's you guys who opened the door and let her in. Just remember that'. Fucking right they did. Excuse my French."[3]

The title of the 6th episode comes from the nickname for the Japanese forest, Aokigahara.


  • 1: The Past Is a Foreign Country – 8 March 2012
  • 2: Eve of Destruction – 15 March 2012
  • 3: The Dark Side of the Moon – 22 March 2012
  • 4: The Personal Is Political – 29 March 2012
  • 5: The Eye of the Needle – 5 April 2012
  • 6: The Sea of Trees – 12 April 2012


Character Young Old
Lily MyAnna Buring Lindsay Duncan
Jack Walsh Sam Claflin Michael Kitchen
Alan Lee Ingleby Paul Copley
Orla Jessica Gunning Sorcha Cusack
Charlotte Pew Claire Foy Juliet Stevenson
Jay Reece Ritchie Ramon Tikaram
Victor David Gyasi Hugh Quarshie

Supporting cast[edit]

Music used in the series[edit]

Episode 1[edit]

Episode 2[edit]

Episode 3[edit]

Episode 4[edit]

Episode 5[edit]

Filming Locations[edit]

Although notionally set in Tufnell Park,[4] exterior shots of the house were filmed in Avenue Park Road, Tulse Hill,[5] on the other side of London. The property has subsequently been refurbished, and as of April 2011 was for sale at £1.6 million.[6]


External links[edit]