The Genius of Russell T. Davies

I got to it late, but I’ve just finished watching Years and Years, a joint production between the BBC (still a great channel for drama and natural history, even if there news & current affairs coverage has nose-dived recently) and HBO. The story follows a not-so-typical family’s attempts to steer its way through the massive political, social and technological upheavals of a future Britain.

Years and Years

The landscape is huge, covering not just The United Kingdom (or what’s left of it), but future events in Europe and the United States. When you’re trying to build a world as big as this for any story, then it’s easy to get lost in the peripheral details, losing sight of your characters and indeed the story you’re trying to tell. Davies skilfully navigates this using a simple technique favoured by the best science-fiction and fantasy writers: focus on your key characters and let the world grow around them; let the changing world change them.

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