The Last Post DVD (2entertain, £19.74)
On 10 December 1963, the British High Commissioner of Aden, Sir Kennedy Trevaskis, was targeted in a grenade attack at Khormaksar airport. So began what came to be known as the Aden Emergency, in territories that now form part of Yemen.
The British eventually withdrew from the area in 1967 following a conflict that, viewed at 50 years remove, is uncomfortable to look back upon. Which is perhaps why we need to look back, as writer Peter Moffat’s underrated drama does.
Its focus, reflecting Moffat’s own childhood as the son of an officer, is on the lives of Royal Military Police based in Aden during the emergency. These are men constantly at risk from guerilla attack who are defending the last vestiges of empire, yet this is also the 1960s and things are starting to swing at the sun-bleached BP Club. The contradictions are glaring. On its TV broadcast on BBC One, The Last Post was criticised for being soapy but, viewing the series as a whole, it emerges more as a portrait of a community under stress. That’s not to excuse British violence in Aden, but more a way to say that The Last Post examines the behaviour of Brits abroad critically yet sympathetically.
Jessica Raine stars in the drama about British army life during the Aden Emergency