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Monday, 25 September, 2000, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK drama breaks the mould
Attachments: Blurring the boundaries between reality and art
Tuesday sees the debut of new drama Attachments, from the creators of This Life and The Cops. BBC Two controller Jane Root thinks it's so good, she's already commissioned a second series. BBC News Online's Rebecca Thomas investigates.

Programme-makers World Productions have a formidable reputation to live up to.

As creators of celebrated series This Life and The Cops, they have achieved a level of success which is hard to repeat.

But the BBC is confident it has another blinder on its hands with World's latest offering - the internet drama Attachments starting on BBC Two on Tuesday.

Like its predecessors, Attachments takes no prisoners in its storylines, which are full of human conflict, personal trauma, sexual tension and strong language.

Mike feels the heat as he gets Seethru off the ground
Like This Life, the action centres around a group of young, hormonal and ambitious high-fliers.

But what makes this drama fresh and bang up-to-date is that it takes place in a fledgling website company.

It sees tension mount as husband and wife Mike and Luce battle to turn their pop site Seethru into a viable commercial concern.

They are faced not only with content and finance dilemmas but also their wildly disparate and warring team.

Attachments also enters the realms of Big Brother-style reality TV by having a bona fide irreverent Seethru website, mirroring the developments on TV.


BBC Two controller Jane Root described the series as bursting with "energy and drive".

"Aspects of it are like nothing that has been seen before on British television," she added.

The hothouse environment will breed conflict
Despite its lack of big name stars, Attachments has the potential to spawn a cult following.

It has the controversial characters - and storylines - for which World chief Tony Garnett's productions are well known.

The Seethru website also, as announcers would say, contains strong language from the outset, as well as some near-to-the-knuckle content.

Seethru's coder Reece is an offensive, drug-taking womaniser. Designer Jake is a self-obsessed drama queen with ambiguous sexuality and a domineering dad.

Lesbian content manager Sophie is outspoken in the extreme - and writes a particularly offensive column.

Then there's socially inept programmer Brandon.

Sophie is the author of an offensive Seethru column
He is so shy that his only release is to skateboard naked around the office when everyone else has gone home.

Attachments was one of Root's first commissions when she took over BBC Two in 1998.

"The thing about Tony Garnett's characters is that they are people you understand. After five minutes, I feel like I know these people," she explained.

Online drama

Surprisingly, the BBC has played down the importance of the internet to the series.

A spokesman stressed that the nature of the business portrayed was coincidental.

Jake: Cool but dominated by his father

"This is not a drama about an internet start-up. It's a drama about relationships in the workplace," he said.

"The workplace happens to be an internet start-up, that's all. So the scripts won't reflect the rollercoaster nature of those businesses."

But the internet will undoubtedly play a major role in the way the series works.

Viewers will be attracted by a drama they believe can demystify and glamorise the "geeky" world of the web.

There is also no question that the real Seethru website will drive viewers to the TV - and vice versa.

Between series the website will continue to show what the team are up to while the drama is off-air - with any revenue generated by the site, which isn't controlled by the BBC, going to charity.

Luce is the driving force to Seethru

On top of that, Garnett - who also heads a web production team - has written the series with an intimate knowledge of the internet industry.

He even made the cast spend time in internet companies before filming began.

Garnett is remaining mute about his new creation - as he did with his other shows.

"I'm reluctant to say much about any new series, it can so easily turn into just puff and hype," he commented.

"Audiences get a sense of what new shows to try and whether they want to stay with them. That's just how it should be.".

Attachments starts on 26 September at 2100 BST on BBC Two.

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See also:

26 Sep 00 | UK
TV meets the net - at last
17 Dec 98 | Entertainment
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08 Oct 98 | Entertainment
This Life writer pens book deal
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