Tonight's TV Choice: ScumBy Hugh Fort
March 19, 2013
Not one for the faint-hearted, this brutal depiction of life in borstal in 1978 was initially banned by the BBC for its bleak portrayal of life behind bars.
The brutality and violence is constantly shocking, even now, and a young Ray Winstone is brilliant in the lead role of chief hard nut Carlin.
Locked away for assault, he quickly realises there's only one way to get through a spell inside, and that's to be the top dog, or "the daddy".
Faced with ignorant, racist, violent guards, there's no attempt at rehabilitation, just endless violence and psychological intimidation.
It also presents an interesting contrast in attitudes.
Right-wing types will say the sheer ghastly life would make sure people would never, ever want to back, while the liberals will say the idea of leaving people in a world of violence and despair will leave them scarred and hopeless for the rest of their lives.
I don't know who's right, but watch it and make up your own mind.