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The Last Enemy
17th February - 16th March 2008, 9pm, BBC One
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in The Last Enemy, a thriller about a man whose search for the truth about his brother's death catapults him into an international conspiracy - and a passionate love affair.
Also starring Robert Carlyle, David Harewood, Eva Birthistle and Geraldine James, The Last Enemy takes an arresting and compelling look at how technology could transform Britain into a surveillance society - threatening human relationships and destroying trust.
When the reclusive Stephen Ezard returns to London for the funeral of his brother Michael, an aid worker killed by a landmine, he feels like a stranger in his own country.
Britain has been transformed into a security state after a major terrorist attack, ID cards are strictly enforced and citizens' every movement is watched so the government can catch the terrorists before they strike again.
After four years abroad, Stephen is confused and vulnerable and doesn't know who he can trust.
A pawn in a mysterious conspiracy, he discovers to his cost just how far the country will go to protect its people. But, even as time is running out, Stephen becomes determined to find out what really happened to Michael... even at the risk of losing his own identity.
Producer Gub Neal says: "The Last Enemy is an emotional odyssey about a man in search of the truth of what happened to his brother, and to his society. It's a cautionary tale about technology, with identity cards, biometric tests and armed police becoming an everyday presence in our lives.
"It's predictive, rather than science fiction, because CCTV cameras and loyalty cards mean we are already being monitored."
Peter Berry explains: "Stephen Ezard had always taken the British democratic process for granted, something other people took care of. But when he tries to uncover the truth behind his brother's death, he discovers that his civil liberties have been so seriously eroded, his investigation makes him an enemy of the state.
"The Last Enemy is a thriller set in the future; a future that might just be a lot closer than you think."
The Last Enemy (1 x 90 minutes, 4 x 60 minutes) is a Box TV production for the BBC and WGBH/Boston. Shooting took place in London and Romania.
The Truth behind The Last Enemy...
• Britain has about five million CCTV cameras, one for every 12 people. More cameras than any other country. (The Times, 27 March 2007)
• "ID cards will link your basic personal information to something uniquely yours - like the pattern of your iris, your face shape or your fingerprint. It will protect your identity from people fraudulently claiming to be you and make it easier for you to prove your identity when you need to - like opening a bank account, moving house, applying for benefits or starting a job." (Identity & Passport Service Website)
• Millions of children as young as 11 are to have their fingerprints taken and stored on a Government database, according to leaked Whitehall plans. The Home Office wants to include children in its biometric passport scheme in three years' time, and automatically transfer their details and fingerprints to the controversial new national identity database when they turn 16. (This is London Website, 4 March 2007)
• 21 of the 25 EU Member States have already introduced ID cards. (Home Office Website)
• The costs of the identity cards project were revealed to have risen by £840m in the last six months to £5.75 billion. (The Guardian, May 2007)
• British citizens will be quizzed on up to 200 different pieces of personal information in a 30 minute grilling if they want a passport... Those who fail to convince the bureaucrats they are who they say will be denied a travel document or face a full investigation by anti-fraud experts. There is no formal appeal process. (Daily Mail, 21 March 2007)
• Advances in surveillance technology could seriously damage individual privacy unless drastic measures are taken to protect personal data, scientists have said. The report by the Royal Academy of Engineering said that travel passes, supermarket loyalty cards and mobile phones could be used to track individuals' every move. They also predicted that CCTV footage could available for public consumption and that terrorists could hijack the biometric chips in passports and rig them up as a trigger for explosives. (The Times, 27 March 2007)
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