The Tower: A Tale of Two Cities

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Chiwetel Ejiofor, published by BBC in 2008 - English narration

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Image: The-Tower-A-Tale-of-Two-Cities-Cover.jpg

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The Tower: A Tale of Two Cities The Tower, an observational documentary which has been filmed over three years, charts the urban regeneration of the notoriously troubled Pepys Estate in South London. A property developer is turning a dilapidated former council high-rise into luxury riverside apartments and another is being demolished and rebuilt for public sector workers. The changes are happening under the gaze of those still living in the original local authority houses next door. The experiences and opinions of those still living on the estate, and those moving into the chic new homes capture a key period of transition in contemporary London. The glittering tower of Canary Wharf looms large over the riverside location and the economic ripples it creates, along with a booming economy, have brought an affluent generation to the neighbourhood in search of views of the Thames and an easy commute to the office. Property prices are simply too high for those who are from the area to buy a house there. The series features poignant portrayals of residents including Leol, a heroin addict, and his friend Nicky, an alcoholic, who met in a skip where they were collecting scrap metal to sell; Edith, mother of six children and heavily pregnant, who lives virtually alone in Dickensian conditions amongst rats and burst water pipes in the block to be demolished; young parents Kelly and Wayne, who are looking forward to their marriage; and Doug, who runs the local boozer, The John Evelyn. Doug hopes it will attract the fashionable new clientele, but the locals describe it as "God's waiting room". The Tower: A Tale of Two Cities won the best factual series BAFTA award in 2008.

[edit] Part 1

Five years after Lewisham council sold off one of its riverside tower blocks to be transformed into chic apartments for young professionals, the transformation of the Tower is due to begin. Before the private developers can move in, however, all the old tenants must go. Les Brooks, a professional clown, is the last existing occupant in the Tower and he's refusing to go quietly. Elsewhere on the estate, his neighbours have their own private battles to fight.

[edit] Part 2

The last tenant has been removed from the ex council tower block. The developers Berkley homes can now start the renovation. Their marketing department are keen to sell the virtues of riverside living, but on the estate there are others who are desperate to leave. Edith Corlis is expecting her seventh baby, her block too is due for redevelopment and most of her neighbours have left. However, she is stuck and the squatters have moved in and are making her life a misery. Although Kelley Garcia, Edith's best friend, has patched up her relationship with Wayne they have a more pressing crisis at home with their young son Tyrell. Lol Gilbert has failed to win his girlfriend back and has taken up again with the other love of his life, heroin. Strong language.

[edit] Part 3

Inside the Tower, the interior designers are hard at work creating the dream of sky-high modern urban living. While publicans Doug and Brenda Elsley face bankruptcy as their regular customers drift away, successful restauranteur Bambos Manoros has bought two flats. Plus Edith Corlis is ready to move to her new home, but first she has to give birth to her seventh child.

[edit] Part 4

With the show flats in the Tower selling fast, two prospective purchasers are excited by the dream of modern living. However, first they are due to marry and Saima is experiencing some doubts about what married life with Usman will actually be like. Eight-year-old Chantelle is afraid to leave her flat as she tries to come to terms with a dad who's never there. Bambos's family are not so sure that they want to all live together on a street in the sky.

[edit] Part 5

Love is in the air in the Tower and on the estate. Kelley Garcia finally weds Wayne Tapper, with half of the estate in tow. Newcomers Saima and Usman are now in Pakistan for their arranged wedding and any room for doubt is rapidly running out. For devout Muslim Shakor, life after an arranged marriage means coping with a wife and kids and making a life on the estate. However the summer of love on the estate is abruptly disrupted. The 7/7 bombings send shock waves through the community.

[edit] Part 6

Nessar's wealthy family have bought several new properties in the Tower, but before she can move in she must pass her law exams and win her dream job in the city. On the estate, Lol Gilbert's health is rapidly deteriorating after years of heroin abuse. When his close friend Tony overdoses, Lol goes too far, while Tony's grief-stricken mother Cherie tries to repair her life after years of heroin abuse in the family.

[edit] Part 7

The Tower is complete and the first of the new tenants move in, including gay couple David and Paul. While Saima and Usman get used to married life, some harsh realities begin to come home to them. Elsewhere, retired gangster Harry Hayward feels overwhelmed by the changes, and Lol Gilbert's drug use continues as his friend Nicky plans his escape.

[edit] Part 8

The Tower is now fully occupied. For the residents this is a new beginning, but it is the end of an era for Deptford. The most expensive penthouse has been bought by 27-year-old millionaire property developer Guy Bullerwell whose company buys up, on average, a house a day in south east London. The ex-council houses are rented out to young professionals who work across the river in Canary Wharf. Retired gangster Harry Hayward and his band of Deptford pensioners don't recognise their part of town now, so with his best friend fighting for his life in hospital and his funding drying up the future is not bright for the reformed villain. For Lol Gilbert the prospect of a life of lonely drug abuse without his friend Nicky is finally sinking in. But Nicky has one last surprise for his friend.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
  • Video Bitrate: 1904 kbps
  • Video Resolution: 720 x 416
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.731 (16:9)
  • Frames Per Second: 25
  • Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3)
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s AC3 48000 Hz
  • Audio Streams: 2
  • Audio Languages: English
  • RunTime Per Part: 49.Mins
  • Number Of Parts: 8
  • Part Size: 701 MB
  • Source: PDTV
  • Encoded by: Harry65
  • Thanks to WnA

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