The biggest problem with ‘The Last Post' is the set-up. I decided to watch it as I'm obsessed with military and political drama. When I watched the teaser ‘The story of a British army unit fighting a Yemeni insurgency in the Middle East ‘, I immediately thought, this is precisely the kind of show I'd love! And it's precisely the type that would bore the pants off my partner – So I started watching it alone, big mistake.
Two-episodes in, I quickly realise this series is perfect ‘date night' viewing! It's essentially a relationship drama with a military backdrop. The show focuses on the lives of families living on a British army base in 1960's Aden. On the surface, it seems far more militaristic and political than it is. As such, it's probably missing a massive audience.
The core drama revolves around Alison Laithwaite, the high functioning alcoholic wife of a British officer. Mary Markham, the base commander's stoical partner, and Honor Martin, the young bride of a newly commissioned officer. Sixty percent of the series focuses on the relationship between these three female characters. The other forty percent is action-packed and full of political intrigue. That's an excellent ratio for a series that will entertain everyone.
As with most BBC dramas, the acting and production levels are well above average. Jessica Raine plays ‘Alison Laithwaite', one of the most unlikeable and likeable Characters I've seen in a long time. Jessie Buckley is fantastic as the naive young officers' wife, led astray by Alison Laithwaite. However, it's Ben Miles and Amanda Drew who steal the show as the C/O and his long-suffering wife.
It would have been easy for the BBC to produce a hard-hitting social commentary on Britain's Colonial role in Aden. The BBC's recent track record on covering British history is dubious at best. However, in ‘The Last Post', the BEEB has commissioned a drama that gives a nuanced look at colonial rule in the strategically import middle eastern country.
This is a complicated series to pigeon hole. The story is driven by the relationship between the soldier's wives and the men fighting the conflict in Aden. As a nuanced and entertaining show – it probably won't catch on, but you should definitely give it a chance.