The Organisation

1972 | United Kingdom

Amusingly odd allegory about a multi-million pound, multi-interest corporation (Greatrick Co.) - dedicated to making more millions. Working at its headquarters are people who hate its power, love it, suffer it. 

The series stars Donald Sinden, Anton Rodgers, Peter Egan, Jill Melford, Elaine Taylor, Bernard Hepton and Norman Bird and explores how The Organization uses the men and women it employs. Interviewed in the TV Times (15th April 1972) for a series preview article, writer Philip Mackie (best known for his adaptation of The Naked Civil Servant) explained that his inspiration for the series came about by having worked in five large organisations and observing the management games each played. "Seventy five British bosses were interviewed and asked what they saw as desirable qualities in a young man who aimed at getting to the top. Their replies showed that the future boss was expected to be honest rather than witty, hard-working rather than brilliant-and not too ambitious." Mackie's series isn't really about the bosses. "It's about the people one or two steps down the ladder-the middle and junior executives: the people who have to do what the boss decides, whether they like it or not." 

The series begins with wannabe young executive Richard Pershore (Egan) looking for a job in The Organisation and follows him each week as he moves up the corporate ladder. Along the way he encounters the corporate stereotypes; the downtrodden PR man, the female exec who has been sleeping with the Chairman and the guy who, to the annoyance of everyone else simply won't retire as well as the secretary who knows where all the skeletons are hidden. Pershore is soon a rising star and thinks that where his future is concerned, he knows best. But when his boss (Sinden) starts to take an interest in his career his colleagues in The Organization think they know even better. 

Witty, insightful and sharply written with a sting in its tail, The Organization, Winner of the 1973 writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best British Television Drama Series, was long overdue for a DVD release.

Published on January 16th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.