Growing up in danger-filled Aden, Yemen, in the swinging Sixties with a father in the Royal Military Police – that sounds like a pretty memorable childhood, right?
So it’s no surprise that Peter Moffat decided to write new BBC One drama The Last Post based on the experiences of his youth.
The six-part series, which has a stellar cast including Call the Midwife’s Jessica Raine, centres on a unit of officers and their families based far away from home in the mid-Sixties, with the constant threat of hand grenades, mines and sniper attacks.
“It was hard to get my head around living in that situation,” Raine discloses. “There is something funny and disturbing about trying to maintain British values under those conditions, whilst being blithely unaware that they’re not welcomed there.
“The Last Post raises all the critical issues of a receding empire: what we leave behind, the arrogance, the mess and the grey areas. The fact that there are no easy answers – no good guys and bad guys – makes it a great drama.”
As the casualties mount, one of the questions at the centre of the show becomes more pressing – is it right that the British Army are there? These sort of themes are relevant today, says Amanda Drew, who plays Mary Markham. “You see this show and you read the scripts and you think, well, not much has changed in 50 years.”
The Last Post, BBC One, Sunday, 9pm