The Rotters' Club is a British television mini-series, adapted by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais from Jonathan Coe's novel of the same name, about a group of Birmingham teenagers and their families set against a backdrop of class conflict, racial tension, strike action which was the social and political landscape of Seventies Britain.
The mini-series originally premiered in the UK on BBC2 on 26 January, 2005. There are three 60-minute episodes in the series.
The Rotters' Club originally aired in South Africa on DStv's BBC Prime channel from 24 December, 2006 to 7 January, 2007, on Sundays at 21h00.
A rebroadcast of the series premiered on BBC Prime on Monday 19 May 2008, at 23h30.
It's 1974 - a time of class conflict, racial tension and strike action - not to mention Blue Nun, prog-rock and Black Forest gateau.
Three 15-year-old mates, Ben, Doug and Philip are at grammar school in Birmingham. Whilst Doug's passion for left-wing politics isn't shared by Ben and Philip (who are mainly interested in getting their prog-rock band off the ground), they are united by a complete lack of success with the opposite sex.
Life for their parents is more complex. Ben's father Colin is in middle-management at strike-ridden British Leyland. Also working there is Doug's father Bill, an active union shop steward, who's having an affair with colleague Miriam.
Philip's mum Barbara is being pursued by the charming Nigel Plumb, Philip's art teacher.
Ben's sister Lois suffers terrible tragedy when she is caught up in the IRA bomb in a pub in Birmingham city centre; her fiance Malcolm is killed.
As Ben, Doug and Claire progress to the sixth-form, they start work on the school paper. Ben's hopelessly lusting after Cicely Boyd, while his and Philip's prog-rock band become a punk outfit.
Things are going well for Doug, who is invited down to London by NME and sent out to cover a punk gig.
Adultery simmers on for the parents as the boys get their first tastes of love in the upper sixth. Ben finally gets it together with Cicely, only to lose her shortly after to the punk singer from his old band.
At an end of term party, Ben wakes up in a wardrobe with a girl called Jennifer. They are incompatible, but Ben starts dating her anyway to help distract him from pining for Cicely. Eventually he dumps her on Doug's advice.
Philip's love life is rather better - he gets together with Claire.
Then the Trotter family go to Wales on holiday - the same place Cicely is recovering from a bout of glandular fever. After encouragement from sister Lois, Ben treks through the Welsh countryside to see Cicely - and they are reunited.
Ben returns to school to collect his exam results, hand-in-hand with Cicely - his triumph witnessed by Philip and Doug and the rest of the Sixth Form.
Ben's delighted to learn that Doug and Claire have finally got together. It's a glorious moment, but one that surely can't last.