This is Part 5 of David Dimbleby's much acclaimed 1988 documentary in seven parts on British-American relations in the 20th century. Dimbleby explores the relationship between Great Britain and the United States from World War I to the 1980s, and examines the people, ideas, and events that have shaped the mutual history of the two nations.
As soon as World War II ended, American aid to Britain was cut off. But the illusion that peace marked a return to the pre-war balance of power between them was short-lived. Britain now depended on the new superpower across the Atlantic, economically and militarily. 'We either had to hang on to the American apron strings or literally go down the drain' says Robert Cecil, then at the British Embassy in Washington.
This episode shows how the Cold War gave Britain a new role in the alliance, as an essential forward base for American bombers; but how her own freedom of action was limited - a truth brutally exposed by the Suez crisis of 1956.
An Ocean Apart
Eminent British television journalist David Dimbleby presents this seven-part BBC documentary TV series from 1988 on the history of British-American relations from the beginning of the First World War and Wilson to the end of the Cold War and Thatcher. Produced by Adam Curtis.
Presented By: David Dimbleby
Editor: David Gladwell
Executive Producer: George Carey
Producer: Adam Curtis
Production assistant: Linda Parker