Friday, August 22, 2014



I mentioned in an earlier post that certain real world historical events are recreated ad nauseum for mini-series and TV movies.  

Do we really need another televersion of the Kennedy assassination?

So it's always welcome when a significant event in History, which didn't get the attention it deserves, does get the spotlight in Toobworld.

From Wikipedia:
On the night of 20–21 August 1968, the Soviet Union and its main allies in the Warsaw Pact – Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, and Poland – invaded the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in order to halt Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring political liberalisation reforms.

Is that Alexander Dubcek in the poster?
In the operation, code-named Danube, approximately 500,000 troops attacked Czechoslovakia; approximately 500 Czechs and Slovaks were wounded and 108 killed in the invasion.

The invasion successfully stopped the liberalisation reforms and strengthened the authority of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). The foreign policy of the Soviet Union during this era was known as the Brezhnev Doctrine.

For more about the Czechoslovakian Invasion, click here.

The events of this episode of 'The Name Of The Game' begin on August 22nd, 1968.  It was certainly a timely episode as it was broadcast in November of that year.  (Somebody involved with the series must have felt strongly about getting a story made about it.)

Of course, the Invasion serves more as a timely backdrop for a standard espionage/mystery story, in which publisher Glenn Howard is caught up in the turmoil while on a tour of the country as part of a publishers' junket. 

As far as I know, the invasion of Czechoslovakia has not been dramatized by any other TV series.  There may be TV movies and movies from the Cineverse about it in other countries, but did the characters from TV series become involved in the events of that time?  Did the Prague Spring and the invasion it triggered ever get mentioned or become a reference point in some of those other shows?

I looked into a few Czech TV shows and found one episode that must have dealt directly with it.

From Wikipedia:
'Thirty Cases of Major Zeman' ('Třicet případů majora Zemana') is a Czechoslovak action-drama television show intended as a political propaganda to support the official attitude of the communist party. The series were filmed in the 1970s.

Each episode encompasses one year, and investigations are stylized to that year. Most are inspired by real cases. The series follows the life of police investigator Jan Zeman during his career from 1945 to 1975.

ep 25(1968) "Štvanice" ("The Hunt") - propaganda episode about the end of political steps to freedom.

Other Czech shows like 'Nemocnice na kraji města', 'Hospoda', 'Kriminálka Anděl', and 'Okres na severu' may have had characters refer back to those times or perhaps had plot points that used the Invasion as background information - in much the same way that the destruction of the World Trade Center informs the personal histories of several TV characters in American TV shows.


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