Look... I owe it to myself to say this to you, okay? Leave Tony Crane. Just go far away from him. He's gonna ask you to marry him and he's gonna make you a business partner.
Is that what this is all about? Does it bother you that much? A coloured bird with a bit of power?
BBC One's Life on Mars series 2, episode 1
For those who have not watched the BBC TV series a very brief synopsis:
After an accident, Sam Tyler a Detective Chief Inspector in 2006, wakes up in 1973. Now a detective inspector, he has a love-hate relationship with DCI Gene Hunt—one of the most politically incorrect characters in the history of British television. Sam Tyler doesn't know if he's mad, in a coma or if he's travelled back in time. All he wants is to go back home to the future.
In view of the fact that the TV series is set in 1973, a time when sexism, racism, and homophobia was rife and the British general public had only started condemning those acts of behaviour. I was taken aback to hear the following lines:
Does it bother you that much? A coloured bird with a bit of power?
I was only ten years old in 1976 and I remember the noun Black (or adjective black) was considered derogatory, almost a taboo, whereas coloured was the "polite" term used to describe anyone whose skin was dark-coloured. But childhood memories can play tricks, so I'm not absolutely certain.
Was the term coloured derogatory in the 1970s? Did Eve call herself "coloured" because she knew it was offensive or did British black people call themselves that?
Nowadays, I know it's the other way round, and I'm pretty sure that Benedict Cumberbatch does too. But what about the 1970s? Shouldn't the actress line have been:
Does it bother you that much? A black bird with a bit of power?