Read in Catalan

New BBC series Years and Years is showing its fourth episode this week in which it plays with a dystopian Catalan future. The series focuses on a Manchester family, the Lyons, and follows their lives over 15 years: beginning in present day 2019, and then accelerating forward as they have to adapt to a vertiginous new world, in which politics turns unstable and rapid economic and technological changes take place. It is in this context, that the series scriptwriters look into their crystal ball and see an independent Catalonia within ten years.

To be specific (and without spoilers), the starting point for the episode is that Catalonia has proclaimed its independence, governments are falling like dominoes in Spain, the peseta has been brought back into use, and the Spanish royals have fled to exile in Monaco.  Across the Atlantic, the US has banned the Spanish language, while other parts of Europe are also politically convulsed.

The series adapts images of protests and police repression on Catalan streets, with videos of various demonstrations in locations that may look vaguely familiar to those who know Barcelona.

The episode will be available from this Tuesday on the HBO platform.