A Very English Scandal ~ Episode Three

On Sunday 3 June we reached the concluding part of Russell T Davies’ A Very English Scandal, and it was a cornucopia of lies, truth and underhanded dealings. Culminating in the greatest shock of all (if you didn’t already know the outcome), that Thorpe (Hugh Grant) got away with it. He was cleared of involvement in the attempted murder of Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw) and his cronies? Similarly ditto!

Frustratingly, we see that Thorpe and his side-kicks get away with their plot to kill Scott, with a Judge who epitomises the word ‘biased’, naturally excellent representation (played by Adrian Scarborough) and stoic support from Marion (Monica Dolan), Thorpe’s second wife. Although Marion must have suspected that there was more to the story than met the eye, she certainly didn’t appear to be stupid and when a letter from Thorpe to Scott was published in a newspaper (a spin doctor move from Thorpe’s advisors) – could it truly be denied? The relationship between the two could be summed up in one ‘dangerous’ word – ‘bunnies’! Of course, Ursula Thorpe (Patricia Hodge) remains in shell-shocked denial and on her Son’s side throughout. While Scott still has the backing and friendship of the aptly named Edna Friendship (Michele Dotrice). Justice isn’t set to conquer and that becomes evident as the episode progresses.

With a consistently considered and measured performance from Grant in all three episodes, a delightfully skittish and self-absorbed portrayal from Whishaw as Scott and equally an excellent performance from Alex Jennings as Bessell, this series was one of the BBC’s most gripping dramas. If you’ve missed it, you MUST catch it on iplayer, you’ll see Hugh Grant as you’ve never seen him before. Who’d have though he would be perfect casting for this real-life role? Not I!

A Very English Scandal – Catch up on iplayer

 

Advertisements

A Very English Scandal ~ Episode Two

The second instalment of one of the best dramas to grace the screens of BBC One (since Call The Midwife disappeared until Christmas) was even racier, more scandalous and has been cast so superbly it’s resonating for all the right reasons.

Jeremy Thorpe (the incomparable Hugh Grant) is still on the warpath and baying for his ex-lover, Norma Scott (Ben Whishaw) to be killed. He’s let another friend and admirer, David Holmes (Paul Hilton) in on the plan he’s in favour of and he’s very clear on the way in which it should be carried out. Peter Bessell (Alex Jennings) isn’t at all keen on the idea and feels that he’s found a perfect get-out clause when it’s brought to his attention that Norman has fathered a child and he’s getting married. It’s a short-lived marriage though and not long before Scott finds himself in the arms of flaky ‘neighbour’ Gwen Parry-Jones (Eve Myles) who sets her sights on helping Scott to frame Thorpe for his misdemeanours. However, first there’s the tragedy of the sudden death of Mrs Thorpe in a car accident to deal with. Followed by Thorpe’s calculated second marriage to Marion (Monica Dolan) which is another shrewd politically motivated move.

I was delighted by the arrival of a new friend for Scott, aptly named Edna Friendship (Michele Dotrice), a character to be reckoned with, who offers bed, board and job to the vagrant when he arrives back in Devon. Too close to home for Thorpe who continues his quest to have his ex murdered. The assailant is selected and not entirely confident with his task, Andrew ‘Gino’ Newton (played by Blake Harrison of The Inbetweeners fame) is not the right man for the job at all, in fact.

The performances continue to be outstanding, it’s got more twists, turns and dark corners than the streets of London and it never ceases to amaze me what Thorpe will stoop to next. The mere idea of even a portion of this ‘story’ being factual adds a whole new dimension and must-watch factor to the series.

Catch up on episode two here: A Very English Scandal Episode Two

Episode Three airs on BBC One on Sunday 3 June at 9pm 

 

Photo Credits: BBC Pictures

A Very English Scandal ~ Episode One

Premise

British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe is accused of conspiracy to murder his gay ex-lover and is forced to stand trial in 1979.

Hugh Grant plays the role of Thorpe, a closet homosexual who pursued Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw), giving him a roof and keeping him for his own amusement. It’s a wholly different role for Grant and he is an inspired choice. Opposite Whishaw the chemistry was believable and intrigued me from the outset. Thorpe is soliciting the aid of Peter Bessell (Alex Jennings) to ensure Scott’s silence about their relationship when he calls time on their affair. To further his political career and assist the party in currying more favour, Thorpe is plotting to marry and portray himself as a family man.

Although Scott has secured himself a modelling job, he’s not going to keep quiet about Thorpe ‘infecting him’, not only has he been to the police, he’s also written to Thorpe’s unwitting mother, Ursula (Patricia Hodge) revealing all. With a wife, baby and family man public image – there’s only one way to ensure the scandal fails to surface. We were left on a cliff-hanger, however if you are aware of the history (and the premise gives it away, too) there’s further scandal to come.

A cast de force overtly portray this twisting, insightful story. Given the era we’re looking at, it’s interesting to see how far we’ve come where the issue at the heart of the scandal is concerned. It’s an apt time to choose to broadcast such a dramatization.

Missed the first instalment? Catch up here: A Very English Scandal Episode One

Watch the second episode on BBC One next Sunday at 21:00

Photo Credits: BBC Pictures

W1A Series Three, Episode Three ~ Review

W1A, oh how I wish we could have a weekly dose of this, 52 weeks of the year! I’m already preparing myself to be missing it desperately when it finishes in a few episodes’ time!! This week’s instalment saw a disaster befall the team as the BBC Swing Band went on the attack. 

Will Humphries (HUGH SKINNER) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Jack Barnes

Ben & Jerry ~ It’s D day for Ben and Jerry, so they’re trying to out-do one another with additional dialogue and they’ve both looked at ways of streamlining the BBC services. With hilarious consequences ….and disastrous consequences, yes exactly yes!

BBC Orchestras ~ The BBC has six orchestras, Ben or Jerry, or Jerry or Ben have found that out during in-depth research(!) so the suggestion of amalgamation is raised. It’s also thrown out, however word gets around the BBC Swing Band is in line for the axe. How are they going to get around this one? I don’t wanna sound negative or anything but I have a bad feeling about this…

Sub-titles ~ The sub-title voice-recognition system is up the swanny (b*llocks!) and Neil is tearing his hair out. Baggy Smith (instead of Maggie Smith) being the final straw. It’s always going wrong in the news department and Neil is always apologising for something – and I admit to having a slightly warped liking of watching it all go wrong!

BBC Me ~ BBC Me is still in its pre-launch stage and Siobhan, together with her team at Fun are brainstorming ideas with fuzzy felt. Michael has a winning idea, get rid of the bikes and just film a selfie. Cue silent disco to S Club 7!

Ailing Anna ~ A bit of a cliff hanger to end on too, this week as Anna keels over in the taxi on the way back from a meeting with the charter renewal team. What will become of our favourite BBC ‘robot’? yes, exactly yes!

Credits

Role Contributor
Jack Patterson Jonathan Bailey
Barney Lumsden Alex Beckett
Ian Fletcher Hugh Bonneville
Faiza Rajah Priyanga Burford
Tracey Pritchard Monica Dolan
Jerry Guildencrantz Ivan Gonzalez
Siobhan Sharpe Jessica Hynes
David Wilkes Rufus Jones
Izzy Gould Ophelia Lovibond
Chloe Rose Matafeo
Ben Rosenstern Max Olesker
Anna Rampton Sarah Parish
Fiona Craig Pooky Quesnel
Zoe Emma Sidi
Will Humphries Hugh Skinner
Lucy Freeman Nina Sosanya
Simon Harwood Jason Watkins
Neil Reid David Westhead
Karl Marx Joel Fry
Adam Brady Laurence Howarth
Matt Taverner Daniel Ings
Ray Fredericks Jeffery Kissoon
Fiona Craig’s PA Emily Lloyd-Saini
Michael Chung Will Sharpe
Coco Lomax Sara Pascoe
Donna Fredericks Shauna Shim
Himself Lenny Henry
Himself Jeremy Paxman
Herself Louise Minchin
Himself Dan Walker
Narrator David Tennant
Producer Paul Schlesinger
Director John Morton
Writer John Morton
Executive Producer Jon Plowman

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: