The politics, passions, and people of A Very English Scandal

a very english scandal hugh grant jeremy thorpe ben whishaw norman scott russell t davies stephen frears review both victims bbc one amazon

One of the more interesting comments Russell T Davies made in the weeks before A Very English Scandal first aired was that he thought “both [Norman Scott and Jeremy Thorpe] were victims”, in a way.

It’s perhaps not immediately apparent why Davies considered Jeremy Thorpe a victim, given after all that A Very English Scandal dramatises Thorpe’s efforts to have Norman Scott killed. It’s a story of power, politics, and passion, of conspiratorial whispers in the hallowed halls of power, and Thorpe is at the very heart of that. Casting Hugh Grant was, in many way, a stroke of genius; his Thorpe isn’t just suffused with predatory menace, but, as many have noted, feels informed by his past as a charismatic romantic lead. In turn, Grant’s Thorpe is a vision of that charm, curdled into something darker – there’s an undefinable, irresistibly engaging quality about him, even knowing there’s something rotten lurking within. Declaring Norman Scott must die with as much conviction as he opposes racism in the House of Commons, or planning how to dispose of his body with the same light, casual ease as mimicking the Prime Minister, doesn’t exactly seem to support the understanding that Thorpe is anything short of a Machiavellian villain.

But, if it’s difficult to see Thorpe as a victim from the first two episodes, it’s a scene in A Very English Scandal’s closing episode that renders Davies’ point crystal clear.

I am so, so proud of this piece, I’ve got to say. Genuinely, when I’d finished it, I was absolutely beaming – I was convinced, and still am, that it was one of the best pieces of writing I’d done in quite some time.

The only thing that, admittedly, is less than stellar about it is the title. I don’t think it really conveys what it’s about, does it? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure it conveys much of anything, it’s a bit… empty. Better, though, than other variations, such as “the politics, power and prejudice”.

Anyway, I’d really appreciate any shares that this one gets, because like I said, I’m extremely proud of it.

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4 actors – and 1 actress – who were nearly Doctor Who

doctor who alternate doctor who actors never were brian blessed richard griffiths hugh grant rob lowe judi dench second doctor fifth doctor eighth doctor ninth doctor

Time isn’t a strict progression of cause and effect; from a non linear, non subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey-wimey… stuff. It twists and it turns, and it could have taken a lot of different paths at different points.

Like, for example, with the part of the Doctor. As with any piece of casting, there was an audition process, and a shortlist, and finally an actor was eventually cast – but what if things had gone differently? What if the final choice for the Time Lord had gone to one of the other finalists?

These are the men – and women – who nearly took on the TARDIS…

An article on Doctor Who. Nice little listicle. Always fun.

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