Thursday, 5 December 2013

When TV Both Delights and Infuriates

As regulars readers may know, I love a good period drama and real life crime/scandal from the 1960s or 70s.

So imagine my excitement when both the BBC and ITV announced dramatisations regarding two cases that have fascinated me and caused me to read voraciously up on for a number of years now; the mystery of Lord Lucan in the 1970s and the robbery that shook 60s Britain, The Great Train Robbery.



Lucan is a two part drama beginning on ITV next Wednesday, 11th December. Based on John Pearson's excellent book The Gamblers. It stars the brilliant Rory Kinnear and Christopher Eccleston as Lucan and John Aspinall respectively, and is written by Jeff Pope. Pope is the guvnor when it comes to this kind of thing, having previously undertaken dramatisations of The Moors Murders (See No Evil) the hunt for The Yorkshire Ripper (This Is Personal) the Fred West story (Appropriate Adult) and for the big screen, Pierrepoint, the story of Britains'; notorious 20th Century hangman.




The final part of Lucan airs the following Wednesday, 18th December. Which leads me to my frustration...


The BBC have produced an equally glossy looking all star cast dramatisation in two parts of The Great Train Robbery, which annoyingly commences broadcast at the same time on Wednesday 18th! Surely the station schedulers would realise that people who are interested in this kind of thing will be infuriated by such a clash? I know that in this modern day of iPlayer, Sky+ and +1 channels it isn't so much an issue any more, but even so!

The Great Train Robbery has been written by Chris Chibnall (the man behind 2013's biggest TV highlight and success, Broadchurch) and is cleverly split into two parts. The first part, The Robbers Tale will focus on the gang and the robbery itself and stars Luke Evans, Jack Roth (Tim's son and a dead spit for his father) Neil Maskell, Paul Anderson and Martin Compston, whilst the second part The Coppers Tale is broadcast the following day, Thursday 19th, and stars Jim Broadbent, Nick Moran, George Costigan and Robert Glenister as the men from Scotland Yard hunting the thieves down.

My other frustration with this drama however is the BBC's irritating habit of blanket trails for this production. Seriously I think I counted 6 screenings of the trailer yesterday, and I've seen two already today...and it's not on for a fortnight yet! (Compare this to Lucan on ITV which I've seen about 3/4 trails for in the space of a week) I really want to watch this, I'm looking forward to it...but surely the Beeb must realise that in placing their trails wall to wall during each programme break they're actually turning people off from watching rather than interesting them?



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