TV round-up: Diana: In Her Own Words and Poldark -

TV round-up: Diana: In Her Own Words and Poldark

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The documentary emphasised Diana’s case against the Royal family’s “handling” of the coupling

I suspect he didn’t see it, because this would have been the most uncomfortable watch since the princess’s famous interview with Martin Bashir. 

And just like that Panorama programme, this was an important TV documentary as it, more intimately, emphasised Diana’s case against not only Charles, but the Royal family’s “handling” of this doomed coupling.

How can anyone in the so-called “Firm” have supported such a marriage in good conscience?

Don’t hold your breath for that documentary.  

As a piece of television it wasn’t perfect. It was half an hour too long for one. I was more than happy to hear from close associates such as security guard Ken Wharf and her private secretary Patrick Jepson, but once it moved on to her dance teacher and “another” who had met the Princess and “had their life changed”, the mind wandered.

And you will be pleased to know that we have a drama to come on that very theme.

Then there was the narration and music. My god, they ramped up the tension when it simply wasn’t there. It was like Victorian melodrama. Why was it so important to show the White Cliffs of Dover. We weren’t under invasion from anyone.

Clearly, the cliffs were a symbol of the “Establishment”, this murky, diffuse grey matter hovering above us all which is inevitably blamed for everything ill. Get a grip. Plain and simple, and on the evidence of this largely enthralling film, this was a marriage that should never have happened. Yep, blame the “Establishment” if you like. But “they” don’t care.

Was any of it particularly new? Certainly the “vlogger-style” of chatting directly to camera gave her testimony a convincing honesty.

“He chatted me up like a bad rash” or “he leapt upon me”, or even “he followed me around like a puppy” showed his level of determination, initially at least. And Diana’s assertion that she “desperately loved” Charles showed she wanted it to work too.

And for all of our due respect for the Queen, the Monarch’s apparent shrugged response of “I don’t know what you should do” had echoes of the Queen’s inaction in the immediate aftermath of Diana’s death. 

From the slew of Diana documentaries, said to number around 20 which are to be broadcast for the 20th anniversary of her death, this is the one that will be remembered for years to come.

Poldark

Poldark (BBC1, Sunday)

Does Diana matter in TV terms to anyone? Well, not according to the audience. The documentary was marginally beaten by the final episode of Poldark (BBC1, Sunday). If you watched the shenanigans at Nampara rather than those at Kensington Palace, you will have been shortchanged of drama. 

This has been a good, but patchy series, although the final episode ramped up the tension. It’s not every day a toff like Armitage, even in the 18th century, can expect to have his way with a captain’s wife on a sand dune.

Elsewhere, the drama amounted to Ross’s volunteer force being tricked into defending George Warleggan’s grain store from the rebellious yokels led by verbally challenged Tholly – “ot ya fink ya doin, Ross?!” (Wipe spittle from nearby faces). 

And what of the sand dunes carry on? With the death of Aunt Agatha, suddenly Prudie is the moral core of Poldark, suggesting to Demelza that she might as well have a fling with Armitage, Cornwall’s first performance poet, “’cause Ross has been up to it”, too.

She needs to put a pasty in it. So Demelza succumbed to Armitage who improbably cuckfolded Ross as a reward to the captain for saving his life. They do things differently in the West Country.

Trust Me (BBC1, Tuesday) started like a moderately interesting drama about a whistleblower who was getting nowhere. A nurse played by new Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker wanted her hospital to take seriously her complaints about rubbish doctors.

She in turn was threatened by the hospital. What a shame the writer didn’t stick with this topical, worrying and worthwhile storyline. Instead Whittaker’s nurse, separated and with one child, decided to impersonate a rubbish doctor herself. If you can’t beat ’em..

She was very good at being rubbish, too. There’s hope for us all who think we’d make a good doctor. There are plenty of vacancies. First up was a man with an ankle, not that unusual, but one which appeared to be facing in the wrong direction.

Handy if you need to do a handbrake turn while walking the dog. As a doubting nurse looked on, Whittaker grabbed the victim’s leg and vigorously tugged it one way then the other, much in the way that they do medical procedures in Game Of Thrones or a sketch in Horrible Histories.I laughed, then my stomach turned. Why? 

Trust Me was written by Doctor Dan Sefton so I’m assuming he knew the right and wrong way to re-align a bone. Then the real rub. She’d done it without anaesthetic. What a great NHS saving. The “doubting” nurse was not horrified but impressed.

Make her a hospital manager. After that it just got worse unless you’re a thriller junkie who can swallow such nonsense regardless of whether it seems real or not. Jodie Whittaker’s performance was blood curdlingly good. She knows how to play a doctor. Fortunately for Daleks, they don’t have ankles.



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