National Treasure – The DVDfever Review – Robbie Coltrane

National Treasure

National Treasure stars Robbie Coltrane as long-standing showbiz personality Paul Finchley, and he’s a perfect choice for this role, as he is, indeed, a national treasure. However, after many years in the public eye, it’s not long into the drama before the police come knocking as he’s accused of rape.

Naturally, he denies all charges after taking taken to the police station, while the cops ransack his house, taking away PCs and laptops, as he has been accessing certain pornographic websites, but does that include illegal ones? The drama keeps this intentionally vague so that the viewer is never 100% sure. Well, this is the first episode of four, so you wouldn’t want it to reveal its hand immediately.

National Treasure debates an important point that I agree with, in that whoever is accused of anything, from the trivial to situations like this, the police shouldn’t name anyone accused of anything until proven guilty, and only afterwards should the guilty part be named, to stop false accusations being made in future. As things stand now, anyone can make an allegation of rape, and never be named. If the alleged rapist is named, it can crucify their lives beyond measure.

I wanted to really enjoy this, but the first episode doesn’t give us any more than we’ve seen in the trailer, which told us that the media are portraying Paul as the new Jimmy Savile, and that seven women had come forward to report inappropriate actions from him. Coltrane gives his usual assured performance, while there’s great support from Andrea Riseborough as his daughter, Dee, who is clearly struggling to cope, and also comes across as damaged in some way, but we don’t know why as of yet. As for Julie Walters as his wife, Marie, she’s very much going through the motions.

Overall, I expected a lot more from the first episode. I will watch the rest, however, as I want to see how it turns out, but based on this, I think it could easily have been cut down to a three-parter, and I would’ve preferred that shown over that number of nights, rather than weekly episodes. But then we’re all into binge-watching, these days.

National Treasure begins tomorrow night on Channel 4 at 9pm, and will be available on All4 shortly after broadcast. You can pre-order the DVD ahead of its released on November 7th. Also, click on the packshot for the full-size version.

National Treasure – Channel 4 – Trailer

Score: 6/10

Director: Marc Munden
Writer: Jack Thorne
Producer: John Chapman
Music: Cristobal Tapia de Veer

Paul Finchley: Robbie Coltrane
Marie Finchley: Julie Walters
Dee Finchley: Andrea Riseborough
Jerome Sharpe: Babou Ceesay
Stella: Vivienne Bell
DI Palmer: Nadine Marshall
Karl: Tim McInnerny
Simon: Jeremy Swift
Georgina: Rosalind Eleazar
Dominic Reynolds – Reporter: Stephan Fleming
Young Paul: Trystan Gravelle
Dan: Graeme Hawley
Tom: Sam Hoare
Gerry: Mark Lewis Jones
Freddie: Ben Lloyd-Hughes
Himself: Alan Carr
Himself: Frank Skinner
Himself: Robert Webb
Frances: Renaee-Mya Warden
TV / Film Director: Richard Waring
Billy: William Wright-Neblett