The Trial of Christine Keeler sounded like it was about time for another drama about the Profumo affair, as it’s been 30 years since 1989’s movie, Scandal, a film which was worth a look, but definitely overhyped.
Fast-forward to 2019 and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer’s Christine Keeler is swapped for Sophie Cookson (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), who performs well in her role and is the best thing about this.
What takes place in the opener can be summed up in a nutshell, as she starts off in the proceedings, sleeping with jazz promoter Johnny Edgecombe (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), but after an altercation in a nightclub between them and a pimp, she thinks buying a gun will keep them safe. Naturally, it’s not the wisest item for anyone to own.
Beyond that, she’s hanging about with friend Stephen (James Norton) for part of the time, but overall, while this starts off okay, the drama really does fall into rather a dull slump, making you wonder why they’re making this at all. I know it’s set over six episodes, but on the basis of the first two, there’s certainly no reason for this to be the case, since it’s slower than a tortoise.
Anything about John Profumo (Ben Miles) seems to take a lot more of a backseat so far, and in terms of a trial, so far, it’s more a trial of our patience!
Also, the affair began in 1961, but for some reason, events are shifted slightly to 1962. Erm… why?
The Trial of Christine Keeler continues tomorrow on BBC1 at 9pm, before then being on every Sunday at 9pm for the rest of the series, and the drama is available to pre-order on DVD ahead of its released on January 27th 2020.
After broadcast, each episode is on the BBC iPlayer.
Episode 1 & 2 Score: 3/10
Directors: Andrea Harkin, Leanne Welham
Producer: Rebecca Ferguson
Writer: Amanda Coe
Christine Keeler: Sophie Cookson
Mandy Rice-Davies: Ellie Bamber
Paula: Chloe Harris
Valerie Profumo: Emilia Fox
Bronwen: Rosalind Halstead
John Profumo: Ben Miles
Stephen Ward: James Norton
Johnny Edgecombe: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
Aloysius ‘Lucky’ Gordon: Anthony Welsh
Ronna Ricardo: Charlene Boyd
Paul Mann: Jack Greenlees
Yevgeny Ivanov: Visar Vishka
The Third Man: Chris Kinsville-Heyne
James Burge: Peter Davison
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.