Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Chatterley Affair

I've mentioned Desperate Romantics before.

But, what I didn't realise was that one of the main characters in a different BBC production, one I'd seen before, was one of the Desperate Romantics.

There was a recurring theme on BBC Four recently - Rude on Four. 

The BBC had a heyday of depravity in the 70s. Easily the best time to watch TV here. Sure, we get the sexy, violent US show now, but.. but, it's not the same. Forty, thirty years ago we had I, Claudius, The Borgias, The History Man... some of the best TV ever made. We had Play For Today, and Dennis Potter.

BBC drama has dried up, so to speak, recently. With a massive yank of the chain, it has been brought to heel by it's master, the government and select media opinion.

There have been co-productions, like Rome, which I've talked about.

However, obsessed with dreary costume drama, the BBC had abandoned cutting edge work.

In general.

Desperate Romantics was a great show. Really.

But that's not what I'm talking about.

The recent show I watched was "The Chatterley Affair".

Rafe Spall, then 23, plays a juror on the original court case, drawn into an affair with some upper class totty, played by then 36 year old Louise Delamere.

In 1960 Penguin books published the novel.  They had to go to court to defend it.

This particular DH Lawrence work was banned in the UK for over thirty years. The rest of his work is golden. You should pick it up. Seriously, you should. Ahem.

You didn't pick up any of his other work, did you?

Of course not. But he is thought to be one of the best writers of his generation. However, strangely, NOT for Lady Chatterley, which is considered one of his weaker works.

Rafe Spall, son of Timothy Spall, played William Holman Hunt in Desperate Romantics.Timothy Spall is just epic. Rafe's performance wasn't universally appreciated, but I think he tried very hard. He may not have been good, but at least he was trying.

The Chatterley Affair, confusingly, had an upper crust juror flirt with and finally bed, lower class juror. Um, that's, basically, the book. The back story is different, but the same.

I liked it, but... it should have been a better, more wholesome story.

Or a really trashy one.

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