Monday, 31 January 2011


On TV: Wednesday 19th January 2011
Channel: BBC4 9-10.25pm
Episode Type: One-off bio-drama

In 1 Sentence: Amazingly acted, the BBC churns out another, if not slightly odd, quality drama. 
BBC Summary: Ruth Jones takes on the role of the larger-than-life Carry On actress, Hattie Jacques, revealing how her home life was blown apart by a secret sexual liaison with her handsome young driver while she was married to Dad's Army star John Le Mesurier.

“You British never forgive people who like a lot of sex.”
Esma Cannon (Marcia Warren) to Hattie on how the public will react if they found out about Hattie’s affair.
My review: Hattie was an interesting drama to watch. I hadn’t been anticipating it as such. But I saw it was on and thought that it might be good to watch and eventually caught the repeat a few days ago. I saw Caitlin Moran’s review of it in The Times, where she found it confusing and, well, didn’t exactly love it. 
But I thought I’d give it ago anyway to see for myself... 

The BBC always has a certain quality. Even if the plot is a bit thin, you can be certain of a beautiful watch as they always convey the period marvelously.
I’d never heard of Hattie Jacques (being of the younger generation), but was drawn to the story through how unique and baffling a situation Hattie’s home life was. It certainly would sell papers, which is ironic considering how much of a secret it was meant to be. 

The acting was top notch and all three of the main characters (Hattie and both Johns) were just perfect. I didn’t even know Aiden Turner was in it until I started watching and he turned out to be a delight. Completely different to his Being Human character the public know and love, Turner managed to pull of a reasonable cockney accent bringing charm to John Schofield. 
Hattie, Schofield and Hattie’s husband, John Le Mesurier (played by Robert Bathurst), were cast extraordinarily well and seemed to envelop the characters completely. 
I felt awfully sorry for Hattie’s poor husband, and it did seem a little unrealistic that she seemed not to care about him, or indeed her children, as much as her lover. It’s the sort of thing that makes you wonder how much of the fiction is true. 
Ruth Jones astounded me once again at how true to a person she can play. According to my mum, who has actually seen the real Hattie’s work, she managed to mimic seamlessly Hattie’s way of moving and speaking. Despite her weight, she made Hattie seem dainty and glamourous; quite an achievement.

Very dark (in the lighting sense) throughout it was often hard to see what was going on and the characters expressions. 
It is definitely designed for a weekday night, were you can pull shut the curtains and gorge on, yet another, quality drama feast. 

Score: 7.5/10

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