Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Christopher and His Kind

On TV: Saturday 19th March 2011
Channel: BBC2 9.30-11pm
Episode Type: One-off drama

In 1 Sentence: A drama without much of a story: Matt Smith plays a naive, young Christopher Isherwood who travels to 1930’s Berlin.

BBC Summary: The 'divinely decadent' Berlin cabaret scene is in full swing when a young and wide-eyed Christopher Isherwood arrives in the city to stay with his close friend and occasional lover, the poet WH Auden. To Isherwood's reserved English sensibility, the city's thriving gay subculture is thrilling and intoxicating. But Christopher soon finds himself heartbroken after the failure of a hopeless love affair, and so sets out on a process of self-discovery as he forges an identity and place for himself amidst the chaos of 1930s Berlin.

My Review: ‘Not much happened’ - these were my thoughts after watching Christopher and His Kind. 
It looked lovely of course and there was some reasonable acting from Matt Smith, Imogen Poots and, notably Iddo Goldberg, who played Wilfrid Landauer, a jewish business man eventually destroyed by the Nazi’s. In fact he was the only character I really cared about. But in general the programme came across as quite cold. 

The whole thing was just a little off and felt unrealistic. The son who wants to escape from a bossy mother, exploring what life has to offer, breaking hearts; it was all too predictable. I felt like it was trying to tell me something... but forget at the last moment. 

Made with good intentions I’m sure, but nothing stood out except the cinematography. The promo pictures for example, each one was from a scene seconds long, none of which played much part in the plot. It felt staged. Like Matt Smith’s ‘posh’ voice, it irritated me throughout. 

The trailers made it seem much more exciting than it actually was - a sad story, a progression through Isherwood’s life. But it felt too rushed and had left us with no explanations. Like introducing characters, only to have them leave just as they were getting interesting. Why?
Being used to the BBC's usual high standards, this didn't quite live up to expectations.
Score: 6/10

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