Alan Clarke is the member of parliament for Plymouth Sutton, where he longs for a "proper" role as a Minister in Thatcher's government. When he gets the call he joins government but is ...
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Alan Clarke is the member of parliament for Plymouth Sutton, where he longs for a "proper" role as a Minister in Thatcher's government. When he gets the call he joins government but is totally unprepared for the commitment involved and is totally unable (and unwilling) to manage the rigours of bill reading and committees. Despite this he rises up the ranks, still proving his apparent penchant for controversy and evasion. Written by
bob the moo
In episode three, Clark's ministerial globetrotting is charted on an animated map. Unfortunately the map used for this sequence is a present-day one and very obviously wrong for the 1980s setting (the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia should each be shown as a single country). This is especially conspicuous because Clark travels to Sarajevo, and Bosnia-Hercegovinia was a republic within Yugoslavia, not an independent country. See more »
. . . almost. The BBC's new six-part serialisation fails to answer the basic question, Who is Alan Clark? We all know his public persona, the flamboyant, outspoken, womanising Conservative MP - but that's all we get here. The series starts with his election victory in 1983, but it's not made clear whether this is a re-election or his first time in Government. His past remains a mystery, with no clue as to how he's gotten where he is apart from a few reminiscences of sexual conquests past.
John Hurt did criticise the speed of filming and the budget, and it's easy to see why. Every set is claustrophobic and bare, Clark seems to inhabit his own little world in which people come and go without really making much impression. Is this meant to give us some idea of his mental state, or is it just filming on the cheap? There's certainly very little period detail beyond his secretary's clothes and hair.
Ultimately it comes down to casting. John Hurt is perfect as Clark (as is Jenny Agutter as his wife Jane), but if it were all down to nothing but imitation then Alan Clark might as well have been immortalised in a one-man show, something along the lines of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads.
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