The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
This lengthy docu-drama deals with the cause and aftermath of the Air New Zealand air crash on Mount Erebus in Antarctica in 1978. It pulls few punches and is hard to "put down" so to speak. Frank Finlay as Mr Justice Mahon is quite brilliant and almost all the other members of this essentially New Zealand cast are pretty good too. The drama does not depict either the Air New Zealand management or the New Zealand government of the time in a good light and it is hard to conclude that this position is not correct. However it has undoubtedly made this a controversial production in some circles and it has not been released on video yet. Vested interests might prevail to ensure it is never released which would be a real pity and a loss to legitimate free speech. Copies of the broadcast are hard to come by and should be snapped up if they come your way. This is one of the best docu-dramas of it's type I have ever seen and is frequently re-watched in my home.
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