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The Trial of Christine Keeler 

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Story of Christine Keeler, who found herself at the heart of a political sex scandal that rocked British government in the 1960s.
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2020   2019  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Sophie Cookson ...  Christine Keeler 6 episodes, 2019-2020
James Norton ...  Stephen Ward 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Ellie Bamber ...  Mandy Rice-Davies 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Emilia Fox ...  Valerie Profumo 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Ben Miles ...  John Profumo 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Michael Maloney ...  Bill Astor 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Sam Troughton ...  DS John Burrows 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Anthony Welsh ...  Aloysius 'Lucky' Gordon 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Jack Greenlees ...  Paul Mann 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Chloe Harris Chloe Harris ...  Paula 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Rosalind Halstead ...  Bronwen 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Anton Lesser ...  Michael Eddowes 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett ...  Johnny Edgecombe 6 episodes, 2019-2020
Sam Crane ...  Alan 5 episodes, 2019-2020
Amanda Drew Amanda Drew ...  Julie 5 episodes, 2019-2020
Dorian Lough ...  Len 5 episodes, 2019-2020
Charlene Boyd Charlene Boyd ...  Ronna Ricardo 5 episodes, 2019-2020
Aidan McArdle ...  Roger Hollis 4 episodes, 2019-2020
Tim McInnerny ...  Redmayne 4 episodes, 2019-2020
Danny Webb ...  George Wigg 4 episodes, 2019-2020
Paul Ryan ...  Rees-Davies 4 episodes, 2019-2020
Visar Vishka Visar Vishka ...  Yevgeny Ivanov 4 episodes, 2019-2020
Louis Hilyer Louis Hilyer ...  Herbert 3 episodes, 2020
Martin Hutson ...  Woods 3 episodes, 2019-2020
Jonny Lavelle ...  John Hamilton Marshall 3 episodes, 2019-2020
Peter Davison ...  James Burge 2 episodes, 2020
Alex Macqueen ...  Griffith-Jones 2 episodes, 2020
Micah Balfour ...  Fenton 2 episodes, 2020
El Anthony ...  Darrell 2 episodes, 2019-2020
Drew Edwards ...  Ted 2 episodes, 2020
William Gaminara ...  John Hobson 2 episodes, 2019-2020
Paul Jesson ...  Judge Marshall 2 episodes, 2020
George Kemp ...  Clerk of Court 2 episodes, 2020
Ella Peel Ella Peel ...  Vickie Barrett 2 episodes, 2019-2020
Narinder Samra ...  Jayasunta 2 episodes, 2019-2020
Richard Attlee ...  Judge Roberts 2 episodes, 2019-2020
Ash Hunter ...  De Ville 2 episodes, 2020
Lee Knight Lee Knight ...  Gallerist 2 episodes, 2020
Pablo Raybould ...  Magistrate 2 episodes, 2019-2020
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Storyline

Story of Christine Keeler, who found herself at the heart of a political sex scandal that rocked British government in the 1960s.

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Genres:

Drama

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Miles and Emilia Fox also appeared together in Catherine Cookson's The Round Tower (1998) See more »

Quotes

Stephen Ward: Little baby.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The main characters were not listed in the closing credits. Instead the actors (but not their character names) were listed in the opening titles, and the closing credits only listed the minor characters. See more »

User Reviews

 
Everything has been proved
31 January 2020 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

This six part BBC drama follows the channel's success two years before of its earlier treatment of another significant British historical/political scandal in the Houses of Parliament, the Jeremy Thorpe / Norman Scott affair. However, even as the years recede, ownership of that word scandal still belongs primarily to John Profumo, the Conservative war minister caught up in a sex scandal revolving around his involvement with the young Christine Keeler.

Conveniently, it seems, waiting until the last of the major players in this act had expired, being Ms Keeler herself in 2018, the way was clear for a pretty much no-holds barred expose of the crisis that with its accusations of sleaze at the highest levels of government arguably fatally winged Prime Minister Harold MacMillan's government of the day so that a bare year later he had resigned and the Tories 13 year long reign of power was ended by Labour under Harold Wilson.

Christine Keeler's own actual court trial for perjury doesn't occur until the final episode but the title of the series makes us aware that she herself was perpetually on trial in the public eye as she came under constant scrutiny the minute her involvement with both Profumo and Russian spy Yevgeny Ivanov came to light. Christine met both men at debauched parties convened by osteopath Stephen Ward to high society gents where he put attractive young women like her and her even younger friend Mandy Rice Davies in the way of middle aged men of wealth, title and influence.

In the aftermath of the story dragging Profumo onto the front pages of the all-powerful national press of the day, he of course lost his position, Keeler and Davies ended up in jail but not after making comparative fortunes from selling their stories to the papers and of course the main victim in the fall-out was Ward, who was effectively made society's scapegoat and firstly saw his profitable medical practice as well as his sideline work as a portrait artist collapse when his former friends in high places conveniently abandoned him. He then found himself on trial himself on trumped-up charges for living off so-called immoral earnings of Keeler and Davies. Railroaded by the police and at the mercy of a partial judge, he was bound to be found guilty prompting him to take the overdose which killed him before his verdict was inconsiderately delivered in absentia.

The direction, even though it sometimes confused with its plethora of flashbacks which sometimes disjointed the narrative, and acting throughout I thought was of a high standard by its largely well-cast ensemble, with perhaps just a few exceptions, commendably fleshing out the story. Of these, I felt that Emilia Fox as Profumo's pitiable actress wife and Neil Morrissey as Keeler's money-grabbing dad were miscast and out of their depth, while in the wider narrative I was surprised that at no stage in the story did P.M. MacMillan make an appearance.

The three main parties to the story of Keeler, Davies and Ward were excellently played by Sophie Cookson, Ellie Bamber and James Norton and even if Ben Miles didn't look much like the real Profumo, he certainly conveyed the man's privileged cake-and-eat-it hauteur, until he was caught literally with his pants down.

All in all, this seemed to me a realistic and fascinating dramatisation of a story which still resonates today and the watching of which, particularly its imbalanced treatment of the main players, still makes the blood boil today.


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Details

Official Sites:

BBC First | Official Site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 2019 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Trial of Christine Keeler See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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