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Episode #1.3 

Although Norman's would-be killer is caught, Jeremy continues to deny any involvement in the plot, but soon discovers that he cannot escape the past.


Stephen Frears


John Preston (based on book 'A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment' by), Russell T. Davies

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Whishaw ... Norman Scott
Chris Grahamson Chris Grahamson ... Minehead Constable
Michele Dotrice ... Edna Friendship
Blake Harrison ... Andrew 'Gino' Newton
Hugh Grant ... Jeremy Thorpe
Paul Hilton Paul Hilton ... David Holmes
Monica Dolan ... Marion Thorpe
Jonathan Hyde ... David Napley
Patricia Hodge ... Ursula Thorpe
Paul Sloss ... Stuart Kuttner
Brett Allen ... Anthony Johnson
Alex Jennings ... Peter Bessell
Steffan Rhodri Steffan Rhodri ... D.C.S Michael Challes
Flora Montgomery ... Diane Kelly
Rhys Parry Jones ... John Le Mesurier


Whilst would-be killer Andrew Newton is caught, claiming that he was hired by persons unknown, Norman persists in his accusations that Jeremy employed him and has their love letters published, forcing Jeremy's resignation. Jeremy also loses his seat at the general election and is charged with conspiracy to murder. He is defended by the unconventional George Carman, who refuses to let him testify and fiercely attacks prosecution witness Peter Bessell and Norman himself. A summing up by a less than impartial judge also contributes to the jury's verdict though for the triumphant party it may be seen as a Pyrrhic victory. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

3 June 2018 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


Jeremy Thorpe and George Carman had known each other since college; both had attended Oxford University, where Thorpe earned third-class honors (ranking below the 49th percentile of the class) and Carman got first-class honors (ranking above the 70th percentile of the class). See more »


Towards the end of the episode, Norman gets on a number 39 bus and sits upstairs. Later, he is in the same seat, but the bus has turned into a number 23. See more »


[Norman Scott has just given his "I *will* be heard" speech in court]
Edna Friendship: [hugging Norman] Norman! Oh, you little swine! You were amazing!
Norman Scott: I was rude, I was vile, I was queer - I was myself.
See more »


References Double Your Money (1955) See more »


I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet
Written by Gloria Jones
Performed by Gonzalez
See more »

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User Reviews

Episode 3
4 June 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

By the time episode 3 was broadcast, the Jeremy Thorpe scandal was making headline news again as the police tried to contact the alleged hitman Andrew Newton who was presumed dead. The farce just continues.

Events spiral out of control in Thorpe's life, the police are now interested in questioning him and he stands trial at the Old Bailey but not before he loses his seat in the May 1979 general election.

Thorpe could consider himself fortunate. His barrister was George Carmen, he managed to get Ken Dodd off his tax problems. Carmen was so good they said he could get Stevie Wonder a pilot's licence!

More importantly the prosecution witnesses were unreliable. Peter Bessell would double his money on a guilty outcome. Norman Scott's behaviour had been so erratic, he could easily be painted as a slippery character. In fact Scott was portrayed better here in withstanding his cross examination than in the real life court case where he was just seen as capricious and a fool. (Even the director of this drama Stephen Frears has mentioned how Scott who had a private viewing of the series told everybody this was a wonderful piece and later said it was dreadful.)

Thorpe's case was aided by the judge's rather slanted summing up where he damned Scott's character. An incident that was mocked by the comedian Peter Cook, footage of which was shown at the end credits.

Russell T Davies has delivered a wonderful black comedy. He has been greatly assisted by his actors, even Paul Freeman makes a last minute attempt at larceny as a scene stealing turn as the judge.

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