8.5/10
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Episode #1.3 

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

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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Cast

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 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
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Storyline

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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Certificate:

TV-14

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 June 2018 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2018, at the time of A Very English Scandal launching in the UK and America, copies of Peter Bessell's memoir, Cover-up, were on sale on Amazon's UK and US sites for £399 and $498.98 respectively. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[George Carman is attacking and ridiculing the character of Peter Bessell who is appearing as a prosecution witness in Jeremy Thorpe's trial]
George Carman Q.C.: Did you serve in the war?
Peter Bessell: What? Um, no, I did not, I was a conscientious objector.
George Carman Q.C.: So you only objected to acts of violence in wartime when it saved your neck?
Peter Bessell: That's not fair. I did my bit.
George Carman Q.C.: In what way?
Peter Bessell: I gave lectures to the Armed Forces in... classical music.
[laughter in court]
George Carman Q.C.: [sarcastically] Well, no wonder we won, Mr Bessell!
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Connections

References Dad's Army (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet
(uncredited)
Written by Gloria Jones
Performed by Gonzalez
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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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