Monday, 10 September 2012

The Scapegoat


BBC/ITV Sunday night; The home of comfort viewing and Sunday's offering from ITV was as comforting as Digestives and Twinnings. The adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's The Scapegoat was a warming treat. Matthew Rhys played the yin and yang of the protagonists with charm and no little flair.

The story of two men; John Standing and Johnny Spence who just happen to be dead ringers, is a tad outlandish but the story works as we began to see the good John, a newly sacked teacher, embrace the opportunity of belonging and excitement that the situation was affording him. Set in the year of the coronation it successfully conjures up the era of austerity while acknowledging that things were changing for the ruling classes.

It's a tale of boudoir etiquette, disloyalty, drug addiction, deceit but also about the power of a good man. The rest of the cast are uniformally excellent as various jaded and bitter members of the Spence household; their slow thaw being unexpected but well portrayed.

The bad Johnny, being the architect of Machiavellian events, had in actual fact created a opportunist out of a decent man and his decency somehow manages to infect the miserable residents of Spence house. I won't say too much as The Scapegoat is out on DVD as well as ITVOD and is well worth a viewing.

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