Lucan, Television Review. I.T.V.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * *

Cast: Rory Kinnear, Christopher Ecclestone, Paul Freeman, Michael Gambon, Catherine McCormack, Leanne Best, Gemma Jones, Alistair Petrie,  Lasco Atkins, Ann Bell, Tim Bentinck, Alexander Bracq, Helen Bradbury, James Bradshaw, Alan Cox, Benjamin Dilloway, Rupert Evans, Julian Firth, Michael Gould, Claudia Harrison, Leo Hart, Erick Hayden, Robert Horwell, Kevin Hudson, Jane Lapotaire, Olivia Llewllyn, Ruth McCabe.

The passage of time has never seemed to erase any interest or mawkish fascination in the case of Lord Lucan and his alleged crime of murder, in fact like Jack the Ripper nearly 90 years before him or Dr. Crippen, the more years pass, the stronger the interest seems to get, human nature becomes overwhelming in the search for the truth; even when that truth will certainly never be found.

Such was the I.T.V. drama Lucan. A mystery wrapped up in the enigma that is Lord Lucan, a man so possessed of good looks and charm but whose fatal love of gambling, even with his own life, would see several lives destroyed as he took matters into his own hands. The gamble was always going to be such that 22 would be drawn in cards, the 00 coming up time and time again on the roulette wheel and the grim spectre of his crime forever tarnishing the names of many who surrounded him. Lord Lucan may have escaped justice but depending on which point of view you let the makers of the two part story lead you down, a natural justice was always going to catch up with him in the end.

Unlike other dramas that have been shown on television throughout 2013, Lucan though did not stand up to the scrutiny of the camera, it had all the appearances of Lord Lucan himself, the easy charm, the sense of order and civility but in the end was for the most part a programme that might have been better served never being aired.

With very few performances even being attention grabbing, with the exception of three main players, Rory Kinnear as the ill-omened Lord, the wonderful Catherine McCormack as Veronica Lucan, one of the very few people still alive from the sordid tale and Leanne Best as the unfortunate and unintended victim Ms. Sandra Rivett, there really seemed little point in having sat down to watch the drama unfold. It seems even with a great cast, in some cases the cream of the British acting fraternity such as the irreplaceable Michael Gambon and Christopher Ecclestone, perhaps being miscast for only the first time in his life and the usually compelling Paul Freeman who can give a master class of acting ability even if locked in an empty room, that even a great cast does not always make a great drama.

Nearly forty years on from that terrible night in London, there are too many questions left unanswered, Lucan was perhaps, for all its good intentions, not the best way to present them.

Ian D. Hall