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Lucan Play That Game
on 27 October 2014
There are seemingly a few staple stories that certain British Tabloids churn out every few years and one about Lord Lucan is usually up there. What ever happened to him and was he guilty of murder? A star clad ITV drama explored what made the man and suggests a chain of events that may have happened. Told via a series of interviews with the people involved; the drama flashbacks to the 60s and 70s and different perspectives on the man. Lucan is played brilliantly by Rory Kinnear, quickly becoming one of Britain’s best character actors, but the show also has roles for the likes of Christopher Eccleston as a smarmy friend who may have just pushed Lucan towards murder.
It is hard to determine how realistic ‘Lucan’ is as the feature length drama only offers around 130 minutes to explore a very complex situation. It does appear from the drama that more is known than we have been told, but as this is fiction you cannot place too much trust in it. Therefore, it has to be seen as a piece of drama and in this context it works well in places, but not so well in others. As mentioned, the acting is great. It is some of the direction and editing that failed the show. Leaping backwards and forwards is never easy to do and it feels a little haphazard here. At times you get the sense that events are there to meet the dramatic needs of the show and perhaps not stay true to the story it is based on.
The show also felt like it could have been made into a larger production with a higher budget. The glamour of the era was present, but a little underplayed with some of the sets being reused too often. In the end, this was a solid drama that felt a little grubby in places. In part this is down to the fact that Lucan is not a nice chap, but also because it felt a little underfunded and unrefined.