His own heart now failing, Logan Mountstuart sorts through eight decades of memorabilia - photos, souvenirs and journals causing him to reflect on his life's highs and lows....
Quite a life it has been too. What did it include? A stately home. A dingy basement (where he was reduced to eating dog food). Friendship with Hemingway. Work with Ian Fleming in Intelligence. Bizarre encounters with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (they superbly played by Tom Hollander and Gillian Anderson, and NOT emerging with credit). So many lovers, but only one who mattered (Hayley Atwell as Freya a delight). Never achieved was that great ambition of a literary masterpiece, something always contriving to thwart. Regrets? None really, merely acceptance "it's all just luck in the end."
An ambitious five part series, with interesting bonus features. Evocatively it recreates key aspects of the Twentieth Century - the skills in so doing perhaps particularly appreciated by viewers who themselves have reached a good age, their own memories similarly stirred. They too are more able to empathize with one who has outlived so many friends and colleagues.
Jim Broadbent is wonderful as the older Logan, Sam Claflin and Matthew MacFadyen shining as his younger selves. The transitions from one to another (and back again) are smoothly handled (slight adjustments to chins and earlobes helping continuity).
Totally involving, tender and true. Much humour, although sadness inevitably increases as the years advance. Destined to finish on a sombre note? Not at all. The last few seconds of the final episode contain a surprise that uplifts.
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