The Amazing Mrs Pritchard
Review by Dylan Strain
The amazing fact this show is in a prime time slot on the BBC shows that series creator and writer Sally Wainwright might have some popular ideas to express. She told the BBC press office: “During the last election I found that I didn’t really want to vote for anybody because they all seemed as bad as each other. I thought it would be great fun to write an epic story with a central character who was prepared to stand up and point this out.”
In episode one Mrs Pritchard (played by Jane Horrocks) talks to her audience about politicians “talking in riddles” and politicians “lying”, so some of us jump the first hurdle of deciphering the riddles only to fall at the second. Mrs Pritchard’s goal as Prime Minister, simply speaking, is to be honest, remove the spin from politics, get the population interested in politics and get them involved.
I’m not sure about this week’s show having many big points to raise, nor am I sure about this being good drama, which is a shame as it’s a great idea and with a stellar cast, including Geraldine James, Janet McTeer, Jodhi May and Steven Mackintosh who plays that rare thing in fact or fiction , the supporting husband role. It was interesting though, watching a clever woman with no knowledge of the state parliamentary system get bogged down in fictional/factual Whitehall farce. Probably why she wants to have a clean start and move Parliament lock, stock to Bradford - silly place to have it in a drama which isn’t meant to be comic - but maybe there is a point being made here. Lovely though in this episode to hear even a fictional politician be so disarmingly honest to John Humphrys on Radio 4’s Today programme. The show runs for three more weeks on Tuesdays at 9pm.
The Amazing Mrs Pritchard BBC1 9pm, Tuesday 17th October