Guy Pewsey the Viewer Gere Is Subtly Machiavellian but McCrory Is Positively Regal in This Political Drama

The Evening Standard (London, England), March 6, 2019 | Go to article overview

Guy Pewsey the Viewer Gere Is Subtly Machiavellian but McCrory Is Positively Regal in This Political Drama


MOTHERFATHERSON BBC Two, 9pm QUITE the casting coup, to secure Richard Gere for the latest BBC drama. The American actor has true Hollywood star status through roles in films including Pretty Woman, An American Gigolo and Primal Fear. Usually, we're rooting for him, the silver fox with the undeniable charm. It's refreshing, then, to find him tackling less familiar territory at the centre of a thriller where we may get a glimpse of what could be sharp fangs beneath his kilowatt smile.

Gere is Max, an American media mogul who owns newspapers and TV channels across the globe, including The National Reporter in the UK, where his son, Caden, is editor. When your primary asset is information, you hold remarkable influence, and with the UK on the verge of a general election, Max flies to London to weigh up his options. His decision comes down to more than putting a cross beside a name: the person he anoints, the one he blesses with positive coverage and exposure, could be the one to lead the country.

It's a big decision. On landing he makes a beeline for Downing Street (via the back entrance) to speak with the current prime minister, who serves shortbread. Max expected fruitcake. He eats the biscuit, regardless. It does not matter, he says. For whatever reason, it clearly does.

Next, it's the leader of the Opposition. Angela Howard, played by Sarah Lancashire, cares about bridging the gap between the rich and poor. She can hear them, she says. The downtrodden. She can hear their suffering, and she can speak to them, fix them. There is something sinister about her but, as Max says, she definitely has something.

He has a tough choice on his hands between the two leaders. …

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