Pump Up The Volume (please)
Andrew Kidd finds the final episode of The Line if Beauty isn't nearly as beautiful as a Booker adaptation should be
The first two episodes of Andrew Davies's adaptation of the Booker Prize winning novel The Line of Beauty left more answers unanswered than it answered. What exactly does Nick do for a living while crashing at the home of Tory MP Gerald Fedden, year after year? Why did his hairstyle remain as constant as Tim McInnerny's overacting as Fedden, and most importantly, why did the BBC think it could stretch this adaptation to three episodes, when it so obviously only has two hours of TV material in it? So was the final episode (9pm BBC2) any better?
Thankfully the plot finally managed to stir itself to something above the pace of a tractor towing a bailer down a single track lane on a Sunday afternoon, but how could it not? The 1987 General Election (‘No-one can really imagine this country without Margaret as Prime Minister. Its as simple as that,’ Ledden reassures himself early on), scandal revealed, manic depression and the rise of HIV/AIDS ensured there were plenty of issues to explore.
But sadly no-one, especially Davies or producer Kate Lewis thought to tell the cast. Dan Stevens strolled through another episode as Nick Guest, giving blank looks most of the time and McInnerny let his increasingly mad hair do the acting although Alex Wyndham as Wani Ouradi did his melancholy best from the off as his medical condition worsened. I haven’t read the book and this did nothing to change the situation. Nice soundtrack though. Pump up the volume.