The Reckoning: BBC One commissions Jimmy Savile drama
James R | On 17, Oct 2020
BBC One will trace the life of Jimmy Savile in a new drama.
With a working title of The Reckoning, the drama is created by Neil McKay and executive producer Jeff Pope (The Moorside, Appropriate Adult) and will trace the life of Jimmy Savile, a man who rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of British television, but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history. The story will trace Savile through his early years in the dance halls of northern England, his career with the BBC, to his twilight years when, in failing health and with his fame in decline, he sought to dispel the growing rumours about his life and the legacy he would leave behind.
Savile, an eccentric showman, the youngest of seven siblings, used his involvement in multiple organisations, such as hospitals, prisons, charities and the BBC, to legitimise himself. The drama will explore the way he used smoke and mirrors to conceal his wrongdoings.
The BBC has already faced criticism for not detecting Savile’s crimes at an earlier point and is now facing a backlash for commissioning the programme reliving the trauma of victims. The team behind the drama, however, has emphasised that it is working closely with many people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect. The team aims to examine the impact his crimes had on his victims and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm.
Pope says: “I think this is a story that has to be told. We must understand why a man like Jimmy Savile seemed to remain immune for so long to proper scrutiny and criminal investigation.”
Further details and casting will be announced in the near future.