Catch Up TV review: The Accident, The Prince and the Padeophile, Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o
James R | On 27, Oct 2019
Jack Thorne will soon be presenting his adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials to the world, but before then, something more grounded. The Accident is the third in his Channel 4 trilogy that explores a community torn apart by a devastating incident: a gas explosion in a new factory that killed many of the local kids. The lone survivor is Leona (Jade Croot), whose mother, Polly (Sarah Lancashire), is wracked with guilt, grief and shame. The latter stems from her husband, Iwan (Mark Lewis Jones), a local politician who heavily advocated for the regeneration project. Lancashire is remarkable as Polly, blending shock, concern, worry and resentment with a wariness towards Iwan, whose relationship with her emerges as far more complex than we first suspect. Challenging and shot through with heartfelt sincerity, this study of the aftershock of a tragedy resonates with authentic ripples of emotion. Prepare for an intense but moving four-parter.
Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o
“I thought it was time to deal with my ignorance,” says Lupita Nyong’o at the start of this Channel 4 documentary, which sees the Black Panther star head to Benin, Africa, to learn about the Agojie, an all-female army that fought for the kings of Dahomey years and years ago. Partly the inspiration for the Dora Milaje in the Marvel movie, Lupita’s desire to connect the movie’s universal success with its roots makes for an endearing presenter, as she delves into an intriguing culture and, in the programme’s best moment, witnesses an old woman, the last trained as an Agojie, sing the battle cry of old. But the more we find out, the more disturbing it becomes, as Lupita learns that these warrior women also worked for the Dahomey kings and enslaved women on their behalf. An important, useful truth in an age where history and facts can be so simplified and overlooked, the result is an unintentionally awkward watch – mostly in a good way.
The Prince and the Paedophile
Let it never be said that Channel 4’s Dispatches shies away from topical issues. Hot on the heels of ITV’s Harry and Meghan doc comes this more blistering affair, as the programme investigates the friendship between Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein, billionaire and convicted sex offender. The late socialite’s connection to Andrew hasn’t been in doubt over the many months that media reports have exposed evidence of their friendship, but Dispatches does a compelling job of distilling all that information into a 45-minute horror show, one that scathingly shows us an elite society that enabled Epstein to keep climbing the ladder of power. Comparing the contacts and calendars of the men, this patiently constructed and researched film isn’t pleasant viewing, but it’s important viewing nonetheless.