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This England

(12 Posts)
Doodledog Thu 29-Sep-22 14:34:50

This England* is a 6 part series on Sky Atlantic about Boris Johnson (played by Kenneth Branagh) from his taking office to - I'm not sure to when, actually. Has anyone seen it? I am on episode 2, and it's very strange seeing the pandemic play out. It sort of feels like history, but not quite. The characters are well played - some look unfeasibly like their real life counterparts (Rishi Sunak, for example) whereas others not so much (Dominic Cummings). It's stopped mattering now I'm into the second episode, as I know who's who.

Johnson is played as a lot older than he is - he's always quoting Shakespeare (even in private to poor Carrie) and comes across as eccentric rather than incompetent (so far, at least).

The jury is out, for me. It's too early for a fact-based drama with no real 'point of view'. We can easily remember what happened. I'd rather it took a particular stance on the matter, so that I could nod sagely and agree, or shout at the TV at the inaccuracies and whitewash, but as yet I can do neither.

If anyone else is watching I'd be interested to know what you think.

Doodledog Thu 29-Sep-22 14:35:31

Oops - meant to say with my * that it is not to be confused with This Is England, which is another thing altogether.

Parsley3 Thu 29-Sep-22 14:49:35

I have watched two episodes of this. So far it is as much about how the NHS and care homes coped with the pandemic while the government is making up its mind. It is heartbreaking in parts.

Soroptimum Thu 29-Sep-22 14:56:18

We have watched 2 episodes. I’m absolutely hooked on it. Kenneth Branagh is fantastic, has Boris voice perfectly. You wonder who has given them some of the information? And Dom is a real b*****d!
Never knew we actually sent PPE to China……..

FannyCornforth Thu 29-Sep-22 16:21:12

I was initially really, really looking forward to it.
But I won’t be able to deal with the gritty pandemic stuff, so unfortunately I’ll be giving it a miss

Chardy Thu 29-Sep-22 16:27:38

I've only watched Episode 1. Yes I thought it was impressive, particularly the interlocking of real news footage with scripted drama.
Incredible how much misery we've forgotten, because of subsequent misery.

Soroptimum I knew about our PPE going abroad. It made me remember established PPE providers in UK who never had their calls returned by govt, and eventually had to sell their wares to USA or lose money.

Doodledog Thu 29-Sep-22 16:30:45

I wouldn't call it gritty, Fanny. There is less detail than there was on the news at the time. 'Going into' a care home knowing what we now know is difficult, of course, but we don't see bodies piling up or people dying. (Not yet, at least.)

I agree about the voices. Branagh and whoever it is who plays Cummings are spot on.

i am finding the focus groups and the way the news is manipulated the most fascinating thing about it. Some of this was obvious (to some) when it was happening, but seeing it spelt out, and getting the results of the focus groups adds a dimension.

Aveline Thu 29-Sep-22 16:33:55

I started to watch but found Branagh's voice quality and accent jarringly wrong especially as the wig and prosthetics made him look quite like Boris. So I switched off.

Callistemon21 Thu 29-Sep-22 16:36:51


I was initially really, really looking forward to it.
But I won’t be able to deal with the gritty pandemic stuff, so unfortunately I’ll be giving it a miss

I know what you mean, FannyC

It might be far too soon, too raw for many people.

FannyCornforth Thu 29-Sep-22 16:41:09

Doodledog I didn’t watch the news then.
I’ve got a TV, but I haven’t seen the news for nearly 30 years.

FannyCornforth Thu 29-Sep-22 16:41:48

PS it does sound incredibly interesting

Doodledog Thu 29-Sep-22 22:37:36


In later episodes there are scenes of Covid deaths that are distressing. You may wish to avoid this, particularly if you have lost someone to the virus.