The Reckoning (2023)

Rated 18
BBC iPlayer
Spoiler Free

My girlfriend isn't from the UK and didn't know who Jimmy Saville was. I explained he was a hugely famous celebrity who in his death was exposed as a mega-nonce and vile human. I sent her a picture of him with this text and her reply was "you should have known". We should, and plenty did, sadly, and did nothing. 

Who wants to see a four part drama about Jimmy Saville and his horrific acts? Well, probably plenty of people, but why bother when we all “know” what happened? Here’s why you need to see The Reckoning.

It’s a backhanded compliment being told you were born to play Jimmy Saville, but Steve Coogan nails his representation of that cunt. Capturing “Sav’s” oddball charm, manipulation and danger without being a caricature is a dramatic range some people will be surprised Coogan can carry off. He’s absolutely exceptional.

The Reckoning is grim, of course, but it is fascinating to see the crimes portrayed dramatically. We watch films about war, murder and which feature rape. I don’t see how The Reckoning is any different, it allows us to see Saville as an actual person rather than being a terrifying testimony to his horror like the plethora of documentaries have done so far. Or making him supernatural, he wasn't, he was scum- very human scum.

The show makers do however feature interviews with his victims in brief spells, which adds to the emotion and realism.

Unlike The Sopranos, or The Wire, Happy Valley or any other show you can rewatch, The Reckoning is perfect once, and once only. But then isn't a lot of TV, that’s the point, it’s here to entertain and explain. I can’t see myself returning to it. Here is a show which brings Saville’s character to life, as tastefully as it can be.

Bedsit it?

What that cunt did is astronomically awful, but this is an excellent dramatic portrayal featuring superb performances (Siobhan Finneran also stands out). The only reason I personally can’t give this a ten is because I’ll never watch it again, you only need to see The Reckoning once. It isn’t rewatchably brilliant, but it is exceptional. 9/10

Want more sexual misery/entertainment? Check out these reviews!


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