We asked you to tell us what you thought of new David Tennant drama The Politician’s Husband, and the response was overwhelming. The quality of your reviews was high, the responses opinionated and engaging, but sadly we could only pick five to publish.
And here they are…
Thomas Arthur, 25, Swansea says…
‘We have to put aside our personal differences’ says Aiden Hoynes’ political rival while attempting to rope the former’s wife into a parliamentary tug of war against him.
It’s one of many moments of manipulation in an emotionally intense drama where straight faced praising of fellow politicians to news cameras is contrasted by chicanery and backstabbing behind closed doors. However, it’s the human element that resonates as Hoynes (David Tennant) finds himself against the ropes both professionally and personally complete with some rather unhinged displays of anger.
While Tennant expertly displays a shaky emotional state, Emily Watson as Aiden’s wife Freya gives a more reserved but fractured performance as her loyalties begin swaying between career and family. She is even given a Paxman-style grilling on television as to where her allegiance truly lies which showcases some terrific writing and attention to detail. A promising start to a potentially devastating finale.
Emma Allsopp, 16, Castleford says…
Gritty, edgy and tense. The Politician’s Husband had the audience on the edge of its seat. It follows the fast-paced lives of high profile cabinet member Aiden Hoynes (David Tennant) and his loyal backbencher wife Freya (Emily Watson). It begins with Aiden resigning from cabinet in a bid for leadership with his doting wife by his side and supporting his every move. However, his bid fails and soon Freya is shoved into the spotlight and the cabinet. After publicly saying she doesn’t support her husband’s views their relationship is overwhelmed by tension. Is Freya starting to like power a little too much?
All in all The Politician’s husband was gripping and thrilling. It also gave the general public an insight into the stressful lives of today’s politicians. David Tennant’s and Emily Watson’s performances were exquisite and one hundred per cent believable. I’ll definitely be tuning in for the next episode!
Mike Davey, 34, London says…
Did the writer raid The Big Book of Clichés?
There was a greater emphasis on checking every box of social awareness, and middleclass stereotyping in west London semi-detached leafy suburbs, rather than concentrate on an intense story, all of which was rather predictable with two-dimensional characterisations and equally predictable weak sub-plots.
Contains scenes of a sexual nature was the warning – so David touched Emily’s breasts? Hardly worthy of the after watershed warning and rather patronising to the audience.
All that was missing was Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury and it would have passed as an episode of Murder She Wrote.
Jessica Bailey, 21, London says…
The aptly named The Politician’s Husband began last night on BBC2, much to my delight containing as it did Tennant and Watson, a guarantee of acting acrobatics. However, I watch keenly for quality writing and creator Paula Milne (and yay for a female TV writer) excels here with a neat, bold story offering a refreshing, wholesome glance at government.
Reality prevailed as Tennant’s Aiden watched, stony-faced as his best friend carries out a clean kill on his leadership bid mid-morning on Sky News. Crushed, Aiden enlists, Lady Macbeth style, talented minister and loyal wife, Watson’s Freya to be his “Agent Provocateur” in a move that will surely haunt him as Freya’s newfound power, leashed for so long is being released. This series seems to promise a parable on the ravages of power in a model reminiscent of a Greek Tragedy and, titled as it is like a Chaucerian fable, I am certain it will not disappoint.
Jenny Ryan, 60, Alsager said…
The Politician’s Husband’s stellar cast was yet another instance of big names being obliged to carry a pedestrian script and a derivative plot: shades of Macbeth and A Star is Born? The inclusion of a Thick of It actor only highlighted the shortcomings of this production in terms of authenticity. A member of the Cabinet and a Minister of State living in such modest surroundings? A Minister of State without her own driver? The want of attention to such detail betrayed a reckless naïvety.
Full marks to the actors, from the youngest to the veterans. Oscar Kennedy as Noah, a child with Asperger’s, did much to mitigate the production’s authenticity gap and Jack Shepherd as Hoynes’ father wrestled effectively to neutralise the formulaic characterisation blighting the whole piece. Tennant and Watson did their brilliant best but, notwithstanding, we are offered plodding predictability, not subtlety and suspense. More McDonald’s than Macbeth.
A big thank you to everyone who sent in a review – we really enjoyed reading them! If you’ve got a taste for sharing your opinion, or these clever Radio Times readers have inspired you to put pen to paper (or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard) keep your eyes peeled for the next Radio Times Reader Review….