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In 1953, as Winston Churchill addresses a Downing Street dinner, the greatest of all orators talks gibberish and collapses. He’s had a stroke.
As Churchill (Michael Gambon), under the orders of his indomitable wife Clementine (Lindsay Duncan), is removed to the family home, Chartwell, Kent, his inner circle closes ranks. The press is silenced and a young nurse, Millie Appleyard (Romola Garai), is brought in to care for him.
Millie is fictional, and presumably in the interests of balance is a no-nonsense Yorkshire woman from a socialist background – her dad was a coal pit shop steward who despised Churchill. Cue clunky class-war exchanges and Millie’s jarring, 2016 junior doctors’ declaration “I’m proud of the NHS.”
The most involving scenes in Stuart Harcourt's drama, first shown earlier in 2016, centre on the fractious Churchill children – particularly Sarah (Rachael Stirling), Diana (Tara FitzGerald) and Randolph (Matthew Macfadyen) - disappointed people whose lives have been hobbled by failure to live up to the Churchill name.
Michael Gambon stars as Winston Churchill in this feature-length drama based on Jonathan Smith's novel. In 1953, a nurse (Romola Garai) is summoned to a secret location where she learns she is needed to treat the elderly prime minister, who has suffered a stroke and is not expected to survive. She bears witness as Churchill's family gather by his bedside preparing for the worst, and sees the long-buried tensions between them rising to the surface. Also starring Lindsay Duncan, Bill Paterson and Tara Fitzgerald.
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