Decline and Fall

Decline and Fall

Series 1 - Episode 2



Dr Fagan, headmaster of the decrepit and disreputable Llanabba School, is appalled at the prospect of the dissolute Captain Grimes as a son-in-law. He despises his “wooden leg, abominable features and moral turpitude”.

Grimes (Douglas Hodge) isn’t that keen on marrying Flossy (Katy Wix) either, and looks around desperately for a means of escape, even during the actual ceremony.

Though this (very faithful) adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s comedy of manners at times feels a bit flat and lifeless, a good cast keeps things bumping along. Eva Longoria is winning as the seemingly flighty yet ruthlessly steely Margot Beste-Chetwynde, while Jack Whitehall fits nicely into the role of hapless protagonist Paul Pennyfeather.

He’s smitten with Margot, who wants him to do her one little favour before they marry, just to pop over to France to help her business, the Latin American Entertainment Company. It’s a fateful request….


Wealthy and beautiful widow Margot Beste-Chetwynde's world is one in which Paul is not overly comfortable. A socialite, her glamorous home is almost constantly filled with the fashionable upper echelons of society, leaving him struggling to adapt to the environment, while striving to win her heart. Perhaps most importantly, he also wonders whether Margot is all that she seems. Jack Whitehall, David Suchet, Eva Longoria and Douglas Hodge star in James Wood's adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's comic novel.

Cast & Crew

Grimes Douglas Hodge
Prendergast Vincent Franklin
Paul Pennyfeather Jack Whitehall
Dr Fagan David Suchet
Philbrick Stephen Graham
Florence Fagan Katy Wix
Diane Fagan Gemma Whelan
Tangent Felix Griffin Pain
Peter Beste-Chetwynde Oscar Kennedy
Clutterbuck Hugo Beazley
Margot Beste-Chetwynde Eva Longoria
Otto Anatole Taubman
Tom (Reporter) Hadley Fraser
Pamela Popham Katherine Kingsley
Maltravers Martyn Ellis
Arthur Potts Matthew Beard
Pompilia de La Conradine Rona Morison
Jane Jenkins Eleri Morgan
Vicar Tony Guilfoyle
Taxi driver Adrian Metcalfe
Adapted By James Wood
Director Guillem Morales
Producer Matthew Bird
Writer Evelyn Waugh
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