Final Episode of Decline and Fall

The final episode of the BBC’s adaptation of Waugh’s Decline and Fall will broadcast tomorrow, Friday, 14 April on BBC One at 9pm. The adaptation has been widely reviewed and mostly praised. Rosamund Urwin gives her assessment in the Evening Standard:

The wit, the worldly disdain and the whiff of misogyny that typify an Evelyn Waugh novel are present and correct in BBC1’s Decline and Fall. The only flaw in the three-part series, which finishes tomorrow night, is that half the cast don’t have enough faith in the script not to overact. 

Urwin praises Jack Whitehall’s performance as “proving his range as an actor” while David Suchet as Dr Fagan and Anatole Taubman as Otto Silenus are “works of comic genius.” 

But other cast members serve up a triple helping of ham, with more hamminess for pudding. If only the director had told them that satirical doesn’t have to mean silly. 

This week’s TLS also offers what appears to be a review of the production. This is entitled “Vile Buddies” and is written by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Professor of Eng Lit at Magdalen College, Oxford. The TLS has placed the online version of the article behind its paywall, and we shall have to await the arrival of the printed version from those distant shores before we have his assessment. 

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