ENTERTAINMENT

VOTE: Is 'National Treasure's Paul Finchley Guilty Or Innocent?

Jack Thorne's drama explores a historical sexual abuse allegation.

04/10/2016 12:29

In a week that’s seen filmmaker Louis Theroux re-examine his conscience over his dealings with Jimmy Savile, we’ve also reached the halfway point of disturbing but brilliant Channel 4 drama ‘National Treasure’. 

Robbie Coltrane’s absorbing portrayal of semi-retired light entertainment stalwart Paul Finchley brings out all the questions we have to ask of ourselves when any popular star is held to account - is it fair for his life to be exposed in this way? just because he had affairs, does that make him more likely to be guilty of abuse? Should we doubt his innocence because he sleeps with prostitutes?

Channel4
Paul Finchley (Robbie Coltrane) has another heart-to-heart with his wife Marie (Julie Walters)

Tonight’s third episode finds his defiantly loyal wife Marie (Julie Walters) meet with one of his accusers, an encounter that pricks her conscience, while Paul Finchley and his team must decide whether to play dirty with one of of his key complainants.

Viewers will have to wait until next week to discover his guilt or otherwise. Last week saw a very ambiguous scene play out in flashback, as his daughter Dee eavesdrops on his chat with the babysitter who would go on to be one of his accusers, and then pretends to be asleep when her father comes in to apologise for his wrong-doings.

 

There are certainly things we haven’t learned yet, but certainly Jack Thorne’s drama doesn’t shy from peeling away the layers of ambiguity, anxiety and the fear of not knowing that must accompany every historic case of this sort that continue to be investigated under the long shadow of Savile.

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‘National Treasure’ continues tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm. 

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