Friday 24 November 2017

Fans United by affecting piece

In yet another good week for Alex Ferguson's team, United (BBC2) mythologised the club in an affecting if rather old-fashioned drama about the 1958 Munich air crash, which caused the deaths of 23 passengers, including eight of Matt Busby's footballing 'babes'.

Chris Chibnall's script focused on two people -- greenhorn player Bobby Charlton and team coach Jimmy Murphy, the former portrayed as a shy young innocent unable to cope with the disaster that killed half his teammates and the latter as the pragmatic, plain-speaking hero of the hour, played with panache by David Tennant.

Busby was granted no more than a secondary role and in Dougray Scott's weird performance came across less like a no-nonsense football manager than a down-at-heel private eye from a back alleyway in Chicago.

However, there were few other false notes and some of the dialogue offered droll comment on the lives of today's pampered Premiership stars.

Advising Charlton on girls, Duncan Edwards cautioned: "Don't tell them you're a footballer. The wages are 15 quid a week max and your career's over by the time you're 40. Tell them you're a plumber instead."

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