A popular weekly half hour podcast, Revisionist History takes aim at shibboleths, real and imagined. This episode is Churchill’s turn in the barrel.
The villain, aside from Sir Winston, is his scientific adviser, Frederick Lindemann, later Lord Cherwell, aka “The Prof.” You’ve probably never heard of him, says narrator Malcolm Gladwell. You should have. It was Lindemann who made Churchill bomb innocent German civilians and starve the Bengalis.…
The Crown, 2016. Produced for Netflix by Left Bank Pictures, created and written by Peter Morgan. Ten episodes released 4 November 2016. A second season is commissioned.
N.B. Since writing this, more false trails emerged. Consulting 1952 documents at the Hillsdale College Churchill Project and Churchill Archives Centre, we found no evidence for the film’s implication that the Duke of Windsor bargained with Churchill to persuade the Royal couple to move from Clarence House to the Palace, in exchange for restoration of his allowance. Nor is there anything to suggest Churchill postponed the Coronation 18 months for his own political purposes.
No sooner had I admired the fair, mostly balanced and accurate PBS docudrama Churchill’s Secret (on the Prime Minister’s June 1953 stroke) than I was grumbling through Netflix’s The Crown, which is, sadly, as often misleading as Churchill’s Secret was honest.…
Churchill’s Secret, co-produced by PBS Masterpiece and ITV (UK). Directed by Charles Sturridge, starring Michael Gambon as Sir Winston and Lindsay Duncan as Lady Churchill. To watch, click here.
PBS and ITV have succeeded where many failed. They offer a Churchill documentary with a minimum of dramatic license, reasonably faithful to history (as much as we know of it). Churchill’s Secret limns the pathos, humor, hope and trauma of a little-known episode: Churchill’s stroke on 23 June 1953, and his miraculous recovery. For weeks afterward, his faithful lieutenants in secret ran the government.…