Most people have at least heard about the story of Major Charles Ingram on the hit ITV show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (WWTBAM), specifically the infamous bout of coughing which supposedly helped him to win a million pounds on the night.
Nearly two decades have passed since that fateful episode, and the trial which followed, and WWTBAM is still a primetime staple. Considering this, however, the Ingrams have failed to leave the public psyche ever since, and so it was inevitable that ITV had to tackle this at some point.
Spanning three episodes, Quiz hooks its audience from the start. The dramatization is intricately depicted, and the plot runs at a pace which leaves you craving more as soon as the credits rolled each night. Representing just how careful the producers were, not only did they ensure that the props were of their time by recreating the original set, but they were eerily accurate with their depiction of events.
The audience are transported back to the early-2000s, given what feels like a documentary-esque insight into the workings of a national television network. With the conclusion all but inevitable, it doesn’t stop you from fully investing yourself in the plot. Feeling almost too unbelievable to imagine, it’s easy to forget that Quiz is based on true events – it is this fact which makes this show so psychologically demanding.
Firstly, the characters were so accurately depicted that you could be forgiven for forgetting that the real Chris Tarrant (Michael Sheen) wasn’t in the drama. A little difficult to believe at first, it doesn’t take long before Matthew Macfadyen, Sheen and Sian Clifford (to name just three) settle into their roles perfectly – and when they do, it’s an engrossing viewing experience.
As every incident has more than one point of view, the depiction of events reflected in Quiz spans the lives and experiences of many more people than you would have first expected. This consequently highlights the role of perception throughout the three episodes which plays a far greater role as the plot develops as you realise just how complex – or not – the scheme was that Charles Ingram was accused of employing.
Thus, the audience is deeply involved from the start. At one point, for instance, you find yourself actively playing along with the show as if you were just watching an episode of WWTBAM. Sometimes, the pace in which Quiz develops the narrative may feel a little difficult to follow, but it’s nothing which distracts you away from the show – in fact, it compels you to keep watching.
With the drama raising far more questions than answers, this makes Quiz a must-watch show which is one of the best mini-series broadcast this year.
Image Credit: MovieDB