Churchill's People


Michael Kitchen appears as John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester in Churchill's People: Part 19 - A Bill of Mortality.


April 28, 1974 BBC1

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Reviews & Interviews

Churchill's People
The Guardian; January 7, 1975; Nancy Banks-Smith

"Bow-legged under the burden of its song, Little Winston's History of England (or, officially, Churchill's People, BBC-1), has little to offer us but blood, horsehair and history. Though a hell of a lot of each. When a man cannot wake up without musing "How pitiful that I, Tiberius Claudius, governor of York, ex-commander of an undefeated legion" or visit the barber without learning that the Saxons have entrenched themselves in the coastal towns and the Picts have reached the Wall, the story flow is bound to be sluggish.

The decline of the Roman Empire in Britain was amply explained by their fondness for studio discussions. No good can come of a tendency to sit around in circles quarrelling with hand-picked members of representative organisations ("argue with that, Viventius!"). The decision of the Saxon captive to seize a sword and run amok among the debaters is one that will strike a chord in every viewer's heart.

Robert Muller's tendency to insert little jokes in the script to cheer himself up - "Do you like it? It's a genuine antique" or "our little local difficulties" - suggests that he too found it more a burden than a song. There are twenty-four more episodes to come. As Macbeth remarked on a similar occasion: "What, does the line stretch out to the crack of doom? I'll see no more!"