‘Has anything changed?’: your reaction to A Very English Scandal

The Guardian 

‘I have vivid memories of scouring the London Evening News to read what had taken place’

A five star adaptation with stellar cast and perfect direction. I worked in Holborn while this trial took place and have vivid memories of scouring the London Evening News to read what had taken place in the Old Bailey that day. I’d been rooting for Jeremy from the start – expecting Norman Scott’s so obvious tissue of lies would be exposed as a blackmail attempt or perhaps a political plot to discredit the former Liberal leader.

This spectacular dramatisation did make me very amused. However now that it’s over I realise I also feel pretty much ashamed. Not for one minute did I ever give credence to Norman Scott and his outrageous claims.

For over 50 years Scott has lived with the knowledge that despite having the guts to challenge the establishment and present them with an inconvenient truth, he was portrayed as the hysterical madman – a figure of fun for the media. Perhaps we should reflect how flagrant injustice in our society can be so conveniently ignored. TheLemmingsRevenge

‘I wouldn’t have thought that something with such deep themes would have worked as a comedy’

Brilliant. I wouldn’t have thought that something with such deep themes would have worked as a comedy, but it did. We found ourselves astonished at times, thinking “they must have made that up”. The judge’s summing up, for instance. As Sam says “wow, just wow”. A different time, a different world.

What I really liked were the little glimpses of affection and empathy. Thorpe admitting that Norman was “the best of them”. Thorpe’s wife picking up the “I miss you” from the Bunnies letter. Very well done all round. Thank you, BBC. World class. WillOnce

‘An almost unbelievable true story’

Apart from watching a great piece of entertainment with brilliant acting (Grant, Wishaw) and an almost unbelievable true story of the Thorpe/Scott case, I am shocked and infuriated at the incredible sense of entitlement these people have. The old chums and the fine chaps, the plummy voices, the goings-on in mansions, clubs and offices of the Houses of Parliament, the way they carry forward their chumming from public school to politics, the back stabbing and scheming for higher positions.

The homosexuality laws have changed – thank god for that – and a judge can probably not get away with bias and influencing of a jury today, but other than that nothing has changed in Britain. The class system is alive and well and cover-ups are still going on.

Ordinary working people are still regarded as “ordinary” – to be lied to and mislead, useful only as vote counts in referendums and elections, thereafter to be forgotten. It makes me sick. KGLbadajoz

‘Another dose of the establishment getting away with it’

I really enjoyed this. Really great and fantastic performances all round especially Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw. Having recently watched Lucan on catchup, this was another dose of the establishment getting away with it. It was very well written and both funny and dark. I felt terribly sorry for Norman Scott and cheered at his speech in the witness box. Nice to see Hugh Grant as both charming and villainous. Really, very, very good all round. LilyLantern

‘Has anything changed?’

The snobbery, the backhanders, the chicanery, the gossip and the old boys sticking up for each other against the proles – has anything changed? Kate King

‘Norman Scott deserves sympathy for being the real victim of this tragedy’

It’s true that Norman Scott had an initially consensual affair with Thorpe, but as soon as the relationship was ended it was abusive by Thorpe. And Thorpe relied on the homophobic bigotry of the day in order to shut down Norman Scott for the next decade.

Any sympathy for Thorpe is diminished by the sympathy Norman Scott deserves for being the real victim of this tragedy.

And the court case itself and the press coverage at the time was further abuse of Norman Scott who was deliberately portrayed as someone spiteful when all he wanted was justice.

Thorpe was clearly protected for years because so many people were aware of his sexual behaviour towards younger men he picked up and then discarded. No doubt in the highly volatile political amosphere of the 1970s this information was used against him, just as it would now too, in order to manipulate him politically. GraGraGra

A great piece of work’

This was a great piece of work. I haven’t seen anybody mention what I thought was the most moving moment, when Marion Thorpe read the letter and says “You said “I miss you.” I think that’s a wonderful thing for a man to say to his friend. It seems to me that at that point she is actually saying to him is: “I understand you. I understand what you are.” And just for a moment, for the only time in the series, the Thorpe mask almost slips. jd2387