The most obvious American analog to National Treasure, a new four-part miniseries debuting Wednesday on Hulu, is Bill Cosby, although the trial of the Canadian journalist Jian Ghomeshi also comes to mind. Paul Finchley (Robbie Coltrane) is the world famous British comedian in the twilight of his career, largely beloved by the public but reduced to hosting a daytime TV quiz show and presenting a lifetime achievement award to his longtime double-act partner, Carl (Tim McInnerney). One morning the doorbell buzzes—in this show, it’s a particularly harsh sound that only seems to portend bad news—and Paul is thrown into chaos when he is told he’s been accused of sexual abuse rape, in an incident that supposedly happened on a film set in 1993 with abut 15 year old girl.Paul Finchley is a bona fide “national treasure”, one half of a popular, long-running comedy double act. He sincerely pleads innocence, but the fallout that follows only brings more accusations. Julie Walters plays his wife Marie, and Andrea Riseborough plays his daughter Dee.
The drama is inspired by Operation Yewtree, a police operation that resulted in Britain in 2012 after hundreds of sexual abuse allegations against the TV presenter Jimmy Savile came to light after his death the prosecution of a number of veteran TV performers. The inquiries brought to light a staggering number of accusations against male entertainers dating back decades, leading to 19 arrests and six convictions. But it was also criticized for being a witch hunt, in which the police relied on publicly naming suspects—the vast majority of whom were released without charge—in order to attract more accusations. National Treasure, which is written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), considers this tension over its four fraught but riveting episodes, as Paul continues to maintain that he’s the real victim, while everyone around him suffers collateral damage. National Treasure, too, reminds of how much can be done in a limited-episode format, tackling an impossibly tricky subject within a tight frame. That it leaves you wanting more is only one of its achievements.
The first hour of National Treasure ends with a silent scene from Robbie Coltrane, who plays a fictional veteran television personality. We see him in the shower from the waist up, water pouring over him. He’s overweight, his skins sags, and his body is wracked with sobs as he lifts his chin up slightly and bellows in an anguish we cannot hear. The credits roll and the scene plays backwards, undoing itself. And yet, no matter how much money Coltrane’s Paul Finchley pays or how many people he thinks he can convince of his innocence, this is a Pandora’s Box that cannot be closed again.
Though fictionalized, National Treasure often feels like an intimate portrayal of true crimes. Coltrane is perfectly cast as the larger-than-life Finchley, who is beloved for his comedy and charm. But there’s a bitterness to his personality, especially regarding his long-time comedy partner Karl (a nervously jolly Tim McInnerny) who has been knighted and recently received a lifetime achievement award. Still, Coltrane portrays Finchley as a man easy to love, even though flashbacks to his younger self (played by Trystan Gravelle) reveal more of a caustic personality. He has a steely but long-suffering wife, Marie (a powerful performance by Julie Walters, channeling Judi Dench) who forgives him his philandering so long as he is truthful to her. But has he been?
National Treasure is both gorgeously and savagely directed by Marc Munden, who often closely investigates faces betraying thoughts, hesitations, and imperfections. Coltrane is examined the most. Is he guilty? Can we tell just by watching him?
The series also deals with the fallibility of memory, and of choices made to protect ourselves. Finchley’s daughter, Dee (Andrea Riseborough), is a recovering addict with a poor memory, yet she tries hard to dig out the truth. Did her father once sexually abuse her babysitter while she was upstairs? Are the details she is remembering true, or do they hide something else? Or are they changed to protect something she did witness?
Yet the most fascinating character is Marie, who keeps her protective layers wrapped tightly around her until she witnesses the testimony of the women, hears the fear in their voices, and can no longer trust her own feelings and memories. Though Finchley has paid for legal council that will tear apart the accusations and give the jury and the country what they desire — absolution for having loved Finchley, declaring that he is not a monster after all — the court verdict is almost beside the point. Marie, the other person who backed up his personal denial, is uncertain, which unmoors everything.
The very talented screenwriter Jack Thorne has created a deeply considered examination of Finchley that gives a voice to his victims as well. By following how the law twists a real experience in order to win an argument, truth be dammed, it’s depressingly real, as are the quiet moments where characters sit in silence, alone, lost in troubled thoughts as birds chirp cheerfully in the background. In many scenes, characters stand in shadow looking out windows or moving through reflections of light that only illuminate them in part — it’s a visual metaphor for how we all choose to hide or reveal certain parts of ourselves, sometimes to ourselves, as a way to preserve a certain image.
Image, as National Treasure shows, is everything, and informs everyone’s actions. Finchley is first held up as a monster because he’s famous and that sells papers, but then the public turns on the women, wanting to believe Finchley is not the person he’s been accused of being. He’s too beloved, his TV shows were so funny, watching things he created is a family tradition — all of these things work for him as he is put on public trial and, later, tried in court. “Whatever else I’m guilty of, I did not do this,” Finchley tells the court and the jurors with sincerity. Viewers eventually see the truth, but it comes at the most devastating possible moment.
There are weights and measures throughout National Treasure: How far did Finchely go? How much is Marie willing to let happen? How much does Dee remember? But there are two things we can know for sure. Finchley used his popularity, influence, and power to get what he wanted when he wanted it. That in and of itself is not a crime, but it can lead to one. Especially when we consider the second truth: that most of us hide more of ourselves than we dare to remember.
“This bold and poignant series — a compelling and thoroughly absorbing drama that explores the impact of historical assault charges on all sides of the courtroom — has received wide critical acclaim globally, and Hulu is the right partner to ensure its success in the USA,” said Sally Habbershaw, EVP, Sales & Co-productions USA for All3Media International. “Through Jack Thorne and Marc Munden’s writing and directing craft respectively, as well as career defining performances from an hugely impressive star-studded cast, National Treasure is a standout, significant drama.
It’s clear to the audience that he can be charming, grateful, and even wise, but Paul is a man with layers of darkness that he rarely examines. Coltrane does a masterful job of depicting every nuance of the character, whose wicked sense of humor masks a startling, and possibly intentional, lack of self-awareness. At Paul’s core, underneath the witty exterior, is a well of anger that’s anything but funny.
Cast and Crew of National Treasures Tv series
The series is written by Jack Thorne (This is England ‘86, ‘88 and ‘90, Skins, The Last Panthers) and executively produced by George Faber (Shameless, Elizabeth I, The Shadow Line) and George Ormond (War and Peace, Silent Witness), National Treasure is a fascinating and timely four-part series play check out the fallout that occurs when allegation of sexual dereliction are abide against a fanciful public figure, delve into their brunt on the arraigned and those most closely associated with him as he is brought to trial. The series follows Paul Finchley, played by BAFTA-winner Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter, Cracker, Tutti Frutti), as a bona fide “national treasure” and one half of a popular, long-running comedy double act. The famous comedian’s world is thrown into turmoil when he is incriminated of historic sexual abuse. BAFTA-winner Julie Walters (Harry Potter, Brooklyn, Brave, Mamma Mia, Billy Elliott, Educating Rita), Andrea Riseborough (Nocturnal Animals, Birdman, Oblivion) and Tim McInnerny (Notting Hill, Blackadder, Game of Thrones) also star.
Reviews and rating of National Treasure tv series 2017
National Treasure’s international success to date includes screenings at Film Festival Cologne, FIPA, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Roma Fiction Festival. National Treasure received two award nominations at C21 Drama Awards, Best Female Performance in a Drama Series (Julie Waters) and Best Male Performance in a Drama Series (Robbie Coltrane) and is topple to be a major awards adversary for all major British categories in the 2017 award roll-out.
“We’re very pleased to sign such a significant deal with Hulu for The Forge and Channel 4’s National Treasure – our first ORIGINAL drama with this leading SVOD platform,” said Sally Habbershaw, EVP, Sales & Co-productions USA for All3Media International. “This bold and poignant series – a compelling and thoroughly absorbing drama that explores the impact of historical assault charges on all sides of the courtroom – has received wide critical acclaim globally and Hulu is the right partner to ensure its success in the USA. Through Jack Thorne and Marc Munden’s writing and directing craft respectively – as well as career defining performances from an hugely impressive star-studded cast, National Treasure is a stand-out, significant drama.”
National Treasure is produced by The Forge Entertainment for Channel 4, UK. The Forge Entertainment (National Treasure) Limited has been supported by the Yorkshire Content Fund in association with Lip Sync Productions.
National Treasure Release Date Season 2 2018
Seeing the popularity of the series among the people National Treasure, which stars Coltrane, Julie Walters and Andrea Riseborough, will begin streaming stateside next year again in March Hulu Original only.Though it has not been officially announced by Hulu but after listening the All3 Media International EVP and seeing its liking i guess the next season will going to be announced soon.For more updates for your favourite show stay tuned and we will bring you back with more latest news.