by E. Stevens
**** 4 Stars
‘I was completely blown away by Michael Sheen’s performance as TV legend Chris Tarrant, but I also thought Sian Clifford portrayed Diana Ingram particularly well.’
Director: Stephen Frears
Cast: Matthew McFadyen, Sian Clifford, Michael Sheen & Michael Jibson
Synopsis: Based on true events, Major Charles Ingram takes his place in the hot seat of the ITV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? But when he becomes the third person ever to win the million, it soon becomes clear to the producers that not all is as it seems…
Quiz is an ITV drama adapted from a West End play of the same name. It tells the story of the so-called “coughing Major” scandal when, in 2001, Major Charles Ingram allegedly cheated his way to win a million pounds.
The drama is split into three episodes, the first showing Charles’s wife Diana and Diana’s brother Adrian attempting to win the million. The second focuses on Charles’s own turn on the show, and the final episode reveals the aftermath of the notorious episode, as well as the trial in which the Ingrams were accused of trying to cheat the show.
The drama does make the viewer question whether the Ingrams are guilty or not, rather than explicitly showing either their guilt or innocence, which I would have preferred. However, aside from this, I could not fault the series. I was completely blown away by Michael Sheen’s performance as TV legend Chris Tarrant, but I also thought Sian Clifford portrayed Diana Ingram particularly well. Although I wish the show hadn’t been so unbiased, at times it was understandable, such as when it showed how much persecution the Ingrams faced from the general public after the scandal broke. These scenes in particular really made the viewer question if Charles and Diana deserved the level of backlash they received.
The recreation of the classic Millionaire set was strikingly accurate and perfectly captured the tense atmosphere of a dramatic quiz show, but the drama also had some surprisingly funny moments which provided relief from some of the more serious scenes. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this drama as it was entertaining and tense, but at times provided a much needed laugh.
Quiz is currently available on ITV Hub and was rated 12 by the BBFC.