Churchill’s Secret on KIXE

Churchill's Secret Sunday, September 11th on MASTERPIECE on PBS Special Time of 8pm ET Shown: Michael Gambon as Winston Churchill (C) Robert Viglasky/Daybreak Pictures and MASTERPIECE

Churchill’s Secret
Sunday, September 11th on MASTERPIECE on PBS
Special Time of 8pm ET
Shown: Michael Gambon as Winston Churchill
(C) Robert Viglasky/Daybreak Pictures and MASTERPIECE

“What scares me the most is getting to the end before I’ve finished.” These are the words of Winston Churchill, to his nurse, Millie Appleyard, as he struggles to recover from a series of debilitating strokes. With it, he touches upon the fears of a great many people, as they get a look at their own mortality.

The year is 1953. The cold war is heating up, and Winston Churchill, back in office as Prime Minister of Great Britain, sees as his legacy the task of ending it. With this as a goal, he’s scheduled a conference in Bermuda between the US, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, styled after the Malta conference that helped end World War 2. He’s due to leave in a couple of days, hosting the Italian Ambassador at Downing Street, when he loses the ability to speak coherently, and collapses.

What follows in the story of a man, a government, and a family in crisis. How to keep this a secret from the press, how to provide for a continuity of government with Churchill gravely ill and the foreign secretary in the hospital, how does an estranged family come together to support its problematic patriarch in his time of need.

Churchill’s Secret ably tells this story, switching back and forth between dramas of politics and family. It focuses of the relationship between Churchill and his wife, Clementine, as well as that of Millie Appleyard, the young nurse who’s whisked away from her regular life to care for the prime minister.

Michael Gambon, Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame, plays Churchill as a man come undone, who has to pull himself back together. Lindsey Duncan, formerly of Rome and Doctor Who, plays Lady Churchill. Churchill’s Secret is based on the book The Churchill Secret by Jonathan Smith, adapted by Stewart Harcourt.

Anyone who has stood beside a close family member in a health crisis will find a great deal to relate to in this drama. Anyone who’s weathered such a storm will draw inspiration from the story of a man reduced to almost nothing, clawing his way back to his former capabilities. It is a story of hope, and of the sacrifices we make to keep going.

Churchil’s Secret airs on Masterpiece Sunday, September 11th at 8:00 p.m. of KIXE Channal 9.

Chad Grayson
Chad Grayson has been a gas station attendant, sold video games over the phone, and even was the person who cuts the mold off the cheese in the cheese factory, but spent most of his career as a middle school Language Arts and History teacher. He is now a full-time stay at home dad and writer. You can find him on twitter at @chadgrayson and on his blog at cegrayson.wordpress.com.
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2 Responses

  1. Welcome back, Chad! We’ve missed you!

  2. A. Jacoby says:

    Good on ya, Chad . . . good to see you back on this site. When I read your review, I always, ALWAYS want to go watch whatever you’re talking about. Thanks . . . .

    And a “hello” to Drew.