PHIL SPEC­TOR

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show­case, Satur­day, 8.30pm ★★★★ This tele­movie star­ring Hol­ly­wood heavy­weights Al Pa­cino and He­len Mir­ren opens with the most ridicu­lous dis­claimer. We’re told ‘‘this is a work of fic­tion . . . a drama in­spired by ac­tual per­sons in a trial, but it is nei­ther an at­tempt to de­pict the ac­tual per­son, nor to com­ment on the trial or its out­come’’. So why on earth call the tele­movie Phil Spec­tor? The ti­tle sug­gests we are to be pre­sented with a story es­sen­tially based on fact, but the dis­claimer arouses sus­pi­cion writer-di­rec­tor David Mamet has not let the truth get in the way of a good story. That, how­ever, does not stop Phil Spec­tor from be­ing one of the most com­pelling pieces of TV you’ll see this year. It ex­plores the client-at­tor­ney re­la­tion­ship be­tween leg­endary mu­sic pro­ducer Phil Spec­tor (Pa­cino) and de­fence at­tor­ney Linda Ken­ney Baden (Mir­ren), who rep­re­sented Spec­tor dur­ing his first trial for the 2003 mur­der of Lana Clark­son. Clark­son, the jury was told, died af­ter Spec­tor pulled the trig­ger on a gun he’d placed in her mouth. His only hope of get­ting off at trial is Ken­ney Baden, who has ‘‘rea­son­able doubt’’ about his guilt.

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