2ENTERTAIN OUT NOW
How does the BBC series compare to the classic film about the 1950s serial killer?
The real-life case of Notting Hill mass murderer Reg Christie was famously filmed by Richard Fleischer in 1971 as 10 Rillington Place, featuring Richard Attenborough in one of his finest screen performances as Christie (and John Hurt playing the wretched Timothy Evans, who was wrongly hanged for Christie’s crimes). But in the BBC’S three-parter, Tim Roth equals (maybe even surpasses) Attenborough. Roth’s Christie – roundshouldered, bald and bespectacled, shuffling, smiling apologetically and speaking in a selfeffacing whisper – seems to be such an insignificant, harmless little man that his killings are all the more horrifyingly hard to credit. As, apparently, was the case with the real-life killer.
The rest of the Rillington Place cast – Samantha Morton as Christie’s manipulated wife Ethel, Nico Mirallegro as poor naive, gullible Tim Evans – are all note-perfect, and the BBC have done a masterly job in recreating the drab seediness of ’40s and ’50s London, all dim lighting and sludgebrown wallpaper. Each of the three episodes homes in on a different character – Ethel, Tim, Reg – giving us interestingly shifting perspectives.
But in the end this is Tim Roth’s show, and he rises to it superbly.
A true story brought masterfully to life.