Tuesday, 9 August 2016
First viewed : 12 September 1980
This obscure series of six 50 minute dramas was producer Frank Cox's successor to the uncelebrated Life At Stake from two and a half years earlier. Whereas that had got the cover of Radio Times and a BBC1 slot this was stuck away on BBC2.
Escape followed the same formula as the previous series with dramatic reconstructions of major news stories from the previous two decades , this time focusing on celebrated bids for freedom. This time round though, the dramas had overarching narrators to help the viewer make sense of them.
The only one I saw was the first which featured the case of Lord Lucan. It was an odd choice given that we still don't know the details of how he evaded justice so the drama necessarily focused on the investigation and the inquest into the death of nanny Sandra Rivett. This included the following classic exchange :
QC : So what happened next ?
Lady Lucan : I grabbed his testicles
QC : What happened then ?
Lady Lucan : He moved back
The inquest of course ended with the verdict of "Murder by Lord Lucan". There was a caveat at the end of the programme to explain that since that time ( 1974 ) an inquest jury's right to name a perpetrator had been abolished by the Criminal Law Act 1977. In fact Lucan was the last person to be so named.