A first glimpse at BBC 4's Burton and Taylor
The upcoming and, unfortunately, last in a long line of brilliant dramas from BBC 4, Burton and Taylor, deals with the final act in the 20 year on-off relationship between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter take on the roles of the couple with the infamous romantic past, which saw them married and divorced twice within 12 years (1964-1974 and 1975-1976). West, an accomplished stage actor is most widely known for his time on The Wire in addition to playing TV news presenter, Hector Madden, on the BBC drama, The Hour stars as Richard Burton with Bonham Carter, known for more roles than the law allows, including Harry Potter, The King’s Speech, Dark Shadows, Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland, starring as Elizabeth Taylor.
Photograph: Gustavo Papaleo/BBC/PA
Burton & Taylor will focus on the final reunion of the pair on the set of the 1983 stage revival of Noel Coward’s Private Lives. The casting of Taylor and Burton in Coward’s comedy, which is about a divorced couple running into each other in France while honeymooning with their new spouses totally played upon the public’s fascination with the real-life tempestuous relationship of Burton and Taylor. The original stage production was universally panned but a huge audience hit as theater-goers thought this to a their on-again-off-again relationship is played out once more, but this time on center stage in front of a live audience.
The film will be aired in the UK on BBC4 later this year as one of the channel’s last original dramas with no broadcast date or network lined up yet in the States. Personally, way more interest in this version over Lifetime’s Liz & Dick for the simple fact that it’s Bonham Carter in the title role of Taylor and not Lindsay Lohan.