Fairy Tales: Rapunzel, BBC1

by | Jan 10, 2008 | All, Reviews

Fairy Tales: Rapunzel, BBC1

Did we like it?

It was a little too childish for adults, and a little too adult for children leaving it as a mangled farce, but was partially saved by Lee Ingleby, Geraldine James and Charity Wakefield in the lead roles.

What was good about it?

• By the end Lee Ingleby had made you care about the messed-up Jimmy Stojkovic, and his alter-ego of Martina. The funniest scenes were those when as Martina he had to sometimes violently repel the advances of lecherous TV commentator Roger Bateman.

• Charity Wakefield had equally little to play with as Rapunzel, and her most affecting scene was when she confided to Martina that she dreamed that when she let down her long hair out of the window a handsome prince would tug on her hair. Slipping out of Charity’s home where he/she was staying as her practice partner, Jimmy dressed in a suit and made it to where Rapunzel was dangling her hair. However, upon catching sight of him she screamed and branded him a rapist when later talking to Martina about the incident.

• Geraldine James pulled her sternest expressions as Rapunzel’s adoptive mother who ran her home like Stalag 19, keeping men out of Rapunzel’s life with the same zeal as if she were a surgeon sterilising an operating theatre.

What was bad about it?

• A preposterous, shapeless plot that even when set in the context of an updated fairy tale was ridiculous and pretty much severed all attraction to the drama straight away.

• Was there really no better way for a couple to be thrown together than a Balkan tennis player cross-dressing and playing in a woman’s tournament to pay off his father’s debt to gangsters that turned out to be fake and simply part of the father’s overall plot?

• And why did Jimmy have to be Balkan? All this effected was Lee Ingleby putting on a strangled James Bond baddie accent (both male and female) the whole time, while his father (Shaun Williamson) and Jimmy’s brother Boris tiresomely conspiring like a couple of Daily Mail-coloured in Eastern European stereotypes. With his father declaring that to make them appear respectable, “You and I will hire a suit from the finest tailor in Bond Street – Moss Bros!”

• Why did Rapunzel wait a whole year (after Jimmy’s ban had just expired) before travelling to see him and declare her love?

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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