The Singapore Grip
Sunday, ITV HD, 9 pm
The Battle of Singapore in 1942 is widely regarded as one of the greatest disasters in British military history. Convinced that any attempt by the Japanese to invade Singapore would come from the sea, the Allied troops set up their defences accordingly – and were utterly unprepared for the ambush that came instead from inland.
Set one year before the fall of Singapore, six-part drama The Singapore Grip – adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter Sir Christopher Hampton from the 1978 novel by JG Farrell – focuses on a British family living in the colony, preoccupied with their own day-to-day concerns of business and social betterment,unaware of the horror that lies just around the corner.
‘It was the first of the great British colonial catastrophes,’ says Hampton, as TV&Satellite Week joined him on set in Malaysia before lockdown. ‘Sometimes the sort of overconfidence and arrogance of the British leads them into doing unfeasibly stupid things, and that’s what happened in Singapore. The drama begins as a very light, almost Evelyn Waugh story about British colonials at play that gets more and more sombre as the story goes on.’
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September 12, 2020