Press Centre

Lucan

Lucan ITV
  • Episode: 

    2 of 2

  • Transmission: 

    Wed 18 Dec 2013
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.30pm
  • Week: 

    Week 51 2013 : Sat 14 Dec - Fri 20 Dec
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    Last in series
Lucan is a thrilling new two-part drama based on the life of flamboyant aristocrat, Lord Lucan, and written by award-winning writer, Jeff Pope. 
 
Jeff Pope has devoted his career to writing and producing factual drama and has a formidable reputation within the genre.  Most notably he wrote and executive produced Mrs Biggs for ITV Studios.
 
He was the executive producer of Appropriate Adult, [please note Appropriate Adult was written by Neil McKay]; as well as the executive producer for See No Evil: The Moors Murders, This is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper and The Murder of Stephen Lawrence.  
 
In episode two, when Lucan hears his wife, Veronica, coming down the stairs he attacks her, bringing the lead pipe down on her head, but she fights back. With the body of Sandra Rivett in the kitchen, Lucan tries to persuade his wife to commit suicide but she makes a run for it and alerts the police.
 
Lucan goes on the run and the first place he seeks refuge is with Susie Maxwell-Scott in Sussex. He lies to her about what has happened and writes two letters addressed to his brother-in-law William Shand Kydd. The next morning he drives away and is never seen again…
 
Aspinall is quick to call together Lucan’s cronies from the Clermont Club and establish what has happened to their friend. He despatches Dominic Elwes to visit Veronica in hospital and ensure she does not say anything against her husband to the police. Elwes is shocked to see the injuries inflicted on her by Lucan.
 
A national manhunt is started for the fugitive Earl. They find his getaway car in Newhaven and comb the Sussex countryside. Lucan’s various friends are questioned but close ranks and won’t speak. Aspinall in particular makes it difficult for the police.
 
The case is put before a Coroner’s Court to establish what happened to Sandra Rivett and Veronica testifies against her husband. Lucan is found guilty in absentia.
 
The story becomes a media sensation and puts the spotlight on the Clermont set, much to the irritation of Jimmy Goldsmith. Dominic Elwes helps The Sunday Times with a story about Lucan, but it backfires when the story becomes an expose of Lucan’s circle. Elwes finds himself socially excluded by his former friends. Distraught and alienated, he commits suicide.
 
John Pearson’s enquiries seem to run into a dead end. He has exhausted all possible leads as to the fate of Lord Lucan and is faced with scrapping the whole project.
 
Then fate intervenes when Susie Maxwell-Scott contacts him. She is dying and has decided it is time to tell the truth about what she believes happened…
 
 
Series overview:
 
Lucan is a thrilling new two-part drama based on the life of flamboyant aristocrat, Lord Lucan, and written by award-winning writer, Jeff Pope. 
 
Rory Kinnear (Southcliffe, Loving Miss Hatto, Skyfall) will play Lucan whilst Christopher Eccleston (Song for Marion, Blackout, The Shadow Line) takes the role of John Aspinall.  
 
The drama will tell the story of Lucan’s exploits as a member of the infamous Clermont set and will focus on his marriage collapse to Veronica (Catherine McCormack), the Countess of Lucan.  
 
With his marriage disintegrating, Lucan became obsessed with regaining custody of his children.   Ultimately the drama will reveal what happened on that fateful night in November 1974 when his children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett (Leanne Best), was cruelly bludgeoned to death in the basement of the family’s home in London’s Lower Belgrave Street.
 
To this day Lucan is thought to have mistaken Sandra for his wife Veronica, whom he blamed for the fractures in his family life.  His whereabouts and eventual fate have remained a mystery for nearly four decades, captivating and intriguing the public whose fascination with Lucan is undiminished.
 
The drama is inspired by and based upon the book, The Gamblers, written by author John Pearson who conducted exhaustive interviews with those most closely connected to Lucan at the time of Sandra’s murder.  Pearson gained unprecedented access to Lucan’s friends and acquaintances from the Clermont Club who helped him try to piece together the Earl’s movements on the evening of 7 November. Once the dreadful murder had taken place they speculated on how Lucan might have escaped the police search, and what might have ultimately been his fate.
 
Michael Gambon plays older Burke, Paul Freeman plays John Pearson, Rupert Evans plays Dominic Elwes, Jane Lapotaire plays Susie Maxwell Scott and Gemma Jones plays Lucan’s mother Dowager Countess.
 
Cast:
 
Lord Lucan - Rory Kinnear
John Aspinall - Christopher Eccleston
Veronica Lucan - Catherine McCormack
Older John Burke - Michael Gambon
John Pearson - Paul Freeman
Older Susie Maxwell Scott - Jane Lapotaire
Ian Maxwell Scott - Alan Cox
Susie Maxwell Scott - Helen Bradbury
Dowager Countess - Gemma Jones
Lady Osborne - Ann Bell
Sandra Rivett - Leanne Best
Dominick Elwes - Rupert Evans
Jimmy Goldsmith - Alistair Petrie
John Burke - Rufus Wright
Susie Maxwell-Scott - Helen Bradbury
Annabel Birley - Annabel Mullion
Jane Hastings - Anna Walton
Charlie Benson - James Bradshaw
Ulrich -  Aleksandar Mikic