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PBS Masterpiece Theater - "Mrs. Wilson"

Did anyone watch part 1 of this 3-part mini-series?! It's actually based on a true story about Alison Wilson .. the grandmother of Ruth Wilson, the actress who plays the title role. It takes place in the early 1960s in England, but there are many flashbacks to the pre-WWII & War time period. 

 

It starts with Alison rushing home to make lunch for husband Alex (Iain Glen .. playing yet another cad). She calls him when lunch is ready, but he doesn't come downstairs, and she finds him dead upstairs .. heart attack. Alison & Alex (twice her age) met 20 years earlier in the wartime intelligent office; he an accomplished novelist whose fluency in Arabic makes him a star listening in on conversations at the Arabic embassy & translating .. and she a novice typist transcribing notes. 

 

As a successful novelist, Alex Wilson's death brings a surprise visitor to Alison's door .. an older woman identifying herself as Mrs. Gladys Wilson .. the REAL Mrs. Wilson; it's the first step in shattering Alison's world & everything she believed about her husband. In the course of investigating things (after all she also worked for Intelligence & knew Alex was a spy), she meets yet another woman named Dorothy who also believed herself to be the real "Mrs. Wilson". Dorothy is played by Keeley Hawes (The Durrells in Corfu).

 

Not much of what Alex Wilson told any of these "wives" is true, and he has 1 son each with Dorothy & Gladys, and 2 sons with Alison. Must-watch TV!!


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I was just looking at PBS' Alex Wilson Timeline. It makes me wonder if someone like him could get away with that much now, with so much information about us being computerized, and available all over the world! It does make me wonder how he was able to get a job in British Intelligence - really - when he already had a criminal record. And why his families seemed to be destitute, when he really was a very successful, published author .. where did that money go? Not only was he a pathalogical liar, but a repeated petty criminal/thief as well .. did he see those as a "romantic & exciting" personality traits?!


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They say truth is always stranger than fiction. It's one reason I love to read histories and biographies. This one didn't disappoint. It seems Alec lived more lives than a cat. I am amazed that Alison was able to untangle so much over the years, and that all of the families finally came to know each other. Even so, they were still left with many unanswered questions. 

 

I agree that the timeline on the Masterpiece website was very helpful.

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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I saw the episode and thought it was well-done and suspected it might be a true story....no one could make up a script as well constructed  as that one  lol.    I'm looking forward to the next show.     

 

  "Victoria" was also a big favorite and hope to see more of it.    


  Another which has been an absolute   favorite...still is and waiting for the movie ... is Miss Fisher Mysteries which has everything...i.e.  human rights,  clothes of the 1920's,  the cars,  wit,  language is spot on sophisticated,   a bit of naughty-ness  and  of course the mysteries  themselves .   It also  features a romance between a very young innocent couple and then another between a more mature experienced one.   ..based on novels by Kerry Greenwood....I highly recommend it.     

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@JANMB - I watched part of a "Miss Fisher" episode once, but it must have been an inconvenient time, and I didn't keep up with it.


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@ASTRAEA , I was tempted after the Call the Midwife season premier, but wanted to see at least some of World of Dance and then Madam Secretary. I may get up enough patience to watch Mrs. Wilson on the computer, but it is not as comfy as sitting on a sofa! Cat Tongue N.

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@catwoman500   You gotta watch!  I finally stumbled back here to TVTalk to see what you all thought about this show.  I have 15 minutes left of episode 3.  I began reading a bit about his background, but I did not learn that Ruth Wilson was the granddaughter of Alison until this morning. @ASTRAEA thanks, how interesting.  I am very much taken with the show.  As always you guys contribute to the enjoyment.

 

https://alexanderwilsonauthorandspy.com/category/alexander-wilson-biography/

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@LaDolceVita - Thanks for posting about Alec Wilson's biography; I think there may be one by Alison too .. but I'm not sure. I think they would have done better either making it 3 separate sections, or doing it straight thru as a 2 hr & 45 minute movie. After the 2 hour initial episode, the 2nd one that was only 1 hour, seemed truncated in comparison. Alec's friend & fellow spy Karim & handler Coleman told stories that were in total oposition, and that seemed like a dead-end. And when that little boy came to the house, also saying his mother was Mrs. Wilson, that wasn't fleshed out at all. Slightly disappointing; I'm motivated to read a biography!


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@ASTRAEA wrote:

@LaDolceVita - Thanks for posting about Alec Wilson's biography; I think there may be one by Alison too .. but I'm not sure. I think they would have done better either making it 3 separate sections, or doing it straight thru as a 2 hr & 45 minute movie. After the 2 hour initial episode, the 2nd one that was only 1 hour, seemed truncated in comparison. Alec's friend & fellow spy Karim & handler Coleman told stories that were in total oposition, and that seemed like a dead-end. And when that little boy came to the house, also saying his mother was Mrs. Wilson, that wasn't fleshed out at all. Slightly disappointing; I'm motivated to read a biography!


 

@ASTRAEA   I only have access to PBS streaming content now and the show was in 3 episodes.  But yes, it would be nice to know about the last Mrs Wilson.  I have read that she took her son to Scotland & Alec did not have a hand in raising him.  Please let us know if you find a good biography,

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@ASTRAEA , @LaDolceVita ...Now I will definitely put this on my "to watch" list. Everyone I talk to really likes it.

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I started to watch this but because it ran to 11:00 pm had to stop, hopefully I can view it at an earlier time...Full of suspense...
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Viewers can’t believe BBC drama Mrs Wilson is based on a true story

Ruth Wilson plays her own grandmother in the new BBC1 drama – and her strange family history makes for remarkable television

Viewers still can’t quite believe that new BBC1 drama Mrs Wilson is based on a true story – let alone that its star Ruth Wilson is playing her own grandmother.

 

The former Luther star created the series after discovering that her grandmother Alison had discovered that her husband Alec, an MI6 spy, secretly had four wives, none of whom knew about each other, and seven children.

Unsurprisingly, it makes for an engrossing story – and viewers are enjoying it all the more because it’s based in reality.

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2019-04-11/mrs-wilson-reviews-viewers-cant-believe-bbc-drama-is-b...

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@nyadrn - It's too bad that Alison Wilson's no longer alive, or it would be even stranger for her to watch her own granddaughter portray her in the series!


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@ASTRAEA wrote:

@nyadrn - It's too bad that Alison Wilson's no longer alive, or it would be even stranger for her to watch her own granddaughter portray her in the series!


Ha!  omg yes ..  that would be strange!  I would have loved to read her thoughts!

 

 

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@jonibee - I know exactly what that's like; I've falled asleep 2/3 of the way thru "Vera" many times! That's a measure of how engaging "Mrs. Wilson" is .. I managed to stay awake thru the whole 2 hours! 😉


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