The final stages of this TV two-parter are a salutary reminder of that dreadful scourge of the homosexual world in the 1980s – the music of Peter Allen. Oh yes and that AIDS was, in those days, suddenly rampant and absolutely untreatable. This is a paint-by-numbers production. But that doesn’t mean it is bad – just mediocre, glitzy, watchable and non-threatening. Like Allen himself.
The audience is told what to think at every stage, from the obligatory hard-scrabble childhood (cleaning Dad’s brains off a wall), to fame, fortune and an opportunistic marriage to American music royalty. Sigrid Thornton looks surprisingly like Judy Garland but is stretched by a script which requires more forced and annoying comebacks than John Farnham. Sara West is not convincing as Liza Minnelli. Ky Baldwin is exuberant as the young Peter Woolnough. Joel Jackson plays Allen with wide-eyed likeability but doesn’t capture his hard-edged weirdness. And a warning – the wigs are BAD..