TV Review: Decline and Fall (Series 1, Episode 1)
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Evelyn Waugh’s debut novel, Decline and Fall, has been a solid addition to the satirical canon since its publication in 1928. Now, for the first time, it will hit screens as the BBC launch the first televisual adaptation of the classic. The plot follows the trials and tribulations of Paul Pennyfeather (Jack Whitehall) as he is dismissed from Oxford University for indecent exposure, after becoming the victim of a prank by the Bullingdon Club. At a loose end, he finds himself off to a rainy corner of Wales to teach at a run-down public boarding school. He joins forces with two hapless teachers, and falls in love with Mrs Beste-Chetwynde (Eva Longoria). He agrees to tutor her son over the summer holidays, and adventure and even more misfortune follows. Each episode sees Paul in a different scenario. The first follows him at the public school - he gets to grips with teaching boys a few years his junior without any teaching experience, and helps run a pretty diabolical sports day, all whilst slowly becoming friends with two of the country’s worst teachers, Captain Grimes and Mr Pendergast.
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