If your “appetite for dysfunctional media dynasties” hasn’t been satiated by Succession, the BBC’s three-part documentary House Maxwell should get the point, Ed Power said in The Irish Time. It follows the rise and fall of Robert Maxwell, who was born into poverty in what is now Ukraine, became Britain’s “most notorious press baron” and fell to his death under mysterious circumstances from his yacht in 1991.
The film tries to connect the dots between his life and that of his favorite daughter, Ghislaine, who was found guilty of sex trafficking last year. The “big takeaway” here is that the Maxwells were “crazy.” Robert’s former secretary recalls a phone conversation between him and Ghislaine. “Meow,” he said. “Meow, meow, meow,” she replied.
The show is about familiar territory, said Hannah Jane Parkinson in The Observer For example, Maxwell’s “competitive obsession with Rupert Murdoch” is well documented – but there are many interesting moments. It helps that Maxwell “had such an ego that he hired a camera crew to accompany him everywhere,” and also that he annoyed his employees: The production team was given access to “panic phone calls from management” in the hours after Maxwell’s disappearance. .
I wasn’t impressed, Christopher Stevens said in the Daily Mail. This documentary can’t decide whether to focus on Maxwell’s rise, his apparent suicide, or his daughter’s later career as a child molester. The result is shallow and “hopelessly confused”.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/culture/tv-radio/956416/house-of-maxwell-review-tv-bbc TV Review: House of Maxwell