Christopher and his friends.

BBC 2.

Christopher and his kind(er). Ok my German is crap, my English not much better, but luckily Isherwood’s looking back at his Germanic idyll, so wonderfully done with Cabaret takes a bit of a beating here. Auden with his war poetry hoped to save the world, but, of course, nobody likes poetry and they didn’t know about macrobiotic diets in 1930s Germany. They were all too busy stomping about speaking German/English with a suitable accent. Isherwood played by Matt Smith is a strange looking creation, but is highly bankable character, as he plays Dr Who. He looked suitably bewildered by all the drapery used to coat buildings with Nazi regalia. But they did seem to have only one set of odal runes that marked everyone off as an SS member, most notably the brother of his love interest, a young boy, whom he fell in love with. That wasn’t part of his plan of bugger them and leave them and, in particular, Auden, who seemed a bit of a pain in the arse. But he was famous, even then. They also seemed to have only one Swastika on a stick, which they used in several scenes, but, in fairness, these things can be so difficult to find. Christopher achieves his own success with his dairies and in particular his dramatization of his relationship with Sally Bowles. Liza Minnelli won an Oscar and could sing and dance like a pro, which was no great surprise with Judy Garland for a mother. The Sally Bowles here was much prettier than Liza, but her singing was authentic enough for the Poles to put their hands up and surrender Warsaw. Christopher tries to save his lover by bringing him to Britain, but his mother doesn’t like him and they send him back. Later they have a reunion of sorts in Communist Berlin. He’s married now, with a child, but doesn’t blame him at all for being put in a Concentration camp and throws himself and his added on family at Dr Who. Being English he declines and goes back to America where the end credits tell us he lived with Auden. Well sort of. Auden stayed in one end of America; Isherwood thousands of miles away in California, but hey, that’s Hollywood for you.