Period drama Across The Lake, shown as part of the Sunday Premiere strand, looked at the last sixty days in the life of speed ace Donald Campbell who in 1967 famously crashed his craft “The Bluebird” whilst trying the break the 300mph barrier.
His first run had notched up an incredible 297mph and during the course of his second run he did go faster than 300mph but his craft then lifted out of the water and completely disintegrated on landing. Campbell’s body was only recovered in 2001.
The real Donald Campbell was a legendary figure and was following in his father Malcolm’s footsteps, even continuing the name of his various crafts in honour of his father. Throughout the fifties and sixties he broke many water speed records. Anthony Hopkins is brilliant in the lead role, very strong as Campbell and there is quite the air of sadness over the whole production given that you know how it ends before it begins.
Across The Lake was repeated the following year (27 July) and hasn’t been seen since.
UK / BBC1 – Challenger Investments / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast 4 September 1988
Writer: Roger Milner / Director of Photography: Andrew Dunn / Production Design: Stephen Brownsey / Reproduction Bluebird constructed by Jack Lovell, Alain De Cadenet / Costumes: Charlotte Holdich / Technical Consultants: Anthony “Rob” Robinson, Ken Norris / Producer: Innes Lloyd / Executive Producers: Diana Dalton / Director: Tony Moylan
ANTHONY HOPKINS as Donald Campbell
JOHN ROWE as Jack Stanley
ROSEMARY LEACH as Connie Robinson
DEXTER FLETCHER as Jimmy
PHYLLIS CALVERT as Lady Dolly Campbell
JULIETTE GRASSBY as Judy
ANGELA RICHARDS as Tonia Bern
MARK STRATTON as Anthony “Robbie” Robinson
JULIA WATSON as Sarah Williamson
EWAN HOOPER as Leo Villa
BRIAN OSBORNE as Maurie Parfitt
TERENCE HARVEY as Frank Muller
PETER HARLOWE as David Benson
DANIEL ANDRÉ-PAGEON as Louis Goosens
ROBERT EAST as Ken Norris
PETER MEAKIN as TV Interviewer
JEFFREY LONGMORE as Photographer
PAUL WILLIAMSON as Darbishire
JONATHAN ELSOM as Norman Buckley
RICHENDA CAREY as Betty Buckley
NICHOLAS FRY as Paul
GUY OLIVER-WATTS as Young Reporter