By, Heather Maloney
In celebration of the Olympic return to London, a mesmerizing television movie has been aired staring Matt Smith of “Doctor Who” fame. Presented in the United States under the title “Going for Gold – The ’48 Games” and in the United Kingdom as “Bert and Dickie” , BBC America and BBC took viewers on a riveting journey through a sport many Americans are unfamiliar with. Rowing plays a pivotal role in this expertly shot period drama and allows one to become lost in the world shortly after World War II.
Even though the United Kingdom had triumphed in the war, the country was left picking up the pieces of a severely destructive conflict. While the citizens were still on rations and many buildings stood in ruins, London agreed to host the Olympic Games. Matt Smith as Bert Bushnell and Sam Hoare as Richard Burnell star in this uplifting tale highlights the true fighting, yet reserved spirit of the british people for the world to celebrate.
Bert Bushnell and Richard ‘Dickie’ Burnell were not your usual pair. They were from different classes and due to this each had a unique view on the world of rowing. Bushnell usually competed in the Single sculls competition, however after a poor performance from Burnell’s partner, he was offered an opportunity to compete in the Olympics in the Double sculls event. Both men had strained relationships with their fathers and struggled with many aspects of their personal life.
Matt Smith portrays a determined man who’s relationship with his father caused him to be very competitive in the world of rowing. He is very frank and cross at times, however through his relationship with Dickie he begins to understand his place in the world. Trusting each other, Bert and Dickie fight for British and personal glory.
“Going for Gold – The ’48 Games” is an engaging, uplifting story with superb acting. Matt Smith and Sam Hoare transform into their characters flawlessly and being the viewers along on their fight to win for their county, their families and themselves.