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By Lane Gwinn
The Times 

Blind to the error of his ways



February 9, 2023


Matthew Macfadyn as the disgraced, possibly delusional British politician, John Stonehouse.

"Stonehouse" – BritBox, 2023

A three-episode mini-series on BritBox is based on a story of a British politician in the seventies who digs himself into a hole through his constant lying. Is he a naïve victim of pride, or just a criminal? He certainly appears delusional in his confidence to evade consequences.

John Stonehouse is ambitious and entitled. He is played by Matthew Macfadyn, who is a regular cast member on HBOs Succession. Both characters share a comical ability to misread situations, inflate their importance, and still believe in their moral superiority.

Stonehouse manages to get involved in an international spy game, eventually disappointing his wife, country, and Russian handler. Easily blackmailed and clueless about the game, it was fortunate that he was such an inept spy.

As his financial gains dwindled, his political career sidelined, and his mistress impatient, he decided to disappear. But the story continues to twist, and the third episode has many surprises. Or, considering the current political climate, his third act may not be so unusual.

A fun series made better after doing a little online research into the actual events.


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