Factual errors, absurd racing and clumsy story-telling see Brock’s son, James, dismiss the show as “disrespectful crap”.
THE two-part telemovie Peter Brock that aired over the past two nights has drawn criticism over its portrayal of the Bathurst legend, and for good reason.
While recognising the show was a so-called docu-drama that by necessity took creative short-cuts, such as merging different characters into one, it came off as a clumsy effort that tried to cover too much ground in too short a time. It has been panned as being B-grade at best, despite some sharp casting (especially Matt Le Nevez as Brock and Steve Bisley as Harry Firth).
Brocky driving his A30 sports sedan on the road and grabbing a tinnie from his girlfriend while being chased by the cops? Spare me. Roaring up late for a press conference in his race car, and wearing a singlet? Practising for Bathurst in his bedroom with a Frisbee for a steering wheel? Absurd race sequences? Allan Moffat working on an engine? Maybe B-grade is flattering.
Bev Brock told me she had signed a confidentiality agreement in order to see the script, but I know she felt sick prior to the screening and is probably feeling the same now. She surely deserves to feel angry at her portrayal, which is arguably the show’s greatest injustice.
Bev did not meet Peter until 1975, when she was married and living in Sydney and he was separated, yet on TV she appeared to have been around since 1969 (a difference of six years!) swooning over Brock in front of her husband and hanging around the pits.
That’s not just creative writing, it’s unfair and irresponsible. No wonder she withdrew her support when she saw where the production was going.
Her son James rarely speaks on such subjects, but was yesterday moved to describe the show as “trash” and “disrespectful crap”.
The great pity of this production is that it didn’t need to be clumsily dramatised. Peter’s real story didn’t need to be enhanced; it was ready-made for the screen just as it was.
David Hassall was Peter Brock’s authorised biographer and is a veteran motoring writer. Read his feature on Peter Brock in the October issue of Wheels here.