(Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix)

'In trouble', 'disastrous', 'disgraced' – these are all words that have regularly been used to describe Prince Andrew and his infamous Newsnight interview in 2019.

However, Netflix has taken this fairly recent historical event that only journalists would ever want to revisit and infused it with compelling behind-the-scenes drama with Scoop.

And it's not done the way you'd expect.

The film also attracted some serious star power, with impressive physical transformations from Rufus Sewell and Gillian Anderson as Andrew and Emily Maitlis, the formidable BBC journalist who interviewed him.

Scoop, however, is really about plucky booker/producer Sam McAlister (Billie Piper), the woman who arranged the once-in-a-lifetime date with Andrew, who has finally announced her retirement from public life.

All the tidbits we've heard about before are present in the film – Andrew's loyal but misguided private secretary (played by Keeley Hawes) who encourages him to take advantage of the opportunity, Princess Beatrice supposedly entering the negotiations and (of course ) the prince's 72nd birthday. strong collection of teddy bears.

Billie Piper as Sam McAlister in Scoop

(Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix)

With McAlister as our guide, though, the lid is lifted on the amount of work, luck and charm required to pull off something like this – as well as the nervousness on the part of the BBC.

After all, it wasn't just Andrew who had a lot to lose depending on how the interview was received.

Piper brings a pleasing boldness to her performance as McAlister, who is portrayed as an outsider at the BBC – very “tabloid” and with an approach that puts her colleagues to shame.

However, it's not exactly done in a subtle way, with her being shown more than once entering BBC headquarters in her leopard print boots while Don't Rain on My Parade plays.

McAlister is our hero and underdog, perhaps not giving the most impartial point of view, given that she (literally) wrote the book that Scoop is based on and serves as executive producer.

(Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix)
(Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix)

But as portrayed by Piper, you want to root for her success and see those odds defied.

Maitlis had no involvement with the film, but she is portrayed in a flattering light, barring some digs about her bringing her whip to work.

'Harry Potter has his wand, Emily has Bic' is how their dexterity is described at one point – again, somewhat exaggerated – but Scoop also reveals all the other people who worked to prepare the journalist to face Andrew.

Anderson is as assured as ever in her performance as Maitlis, but she can't quite master her voice, with a hoarseness that's a bit distracting.

(Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix)

Without a doubt, it is Sewell as Andrew who stands out. While he is by no means a carbon copy of the Duke of York, he perfectly encapsulates the energy of a confused, privileged person who is asked to do something when he doesn't quite understand why it is necessary.

He also displays the prince's bonhomie to excellent effect, as well as occasionally poor judgment in his timing – such as pondering aloud the 'obsession' over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein when 'I knew Jimmy Saville much better'.

And this is where Scoop's mastery of comedy comes into play, thanks to the light touch of writer Peter Moffat, director Philip Martin and its talented cast.

(Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix)
(Photo: Peter Mountain/Netflix)

The film in no way mocks the situation or belittles Epstein's crimes, but rather highlights the strange and strange things that humans sometimes do with a meticulously well-balanced tone.

According to Scoop, this involves the reveal of some real crack, as Andrew gets naked in front of Newsnight, after climbing out of the bath to the incessant sound of his phone – again, probably not something viewers expect to see.

However, it's insights like these that sell Scoop to audiences as a must-see film.

Scoop streams exclusively on Netflix from Friday, April 5th.

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