Return to Lockerbie
The Lazarus project
Every young journalist starting out in 1988 witnessed a series of disasters involving large-scale tragedies repeated with terrible frequency.
First there was the July explosion on the Piper Alpha oil rig in the North Sea, which killed 167 workers. The Clapham Junction train crash occurred in early December, killing 35 and injuring almost 500.
And then, four days before Christmas, a Boeing 747 en route from London to New York exploded over Lockerbie, south of Glasgow, and crashed, killing all 259 passengers and crew, and 11 people on the ground.
I had just started my first job as a headline writer for a morning newspaper. Even though I was sitting at a desk hundreds of miles away, it was shocking and disturbing to see the reports coming over the wires.
For Lorraine Kelly, who was 25 years old and a Scotland correspondent for the ITV morning show TV-AM, the jumbo jet disaster was a turning point in her career. “I got my big break from something so horrible,” she said of her Return to Lockerbie (ITV1)“There’s definitely a bit of guilt in it.”
She explored the psychological impact on her, the bad dreams and flashbacks she has experienced throughout her life. As she walked through the main crash site, she realized that much of what she thought she remembered was based on years of nightmares, of burning buildings and red-hot metal.
Lorraine Kelly explores the psychological impact on her, the bad dreams and flashbacks she has suffered throughout her life in ITV1’s Return to Lockerbie
Some of the destruction caused by Pan Am Flight 103 after it crashed in the town of Lockerbie in Scotland on December 21, 1988
Lorraine was 25 years old and a Scotland correspondent for the ITV morning show TV-AM. The jumbo jet disaster was a turning point in her career
A file photo taken on December 22, 1988 shows a police officer walking away from the damaged cockpit of the Pan Am plane that exploded and crashed with 259 passengers on board
The long, terrifying walk across acres of fields to reach the wreckage of the hull was in fact only a few meters from the side of the road. She must have seen bodies, she said, but she had made them invisible, just like the faces of the emergency workers.
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More than any other presenter, Lorraine represents the power of television to expose our emotions. As an interviewer, she is always empathetic and supportive, but also honest: she never ignores deep feelings or pretends they don’t exist.
In 1988, emotions were not present in television news reports, nor on the desks of newspaper sub-editors.
As Lorraine noted in this moving assessment of how a city is coping with decades of grief, she couldn’t have broken down on camera: it would have looked weak and unprofessional.
She remained calm and was rewarded with her first studio role. Since then, she has been able to change TV culture, making it acceptable for us to show raw emotions on screen. This could be Lockerbie’s lasting legacy for her.
There’s not a lot of emotion in it The Lazarus Project (Sky Max), an action thriller about time travel. Characters spout a lot of apocalyptic nonsense at each other.
Caroline Quentin, as head of a secret organization dedicated to preventing human extinction, announced, “If I’ve learned anything in this job, it’s that there’s no such thing as impossible.”
The Lazarus Project returns for season two, featuring Caroline Quentin as the head of a secret organization dedicated to preventing human extinction
With the superpower of resetting time, hero George (Paapa Essiedu) can fight villains as if he were in a video game, refining his moves with each repeated attempt.
This gets old remarkably quickly: an unexpected kick or punch is predictable the second we see it, and farcical thereafter.
Aside from the fights, most scenes are strangely static. At one point, the cast stopped to plan the best itinerary for a trip to the Austrian Alps: “Helicopter to private jet to Vienna in two hours and thirty minutes; A 45-minute drive… we can get there pretty quickly: three hours and fifteen minutes.”
They all looked at each other ominously, “Let’s hope it’s soon enough.”
But what if they take the E60 east and avoid the roadworks at Weinerwald? They could shave 10 minutes off the journey.