Dancing on Ice will be axed after the 2014 series, and here we look at where the reality show floundered.
TV Review: Cutting Edge – Ian Brady: Endgames of a Psychopath
This Channel 4 documentary offered viewers an insight into notorious serial killer Ian Brady. He murdered five children over a two-year period from July 1963 with the help of lover/accomplice Myra Hindley.
Given the subject matter, there cannot be a 'highlight' per se. However, the revelation of a letter in which Brady apparently discloses the location of tragic Keith Bennett's body is the pivotal moment.
I had no major complaints with how the programme was put together, although drenching everything in eerie music occasionally felt in bad taste, as if the show was playing into Brady's hands and giving him the superhuman aura he craves.
Ian Brady, psychopathic killer of five children in the 1960s: Pauline Reade, Keith Bennett, John Kilbride, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans. You know the mug shot; sleepy-eyed, downturned mouth, a tussle of teddy boy hair, wearing a tie-less white shirt and jacket.
Along with his lover and abettor Myra Hindley, he instantly became one of Britain's most infamous criminals, and still haunts the victim's families after five decades of incarceration and increasing fragility at the age of 74 (13 years into a prolonged hunger strike, fed by nasogastric tube).
Hindley herself died in 2002, meaning Brady's the only person who can bring peace to the family of Keith Bennett - in particular his mother Winnie, who tragically died days before this documentary aired.
Ian Brady: Endgames of a Psychopath was ultimately an extended recap of Brady's time behind bars. He was sentenced six-months after the abolition of the British death sentence.
It paid particular attention to his mind-games and power plays, and was an interesting study of a sick mind, but offered nothing too revelatory in the end.
Through the director's capable narrative we learnt that psychopaths derive pleasure from power, and ultimate power is commonly seen as the "strength of mind" to take life. The erudite Brady did this to impress his girlfriend Myra, who later helped him abduct, rape, and kill innocent children. He's now spent his years in prison clutching to the only two things he still has control over: depriving himself of food, and depriving Keith Bennett's family of the boy's body.
A pinnacle moment of the documentary it was the revelation that Jackie Powell (Brady's medical health advocate of 13 years) was given a sealed letter addressed to Winnie Johnson (mother of the last undiscovered victim, 12-year-old Keith Bennett) written by Brady under instruction to only deliver it after his death.
Somewhat disturbingly, Jackie didn't betray Brady's trust and open the letter, which may have revealed the whereabouts of Keith's body, but instead returned it to Brady unopened. Shortly after, Winnie Johnson died and her half-century spent hoping for closure came to naught.
Psychiatrists spoke for the first time about their dealings with Brady over the years; attempting to explain the man's thought processes, but ultimately revealing that the man has made no genuine effort to atone for his sins, if that's even possible.
Endgames of a Psychopath was a chilly, efficient documentary, if not particularly revelatory and sometimes guilty of aggrandising its subject with cinematic flyovers or Saddleworth Moor and spooky music.
Still, this was worth watching if only to ruminate on the sheer inhumanity of some people... and debate the morals of Jackie Powell in refusing to open a letter from Brady that, potentially, could have given Winnie Johnson peace before she died.
Verdict: A compelling and timely reminder of the hold Ian Brady has over, well, all of us.
The views in this article are those of the author alone and not of MSN or Microsoft
related stories on msn
latest tv videos
The cast of Blood Ties are the latest stars to stroll down the Cannes red carpet, with plenty more famous faces to keep the snappers happy.
Date 10 hrs ago, Duration 1:16, Views 149