Mad Men with doctors. That must have been the elevator pitch (lift pitch?) for Breathless, the three-part series that started on Masterpiece Mystery on August 24. For all I know the working title was “Harley Men,” scrapped later when it was determined that American audiences would be expecting motorcycles and not Harley Street physicians.
Now stop me if you’ve heard this one...
It’s the Swingin’ Sixties.
Our main character is a dapper, dark-haired charmer named Otto Powell (Jack Davenport), who’s as smooth and impenetrable as the Teflon-coated pans that are about to make life a dream for every modern housewife in the 1960s. Everything always works out for Otto. How does he do it?
Elizabeth (Natasha Little), his wife and mother of 8-year-old Thomas, is icy blond perfection.
His workplace is filled with ambitious men and tempting women; the fiery redhead Jean (Zoe Boyle), and clever, aloof brunette Angela (Catherine Steadman) included.
They’re living the life—cocktails and cigarettes (lots of cigarettes; oh, the irony ’cause they’re doctors!)—but there’s tension beneath the real artificial wood grain laminate surface.