The Rattigan Enigma (2010) TV

RattiganEnigma

Benedict goes on a trip back to the 40s straight into the life of Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan.

The Rattigan Enigma is a trip back to the 40s – to Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan, the famous British playwright and screenwriter. In this 2010 aired documentary Benedict Cumberbatch takes us through Rattigan’s life.

The one-hour time travel was first broadcast in 2010, Benedict is not only the narrator but also visits places where Rattigan has lived and worked and brings the playwright back to life in various interviews.

What is it about:
It is a documentary about the life and works of the British playwright and screenwriter Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan. Born on 10 June 1911 in London (died November 30, 1977) Rattigan became famous and well-known by his social comedies and contemporary problem plays which the audience of the 40s and early 50s loved to see. When in the mid-50s a new set of playwrights and directors brought alive a new, more radical theater culture, Rattigan’s work increasingly came into the crossfire of criticism. Today, decades later, Rattigan’s Plays to experience a revival and audiences all along enjoy watching them again.

Rattigan himself remains an enigmatic figure. A worried homosexual with his polite, restrained dramas that are facing sexual frustration, failed friendships, adultery and suicide – issues that he did not get under control. And although he was a gifted writer of commercial plays, he in fact just wanted only one thing – to be taken seriously as a playwright .

1951 Rattigan received the prize for Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival for his screenplay for the British film Conflict Of The Heart.


Benedict takes the audience on a journey back into Rattigan’s life. He visits his school in Harrow. He meets Rattigan’s best friend, Princess Jean Galizine, who leads him through Rattigan’s house and brings back memories. He talks to playwrights, critics and directors, trying to determine why today’s public is so fascinated by Rattigan.

A vibrant, exciting journey into the 40s with one of the most sought after actors of our time. Watch!