|Based on||Quiz by James Graham|
Bad Show: the Quiz, the Cough, the Millionaire Major by Bob Woffinden and James Plaskett
|Written by||James Graham|
|Directed by||Stephen Frears|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||3|
|Editor||Pia Di Ciaula|
|Running time||60 minutes (inc. adverts)|
|Production company||Left Bank Pictures|
|Picture format||16:9 1080i|
|Audio format||Surround sound 5.1|
|Original release||13 April –|
15 April 2020
Quiz is a British drama television serial by James Graham, based on Graham's play of the same name commissioned by William Village and the book Bad Show: the Quiz, the Cough, the Millionaire Major by Bob Woffinden and James Plaskett. It is directed by Stephen Frears and consists of three hour-long episodes. The series focuses on Charles Ingram, a former army major in the Royal Engineers, and how he unexpectedly won the £1,000,000 jackpot on the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? in 2001, followed by a criminal trial in which he and his wife were convicted of cheating their way to success.
The series received positive reviews from critics. Quiz was released during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, resulting in it receiving a large audience (similar to the Netflix documentary Tiger King). While the show was still airing, Charles Ingram's Wikipedia article was one of the most viewed on the site. The first episode of Quiz was seen live by an average audience of 5.3 million in the UK.
In 2001, at the height of the public obsession with Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, a British army major named Charles Ingram and his wife, Diana, apparently swindled the British game show. The morning after Ingram bumbled his way to a million pounds, broadcaster ITV and production company Celador realized something had been amiss: a series of coughs by the Ingrams' alleged accomplice, Tecwen Whittock, may have led Ingram to the answers. It was a massive scandal, resulting in a court case that found all three guilty.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.K. viewers|
|1||"Episode 1"||Stephen Frears||James Graham||13 April 2020||9.05|
|Major Charles Ingram doesn't like quizzes, but for his wife Diana and brother-in-law Adrian, knowing the answer is a way of life. As Diana and Adrian's repeated attempts to get into the hot seat on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? fall short, all eyes turn to an unsuspecting Charles to win the million-pound prize. Meanwhile, the repeated reappearance of middle-class, professional quizzers has not gone unnoticed by the ITV team and producer Paul Smith makes a vow to stop them by any means necessary.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Stephen Frears||James Graham||14 April 2020||8.74|
|Charles returns for a second night in the hot seat with a new strategy. After his previously hopeless performance, he proves massively successful, his dithering answers invariably turning out to be right. However, the production team finds his sudden change of fortunes suspicious and begins looking into an unusual pattern of coughing from the studio audience.|
|3||"Episode 3"||Stephen Frears||James Graham||15 April 2020||8.97|
|Hapless Charles, the man who has never heard of Craig David (one of his questions) is a national laughing stock amid accusations that he hit on right answers after affirmation coughs from his co-conspirators. Persecuted and hounded by the public and press, Charles, Diana, and Tecwen head to court. But his barrister works hard to try to convince the jury that Charles and his wife are innocent. At first, it seems the case for the prosecution is solid, but as the case for the defense gets underway, the jury learns there is far more to the story than they first thought.|
The scenes in the Who Wants to be a Millionaire? studio were filmed in a set constructed at Wimbledon Studios. Scenes were also filmed outside Southwark Crown Court and inside a former court building in Hammersmith.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 94% "Certified Fresh" approval rating based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 7.57/10. The website's consensus reads, "With clever writing, a slick production, and a pitch perfect Michael Sheen, Quiz crafts a captivating snapshot of a wild scandal that will keep viewers on their toes."
Ingram himself praised the series, calling it "balanced," and his lawyer stated the evidence against them was "ridiculous".