Before Matt Smith returns in Doctor Who this summer, he will test his mettle in an inspiring true story from the 1948 London Olympics. As Bert Bushnell, Matt Smith portrays a humble clerk with an enthusiasm for sculling. (While sculling looks like rowing to most of us, but we have learned that, for sporting purposes, rowing involves one oar per person, while sculling involves two.) Six weeks before the games, Bert is offered a chance to compete, but only in tandem with Oxford man Richard “Dickie” Burnell (Sam Hoare, Jane Eyre [Masterpiece 2006]). World class teams aren’t built overnight, and Bert and Dickie’s prickly first efforts don’t inspire much optimism. Much of the water action was filmed along the placid riverbanks at Henley-on-Thames, which is roughly the same area that inspired Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows. Geoffrey Palmer (As Time Goes By), Douglas Hodge (Middlemarch) and James Frain (The Tudors) are also in the cast.
BBC America will air Going for Gold this summer shortly before the London Olympics begin. Canadian broadcast information is not yet known. The DVD should follow soon after.