As JFK show irks critics, how vital is accuracy in historical dramas?

A controversial mini-series about the Kennedys is now being screened in the UK. It has been criticised in the US over its historical accuracy, despite being labelled as fiction. So how much does accuracy matter in historical dramas?

From the day of John F Kennedy’s death, the story of his life has been played out on screen too many times to count. But in new television series The Kennedys, the former US president is presented in a different way from the great American hero he was often portrayed as in the past.

Based on his life but labelled as fiction, the series has been controversial. It was originally scheduled to run on the US channel History but was cancelled earlier this year. In a statement executives said such dramatic interpretation was not “the right fit” for the channel.

In the end the series was shown in the US on the digital cable station ReelzChannel and has just started on BBC Two.


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