BBC drama Marvellous, starring the wonderful Toby Jones. Part biopic, part musical and part fantasy, this is the inspirational and incredible true story of Neil Baldwin, a man who refused to accept the label of learning difficulties, and who has led an extraordinary life.
Part biopic, part musical and part fantasy, Marvellous is a one-off 90 minute drama for the BBC, based on the inspirational and incredible true story of Neil Baldwin, a man who refused to accept the label of learning difficulties, and who has led an extraordinary life.
The surprising true story of Neil Baldwin (Toby Jones), is of a man who decided to live out his dreams and confound the expectations of those around him and those who dared to write him off. In a world in which we seem intent on labelling each other, Neil has consistently defied any definition at all and can now include on his CV such job titles as lay preacher, circus clown and kit man for Stoke City Football Club. Recently this inspirational figure also received an Honorary Degree from Keele University, despite having never officially worked or studied there a day in his life. Instead, Baldwin was awarded the honour in recognition of his 50 years of contributions to campus life.
The wonderful Toby Jones, who has previously taken on biopic roles in the form of Alfred Hitchcock and Truman Capote, says in depicting Neil he’d never been quite so tested, “As an actor, you’re looking for what a character needs. But with this character, he has no need. He is totally content.”
The film’s writer and creator Peter Bowker says: “The first thing that struck me about Neil was that he was a man who defied those who wished to define him. He would not allow their definitions to limit him in any way. He doesn’t expect people to say no and they usually don’t.”
Rushes colourist Simone Grattarola commented, “Marvellous was a very pared back grade that let the story do the talking. It was great to work with director Julian Farino (Entourage, 21 Up), the one sequence I did get to experiment was the 'flashback'. We didn't want a usual sepia or blown out edged effect. I wanted to marry the sequence to the hand tinted archive pictures used prior. I went back to a technique I invented for the Kings of Leon ‘Supersoaker’
vid for Wiz, where I took all the colour out if the primary channels and then washed my own colour on top. The trick is to make it slightly imperfect, to give the feel of someone painting it. It's overplayed with grain. Julian bought into it and was always open to ideas so it was a real pleasure.”