Because what if Prince Harry was kidnapped by the Taliban? That's exactly the unasked question the UK's Channel 4 is taking on in the ''dramatized documentary'' The Taking of Prince Harry. "Why" is not addressed.
Says the Telegraph, the 90-minute film "will show the Prince being subjected to mock executions and forced to appear in propaganda films. Featuring contributions from former hostages and intelligence experts, it includes scenes showing the prince, played by actor Sebastian Reid, being held behind enemy lines while negotiations are carried out to free him." It ostensibly sends a warning to the royal family about what could happen if the prince should return to combat: "The Taking of Prince Harry raises questions about the far-reaching ramifications for Britain should Prince Harry be granted his wish to return to Afghanistan and be captured — and asks if Britain is prepared for this potential ransom note," read Channel 4's statement.
While actor Sebastien Reid is unquestionably attractive, we can think of no other reason why anyone would want to watch this exploitative piece of fan-fic. First of all, Harry was in Afghanistan for 10 weeks, and this didn't happen, so there's that. But beyond this, the blatant fear-mongering seems both gratuitous and insensitive. (Not to mention that the real threat to the Prince's security is Matt Drudge.)
Says the Telegraph, "The broadcaster has defended its decision to make the film, anticipating accusations that it will give succour to militants fighting Nato troops." They've also said that they don't think it will increase the risk of high-profile kidnappings. Swell, but that really wasn't our objection. Rather, it seems needlessly inflammatory — particularly the inclusion of a "British-born radical Islamist" — and the claims that it's "topical" ring false. It's not as though there aren't genuine tales of captives, tragedy and heroics that could have been dramatized. While we don't normally defer to the Sun as moral authorities, it's hard to disagree with one "in-house security expert"'s opinion that
What these people forget is there is still a war going on...This comes at a bad time and is in bad taste. It's highly likely Harry will be going back to Afghanistan now they have spent so much money on his Apache (helicopter) training. But it's not just insensitive to Harry, it's insensitive to all the troops and the mums, dads, wives and kids with lads out there.
Plus, let's just say it: the title sounds like Harlequin romance from one of the "royals" series. Which is a speculative drama we would watch.
Film Simulates Afghan Capture Of Prince Harry [Reuters]
Channel 4 To Show Drama Imagining Prince Harry's Capture By Taliban [Telegraph]
Prince Harry Drama-Documentary To Feature Fictional Capture [The Guardian]