What if John Lennon had left The Beatles before their breakthrough? It’s certainly an intriguing scenario which Playhouse Presents: Snodgrass offered but did not fully deliver.
Lennon, well portrayed by Ian Hart, struggling with payments hesitantly goes into an unsatisfying job which he acknowledges through his bitter remarks along with cocky suaveness, an excellent additional by Hart in masquerading the tragedy of Lennon’s situation. Though this tragic element to the episode was overdone by the episodes’ writer David Quantick.
“Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse” is the pivotal quote from a pestering colleague irritating Lennon who would simply not let go of the fact he left The Beatles before their prime. Just like Lennon’s annoying colleague, the episode never let go of this idea from an alternative timeline continuously doing so through flashback sequences, Lennon’s directness towards the audience and repeated viewings of Beatles’ posters with ridiculous song titles e.g. ‘C Moon’.
Despite its aim to be poignant which only came through Hart’s performance and the bleakly shot cinematography, Playhouse Presents: Snodgrass became a bittersweet glorification of John Lennon and how fortunate The Beatles were to have him in the band. Being a piece of drama was overturned into being a piece of fan fiction.