Douglas Is Cancelled: Season 1 Episode 1 – Review/ Recap

Title Card, Douglas Is Cancelled

Hugh Bonneville stars in a new mini-series where his character, accused of a sexist joke, faces possible cancellation which may have been set up by his co-worker, played by Karen Gillan.

Plot Recap

What Was The Joke? – Toby, Sheila, Douglas, Madeline

Douglas and Madeline host Live at 6, a popular news program. Douglas has been doing it for at least ten years, and going by Toby’s word, as a producer or station manager, Douglas is a notable and trusted voice. Hence why, when a single tweet alludes to Douglas saying something sexist, a red flag is raised.

However, it isn’t until Madeline retweets it, seemingly wanting to defend Douglas, that the tweet gains traction. After all, she has two million followers. But, in Douglas’ mind, Madeline meant well and wanted to defend her co-presenter. But for Sheila, an editor at a newspaper and Douglas’ wife, who isn’t fond of Madeline, she questions if this might be sabotage.

The War At Home – Sheila, Claudia, Douglas

As the night wears on, the tweet gets retweeted, and there are additional comments. This leads Douglas to begin to worry if this will blow over. Sheila is of little help in making this seem like it won’t be news and Claudia? Sheila and Douglas’ 19-year-old daughter? If Sheila presents a tepid possibility, this could affect Douglas; Claudia wants him to be on edge.

But what do you expect? She is 19, considers herself an activist, and makes it clear that, right after being Douglas’ daughter, she will cancel him, despite their relationship. Which, notably, is far better than the one she has with her mom, who she butts heads with on sight.

Who Really Has The Upper Hand? – Madeline, Toby, Douglas

To get ahead of this mounting problem, Toby tries to devise the joke that is getting Douglas in trouble. Douglas claims not to know what the joke was because he was drinking, so Toby is ready to conjure something that could be offensive but not career-ending with the writers.

This may leave you wondering, when face to face, how Madeline reacts to Douglas. Well, surprisingly calm despite the damage she has done, and with her asking him to close the door as he awaits her undivided attention, who knows if she is further setting him up or genuine.

Additional Information

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  3. Character Guide:

Collected Quote(s)

  • We’re journalists, we’re never there. Having opinions about things we didn’t witness is the entire point of our existence. We are the brave few who turn up after the event and explain it to everyone else who missed it. — Toby
  • The truth is useful, yes, but I prefer something a little more balanced. We’re in news, truth is only one side of the story. — Toby
  • That’s not ambiguity, that’s plausible deniability. — Sheila

Cast and Characters

Character’s NameActor’s Name
TobyBen Miles
SheilaAlex Kingston
DouglasHugh Bonneville
MadelineKaren Gillan
ClaudiaMadeline Power

New Character Descriptions


Toby is Douglas’ producer who, similar to Douglas, isn’t the most politically correct person. However, unlike Douglas, he isn’t on camera, but knowing how much people love to expose one another, he is always ready to have an NDA prepped, and Douglas’ situation has him having them printed out regularly.


Sheila is Douglas’ wife and mother to Claudia, who is a newspaper editor who runs the paper in such a way that some of her staff are afraid to approach her.


Douglas is the long-running host of Live at Six, and behind the scenes, is known for off-color jokes that could make some feel uncomfortable. However, his on-screen persona is that of a bland broadcaster, if not more so how they were before they needed to be personalities.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Paddington.”


Claudia is Douglas and Sheila’s 19-year-old daughter who takes both of her parents to task whenever she can. Sheila especially gets hit by her daughter’s wrath to the point she thinks her daughter gets giddy at the idea of being able to argue with her mom. As for Douglas? Their relationship is better, but as the tweet controversy gains traction, she makes it clear she will not sacrifice her activist credentials for Douglas’ sake and will cancel him just like everyone else.


Madeline is Douglas’ co-host who has been working towards being taken more seriously in the world of news journalism.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Dual.”




While Douglas’ situation might be intriguing, Sheila is the hook when it comes to characters. The way Alex Kingston plays her, whether at work or at home, makes you laugh and connect and draws you in to the point that you’d wish this show was from her perspective as the wife to a man like Douglas. Someone who might work in a different medium but is technically competition. Who might be her husband but doesn’t seem to be the best in crafting peace between her and their daughter, and then when it comes to Madeline? While it seems doubtable that Douglas has done anything with her, you have to note the jealousy there.

It’s not the type that makes you damn Sheila and see her as insecure but want to take her side. Which, considering Douglas has yet to say or do anything to make you turn on him, almost makes it seem, as much as Madeline might be trying to take Douglas down, Kingston’s performance might be about stealing the show right from under Hugh Bonneville.

The Negative Reaction Claudia Inspires

Characters are meant to get a reaction out of you, and it could be hard to remember that when it comes to characters like Claudia, who create feelings of annoyance to hatred. Yet, as she picks fights with her mom and pushes the idea her activism is performative, you can’t help but wish someone would go off on her and shut her up.

The Question of Whether Madeline Setup Douglas Or Not

What will likely drive the show’s story throughout its four episodes is if Madeline consciously sabotaged Douglas. Was she truly trying to speak out and shut down the accusation or platform it? You don’t get two million followers because of one salacious photoshoot and being on television. You have to know how to work the system a bit.

So as we see the duality of Madeline in front of the camera and off camera, and whether she is as curated as we’re led to believe Douglas is, it will be interesting to see who is Madeline Crow once the red live light is off? Is she ambitious, to the point of screwing someone over, or as she gets the hang of more serious journalism, is she still learning about the newfound power her voice has and how to wield it in ways that doesn’t cause collateral damage?

General Information

Episode TitleEpisode 1
Release DateJune 27, 2024
NetworkITV 1 (Watch Link or Official Site)
Director(s)Ben Palmer
Writer(s)Steven Moffat

Listed Under Categories: , ,

Douglas Is Cancelled: Season 1 Episode 1 - Review
Title Card, Douglas Is Cancelled

Title: Douglas Is Cancelled: Season 1 Episode 1

Description: Hugh Bonneville stars in a new mini-series where his character, accused of a sexist joke, faces possible cancellation which may have been set up by his co-worker, played by Karen Gillan.

Date Released: June 27, 2024

Episode number: 1

Part of season: 1

Part of series: Douglas Is Cancelled

Author: Amari Allah

Production company: ITV1

Director(s): Ben Palmer

Actor(s): Ben Miles, Alex Kingston, Hugh Bonneville, Karen Gillan, Madeline Power

Genre: Drama, Comedy


With characters who are engaging, quotable, and competing for a prominent place in your memory, paired with questions that can drive the four-episode season, “Douglas is Cancelled” does all you’d want from a season premiere and pushes you to finish what you started – not out of obligation, but with glee.

  • Sheila - 86%
  • The Negative Reaction Claudia Inspires - 83%
  • The Question of Whether Madeline Setup Douglas Or Not - 85%
User Review
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  • The Question of Whether Madeline Setup Douglas Or Not
  • The Negative Reaction Claudia Inspires
  • Sheila


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