And to be fair it doesn't disappoint on that score.
There was plenty more where that came from: “Rantum scantum” – code word for rumpy pumpy – was yet another classic line from a concoction that was heavy on crinoline, but woefully light on suspense.
Downton Abbey it wasn’t. And as for Jane Austen…
All of which goes to show that you can have the most jaw dropping sets available as well as access to the entire BBC costume department, but without a decent script you’re sunk.
Throw in a cast of actors without the faintest trace of star quality between them and this was always going to struggle to break into anything more than a trot.
Nice video shame about the song, proclaimed Not the Nine o’ clock News once upon a time.
Yes, it all looked very nice, plenty of high-ceilings and chaise longues but very little else.
And heartiest congratulations must go to a director who managed to produce a series of sex scenes bereft of eroticism. Titillating it sure as hell wasn’t. But it should and could have been. For Christ sake this was the age of stockings and lace and bodice ripping! Yawn.
Poor old Shaun Evans tries to play a repressed pervert. He does his very best, but leading man he most certainly isn’t. Empathy brings out great performances, only I’m not sure he quite understands how his character might have felt as part of this deadly dull ménage a trois. Bored perhaps.
Similarly, Natalie Dormer (Seymour Worsley) and Aneurin Barnard (Captain George Bisset) give it their best shot, but like Evans, they just haven’t quite got the screen presence to carry this off.
There’s something lacking from these performances - conviction mainly. A yawning chasm in terms of chemistry between the leads hardly helps matters.
In their defence the script doesn’t exactly help, nor does the plodding direction. Rantum scantum rears its ugly head once more.
And just when you think things can’t get any worse there’s the structure.
Flashback sequences ought to be handled with care, it’s just a shame nobody informed the writers. The forward/backward structure far from enhancing the drama induces sea-sickness of the sofa variety.
Endless court scenes further break up the momentum as we are treated to scene after scene of Evans and Barnard eavesdropping behind a curtain. Jeopardy is about as low as it could possibly be. How will it end? Divorce? Edge of the seat stuff.
Probably the biggest problem here is the fact that none of the characters appear to have any redeeming features whatsoever. Their apparent amorality fails to inspire sympathy, which means an audience never root for any of these people. Hang ‘em, draw ‘em, quarter ‘em – we just don’t give a fig.
The Scandalous Lady W is a curious piece all told. It should have been compelling drama, dripping with intrigue, an electrically charged journey into the very depths of lust, vanity and even depravity. Yet it plays like a Sunday morning stroll along Bognor promenade - in yer slippers.
Alas the only scandal evident here is that revolving around just how this mishmash ever got commissioned in the first place.