Part 4. This is my favorite episode of The Roosevelts –
a shining installment that rises above even the rest of this documentary series’ glorious standards. In this two-hour segment, Franklin Roosevelt, at age 39 and with a growing family and the most promising of political careers, suddenly is stricken with infantile paralysis from polio, and finds himself, overnight, unable to walk. Edward Herrmann, in giving voice to Franklin’s memories of that period, is hauntingly evocative. So is this series’ writer, Geoffrey C. Ward, a polio survivor himself, who appears on camera to explain how Franklin must have felt – and succeeds with such empathy that it becomes this show’s most unforgettable moment. For my full review, see Bianculli’s Blog.
And to hear my review on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross,
which includes audio samples from several episodes, visit the Fresh Air website. Check local listings.