Stylish chess drama fills the hole left by period pieces such as Mad Men – and puts the clothes front and centre
In chess, the first move is everything. This is also true in TV – something The Queen’s Gambit, a seductive seven-part drama about a female chess prodigy in the American midwest, knows all too well.
In the first few moments, we meet our teenage hero, Beth Harman (Anya Taylor-Joy), asleep in a hotel bath wearing a burgundy Pierre Cardin shift dress from the night before. Moments later, she has changed into a Biba-inspired mint-green viscose one, which matches the tranquillisers she knocks back with a minibar vodka. Grabbing her shoes – black pointed flats, so this must be the 60s – she hurries downstairs to play the most important chess game of her career on the mother of all hangovers.