tue 21/02/2017

England

SS–GB, BBC One

“What if the Germans had won the war?” has been a recurring theme in fiction, from Noel Coward’s Peace in Our Time to Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Robert Harris’s Fatherland. There was even a predictive pre-war “future history”...

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Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra, BBC Four

Two years ago BBC Four had a film about a year in the life of Scafell Pike. Arriving at glacial pace is the sequel: Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra. The star this time round is more of a best supporting character actor than a headline...

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DVD: Marc Isaacs - Two Films

There’s a nice pairing to these two character-led documentary films, as reflections on concepts of partnership presented from different ends of the spectrum of innocence and experience. Treating innocence, Someday My Prince Will Come (2005) is the...

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Unforgotten – Series 2 Finale, ITV / After Brexit: The Battle for Europe, BBC Two

From Jimmy Savile to the Rotherham scandal, child sexual abuse has become a recurring nightmare of our society, and thus is inevitably grist to the TV dramatist’s mill. It has been a crucial component in The Missing, National Treasure and...

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CD: Trish Clowes - My Iris

Saxophonist, composer and former Radio 3 New Generation Artist Trish Clowes has created a reputation for original chamber jazz of densely woven harmonies and delicate, sometimes folk-tinged melody. This fourth album, with a quartet rather than (as...

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Taboo, BBC One

The arrival of this oppressively atmospheric 19th-century historical drama is being trailed as the BBC's bold attempt to break the Saturday night stranglehold of soaps and talent shows. No doubt they were encouraged by the success of all those...

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Judi Dench: All the World's Her Stage, BBC Two

The hyperbole began as soon as the voiceover did: “For most of us Judi Dench is M…” So much for Bernard Lee. The implication was that if you can remember him, then Judi Dench: All the World’s Her Stage was not for you. After all, she played James...

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To Walk Invisible, BBC One

Yorkshire-born screenwriter Sally Wainwright has carved a distinguished niche for herself as chronicler of that brooding, beautiful region’s social and familial dramas. After the romance of Last Tango in Halifax and the gritty panorama of Happy...

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A Monster Calls

It's not often you hear the sound of film critics sobbing quietly to themselves, but this really happened at the screening I attended of A Monster Calls. Having seen the trailer, with its scenes of a giant tree stomping around a spooky-looking...

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Alan Bennett’s Diaries, BBC Two

Gather round the fire, friends: no Santa down the chimney this Christmas Eve, but the curiously comforting Alan Bennett, with his sardonic and occasionally optimistic diaries. The latest published instalment has the slightly wry title Keeping On...

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Lenny Henry: A Life on Screen, BBC Two

You couldn’t make him up – a big man in every sense, outspoken, spiky, adored, coming from a black working-class family to move from the proverbial nothing to become so much more than something. How to make a documentary tribute without it being...

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The Incident

A pale young girl – we see her blurred reflection in a window – is hanging out at a pizza joint. She follows a customer, Joe, a handsome young architect, out to his car, where he’s waiting for his order, and flirts with him, smoking and...

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