wed 28/01/2015

England

Mr Selfridge, Series 3, ITV

Mercifully not preceded by a Broadchurch-style hype-tsunami, the new series of Mr Selfridge has slipped neatly back into the Sunday 9pm slot as if it's the rightful owner just back from a year of travelling round the world. It's not revolutionary,...

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Broadchurch, Series 2, ITV

You can see why writers and TV companies like the idea of creating sequels to successful series, but trying to make lightning strike twice has obvious drawbacks. In the case of the original Broadchurch, the runaway ratings blockbuster which ended in...

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Last Tango in Halifax, Series 3, BBC One / Homeland, Series 4 Finale, Channel 4

Back for its third series [***], Sally Wainwright's saga of Yorkshire folk continues to tread a precarious line between syrupy soapfulness and a family drama with sharp little teeth. Its excellent cast helps to carry it over the worst of the soggy...

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The Choir: New Military Wives, BBC Two

This feelgood programme hit all the buttons with almost unerring precision, as we followed Gareth Malone's project to prepare a military wives choir for a special prom, commemorating the World War One centenary on 3 August 2014. On the way we...

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Steph and Dom Meet... Nigel Farage, Channel 4 / Bullseyes and Beer - When Darts Hit Britain, BBC Four

The idea of having a politician crossing the threshold of one's own home is enough to send most citizens diving for the Prozac (or the taser), and Nigel Farage provokes responses at the extreme end of the spectrum. Then again, Farage may have...

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Wolf Hall comes to BBC Two

You read the book, you saw the play, and in January you can see the BBC's new six-part dramatisation of Wolf Hall. Cunningly adapted by screenwriter Peter Straughan and directed by Peter Kosminsky, the series promises to be both a faithful...

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Karajan's Magic and Myth, BBC Four

There have been legendary conductors, and then there was Herbert von Karajan. He was a colossus of post-World War Two classical music, equipped with fearsome technical mastery allied to a vaguely supernatural gift for extracting exquisite sounds...

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Britain's Bloodiest Dynasty, Channel 5

Dan Jones has turned up to narrate the dramatised story of the Plantagenets in history lite mode, perhaps aimed at capturing a young audience. In Plantagenet country, as shown on TV, we witness a medieval version of soap opera family sagas where all...

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Confessions of a Copper, Channel 4

This will have brought a nostalgic tear to the eye of fans of The Sweeney (the TV show, not the Ray Winstone movie) or GF Newman's still-shocking 1978 series Law and Order. The producers had rounded up seven retired policepersons and got them to...

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The Passing Bells, BBC One

We seem to have spent most of 2014 examining the social, political, historical, geographical and military ramifications of the First World War. You would have thought, therefore, that the upcoming Remembrance Sunday commemorations could have been...

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Mr Turner

There's been much talk about Late Turner, to co-opt the name of the exhibition now on view at Tate Britain covering the last 16 years in the English artist JMW Turner's singular career. And as if perfectly timed to chime with those canvases in...

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RPO, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Zukerman, Royal Festival Hall

This concert was part of a tour of Canada’s National Arts Centre orchestra to five cities in the UK themed around the anniversary of the start of World War One. The Ottawa-based orchestra joined forces with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the...

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