tue 23/05/2017

ITV

Little Boy Blue review – 'the sum of all fears'

Turning the real-life murder of an 11-year-old boy into a four-part TV drama carries obvious risks (might it be exploitative, sick or in bad taste, for instance?), but judging by this opening episode of Little Boy Blue (ITV), screenwriter Jeff...

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Broadchurch review - the final reckoning

“Take your pick. Who shall we talk to first?” DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Miller (Olivia Colman) had their three prime suspects waiting for them in custody. The fact that none of them proved to be the guilty party was what was wrong not...

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Maigret's Night at the Crossroads review - 'more straight faces from Rowan Atkinson'

We’re three films into Rowan Atkinson’s tenure as Inspector Maigret and so far he’s barely twitched a facial muscle. Gone are the eye bulges and nostril flares, the rubbery pouts. There’s sometimes a hint of a frown, the odd twinge in a wrinkle...

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Vera, Series 7, review - 'brilliant Blethyn stuck in bog-standard drama'

Sunshine, sex and oodles of style: Vera (ITV) has no truck with any of them and is therefore unusual among Sunday evening dramas. There’s no escaping its mission to prove it’s grimy up north.The Blanket Mire, the fourth and final mystery of this...

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Harlots review - 'fun quasi-feminist costume romp'

We like to think of Georgian England as a wellspring of elegance: the Chippendale chair and the Wedgwood teapot, the landscaped vista and the neoclassical townhouse. But, as subversively embodied in the mock heroic couplet, the seemly Age of Reason...

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Prime Suspect 1973, ITV

The prequel is here to stay. In the end every popular TV drama flogs itself to death. The star wants out, or the writer dies, or the original source material runs dry, or the public falls asleep. And there’s nowhere else to go. Nowhere, that is,...

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Broadchurch, Series 3, ITV

The first series of Broadchurch was a gigantic hit four years ago, though 2015’s follow-up suffered a bit of a slow puncture. Can this third and supposedly final outing restore the show to its former glories?Episode one made a tidy and reasonably...

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The Halcyon, Series 1 Finale, ITV

A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now…One of the many ironies of Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon’s massive novel partly set in 1940s London, is that what follows these opening lines (...

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The Good Karma Hospital, ITV

There's nothing like a tale set in a warm, exotic climate to lure in the viewers in damp and wintry northern Europe. Send the Nonnatus House midwives to South Africa for Christmas! Shoot a ridiculous detective drama in Guadeloupe! Go back to the Raj...

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The Great Indoors, ITV2

The main attraction of this new US sitcom for a UK audience is that two British actors - Stephen Fry and Susannah Fielding – appear in it. The basic premise is that Jack Gordon, a famed reporter, has led a thrilling outdoorsman life, writing about...

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Unforgotten, Series 2, ITV

Historic unsolved murders have become their own mini-genre, with the likes of Cold Case lurking in the small print of the schedules and Silent Witness still going strong in its 20th series. A hit the first time out in 2015, Unforgotten is back with...

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The Halcyon, ITV

The most surprising thing about ITV's latest period drama is that they've scheduled it for Monday nights. Since you could soundbite it as a mash-up of Mr Selfridge and Downton Abbey, you'd have thought The Halcyon was a shoo-in for that peachy...

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