wed 13/12/2017

TV drama

The Crown, Series 2, Netflix review - all our yesterdays, cunningly rewritten

Beneath the creamy overlay of gowns, crystal chandeliers, palaces, uniformed flunkies and a sumptuous (albeit CGI-enhanced) Royal Yacht, a steely pulse of realpolitik fuels The Crown, returning to Netflix for its much-anticipated second series....

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The best TV to watch this week

Sick of the early onset of Christmas? Just watch television instead (though preferably not the news). Try these out for size?Sunday 10 DecemberBlue Planet II, BBC One - 7th and final episode of David Attenborough's epic of the oceans, with...

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Howards End finale, BBC One review - who isn't going to miss the Schlegel sisters?

How good was Howards End (BBC One)? Practically flawless. Even if it broke into a bit of an action-packed sprint towards the dénouement, it’s been a triumphant reaffirmation of EM Forster, a canonical favourite back in the 1980s courtesy of Merchant...

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Witnesses: A Frozen Death, BBC Four review - plummeting temperatures in the Pas de Calais

A thankless task, perhaps, to find oneself following in the footsteps of the berserk Spanish melodrama I Know Who You Are (theartsdesk passim). However, BBC Four’s new Saturday night import, whose first series was shown on Channel 4 a couple of...

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Godless, Netflix review – a proper wild west ride

There’s a storm heading to La Belle, the small forgotten town in the heart of the American West. As black clouds flash above the prairie, the injured body of Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) falls at the door of widowed rancher Alice Fletcher (Michelle...

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I Know Who You Are, series 2 finale, BBC Four review - Spanish drama literally took no prisoners

So, if you’re reading this you probably trudged all the weary way to the very end of I Know Who You Are. Or you didn’t but still want to find out what the hell happened. After 20-plus hours of twisting, turning, overblown drama, long-service medals...

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Love, Lies & Records, BBC One review - Ashley Jensen too good to be true

Love, Lies & Records (BBC One) is one of those bathetic titles that are very Yorkshire. See also Last Tango in Halifax, which didn’t do badly. Sleepless in Settle is surely in development. This is the new drama from Kay Mellor, who set Band of...

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Peaky Blinders, series 4, BBC Two review - new threats, same thrills

BBC Two’s flagship crime drama Peaky Blinders returns for another guilty dose of slo-mo walking, flying sparks and anachronistic soundtracks. In the opening episode “The Noose”, we’re served a familiar course of family disputes, sinister threats and...

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Howards End, BBC One review - EM Forster adaptation is finding its footing

Can it really be a quarter-century since that finest of all Merchant-Ivory film adaptations, Howards End, was first released? So it is, astonishingly, which surely means the time is ripe for a fresh celluloid take on EM Forster's enduring 1910 novel...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Steven Knight and Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders

Like a lot of people, I came late to Peaky Blinders, bingeing on the first two brutal, but undeniably brilliant, series like the proverbial box-set sensation it quickly became. With its focus on the turmoil and fortunes of a particularly unruly...

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The A Word, Series 2, BBC One review - is it turning into 'Emmerdale' with a twist of autism?

At its weakest The A Word is just Emmerdale with a twist of autism, especially when the drama swivels away from the little boy to focus on adult infidelities, a grumpy patriarch, sibling rivalries and comedy Poles wisecracking in subtitles. But at...

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Babylon Berlin, Sky Atlantic review – brilliantly promising Euro-noir

Sky Atlantic’s German import is an intoxicating mix of intrigue and betrayal, set in the excessive days of the Weimar Republic. Gripping stories and extravagant production meet in the opening two episodes of this brilliantly promising Euro-noir....

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