sun 28/05/2017

tv

Paula, BBC Two review - Denise Gough's the real thing

jasper Rees

Playwrights have long migrated to the small screen in search of better pay and room to manoeuvre. Most don’t leave it as long as Conor McPherson, who was perhaps cushioned from necessity by the global success of The Weir.

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White Gold, BBC Two review – rattling pace and razor-edged dialogue

adam Sweeting

In the dog-eat-dog world of White Gold it’s 1983, when greed was about to become good and (as the show’s creator Damon Beesley puts it) “a time when having double-glazed patio doors installed meant you were winning at life”. The streets were full of sludge-coloured cars from British Leyland, and Duran Duran and Bonnie Tyler ruled the charts.

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Three Girls, BBC One review - drama as shattering public enquiry

jasper Rees

Television dramas about catastrophic events in broken Britain are meant to be cathartic. They knead the collated facts into the shape of drama for millions to absorb and understand. Then we all somehow move on, sadder but slightly wiser. The Murder of Stephen Lawrence. Hillsborough. The Government Inspector.

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Kat and Alfie: Redwater, BBC One review – 'EastEnders' spinoff suffers from no fixed identity

adam Sweeting

EastEnders habituees will be familiar with the colourful past of Alfie and (especially) Kat Moon, who have both been AWOL from the mothership since early last year.

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A Time to Live, BBC Two review - an exquisite legacy

veronica Lee

Imagine a doctor has just told you that you have only a year to live. What would you do? Learn to sky dive, spend every last penny you have, be brutally honest with anyone who has crossed you, or curl up in a ball and wait for the inevitable?

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Born to Kill finale, Channel 4 review – a full-blown psychotic nightmare

Mark Sanderson

Was it just a coincidence that budding serial killer Sam attended Ripley Heath High? Probably not. Born to Kill, written by Tracey Malone and Kate Ashfield, was keenly aware that it followed in the bloody footsteps of both real sociopaths such as Harold Shipman and fictional ones such as Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley. And what a dance it led us!

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King Charles III, BBC Two review - royal crisis makes thrilling drama

adam Sweeting

Actor Oliver Chris, who plays William in Mike Bartlett’s ingeniously-crafted play about the monarchy, was doing some pre-transmission fire-fighting by going round telling interviewers he couldn’t see what anybody (eg the Daily Mail) could find to get upset about. Why would they?

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Babs review - Barbara Windsor's playful screen therapy

jasper Rees

Barbara Windsor’s laugh belongs in the National Sound Archive. It’s a birdlike chuckle that wavers between innocence and dirt. We all know Babs’s laugh. But what about her tears?

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Britain's Nuclear Bomb: The Inside Story review - 'power, politics and national identity'

adam Sweeting

In the midst of a general election campaign and with Euro-shrapnel flying around our ears, it’s an intriguing moment at which to revisit Britain’s history as a nuclear power. Although this film from BBC Science concentrated on the factual and technical aspects of building the British atomic and hydrogen bombs, the story was inescapably entwined with power, politics and national identity.

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Midnight Sun finale review - 'terminal silliness, wholesale slaughter'

Mark Sanderson

So here’s the thing: a heavily pregnant woman is hanging by her ankles above a raging torrent. Two teens, one with a broken arm, are stuck down a well. And 15 miners, deep below ground, take refuge from a fire in an emergency chamber, unaware it has been sabotaged by the serial killer among them, who then, using “a gadget”, proceeds to switch off the mine’s pumps so they will all slowly drown.

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