thu 26/05/2016

Mark Sanderson

Mark Sanderson

Mark Sanderson's picture

Articles by Mark Sanderson

Love, Nina, BBC One

It’s not hard to see what attracted Nick Hornby to Nina Stibbe’s surprise bestseller: Love, Nina (BBC1) is about two boys who are mad about football. Set in the halcyon days of 1982 – no internet, no...

Read more...

Billions, Sky Atlantic

The pre-title sequence – in which a middle-aged man without any trousers lies trussed up on the floor – immediately tells us that we are not to take Billions too seriously. A woman in thigh-high...

Read more...

Thicker than Water, Series Finale, More4

Any drama in which a crazed crone stares silently at an urn containing the ashes of her murdered husband is not afraid of raising Shakespeare’s ghost. It doesn’t matter that Gunnar was a philanderer...

Read more...

Arena: All the World's a Screen – Shakespeare on Film, BBC Four

In the last century, when the BBC took arts documentaries seriously, Arena was one of the highlights of the week. Nowadays its appearance is as rare as that of a Midwich cuckoo. Money, or...

Read more...

Blue Eyes, Episode 5, More4

Diversity has replaced perversity as a staple of modern drama. Whereas once upon a time an unenlightened viewer might cry – on seeing two men kiss – that they were going to leave the country before...

Read more...

The Tunnel: Sabotage, Sky Atlantic

The pampered bureaucrats who commission television drama have suffered from tunnel vision for years. Today a thriller series must feature at least four of the following: a family in peril; a...

Read more...

Trapped, Series Finale, BBC Four

A crime drama that began in a blazing fish factory was bound to have lots of red herrings. Trapped, however, did not cheat and eventually revealed not only who set the fire but who was the...

Read more...

Eurovision: You Decide, BBC Four

It was all a far cry from the Leeds Piano Competition. Shunted on to BBC Four after the disappearance of BBC Three to online, Eurovision: You Decide nevertheless remained true to its new channel...

Read more...

Endeavour, Series 3 Finale

We have been here before – literally. Morse and his colleagues discreetly observe a gangster’s funeral in Kensal Green cemetery – just as they did in Promised Land, one of the best episodes of...

Read more...

Last Tango in Halifax, BBC One

The title says it all: Bertolucci’s landmark (if boring) French film has its last word changed from Paris to Halifax – where butter is only used for glazing parsnips. The very idea of Derek Jacobi...

Read more...

Southland, Series Four, More4

Each episode of Southland – the best American cop show since The Shield – begins frenetically and never lets up – except for a freeze-frame in the first minute which the rest of the show spools back...

Read more...

The Hour, Series 2, BBC Two

The first rule of temptation is to yield to it slowly, says a sozzled roué surrounded by semi-clad lovelies, it’s much more fun that way… The Hour is back and, the silly conspiracy strand sewn up at...

Read more...

Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs, BBC Two

At boarding school in the mid-1970s Matron – a grey-haired, sharp-beaked stick of a woman who put the fear of God into us – would often remark: “Remember, boys, always be polite to the lower orders...

Read more...

Downton Abbey, Series 3, ITV1

Mid-September: the nights are drawing in and, to quote that well-known costume dramatist John Milton, the period detail is as “thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks in Vallombrosa”. Downton...

Read more...

The Scapegoat, ITV1

The small screen has always been as much a mirror as a window into other worlds. Even when the picture-box is switched off it reflects the viewer. If light is both particle and wave, glass is both...

Read more...

A Mother's Son, ITV1

We have been here before: The Killing wasn’t the first crime drama to open with a damsel in distress. This time it’s a schoolgirl who is being chased across the sand dunes at night. She has been...

Read more...

latest in today

Romeo and Juliet, Garrick Theatre

Branagh's la dolce vita is ravishing, but superficial

Money Monster

George Clooney and Julia Roberts star in enjoyable anti-Wall Street drama

theartsdesk in Warsaw: Moniuszko Vocal Competition 2016

Rising stars of opera shine at major Polish-based international event

Jeff Koons: Now, Newport Street Gallery

More is always more when evoking the American dream

A View from Islington North, Arts Theatre

Satirical swipes at politicians, plotters and prophets are only fitfully fu...

4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith

A musical dramatisation of Sarah Kane's classic play finds both pain a...

Running Wild, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Patchy Michael Morpurgo adaptation scores with its puppets

Cédric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall

A bold and vibrant programme of Hungarian modern masters

Rovers, Sky1

Lo-fi football sitcom starring Craig Cash and Sue Johnston has its heart in...

The Burning Hell, Oslo

Literate Canadians bond with the audience to inspire a sing-along