sun 22/04/2018

BBC Four

Law and Order, BBC Four review - not a fair cop

In the late 1970s the British establishment sustained a bloody nose. Roland Huntford published his debunking of Captain Scott and Anthony Blunt was outed as the Fourth Man, while the Old Etonian Liberal party leader Jeremy Thorpe was tried for...

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Boy George and Culture Club: From Karma to Calamity, BBC Four

The title signalled what was coming so clearly, it may as well have been called When Bands End Badly: the two camps, the arguments and sniping and the eventual collapse of Culture Club’s US and UK tour to promote an album of new material. It’s...

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Below the Surface, Series Finale, BBC Four review - tense and twisty to the bitter end

In the previous couple of episodes, some light began to seep into the subterranean gloom of the Copenhagen kidnappers, or at any rate onto their identities and motivations. The military theme with which Below the Surface opened, with Philip Norgaard...

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Below the Surface, BBC Four review - terror in Copenhagen

Read Adam Sweeting's review of the Below the Surface Finale After recent experiences with the likes of McMafia, Troy and Collateral, mysteriously moribund affairs apparently designed by a committee of box-ticking zombies, many a viewer will turn...

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Spiral, Series 6 Finale, BBC Four review - hot fuzz hit new heights

Happily, there’s hope for Spiral junkies – as series six ends, we bring you news that series seven has just gone into production. This is just as well, because these last dozen episodes have been an object lesson in how to make TV drama for the mind...

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Hits, Hype and Hustle: An Insider's Guide to the Music Business, BBC Four review - how gigs got big

The “insider’s guide to the music business” tag attached to Hits, Hype and Hustle: An Insider's Guide to the Music Business (BBC Four) dangles the carrot of all kinds of clandestine scams being exposed, such as extortionate recording contracts,...

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Spiral, Series 6, BBC Four review - grime pays in the City of Light

We’ve seen some “interesting” series filling BBC Four’s celebrated Saturday evening slot recently, which if nothing else have prompted plenty of below-the-line discussion. Happily, we can now turn our backs on all that and hail the return of the ace...

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Eric, Ernie and Me, BBC Four review - he brought them sunshine

To misquote Marx (Karl, not Groucho), comedy repeats itself, the first time as farce, the second time as a tragedy. The early days of broadcasting bred comedians whose work lives on in the nation’s marrow. But being Frankie Howerd or Kenneth...

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Witnesses: A Frozen Death finale, BBC Four review - weirdo childbirth cult hits the buffers

It’s remarkable how pervasive the Scandi-noir formula has become, with its penchant for weird and perverted killers, labyrinthine plotting and intriguingly flawed protagonists. The French-made Witnesses: A Frozen Death was another fragment chipped...

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The Farthest: Voyager's Interstellar Journey, BBC Four review - awe-inspiring and life-affirming space odyssey

Long before Barack Obama spoke about the audacity of hope, the Voyager mission left the Earth driven by something else: the audacity of curiosity. What do the outer planets look like? What are they comprised of? And what’s beyond that?Storyville:...

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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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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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