sat 23/02/2019

BBC Four

Safe Harbour, Series Finale, BBC Four review - too much message, not enough drama

Picture this. You’re sailing in the Timor Sea with family and friends on your luxurious yacht, hoiking the occasional plump fish out of the ocean to provide a ready meal washed down with Aussie plonk, when you suddenly chance across a decrepit,...

Read more...

Don McCullin: Looking for England, BBC Four review - a hard look at home

A picture is worth more than a thousand words, never more so than with the photographs of Don McCullin. The octogenarian photographer’s black-and-white imagery made the Sunday Times colour supplement the talk of international media in the 1970s....

Read more...

Black Lake, Series 2 Finale, BBC Four review - Swedish chiller fails to thrill

A bunch of young-ish people stuck in a rambling house in the middle of nowhere, a hatchet-faced senior citizen guarding a hoard of murky secrets, assorted missing persons, a derelict sanatorium, lots of creepy noises and no telephones… hang on, isn’...

Read more...

The Dead Room, BBC Four review - ghosts at the microphone

Fired by the spirit of the MR James ghost stories which used to be a Christmas staple on the BBC, Mark Gatiss conceived this amusing bonne bouche as both a seasonal chiller and a nod to the ghost of broadcasting past. In passing, he also managed to...

Read more...

The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four review - genius of song and dance

The movie musical: money making or true art – or both? This was a programme to sing along to, in the company of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. In this second instalment of Neil Brand’s brilliant three-part history, he...

Read more...

Barbra Streisand: Becoming an Icon 1942-1984, BBC Four review - the way she was

Perhaps belatedly prompted by the release of Barbra Streisand’s new album Walls, the worst-selling disc in her 55 years with Columbia Records, this documentary was an uncritical celebration of Babs’s brilliant career from her first stage appearances...

Read more...

Our Classical Century, BBC Four review - enthusiasm and delight

Jerusalem! This fact-studded story of 20th century British music told us that the nation's unofficial national anthem, Hubert Parry’s setting of William Blake’s poem, originated in 1916 as a commission from the “Fight for Right” movement. Officials...

Read more...

WW1: The Last Tommies, BBC Four review - Great War stories

“Why should I go out and kill somebody I never knew? There was no reason at all in it in my way of thinking.” Britain’s very last Tommy was Harry Patch, born in 1898, conscripted in 1916 and still alive on his 111th birthday in 2009. He was one of...

Read more...

Barneys, Books and Bust Ups, BBC Four review - the Booker Prize at 50

You had to keep your eyes skinned. Was that Iris Murdoch or AS Byatt, Kingsley Amis or John Banville, Margaret Atwood or Val McDermid – maybe, even, Joanna Lumley? Tables as far as the eye can see, dressed with white tablecloths and crowded with...

Read more...

Classic Albums: Amy Winehouse - Back to Black, BBC Four review - suffering turned into song

Formats are second nature to TV: the BBC and Eagle Rock’s Classic Albums will run and run. Like all formats, there’s always the risk that the medium becomes the message, and content suffers under the weight of form. But Classic Albums at least...

Read more...

Murder in Soho: Who Killed Freddie Mills?, BBC Four review - cold case solved?

They don’t make boxers like Freddie Mills any more. A granite lump of grinning charisma, he had a brow and jawline straight from a kids’ cartoon and, despite his humble origins and thuggish contours, a charmingly well-to-do voice. Mills was light...

Read more...

Hidden, Series Finale, BBC Four review - a whydunnit, not a whodunnit

Some contend that this Snowdonia-set mystery was a Scandi hommage too far, a mere recycler of gloom-shrouded riffs familiar from the likes of The Bridge or The Killing. Well yes, there was that element to it, but if you stuck with it it grew into...

Read more...
Subscribe to BBC Four