sun 21/10/2018

BBC Two

Reporting Trump's First Year: the Fourth Estate, BBC Two review - all hands on deck at the Gray Lady

The cataclysm of Donald Trump’s election was like a second 9/11 for the East Coast elite (and not just them, obviously). It was a world turned upside down, the centre couldn’t hold, and, worst of all, why did nobody see it coming?Nowhere was it felt...

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Natural World: The Super Squirrels, BBC Two review - silliness and facts

Squirrels are a breed as diverse as they are ubiquitous: they inhabit environments as extreme as desert and tundra, and all the lush greenery, rainforest and urban jungle imaginable between. So bless the producers of The Super Squirrels who...

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King Lear, BBC Two review - modernised TV adaptation is a mixed blessing

Some have contended that King Lear is unstageable, and perhaps it’s unfilmable too. Richard Eyre‘s new version for the BBC sets Shakespeare’s most remorselessly bleak tragedy in a pseudo-modern Britain where historic stately homes co-exist with...

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Manchester: The Night of the Bomb, BBC Two review - devastating account of the lottery of terror

“I thought she maybe had superpowers to go that high.” Emilia Senior, 12, watched her sister Eve, 15, thrown into the air by the force of the explosion. When Eve came to earth her own perception had tilted on its axis: “I saw my legs on fire,” she...

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The Bridge, BBC Two, series 4 review - Scandi saga is darker than ever

In the 1990s, which brought us Morse, Fitz and Jane Tennison, an idea took root that all television detectives must be mavericks. They needed to be moody, dysfunctional, addictive, a bit of an unsolved riddle. These British sleuths were all...

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Syria: The World's War, BBC Two review - anatomy of a conflict, brilliantly told

This was not a film that left you with much respect for the wisdom of politicians, but perhaps its truest line came from John Kerry, when he called the ongoing – seven years, and counting – Syrian conflict “an insult to the humanity of this planet...

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The City and the City, BBC Two review - detection in four dimensions

It’s difficult to grasp in your imagination, never mind filming it and putting it on TV. In China Miéville’s source novel, dramatised here by Tony Grisoni, the twin cities of Besźel and Ul Quoma exist side by side, and in some areas even overlap....

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Civilisations: First Contact, BBC Two review - David Olusoga goes for gold

After the suave theatrical persuasions of Simon Schama and the earnest professorial shtick of Mary Beard, in episode six of Civilisations (BBC Two) it was the turn of David Olusoga, the third of the documentary's triumvirate of presenters. He began...

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Mum, BBC Two, series 2 finale review - the perfect way to go

Should Mum end here? There have been only two series on BBC Two, and it closed the second with all the characters poised for the next step. A third series has been commissioned, so there will be the opportunity to see what happens next for Cathy and...

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Big Cats About the House, BBC Two review - irresistible feline-human bonding

There is a jaguar in the house. Aged five days, and having been rejected by her mother, Maya has arrived from the wildlife park where she was born for hand-rearing by Giles Clark at his home in Kent. The cub is going to spend her early days with his...

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Being Blacker, BBC Two review - absorbing film about family, culture and society

They don’t commission many television documentaries like Being Blacker (BBC Two) any more. That is not unconnected to the fact that Molly Dineen downed her camera a decade ago. Dineen began filming in another age, before the arrival of kiss-me-quick...

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Civilisations, episode 2, BBC Two review - Mary Beard on the cultural offensive

The sheer ambition of the BBC’s new Civilisations is becoming apparent. This second episode, with Mary Beard grasping the presenter baton from Simon Schama, was subtitled “How Do We Look?” and themed around representation of the human image. It...

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