tue 22/05/2018

BBC Two

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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Collateral, series finale, BBC Two - Carey Mulligan hares to the finish

In a revelatory interview for the Royal Court’s playwright’s podcast series, David Hare admits to a thin skin. In his adversarial worldview, to take issue with him is – his word – to denounce him. He’s quite a denouncer himself, of course. In...

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Civilisations, BBC Two review - no shocks from Schama

Lord Clark –  “of Civilisation”, as he was nicknamed, not necessarily affectionately – presented the 13 episodes of the eponymous series commissioned by David Attenborough for BBC Two in 1969; it was subtitled “A Personal View”, and encompassed...

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Mum, BBC Two, series 2 review - Lesley Manville is a discreet delight

This week brings a tale of two comedies. Both half-hour sitcoms are about widowed mothers with grown-up sons still at home. Each woman has an unattached admirer. Both shows star fine comic actresses who learned much of their craft in the films of...

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Collateral, BBC Two review - a lecture or a drama?

It says something about the state of television that sooner or later every actor has to play a cop or a spy. Latest in line is Carey Mulligan, starring as DI Kip Glaspie in David Hare’s new four-parter Collateral.This is, on the face of it, a...

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