tue 07/07/2020

TV drama

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Sky Atlantic review - the good, the bad and the unspeakable

American history of the 1930s and ‘40s suddenly seems to be all the rage on TV, cropping up in the reborn Perry Mason, Das Boot and now this new incarnation of Penny Dreadful (Sky Atlantic). The original was a blowsy Gothic mash-up of Dracula,...

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Das Boot, Series 2 Finale, Sky Atlantic review - deeper and darker

The second series of Das Boot (Sky Atlantic) began strongly, and by the time we reached this last pair of episodes it was almost too agonising to watch. You could argue that it sometimes overreached by stretching the scope of the narrative to...

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Roswell, New Mexico, ITV2 review - they've landed!

It fell out of the sky in the summer of 1947, and crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. UFO-logists and conspiracy fanatics insist it was an alien spacecraft, but the US Air Force says it was a meteorological balloon.For the purposes of this...

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Perry Mason, Sky Atlantic review - low life and hard times in Depression-era LA

Rather like David Suchet’s Poirot, the world will always think of Raymond Burr as the doughty defence lawyer Perry Mason, whom he played in nine TV series and 26 TV movies between 1957 and 1993. But Burr’s Mason existed before the age of the prequel...

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The Woods, Netflix review - missing-person mystery reveals a heart of darkness

After the success of the sci-fi crime drama 1983 (2018), another Polish original series has landed at Netflix. The Woods, directed by Leszek Dawid and Bartosz Konopka, is a six-part mystery thriller adapted from Harlan Coben’s novel, set in two main...

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The Salisbury Poisonings, BBC One review - the Cold War comes to Wiltshire

The poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal with the nerve agent novichok in 2018 was one of the more bizarre episodes in recent memory, a kind of delayed-action echo of the Cold War. Sergei, a former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as...

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Das Boot, Series 2, Sky Atlantic review - multi-layered war drama goes from strength to strength

Das Boot made an impressive debut early last year with its entwined narratives of war by land and sea. This second instalment (Sky Atlantic) looks set to be better still, exploring the strata of life under Nazi occupation in the German-run port of...

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Little Fires Everywhere, Amazon Prime review - in every dream home a heartache

Reese Witherspoon has evolved into a growth industry on the new frontier of Big Television. Her production company Hello Sunshine has a heap of projects on the go with a range of networks, and following her success with Big Little Lies (for HBO),...

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Unprecedented, BBC Four review - perspectives on the pandemic

This short series of new dramas (on BBC Four) by a group of leading playwrights was commissioned by Headlong and Century Films, a week before the virus lockdown was announced on 23 March, and represents an artistic first response to a situation...

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Blood, Series 2, Channel 5 review - expertly-crafted thriller turns the screw

Veterans of the first series of Blood will be familiar with writer Sophie Petzal’s fondness for leading the viewer up the garden path and round the mulberry bush as the story develops. Get ready to go through it all again.The setting is the rural...

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Westworld, Season 3, Sky Atlantic review – a cyberpunk triumph

In the time since the show’s inception four years ago, arguments have raged as to whether Westworld is a dud or a cult classic. For every dedicated fan, there’s someone out there crying, "The Matrix did it first!" and complaining that the plot didn’...

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Gangs of London, Sky Atlantic review - bloody terrifying

You might consider equipping yourself with a shotgun and kevlar body armour before you start watching Gangs of London (Sky Atlantic), because this is a bruising, hair-raising ride. Created by Gareth Evans and Matt Flannery, it began with the...

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