fri 07/10/2022

TV drama

This England, Sky Atlantic review - how Boris's No 10 got Covid wrong

From underneath the messy ash-white thatch of hair, a strange mooing suddenly issues: Sir Kenneth Branagh is wrestling with Boris Johnson’s odd way of saying the “oo” sound. It’s a brave attempt but ultimately a bit wayward, rather like the drama...

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Inside Man, BBC One review - strong cast trapped on a sinking ship

Screenwriter and showrunner Steven Moffat is renowned for some of his work, especially Sherlock, but other stuff not so much (I direct you towards Dracula or The Time Traveler’s Wife). When the history is written, Inside Man is liable to languish at...

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Crossfire, BBC One review - pacy and nail-biting, the holiday from hell

A sun-baked island resort; Keeley Hawes taking a leisurely dip in an infinity pool as we hear her in voiceover musing on how events happen unchosen, with you in them; then we are up in her room, where she is texting somebody. The sounds of gunshots...

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The Capture, Series 2 finale, BBC One review - gripping ride to a barnstorming conclusion

[Here be spoilers.] If you have been glued to the second season of The Capture, just ended, does it bother you that its content is borderline science fiction? Probably not. Writer Ben Chanan’s depiction of artificial intelligence may outstrip...

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The Capture, Series 2, BBC One review - caught up in the China syndrome

When the first series of The Capture arrived three years ago, theartsdesk liked it so much that we reviewed it three times. Writer-director Ben Chanan had successfully, and addictively, tapped into a secret dystopia of blanket digital surveillance...

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Van der Valk, Series 2 Finale, ITV review - sleaze, corruption and skulduggery in Amsterdam

Despite the jarring effect of having British actors speaking colloquial English while purporting to be Dutch policemen working in Amsterdam, the second series of ITV’s Van der Valk arrived at its third and final episode feeling as if it had reached...

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Marriage, BBC One review - a brilliantly executed drama series with a big heart

The gifted writer-director Stefan Golaszewski (Him and Her, Mum) has surpassed himself with his latest drama series, Marriage. Given hour-long episodes to play with, rather than the usual half-hour, he has created an unfeasibly rich four-parter out...

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Murder in Provence, ITV review - a little light sleuthing amid fabulous French scenery

Connoisseurs of the Britbox streaming service may already have caught up with this three-part series, which has evidently been pressed into service on ITV to pad out TV’s annual summer slump. They could have called it Midsomer Murders Goes to the...

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Trom, BBC Four review - there's something fishy in the North Atlantic

In the middle of a pavement-cracking, railway-melting heatwave, what could be more refreshing than a visit to the bleak but bracing landscapes of the Faroe Islands? This 18-island archipelago midway between Norway and Iceland is where BBC Four’s...

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The Undeclared War, Channel 4 review - how would the UK cope with a devastating cyber-attack?

As the world lurches ever deeper into multiple manifestations of chaos, writer-director Peter Kosminsky’s new drama about cyber-warfare taps into the prevailing climate of unease. Based around the top secret operations of GCHQ at Cheltenham, it...

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Suspect, Channel 4 review - a stylised remake of a Danish psychological drama

Suspect has a simple premise: a detective goes on a routine visit to a mortuary where an unidentified young woman has been taken after being found hanged. Suicide is the initial judgment: the cop, Danny Frater (James Nesbitt), grills the pathologist...

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Sherwood, BBC One review - a traumatic journey through a painful past

Renowned for an impressive body of work that includes This House, Quiz and Brexit: The Uncivil War, playwright and screenwriter James Graham has looked inwards and backwards for his new six-part series Sherwood.Set in a former mining community in...

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