Television

Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby

Even the sternest Leavisite critic would find it hard to resist BBC2's Peaky Blinders

7 May 2016 9:00 am

The big returning show of the week began with servants laying out the silverware at a large country house in…

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in ‘Games of Thrones’

It’s time Cersei destroyed the Corbyn-like High Sparrow: Game of Thrones, season six, reviewed

30 April 2016 9:00 am

So: Game of Thrones. Finally — season six — the TV series has overtaken the books on which it is…

Inside the Portland Hospital

Downton Abbey with epidurals: BBC2's Five Star Babies reviewed

23 April 2016 9:00 am

Five Star Babies: Inside the Portland Hospital won’t, I suspect, have been a hard sell to BBC2’s commissioning editors. Childbirth…

What British Muslims Really Think with Trevor Phillips

Trevor Phillips's documentary on Muslims was shocking - but not surprising

16 April 2016 9:00 am

‘Our findings will shock many people,’ promised Trevor Phillips at the beginning of What British Muslims Really Think (Channel 4,…

Bob Geldof enjoys WB Yeats (Photo: BBC/Fergal O'Reilly)

BBC4’s Bob Geldof on WB Yeats was one of the best literary documentaries I’ve seen

9 April 2016 9:00 am

In recent years there’s been a fashion for arts documentaries presented by celebs rather than boring old experts — presumably…

Love at first sight on Channel 4's First Dates

First Dates is perfectly formed TV

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Now the kids are back for the school holidays, I have a licence to watch complete trash again. No more…

tv

Line of Duty thinks – rightly – that there’s drama in the subsections of police acts

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Which is better, British TV drama or American? A couple of years ago, merely asking the question would have had…

Follow the Money

How does anyone keep up with all the good stuff out there on TV?

19 March 2016 9:00 am

‘We have a problem. Yes. At the wind farm.’ Any conspiracy thriller with lines like that has definitely got my…

The usual suspects: ‘Doctor Thorne’ brings us a reliable selection of frock-coated and corsetted British thesps

Doctor Thorne is pleasantly undemanding viewing

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Every now and then, a costume drama comes along that’s so daringly unconventional as to make us re-examine our whole…

Trapped, BBC4

Scandi noir reduces you to an exquisitely suicidal state

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Some things I have learned about Iceland after watching six episodes of Trapped (BBC4, Saturdays). 1. They seem to feel…

Tom Hiddlestone is The Night Manager

BBC1’s The Night Manager verges on parody

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The Night Manager (BBC1, Sunday) announced its intentions immediately, when the opening credits lovingly combined weapons and luxury items. ‘Blimey,’…

Vinyl, Sky Atlantic

Verging on the corny: Martin Scorsese’s Vinyl reviewed

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Vinyl (Sky Atlantic) — the much-anticipated series, co-produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, about the 1970s New York record…

Psycho-in-chief: James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce in ‘Happy Valley’

Murder, rape, sheep abuse: you won't feel short-changed by BBC1's Happy Valley

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Judging from its website, Hebden Bridge’s tourist office considers the fact that BBC1’s Happy Valley is filmed in the town…

Back in Time for the Weekend, BBC2

Back in Time for the Weekend gives the 1950s its usual kicking

6 February 2016 9:00 am

When the time comes to make programmes looking back on the 2010s, I wonder which aspects of life today will…

Prime suspect: Steven Avery, whose case is the subject of the Netflix documentary ‘Making a Murderer’

Netflix's Making a Murderer is fascinating - but is it true?

30 January 2016 9:00 am

On the face of it, the Netflix documentary serial Making a Murderer should only take up ten hours of your…

Deutschland 83: Series 1 Episode 3

The integrity and chain-smoking of these East German Commies is rather attractive

23 January 2016 9:00 am

No one remembers this now but there really was a period, not so long ago, when the Eighties were universally…

Derren Brown's Pushed to the Edge

A morally dubious mix of Candid Camera and Fawlty Towers: Pushed to the Edge reviewed

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Never a man tortured by self-doubt, Derren Brown introduced his latest special Pushed to the Edge (Channel 4, Tuesday) as…

The edible woman: Lily James as Natasha Rostova in ‘War and Peace’

War & Peace is actually just an upmarket Downton Abbey

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Gosh what a breath of fresh air was Andrew Davies’s War & Peace adaptation (BBC1, Sundays) after all the stale…

Stanley Tucci as Captain Hook with the crew of the Jolly Roger

Dreams don’t have to make sense - but TV dramas do: Peter & Wendy reviewed

2 January 2016 9:00 am

On the face of it, ITV’s Peter & Wendy sounded like a perfect family offering for Boxing Day: an adaptation…

We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story

Twenty things I will ban when I am elected your Dictator For Life in 2016

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The two things I hate most about Christmas are a) Advertland showing me how sparkly and joyous my home and…

What a performance! Frank Skinner as Champagne Charlie

Victorian music-hall comedy wasn’t funny. Why pretend it was?

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Let’s start this week with a joke: ‘You know Mrs Kelly? Do you know Mrs Kelly? Her husband’s that little…

TV

I’m a Celebrity is like The Simpsons: good if you’re thick; even better if you’re not

28 November 2015 9:00 am

The best bit in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV) will be when the prisoners finally revolt…

Orion: The Man Who Would be King

Is television at its best when it mimics radio?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Not that long ago the BBC trumpeted a new Stakhanovite project to big up the arts in its many and…

The spying game: Ben Whishaw as Danny in ‘London Spy’

James Delingpole cringes at London Spy’s gay sex scenes

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The main problem with being a TV critic, I’ve noticed over the years, is that you have to watch so…

Dominic Sandbrook's 'Let us entertain you'

Why most four-year-olds deserve to be sectioned

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The first episode of Let Us Entertain You (BBC2, Wednesday) definitely couldn’t be accused of lacking a central thesis. Presenter…