Television

The Walking Dead (Photo: AMC)

Why Christmas TV, all Christmas TV, makes me feel suicidal

10 December 2016 9:00 am

When I was a child in the 1970s, the two big excitements of the run-up to Christmas were first the…

The Missing

Would BBC1’s The Missing blow it in the concluding episode – like so many thrillers before it

3 December 2016 9:00 am

BBC1’s The Missing has been one of the undoubted TV highlights of 2016. Yet, even thrillers as overwhelmingly thrilling as…

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I was so looking forward to The Grand Tour but it’s not there yet

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Apart from the next Game of Thrones, there’s nothing I’ve been looking forward to quite as much as The Grand…

Priceless sheet of the Penny Black (Photo: Getty)

Stanley Gibbons – the womanising stamp-collector

19 November 2016 9:00 am

If I tell you that on Monday there was an hour-long documentary about the history of stamp-collecting, then you probably…

Clare Foy as Queen Elizabeth

Netflix’s The Crown is so good I’m considering giving up on terrestrial TV altogether

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Nairobi. February 1952. Laughing children brandishing sticks are driving an indignant bustle of ostriches up a rudimentary 1950s-Africa semi-bush runway…

Humans Series 2

Is Channel 4’s Humans in danger of losing its heart?

5 November 2016 9:00 am

In 2015, the first series of Humans (Sunday) was apparently Channel 4’s most watched home grown drama since The Camomile…

Hypernormalisation

Gloriously compulsive and maddening: Adam Curtis’s HyperNormalisation reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Adam Curtis believed that 200,000 Guardian readers watching BBC2 could change the world. But this was a fantasy. In fact,…

Max Irons as Carter in Tutankhamun

Distinctly corny: ITV's Tutankhamun reviewed

22 October 2016 9:00 am

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb may well be one of the 20th century’s great stories — but naturally that doesn’t…

Ed Harris as the sadistic baddie, the Man in Black, in Sky Atlantic’s ‘Westworld’

Lushly pleasing and full of existential complexity: Sky Atlantic’s Westworld reviewed

15 October 2016 9:00 am

The other day James Lovelock, the sprightly 97-year-old inventor of Gaia theory, told a mildly surprised Guardian interviewer that he…

Halldóra and Sally Phillips in BBC2's A World Without Down's Syndrome? (Photo: BBC/Dragonfly)

Why do doctors think Down’s children are a disaster to be avoided at all costs?

8 October 2016 9:00 am

At my wife’s first 12-week scan, I was expecting — and duly got — that much-documented sense of thrilled wonder…

Elle (Eleven) in Stangers Things

Nostalgic, compulsive, edge-of-seat entertainment: Netflix’s Stranger Things reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Stranger Things is the most delightful, gripping, charming, nostalgic, compulsive, edge-of-seat entertainment I’ve had in ages. Like a lot of…

National Treasure: Robbie Coltrane (Photo: Getty)

Clearly intended as an Important Piece of TV – but is it?: C4’s National Treasure reviewed

24 September 2016 9:00 am

The closing credits of National Treasure (Channel 4, Tuesday) contain the usual disclaimer that any resemblance between its characters and…

Jenna Coleman as Victoria

ITV's Victoria is silly, facile and irresponsible – I blame the feminisation of culture

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Did you know that Queen Victoria might never have married Prince Albert had it not been for an amazing stroke…

Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman

BBC2’s heroic attempt to poke an unwanted nose into the world of British Vogue

10 September 2016 9:00 am

With documentary-makers these days, it can be hard to tell the difference between faux-naivety and the real thing. (Personally, I…

Lizzie Roper as Else and Simon Day as Alf Garnett in ‘Till Death Us Do Part’

Watching old, unPC sitcoms should be part of the national curriculum

3 September 2016 9:00 am

I think I might be turning into Alf Garnett. When I was growing up I saw him as an obnoxious,…

11553028-low_res-the-great-british-bake-off-2016

A few things you didn't know about the Great British Bake Off – such as how it's all faked

27 August 2016 9:00 am

You know when late summer has arrived because conkers are starting to form on the horse chestnuts, your eagerness to…

Diving - Olympics: Day 7

Why isn’t arse quality included in the judging for the diving? The Rio Olympics reviewed

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Stuff I have learnt after two solid weeks watching the Olympics on TV. 1. Tennis and golf shouldn’t be Olympic…

The 80s with Dominic Sandbrook

The true queen of the Eighties wasn't Thatcher – it was Delia, according to the Beeb

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Proof that someone has really made it as a TV historian comes, I would suggest, when they join the likes…

Eden

Why Channel 4’s new reality TV series, Eden, should actually be called Die, Hippies! Die!

6 August 2016 9:00 am

The unacknowledged subtitle of Channel 4’s new reality series Eden (Mondays) is Die, Hippies! Die! Obviously they’re not going to…

Carol White as Cathy and Ray Brooks as Reg star in Cathy Come Home by Jeremy Sandford 'The Wednesday Play', 1966

Was 1966 really as grim as this BBC4 documentary suggests?

30 July 2016 9:00 am

In the song ‘All the Young Dudes’, David Bowie gamely tried to reassure the youth of the Seventies that, despite…

Ross Kemp: The Fight Against ISIS (Photo: Dave Williams / Sound Ltd)

In Ross Kemp the Kurds have found their Byron: Sky 1’s The Fight Against Isis reviewed

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Before I set about reviewing Ross Kemp: The Fight Against Isis (Sky 1), I thought I’d have a glance to…

Child genius, Mog

Prodigies and pushy parents: Child Genius reviewed

16 July 2016 9:00 am

On Tuesday night on Channel 4, a stern male figure peered over his glasses (as equipped with one of those…

Professor Brian Cox, Forces of Nature (Photo: Getty)

The content was clearly a secondary consideration: Brian Cox’s Forces of Nature reviewed

9 July 2016 9:00 am

Pop idol turned top boffin Brian Cox doesn’t shy away from the big issues. With programmes such as Wonders of…

Colin Morgan as dashing Nathan Appleby

Poldark meets The Exorcist: BBC1’s The Living and the Dead reviewed

2 July 2016 9:00 am

It’s sadly possible to imagine that The Living and the Dead was sold to BBC1’s commissioning editors as ‘Poldark meets…

Anthropomorphism taken too far in Storyville’s ‘Unlocking the Cage’

The nutcase animal-rights lawyer who wants chimps granted the legal status of humans

25 June 2016 9:00 am

He may claim to only want these rights for sentient creatures, but remember how the EU was supposed just to be a trading bloc...