Television

The SAS in the Western Desert, c.1942. John Tonkin second from right.

Why am I drawn to things that could kill me?

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Recently on holiday I did a very bad thing. I nearly left the Fawn to die on a precipitous mountain…

A portrait of group delusion: BBC1’s The Moorside reviewed

11 February 2017 9:00 am

With the Shannon Matthews story, it’s not easy to accentuate the positive — but BBC1’s The Moorside (Tuesday) is having…

Would Britain have become half so great without George III?

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Before he died aged 44 (probably of a pulmonary embolism, poor chap), Frederick, Prince of Wales, compiled a list of…

Apple Tree Yard (BBC1) didn't always observe the boundary between slow burn and just slow

28 January 2017 9:00 am

The mid-life crisis novel, I think it’s fair to say, is traditionally a male form. But in Louise Doughty’s Apple…

‘Real Housewives of Isis’ is dark and courageous – but the rest of Revolting is lamentable

21 January 2017 9:00 am

Revolting (Tuesdays) is the BBC2 comedy series that spawned the now-infamous sketch ‘Real Housewives of Isis’. It has been watched…

‘Blimey! How did they think of that?’ said no one about BBC2’s Our Dancing Town

14 January 2017 9:00 am

‘Blimey! How on earth did they think of that?’ is unlikely to be anyone’s response to Our Dancing Town (BBC2,…

BBC1’s Sherlock is peak Remain

7 January 2017 9:00 am

One of the few intelligent responses from the liberal-left to our radically altered political landscape was an essay published last…

Unprecedentedly odd: BBC1’s The Entire Universe reviewed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

As you’ve probably noticed, TV critics spend a lot of their time trying to identify which other programmes the one…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…