Television

Sky Atlantic’s Riviera is fine if all you want is the TV equivalent of a computer screensaver

24 June 2017 9:00 am

‘Riviera is the new Night Manager,’ I read somewhere. No, it’s not. Riviera (Sky Atlantic, Thursday) is the new Eldorado…

A pile of old tosh – but undeniably fun: Poldark reviewed

17 June 2017 9:00 am

At one uncharacteristically low-key point in Sunday’s Poldark — back for a third series on BBC1 — Ross (Aidan Turner)…

Hippies gave us wonderful things, but they left an evil legacy too

10 June 2017 9:00 am

There’s an incredibly addictive old iPhone game called Doodle God where you effectively invent civilisation from scratch by combining basic…

The Handmaid’s Tale is a liberal fantasy of the right

3 June 2017 9:00 am

On the face of it, the two new big drama series of the week don’t have a great deal in…

In rock 'n' roll you need an accountant more than talent

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Birds have been giving me a lot of grief of late. There’s Tappy — the blue tit who has built…

BBC1’s Three Girls is a harrowing, believable & brave account of the child-grooming scandal

20 May 2017 9:00 am

I’ve often thought that a good idea for an authentic TV cop show would be to portray the police as…

The bemused protagonist with a stupid name: Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon in American Gods

This isn’t drama as most of us understand it: American Gods reviewed

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Since completing season two of the brilliant Narcos, I’ve been unsuccessfully looking for a replacement serial drama that is more…

1932. Right, John Cockcroft adjusts a pump at the Cavendish Laboratory's atom splitter. Left, Ernest Walton sits working in the detector of a Cockcroft-Walton generator.

Britain’s Nuclear Bomb: The Inside Story was as good as its word – I wish it was longer

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Like most documentaries, Britain’s Nuclear Bomb: The Inside Story (BBC4, Wednesday) began by boasting about all the exclusives it would…

However much you may loathe the fakery of reality TV, you cannot but admire the editing

29 April 2017 9:00 am

The other day I had a very dispiriting conversation with a TV industry insider. It turns out that everything you…

Please don’t let the dark secret in C4’s latest thriller be child abuse again

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Psychological thrillers — or ‘thrillers’ as they used to be known — have become almost as ubiquitous on television as…

Self-flagellatory pornography designed for white liberal pillocks: Guerrilla reviewed

15 April 2017 9:00 am

‘What we really need is a faux-historical drama series about police brutality and black activism set in 1970s London,’ said…

The Trip is unmissable TV – shame so many of us will miss it now it’s on Sky Atlantic

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Sky Atlantic — available only to Sky customers — has the cunning/infuriating policy of broadcasting the kind of programmes most…

Vincent Franklin (Mr Prendergast), Jack Whitehall (Paul Pennyfeather) and Douglas Hodge (Captain Grimes) in ‘Decline and Fall’

Jack Whitehall does Waugh proud: BBC1's Decline and Fall reviewed

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Jack Whitehall could have been perfectly awful as Paul Pennyfeather in Decline and Fall (BBC1, Fridays). He has spent most…

Adam Driver as Adam Sackler, the most unsparingly but sensitively drawn modern male to grace the small screen this decade

The real joy of Lena Dunham's Girls is the boys

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Say what you like about Girls creator Lena Dunham, says Jonathan McAloon. She can write men

Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope 'wearing the kind of hat not seen since the glory days of All Creatures Great and Small'

DCI Vera Stanhope may well be the most implausible cop on TV

25 March 2017 9:00 am

As we know from all those newspaper articles and actress interviews, there’s a scandalous lack of high-profile British TV dramas…

What would we do without nutcases like Steve Backshall

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Down the Mighty River with Steve Backshall (BBC2) was perfect Sunday-night TV — one of the most enjoyable adventure travelogues…

Fans of investigative journalism should avoid Channel 4’s How’d You Get So Rich?

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Fans of tough investigative journalism should probably avoid Channel 4’s How’d You Get So Rich? Presenter Katherine Ryan’s main tactic…

How refreshing to find the BBC doing its job instead of handwringing about Islamophobia

4 March 2017 9:00 am

Here’s the bad news. One day you or someone like you will be shopping in a mall or enjoying a…

‘SS-GB’ takes the commitment to the crepuscular a lot further than most

A drama set in Nazi-occupied Britain really shouldn’t be this dull: BBC1’s SS-GB reviewed

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Rival law-enforcement agencies arguing about which of them should investigate a murder has, of course, been a staple of crime…

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,…