Television

Danny Dyer trying to keep a straight face in his latest bizarre TV outing. Photo: BBC / Wall to Wall Media

Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family might well be the oddest TV show of recent times

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Last year on Who Do You Think You Are?, Danny Dyer — EastEnders actor and very possibly Britain’s most cockney…

David Oyelowo as Javert in Andrew Davies's Les Misérables. Photo: BBC / Lookout Point / Laurence Cendrowicz

Les Misérables is another depressing example of the BBC’s woke quota targets

19 January 2019 9:00 am

As the Allies advanced towards Germany in September 1944, their supplies were brought all the way from western Normandy in…

Doors drummer John Densmore and Police percussionist Stewart Copeland. Photo: BBC / Somethin’ Else Sound Directions Ltd / Nico Wasserman

According to BBC4, what was one of the 'most important inventions in modern music'?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Here’s a tricky quiz question for you. What word completes this sentence from a BBC4 documentary on Friday: ‘The world…

Sheridan Smith and Alison Steadman in Jimmy McGovern's Care. Photo: BBC / LA Productions / Dan Prince

Could it be that Jimmy McGovern was getting into the festive spirit? No... Care reviewed

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Jimmy McGovern’s one-off drama Care (BBC1, Sunday 9 December) began with a loving grandmother called Mary having a lovely time…

Jessica Biel as Cora Tannetti. [Photo: BBC / Iron Ocean / Universal Cable Productions LLC]

The Sinner caters to the insatiable appetite teenage girls have for the sordid and sick

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Don’t watch The Sinner (originally on Netflix; now on BBC4) because, despite your better judgment, you’ll only get addicted after…

Keeping it in the family: Ruth Wilson playing her grandmother Alison in Mrs Wilson

Refreshingly understated: BBC1’s Mrs Wilson reviewed

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Shortly before her husband’s funeral, the undertaker told the eponymous main character in Mrs Wilson (BBC1, Tuesday) that, ‘We’re here…

Diego Luna as Felix Gallardo in Netflix's latest series of Narcos. Photo: Carlos Somonte / Netflix

No, Narcos, those who’ve had the odd puff and cheeky line aren’t to blame for the drug wars

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Narcos is back on Netflix, set in Mexico this time, with a cool, world-weary, manly voiceover swearily lecturing us at…

The whole narrative of Dynasties was too suspiciously shapely. Image: BBC NHU

How does David Attenborough know what the monkeys are thinking?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

The opening episode of BBC1’s Dynasties — the new Attenborough-fronted series from the Natural History Unit — introduced us to…

Making a Murderer 2's mesmerising dea ex machina Kathleen Zellner

Thanks to Making a Murderer, Wisconsin’s bovine incompetence has been exposed

10 November 2018 9:00 am

I wonder if Wisconsin has any idea what an international embarrassment it has become? By rights it ought to be…

Alexander Skarsgard as Becker in BBC1's The Little Drummer Girl

Lucky the director of Little Drummer Girl is an ‘auteur’ or you might call the first episode corny

3 November 2018 9:00 am

The Little Drummer Girl (BBC1, Sunday) is the new John le Carré adaptation from the production company that brought us…

Former Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and his wife Anisa with his children (l-r) Maher, Bashar, Bassel, Majd and Bushra. Photo: Louai Beshara/ AFP/ Getty Images

How did mild-mannered eye doctor Bashar al-Assad end up a mass murderer?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

‘How did this mild-mannered eye doctor end up killing hundreds of thousands of people?’ someone wondered about Bashar al-Assad in…

Kazuo Ishiguro winning the Booker Prize in 1989. Photo: Alex Lentati/ Associated Newspapers/ REX/ Shutterstock

An enjoyably gossipy whisk through half a century of fierce rivalries and bruised egos

20 October 2018 9:00 am

At the beginning of Barneys, Books and Bust Ups: 50 Years of the Booker Prize (BBC4), Kirsty Wark’s voiceover promised…

The new Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker is a delight – but the script isn't

13 October 2018 9:00 am

You won’t be aware of this because the BBC has been keeping it very quiet. But the new Doctor Who…

Impeccably – and intriguingly – unclear: BBC1’s The Cry reviewed

6 October 2018 9:00 am

It’s a radical thought I know, but I sometimes wonder what it would be like if a new TV thriller…

Forget the BBC – only Channel 5 does proper documentaries these days

29 September 2018 9:00 am

What a load of utter tripe Bodyguard (BBC1, Sundays) was. Admittedly, I came to it late having missed all the…

Easy rider: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Killing Eve

Camp, preposterous and weirdly good fun: Killing Eve reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

After the all-conquering success of Fleabag — her brilliant dark comedy about a smart but rudderless young woman in London…

It’s trash of course, but high-octane, watchable trash: John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Amazon Studios)

Gloriously macho: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan reviewed

15 September 2018 9:00 am

This week’s guilty pleasure is Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime). It’s trash, of course, but very well done, high-octane,…

Sharp practice: Olivia Cooke and Claudia Jessie in Vanity Fair

Bad news for fans of good TV drama – there’s three more corkers to keep up with

8 September 2018 9:00 am

This week was bad news for fans of good television drama series — mainly because there’s now three more of…

The rough, simple and cheerily thick lifeguards of Bondi Rescue. Image: Mojo Down Under

All the good non-fiction that was ever on TV was made by middle-aged men

1 September 2018 9:00 am

All the good non-fiction things that were ever on TV — from Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation to David Attenborough’s Planet Earth…

I had no idea how fascinating rubbish could be: The Secret Life of Landfill reviewed

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Not the most beguiling of titles, I admit, but The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History (BBC4, Thursday) was…

Holidays in Hell – Such A Pleasant Getaway from the BBC

18 August 2018 9:00 am

Apparently there’s a new ‘character’ on University Challenge. I wouldn’t know. Last year, I vowed never again to raise my…

Full of bog-standard, if annoyingly effective, emotional manipulation: The Foreign Doctors Are Coming reviewed

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Surprising I know, but judging from The Foreign Doctors Are Coming (Channel 4, Tuesday), Britain mightn’t be such a bad…

Did Ed Balls mean to make a documentary on the joys of Trump’s America?

4 August 2018 9:00 am

The thing I most regret having failed ever to ask brave, haunted, wise Sean O’Callaghan when I last saw him…

A proper old-fashioned stinker: ITV’s The Bletchley Circle – San Francisco reviewed

28 July 2018 9:00 am

After just one episode, The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco (ITV, Wednesday) seems certain to stand out from the crowd. In…

Channel 4 doesn’t do ‘news’ in any meaningful sense of the word – it’s pure propaganda

21 July 2018 9:00 am

When President Trump refused to take a question from a CNN reporter at the Chequers press conference last week, I…