Television

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…

The lost girls: Irma Leopold (Samara Weaving), Miranda Reid (Lily Sullivan) and Marion Quade (Madeleine Madden) in Picnic at Hanging Rock

Po-faced but worth sticking with: Picnic at Hanging Rock reviewed

14 July 2018 9:00 am

According to the opening captions in Picnic at Hanging Rock (BBC2, Wednesday), ‘the infamous events’ it depicts ‘began whena mysterious…

The great thing about the World Cup is you don’t even have to watch it to enjoy it

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Even though I don’t watch much football I love the World Cup because it’s my passport to total freedom. I…

Fury and excitement – how the journalists at the New York Times have coped with Trump

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Back when his country was controlled by the USSR, the Czech writer Milan Kundera pointed out that ‘Union of Soviet…

Eagles of Death Metal performing at the Bataclan theatre in 2015 a few moments before the attack by Islamic terrorists. Photo: AFP / Marion Ruszniewski / Getty Images

More gripping than any scripted thriller: November 13 – Attack on Paris reviewed

23 June 2018 9:00 am

There were 1,500 punters in the audience when Eagles of Death Metal played their fatal gig at the Bataclan theatre…

Exhilaratingly original, C4’s Flowers is much more than just a ‘dark comedy’

16 June 2018 9:00 am

On Wednesday, BBC Four made an unexpectedly strong case that the human body is a bit rubbish. Our ill-designed spines,…

Why is this Israeli drama such a hit with Palestinians? Because it tells the truth

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘The rule in our household is: if a TV series hasn’t got subtitles, it’s not worth watching,’ a friend told…

The terrific cast of BBC2's King Lear (BBC/Playground Entertainment/Ed Miller)

Understated and heartbreaking: BBC2’s King Lear reviewed

2 June 2018 9:00 am

I recently came across a theory of the American poet Delmore Schwartz’s that Hamlet only makes sense if you assume…

Magisterial: BBC1’s A Very English Scandal reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little, so you can imagine how sickened I was by the magisterial…

Living the high life: Benedict Cumberbatch as Patrick Melrose

Sky Atlantic’s Patrick Melrose adaptation is triumphant

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Warning: if you haven’t seen it yet, the first episode of the much-anticipated Patrick Melrose (Sky Atlantic, Sunday) contains scenes…

Which now unbearable TV show has been ruined for ever by political correctness?

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Twenty years after it first appeared, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is back for a brief, week-long anniversary run…

From now on you can assume that every TV-drama cast is female-led

5 May 2018 9:00 am

From time to time, a TV show comes along which is so thrillingly original, so wildly imaginative, that you can’t…

Law & Order, made – and banned – in 1978, puts most recent crime series in the shade

5 May 2018 9:00 am

It’s not every day that a television screenwriter is threatened with a trial for sedition, but G.F. Newman was after…

What’s the point of Philomena Cunk?

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Because I’m a miserable old reactionary determined to see a sinister Guardianista plot in every BBC programme I watch, I…

Jaw-dropping: My Year with the Tribe reviewed

21 April 2018 9:00 am

For a while now, the Korowai people of Western Papua have been the go-to primitive tribe for documentary-makers. The Korowai…

Wild Wild Country makes me want to set up my own cult

14 April 2018 9:00 am

I have decided to set up a cult, which you are all welcome to join, especially those of you who…

Portentous, po-faced but also highly imaginative: The City & The City reviewed

7 April 2018 9:00 am

BBC2 has a new drama series for Friday nights. The main character is a world-weary middle-aged police inspector with an…

The genius of This Country

31 March 2018 9:00 am

Sometimes — really not often but sometimes — a programme that’s good and honest and true slips under the wire…

Shamelessly undemanding: ITV’s The Durrells reviewed

24 March 2018 9:00 am

For as long as I can remember, Sunday nights have been the home of the kind of TV drama cunningly…

Babylon Berlin is so brilliant I'd advise you not to start watching it

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Babylon Berlin (Sky Atlantic), the epic German-made Euro noir detective drama set during Weimar, is so addictively brilliant that I’d…

Intriguing but also baffling: The Assassination of Gianni Versace reviewed

10 March 2018 9:00 am

By common consent, including Bafta’s, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was one of the best TV dramas…

I didn’t realise Petra was an ad for Merkel’s immigration policy: Civilisations reviewed

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Most of the history I know and remember comes from my inspirational prep school teacher Mr Bradshaw. History was taught…