Television

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…

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...

A Gypsy documentary that alternated between the eye-opening and the hair-raising

18 June 2016 9:00 am

In his latest documentary for the This World series, the Romanian film-maker Liviu Tipurita could have been forgiven for treading…

Graphic novels are produced by sad blokes stuck in arrested adolescence

11 June 2016 9:00 am

Sometimes I wonder whether, of all the literary genres, graphic novels aren’t the most stupidly overrated. I can say this…

BBC1’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream seems deliberately designed to flush out purists

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Spoiler alerts aren’t normally required for reviews of Shakespeare — but perhaps I’d better issue one before saying that in…

Isn’t it puke-inducing being lectured about poverty by millionaire comics?

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Going Forward (BBC4, Thursdays) is a BBC comedy about the continuing adventures of Kim Wilde, the fat, cynical but lovable…

David Attenborough used to steal the animals he found in the jungle and take them home

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Let me start this week with an admittedly hard quiz question: in 1954, how did the sudden illness of Jack…

James Delingpole is loving Ben Elton's new Shakespeare sitcom

14 May 2016 9:00 am

There’s no way of saying this without shredding the last vestiges of my critical credibility, but this new Ben Elton…

Even the sternest Leavisite critic would find it hard to resist BBC2's Peaky Blinders

7 May 2016 9:00 am

The big returning show of the week began with servants laying out the silverware at a large country house in…

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in ‘Games of Thrones’

It’s time Cersei destroyed the Corbyn-like High Sparrow: Game of Thrones, season six, reviewed

30 April 2016 9:00 am

So: Game of Thrones. Finally — season six — the TV series has overtaken the books on which it is…

Inside the Portland Hospital

Downton Abbey with epidurals: BBC2's Five Star Babies reviewed

23 April 2016 9:00 am

Five Star Babies: Inside the Portland Hospital won’t, I suspect, have been a hard sell to BBC2’s commissioning editors. Childbirth…

Trevor Phillips's documentary on Muslims was shocking - but not surprising

16 April 2016 9:00 am

‘Our findings will shock many people,’ promised Trevor Phillips at the beginning of What British Muslims Really Think (Channel 4,…

BBC4’s Bob Geldof on WB Yeats was one of the best literary documentaries I’ve seen

9 April 2016 9:00 am

In recent years there’s been a fashion for arts documentaries presented by celebs rather than boring old experts — presumably…

First Dates is perfectly formed TV

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Now the kids are back for the school holidays, I have a licence to watch complete trash again. No more…

Line of Duty thinks – rightly – that there’s drama in the subsections of police acts

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Which is better, British TV drama or American? A couple of years ago, merely asking the question would have had…

How does anyone keep up with all the good stuff out there on TV?

19 March 2016 9:00 am

‘We have a problem. Yes. At the wind farm.’ Any conspiracy thriller with lines like that has definitely got my…

The usual suspects: ‘Doctor Thorne’ brings us a reliable selection of frock-coated and corsetted British thesps

Doctor Thorne is pleasantly undemanding viewing

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Every now and then, a costume drama comes along that’s so daringly unconventional as to make us re-examine our whole…

Scandi noir reduces you to an exquisitely suicidal state

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Some things I have learned about Iceland after watching six episodes of Trapped (BBC4, Saturdays). 1. They seem to feel…

Tom Hiddlestone is The Night Manager

BBC1’s The Night Manager verges on parody

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The Night Manager (BBC1, Sunday) announced its intentions immediately, when the opening credits lovingly combined weapons and luxury items. ‘Blimey,’…

Vinyl, Sky Atlantic

Verging on the corny: Martin Scorsese’s Vinyl reviewed

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Vinyl (Sky Atlantic) — the much-anticipated series, co-produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, about the 1970s New York record…

Psycho-in-chief: James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce in ‘Happy Valley’

Murder, rape, sheep abuse: you won't feel short-changed by BBC1's Happy Valley

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Judging from its website, Hebden Bridge’s tourist office considers the fact that BBC1’s Happy Valley is filmed in the town…

Back in Time for the Weekend gives the 1950s its usual kicking

6 February 2016 9:00 am

When the time comes to make programmes looking back on the 2010s, I wonder which aspects of life today will…

Prime suspect: Steven Avery, whose case is the subject of the Netflix documentary ‘Making a Murderer’

Netflix's Making a Murderer is fascinating - but is it true?

30 January 2016 9:00 am

On the face of it, the Netflix documentary serial Making a Murderer should only take up ten hours of your…