Television

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…

The integrity and chain-smoking of these East German Commies is rather attractive

23 January 2016 9:00 am

No one remembers this now but there really was a period, not so long ago, when the Eighties were universally…

A morally dubious mix of Candid Camera and Fawlty Towers: Pushed to the Edge reviewed

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Never a man tortured by self-doubt, Derren Brown introduced his latest special Pushed to the Edge (Channel 4, Tuesday) as…

The edible woman: Lily James as Natasha Rostova in ‘War and Peace’

War & Peace is actually just an upmarket Downton Abbey

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Gosh what a breath of fresh air was Andrew Davies’s War & Peace adaptation (BBC1, Sundays) after all the stale…

Dreams don’t have to make sense - but TV dramas do: Peter & Wendy reviewed

2 January 2016 9:00 am

On the face of it, ITV’s Peter & Wendy sounded like a perfect family offering for Boxing Day: an adaptation…

Twenty things I will ban when I am elected your Dictator For Life in 2016

12 December 2015 9:00 am

The two things I hate most about Christmas are a) Advertland showing me how sparkly and joyous my home and…

Victorian music-hall comedy wasn’t funny. Why pretend it was?

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Let’s start this week with a joke: ‘You know Mrs Kelly? Do you know Mrs Kelly? Her husband’s that little…

I’m a Celebrity is like The Simpsons: good if you’re thick; even better if you’re not

28 November 2015 9:00 am

The best bit in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! (ITV) will be when the prisoners finally revolt…

Is television at its best when it mimics radio?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Not that long ago the BBC trumpeted a new Stakhanovite project to big up the arts in its many and…

The spying game: Ben Whishaw as Danny in ‘London Spy’

James Delingpole cringes at London Spy’s gay sex scenes

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The main problem with being a TV critic, I’ve noticed over the years, is that you have to watch so…

Why most four-year-olds deserve to be sectioned

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The first episode of Let Us Entertain You (BBC2, Wednesday) definitely couldn’t be accused of lacking a central thesis. Presenter…

Not all crap TV is all that crap

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Girl is back for half-term so I’ve been able to watch nothing but crap on TV this week. Some of…

The Last Kingdom is BBC2’s solemnly cheesy answer to Game of Thrones

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The opening caption for The Last Kingdom (BBC2, Thursday) read ‘Kingdom of Northumbria, North of England, 866 AD’. In fact,…

Hunted blows a fresh breeze through the stale world of reality TV

17 October 2015 8:00 am

Television used to employ entertainers to entertain the public. Back then you could count the channels on the fingers of…

Was BBC1’s Rooney show more scripted reality than documentary?

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Close to the Edge (BBC4, Tuesday) feels very much like an idea conceived during a particularly good night in the…

James Delingpole discovers the fons et origo of indie music

3 October 2015 8:00 am

I really hadn’t meant to write a postscript to last week’s column on my dark Supertramp past. But then along…

Middle-England Gothic: Anna Maxwell-Martin as Merrily Watkins in Midwinter of the Spirit

ITV’s Midwinter of the Spirit is a satisfying example of Middle-England Gothic

26 September 2015 8:00 am

For years, Ian Fleming was famously self-deprecating about the James Bond books. (‘I have a rule of not looking back,’…

An Inspector Calls is poisonous, revisionist propaganda - which is why the luvvies love it

19 September 2015 8:00 am

What a load of manipulative, hysterical tosh is An Inspector Calls. It wasn’t a work with which I was familiar…