TV

‘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…

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,…

BBC1’s Sherlock is peak Remain

7 January 2017 9:00 am

One of the few intelligent responses from the liberal-left to our radically altered political landscape was an essay published last…

Unprecedentedly odd: BBC1’s The Entire Universe reviewed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

As you’ve probably noticed, TV critics spend a lot of their time trying to identify which other programmes the one…

Why Christmas TV, all Christmas TV, makes me feel suicidal

10 December 2016 9:00 am

When I was a child in the 1970s, the two big excitements of the run-up to Christmas were first the…

Would BBC1’s The Missing blow it in the concluding episode – like so many thrillers before it

3 December 2016 9:00 am

BBC1’s The Missing has been one of the undoubted TV highlights of 2016. Yet, even thrillers as overwhelmingly thrilling as…

Drama queen: Claire Foy as Elizabeth and Matt Smith as Prince Philip in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’

Is it curtains for BBC drama?

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Power is ebbing from the once-mighty BBC drama department to the likes of Netflix. But is it terminal? Neil Armstrong has the inside story

I was so looking forward to The Grand Tour but it’s not there yet

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Apart from the next Game of Thrones, there’s nothing I’ve been looking forward to quite as much as The Grand…

Stanley Gibbons – the womanising stamp-collector

19 November 2016 9:00 am

If I tell you that on Monday there was an hour-long documentary about the history of stamp-collecting, then you probably…

Amusing ourselves to death: Faye Dunaway as Diana Christensen in Sidney Lumet’s ‘Network’

The 1976 film that foretold the rise of Trump, invented reality TV and made suicide a spectacle

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Tanya Gold on the 1976 film that foretold Donald Trump’s presidency

Snarly rather than menacing: Glenda Jackson as King Lear

Glenda Jackson’s King Lear shows that men play unhinged warlords better than women

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Dynastic affairs and international relations were once a seamless continuum. Royal weddings accompanied peace treaties. An heirless realm was vulnerable…

Netflix’s The Crown is so good I’m considering giving up on terrestrial TV altogether

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Nairobi. February 1952. Laughing children brandishing sticks are driving an indignant bustle of ostriches up a rudimentary 1950s-Africa semi-bush runway…

Gloriously compulsive and maddening: Adam Curtis’s HyperNormalisation reviewed

29 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Adam Curtis believed that 200,000 Guardian readers watching BBC2 could change the world. But this was a fantasy. In fact,…

Distinctly corny: ITV's Tutankhamun reviewed

22 October 2016 9:00 am

The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb may well be one of the 20th century’s great stories — but naturally that doesn’t…

Lights, camera, politics: the triumph of showbiz over argument

15 October 2016 9:00 am

How statecraft became a branch of reality television

Ed Harris as the sadistic baddie, the Man in Black, in Sky Atlantic’s ‘Westworld’

Lushly pleasing and full of existential complexity: Sky Atlantic’s Westworld reviewed

15 October 2016 9:00 am

The other day James Lovelock, the sprightly 97-year-old inventor of Gaia theory, told a mildly surprised Guardian interviewer that he…

Jamali Maddix, Viceland’s answer to Louis Theroux

Vice TV is a con

8 October 2016 9:00 am

For all its much-vaunted rebel soul, Viceland is just BBC2 in disguise, says Neil Armstrong

Appointing a former Labour cabinet minister to oversee radio is not just odd but alarming

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Quite how one person is expected to oversee not just radio but also ‘arts, music, learning and children’s departments’ was…

Why do doctors think Down’s children are a disaster to be avoided at all costs?

8 October 2016 9:00 am

At my wife’s first 12-week scan, I was expecting — and duly got — that much-documented sense of thrilled wonder…

Nostalgic, compulsive, edge-of-seat entertainment: Netflix’s Stranger Things reviewed

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Stranger Things is the most delightful, gripping, charming, nostalgic, compulsive, edge-of-seat entertainment I’ve had in ages. Like a lot of…

ITV's Victoria is silly, facile and irresponsible – I blame the feminisation of culture

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Did you know that Queen Victoria might never have married Prince Albert had it not been for an amazing stroke…