James Walton

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Jimmy Page performing with Led Zeppelin in May 1975. ‘He did believe that he had the power to control the universe’

Jimmy Page is a Capricorn – that says it all

25 August 2018 9:00 am

In 1957, aged 13, Jimmy Page appeared with his skiffle group on a children’s TV programme dedicated to ‘unusual hobbies’…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

Claude Cahun, one of the real-life subjects of Rupert Thomson’s novel. Credit: Jersey Heritage

Never Anyone But You, by Rupert Thomson reviewed

2 June 2018 9:00 am

In a 2013 interview with a Canadian newspaper, Rupert Thomson acknowledged the strange place he occupies in the literary world.…

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…

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…

Zen tales and flights of fancy: Patient X reviewed

5 May 2018 9:00 am

The target audience for David Peace’s new novel appears almost defiantly niche. Certainly, any readers in the embarrassing position of…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Troy managed to descend into cliché even when nobody was actually using any words

24 February 2018 9:00 am

ITV’s Marcella (Monday) represents another triumphant breakthrough in the portrayal of female cops on television. Of course, thanks to more…

Channel 4 marked women’s suffrage with an episode of the Secret Life of Five-Year-Olds

10 February 2018 9:00 am

To mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage — if a little oddly — Channel 4 on Tuesday brought us…