James Walton

Watch Mark Kermode find 1950s political attitudes in 1950s films

16 January 2021 9:00 am

The new series of Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema began with an episode on British comedy films. As ever, Kermode…

A romcom with very little com: BBC1’s Black Narcissus reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

In Black Narcissus, based on the novel by Rumer Godden, five nuns set off for a remote Himalayan palace in…

Watch Andrew Marr stare at places where stuff happened: New Elizabethans reviewed

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Congratulations, everyone! It turns out we’re much better than those bigoted old Brits of the 1950s. After all, they were…

Like much jazz, it might have benefited from being less solemn: BBC4's Ronnie's reviewed

21 November 2020 9:00 am

Ronnie’s: Ronnie Scott and His World-Famous Jazz Club was like the TV equivalent of an authorised biography: impressively thorough, often…

Is The Undoing properly great or just a run-of-mill thriller with a brilliant casting director?

7 November 2020 9:00 am

There must be some people somewhere who vaguely know their own spouses — but if so, they don’t tend to…

Enough plotlines to power several seasons of The West Wing: BBC1's Roadkill reviewed

24 October 2020 9:00 am

Like many a political thriller before it, BBC1’s Roadkill began with a politician emerging into the daylight to face a…

Funny, tender and properly horrible: Channel 4’s Adult Material reviewed

10 October 2020 9:00 am

A woman is eating a pie in her car as it gets an automatic wash. Careful to keep the pie…

How on earth did Harold Pinter and Danny Dyer become such good friends?

26 September 2020 9:00 am

Collectors of TV titles that sound as if they were thought of by Alan Partridge will presumably have spotted Danny…

What on earth has happened to Simon Schama: The Romantics and Us reviewed

12 September 2020 9:00 am

‘You may think our modern world was born yesterday,’ said Simon Schama at the beginning of The Romantics and Us.…

A convincing and hair-raising depiction of showbiz at its most luridly weird: I Hate Suzie reviewed

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Fifteen minutes into the first episode of I Hate Suzie, main character Suzie Pickles was doing a photoshoot in her…

My dazzling chum: Mayflies, by Andrew O’Hagan, reviewed

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Presumably because a small part of it takes place in Salford, the epigraph to Andrew O’Hagan’s latest novel consists of…

Takes us deep into an unknown world: Channel 4’s Inside Missguided reviewed

15 August 2020 9:00 am

If it’s a test of a good documentary series that it takes us deep into an unknown, even unimaginable world,…

Sumptuous and very promising: A Suitable Boy reviewed

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Nobody could argue that Andrew Davies isn’t up for a challenge. He’d also surely be a shoo-in for Monty Python’s…

Michaela Coel's dazzling finale reminds me of Philip Roth: I May Destroy You reviewed

18 July 2020 9:00 am

It might seem a bit of a stretch to see deep similarities between Michaela Coel (young, female, black and currently…

The Sixties vibe: Utopia Avenue, by David Mitchell, reviewed

11 July 2020 9:00 am

There aren’t many authors as generous to their readers as David Mitchell. Ever since Ghostwritten in 1999, he’s specialised in…

A documentary about the M25 that will make your heart soar

4 July 2020 9:00 am

When a 90-minute documentary is introduced with the words ‘This is the M25’, you’d be within your rights not to…

A fine, even rather noble drama: BBC1's The Salisbury Poisonings reviewed

20 June 2020 9:00 am

This week, BBC1 brought us a three-part dramatisation of an ‘unprecedented crisis’ in recent British life. Among other things, it…

Another drama about how women are great and men are rubbish: C4's Philharmonia reviewed

6 June 2020 9:00 am

On the face of it, a French-language drama about a Parisian symphony orchestra mightn’t sound like the most action-packed of…

One of the more disturbing films I’ve seen: Arena’s The Changin’ Times of Ike White reviewed

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Arena: The Changin’ Times of Ike White (Monday) had an extraordinary story to tell — but one that, halfway through…

Not merely funny but somehow also joyous: Sky One's Brassic reviewed

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Danny Brocklehurst, the scriptwriter for Sky One’s Brassic, used to work for Shameless in its glory days — although if…

Classic tangled thriller: Sky's Gangs of London reviewed

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

There were plenty of TV shows around this week designed to cheer us up. Sky Atlantic’s Gangs of London, however,…

An extraordinary tale: BBC2’s The Countess and the Russian Billionaire reviewed

11 April 2020 9:00 am

There can’t be many programmes that bring to mind quotations from both Henry Kissinger and Boney M., but BBC2’s The…

Riveting documentary about a remarkable man: Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War reviewed

28 March 2020 9:00 am

First shown on BBC Scotland, Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War (BBC4, Wednesday) was the documentary equivalent of…

The creators of Breeders are locked into a game of How Far Can You Go

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Sky One’s Breeders (Thursday) bills itself as an ‘honest and uncompromising comedy’ about parenting. To this end, the opening scene…

Marina Lewycka’s The Good, the Bad and the Little Bit Stupid is completely bonkers

29 February 2020 9:00 am

Faced with Marina Lewycka’s new novel, it’s tempting to say that The Good, the Bad and the Little Bit Stupid…