James Walton

Taxi ride to the dark side: a thrilling blast of full-strength Irvine Welsh

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Irvine Welsh, I think it’s safe to say, is not a writer who’s mellowing with age. His latest book sees…

A review of three reassuringly unoriginal new travel programmes fronted by comedians

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Who says British television lacks imagination? You might have thought, for example, that every possible combination of comedian and travel…

Channel 4's The Coalition reviewed: heroically free of cynicism

28 March 2015 9:00 am

In a late schedule change, Channel 4’s Coalition was shifted from Thursday to Saturday to make room for Jeremy Paxman…

Should he stay or should he go: Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark

Poldark review: drama by committee

14 March 2015 9:00 am

By my calculations, the remake of Poldark (BBC1, Sunday) is the first time BBC drama has returned to Cornwall since…

Ogres, pixies, dragons, goblins... Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in ten years is a strange beast indeed

28 February 2015 9:00 am

If you’d been asked at the beginning of the year whose new novel would feature ogres, pixies and a she-dragon…

Critical on Sky1 reviewed: a new medical drama where everyone radiates an unusual degree of competence and concern

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Sky1’s new hospital drama Critical (Tuesday) can’t be accused of making a timid start. Within seconds, an urgent request had…

Law in action: Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman

Better Call Saul review: the box set equivalent of a (very) well-made play

14 February 2015 9:00 am

I lost count long ago of the number of dinner parties and pub conversations where I’ve had to utter the…

Dark thoughts: Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell

Could it be that Wolf Hall is actually the teeniest bit dull?

31 January 2015 9:00 am

In January 1958, the British government began working on the significantly titled Operation Hope Not: its plans for what to…

Channel 4’s Cyberbully: an unashamedly old-fashioned drama in being both well made and moral

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Channel 4’s Cyberbully (Thursday), written by Ben Chanan and David Lobatto, turned out to be a brilliantly gripping drama, even…

BBC1’s Esio Trot: like Fawlty Towers played at quarter speed

3 January 2015 9:00 am

As a New Year’s Day treat for all the family, Esio Trot (BBC1) seemed to be taking no chances. It…

BBC1’s Remember Me: the curious case of the killer Yorkshire taps

6 December 2014 9:00 am

BBC1’s authentically spooky three-part ghost story Remember Me hasn’t yet revealed what’s really going on in that gloomy Yorkshire town.…

The darkest secret about commuting: some of us enjoy it

29 November 2014 9:00 am

In the early days of Victorian railways, train journeys were (rightly) considered so dangerous that ticket offices sold life insurance…

Jaw-dropping confessions of a very un-PC Plod

22 November 2014 9:00 am

There can’t have been many people who watched Confessions of a Copper (Channel 4, Wednesday) with a growing sense of…

James Walton uncovers the sound of Nashville - money

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Twenty minutes into BBC4’s The Heart of Country (Friday), there was a clip of Chet Atkins, country music’s star producer…

Hooray for Homeland - Carrie’s back blasting America’s enemies to pieces with drones

25 October 2014 9:00 am

One of the more welcome and surprising things about television at the moment is that Homeland (Channel 4, Sunday) is…

From working-class heroes to Disney World mascots: the sad fate of the Chilean miners

18 October 2014 9:00 am

On 5 August 2010, 33 men entered the remote San José mine in Chile’s Atacama desert to begin their 12-hour…

We're great and baboons are losers: this week's lesson from Brian Cox

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Anybody feeling a bit depressed about the shortcomings of humanity could do worse than watch Brian Cox’s new series Human…

Colm Toibin’s restraint – like his characters' – is quietly overwhelming

4 October 2014 9:00 am

In Colm Tóibín’s much-loved 2009 novel Brooklyn, Eilis Lacy, somewhat to her own surprise, leaves 1950s Enniscorthy (Tóibín’s own home…

Marriage and foreplay Sharia-style

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Needless to say, it’s not uncommon to hear single British women in their thirties and forties saying that all the…

Howard Jacobson’s J convinced me that I’d just read a masterpiece

13 September 2014 9:00 am

At first sight, J — which has beenshortlisted for the Man Booker Prize — represents a significant departure for Howard…

Asking the questions: Victoria Coren Mitchell

Now for the really tricky question: can Only Connect survive BBC2?

13 September 2014 9:00 am

For some of us, the biggest TV question of recent weeks hasn’t been how Newsnight is doing without Jeremy Paxman,…

Kate Bush Hammersmith Apollo review: Still crazy after all these years

30 August 2014 9:00 am

It says something about Kate Bush’s standing in the music world that, perhaps uniquely in the history of long-awaited live…

Showing up to your prom in a tank is a bit 2013

BBC2’s Hotel India: slums? What slums?

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Viewers who like their TV journalism hard-hitting should probably avoid Hotel India, a new BBC2 series about the Taj Mahal…

The case of the amnesiac autobiographer

16 August 2014 9:00 am

In October 2002, 28-year-old David Stuart MacLean woke up at Hyderabad railway station. He was standing at the time, and…

Murakami drops magic for realism in this tale of a lonely Tokyo engineer

2 August 2014 9:00 am

When Haruki Murakami — Japan’s most successful novelist at home and abroad — was interviewed by the Paris Review in…