Television

A Formula 1 doc for people who hate Formula 1

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Some years ago I was invited to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone courtesy of a watch manufacturer. As freebies…

Perfectly serviceable – at points even charming: Four Kids and It reviewed

4 April 2020 9:00 am

This film contains flying children, time travel and a sand monster that lives under a beach — yet the most…

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…

Old-school Sunday-night family viewing: ITV's Belgravia reviewed

21 March 2020 9:00 am

The world may be going to hell in a handcart but some things remain reassuringly unchanged: Julian Fellowes period dramas…

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…

Too edgy and clever to be wasted on kids: Netflix’s Locke & Key reviewed

7 March 2020 9:00 am

One of my perpetual gnawing terrors is that I’ll recommend a series that looks initially promising but turns out to…

Sharp family saga with a thriller uneasily attached: ITV’s Flesh and Blood reviewed

29 February 2020 9:00 am

As in many thrillers, the characters on display in Flesh and Blood (ITV, Monday to Thursday) often seemed locked in…

The appeal of psychopaths

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Ever since the end of Gomorrah season four (Sky Atlantic) I have been bereft. I eked it out for as…

Odd but gripping: BBC1’s The Pale Horse reviewed

15 February 2020 9:00 am

Not much was clear in the opening scenes of The Pale Horse (BBC1, Sunday), which even by current TV standards…

SAS: Who Dares Wins is harsh, gruelling and transgressively countercultural

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

SAS: Who Dares Wins (Channel 4, Sundays) is literally the only programme left on terrestrial TV that I can bear…

Understated, unashamedly patriotic and heartbreaking: The Windermere Children reviewed

1 February 2020 9:00 am

One of the many astonishing things about the BBC2 drama The Windermere Children (Monday) was that the real-life story it…

Netflix's Messiah is a great concept undermined by implausible politics

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Sky’s latest bingewatch potboiler Cobra can’t quite make up its mind whether it wants to be an arch, knowing House…

Undeniably eye-popping: BBC2’s Louis Theroux – Selling Sex reviewed

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Victoria, a single mother in her early thirties, is getting her children ready for school — ensuring an equitable distribution…

Did everyone in punk sell out?

11 January 2020 9:00 am

For many people of a certain age (full disclosure: mine), punk has been a weirdly persistent presence. These days, we…

The only way to survive Christmas TV is to avoid anything seasonal and watch Giri/Haji

21 December 2019 9:00 am

The key to surviving the next couple of weeks of TV is to avoid like the plague anything that smacks…

Why on earth did Glenda Jackson give up acting? BBC1’s Elizabeth is Missing reviewed

14 December 2019 9:00 am

Watching BBC1’s Elizabeth Is Missing made one of the more puzzling decisions of recent decades seem more puzzling still. Entirely…

The only bearable TV series these days are the ones with subtitles, like Der Pass

7 December 2019 9:00 am

True to the Andrew Roberts rule that the only bearable series on TV these days are ones with subtitles, I’ve…

Is the patriarchy as all-powerful as it’s cracked up to be? The Baby Has Landed reviewed

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Anybody who watched the opening episode of The Baby Has Landed (BBC2, Wednesday) might have found themselves wondering if the…

War of the Worlds is as bad as Doctor Who

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Edwardian England deserved everything it got from those killer Martian invaders. Or so I learned from the BBC’s latest adaptation…

Patronising, clichéd and corny: BBC1’s Gold Digger reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Some last taboos, it seems, can remain last taboos no matter how frequently they’re confronted. Grief, the menopause, masturbation, mental…

God awful: BBC1’s His Dark materials reviewed

9 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Here’s your new Sunday night obsession…’ the BBC announcer purred, overintoned and mini-orgasmed, like she was doing an audition for…

BBC wildlife documentaries are just a chance to tell us all off

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Older readers may remember a time when landmark BBC wildlife documentary series were joyous celebrations of the miraculous fecundity of…

Praise be to Mary MacLeod Trump. [Photo: The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images]

If we do get a good Anglo-American trade deal, we should thank Trump’s mother

26 October 2019 9:00 am

In an uncharacteristic fit of almost-robustness, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan has said she is ‘open-minded’ about scrapping the BBC licence…

Should we be playing the surveillance state for laughs? Celebrity Hunted reviewed

19 October 2019 9:00 am

One of the many great things about The Capture was that we could never be sure whether the British authorities’…

Pure, undiluted genius: Succession reviewed

12 October 2019 9:00 am

I have never ever watched a TV series I have enjoyed more than Succession (Now TV). There’s stuff I’d put…