Television

Loose ends

23 September 2017 9:00 am

On Sunday night, Holliday Grainger was on two terrestrial channels at the same time playing a possibly smitten sidekick of…

Kevin Hanchard as Rev. Gregoire and Tim Roth as Sheriff Jim Worth in Tin Star, which is like the rejected first draft of a really bad movie by Quentin Tarantino

Rockies horror show

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Tin Star, the latest Sky Atlantic drama, has a comfortingly familiar premise: Jim Worth (Tim Roth), an ex-detective from London…

Second thoughts

9 September 2017 9:00 am

I had planned to review David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s new Channel 4 sitcom Back without constantly referring to their…

Beyond belief: Sam Otto as Jalal in Peter Kosminsky’s The State

Straight to hell

2 September 2017 9:00 am

No, The State (Channel 4) wasn’t a recruiting manual for the Islamic State, though I did feel uneasy about it…

Autistic endeavour: Keir Gilchrist as Sam in Atypical

For goodness’ sake

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Most new Netflix series are greeted not merely with acclaim, but with a level of gratitude that the returning Christ…

Norway’s noir

17 August 2017 1:00 pm

Valkyrien (C4, Sunday) is the hot new Scandi-noir series, which is being billed as Norway’s answer to Breaking Bad. In…

In praise of Netflix

5 August 2017 9:00 am

All this week I have been trying, with considerable success, to avoid being bludgeoned by TV programmes telling me in…

1967 and all that

29 July 2017 9:00 am

As you may have spotted, the BBC is marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality with an…

Dethroned by feminism

22 July 2017 9:00 am

I’m a bit worried about Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic). Not seriously worried: there’s too much money invested, too much…

Candid camera?

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Channel 4’s Catching a Killer offered the rare TV spectacle these days of a middle-aged white male copper leading a…

In praise of braindead filth

8 July 2017 9:00 am

Melvyn Bragg on TV: The Box That Changed The World (BBC2, Saturday) was just what you would have expected of…

Mad about the girls

1 July 2017 9:00 am

It’s not unusual to see a pop concert on TV where teenage girls and a group of middle-aged men are…

Trouble in paradise

24 June 2017 9:00 am

‘Riviera is the new Night Manager,’ I read somewhere. No, it’s not. Riviera (Sky Atlantic, Thursday) is the new Eldorado…

Never knowingly understated

17 June 2017 9:00 am

At one uncharacteristically low-key point in Sunday’s Poldark — back for a third series on BBC1 — Ross (Aidan Turner)…

How the west coast was won

10 June 2017 9:00 am

There’s an incredibly addictive old iPhone game called Doodle God where you effectively invent civilisation from scratch by combining basic…

Heaven knows they’re miserable now

3 June 2017 9:00 am

On the face of it, the two new big drama series of the week don’t have a great deal in…

The great rock’n’roll swindles

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Birds have been giving me a lot of grief of late. There’s Tappy — the blue tit who has built…

Police force

20 May 2017 9:00 am

I’ve often thought that a good idea for an authentic TV cop show would be to portray the police as…

The bemused protagonist with a stupid name: Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon in American Gods

Serial offenders

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Since completing season two of the brilliant Narcos, I’ve been unsuccessfully looking for a replacement serial drama that is more…

1932. Right, John Cockcroft adjusts a pump at the Cavendish Laboratory's atom splitter. Left, Ernest Walton sits working in the detector of a Cockcroft-Walton generator.

Arms race

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Like most documentaries, Britain’s Nuclear Bomb: The Inside Story (BBC4, Wednesday) began by boasting about all the exclusives it would…

The real deal

29 April 2017 9:00 am

The other day I had a very dispiriting conversation with a TV industry insider. It turns out that everything you…

Psycho thriller

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Psychological thrillers — or ‘thrillers’ as they used to be known — have become almost as ubiquitous on television as…

Look back in anger

14 April 2017 11:00 pm

‘What we really need is a faux-historical drama series about police brutality and black activism set in 1970s London,’ said…

Age as allegory

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Sky Atlantic — available only to Sky customers — has the cunning/infuriating policy of broadcasting the kind of programmes most…

Vincent Franklin (Mr Prendergast), Jack Whitehall (Paul Pennyfeather) and Douglas Hodge (Captain Grimes) in ‘Decline and Fall’

Oh! What a lovely Waugh

1 April 2017 9:00 am

Jack Whitehall could have been perfectly awful as Paul Pennyfeather in Decline and Fall (BBC1, Fridays). He has spent most…