Drama

Sian Clifford as Claire and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag

Promising but, compared to the first series, short of laughs: Fleabag reviewed

9 March 2019 9:00 am

BBC2’s MotherFatherSon announced its status as a classy thriller in the traditional way: by ensuring that for quite a long…

Enjoyably contrived: BBC1’s Baptiste reviewed

23 February 2019 9:00 am

What’s the best way to start a six-part thriller? The answer, it seems, is to have a bloke of a…

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…

Michelle Obama during the 2008 Democrat primaries. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

When the first world war ended, many soldiers were left with ‘a terrible empty feeling’

10 November 2018 9:00 am

‘It was so unreal,’ said one of the first world war veterans about the long-awaited Armistice. It was the most…

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…

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,…

Why is this Israeli drama such a hit with Palestinians? Because it tells the truth

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘The rule in our household is: if a TV series hasn’t got subtitles, it’s not worth watching,’ a friend told…

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…

Sun readers will be disappointed – E.M. Phwoar-ster it is not: Howards End reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Any readers of the Sun who excitedly tuned in to Howards End on Sunday night with their pause button at…

An out-of-work steel worker walking through Port Talbot, 1964

Made in Port Talbot

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Port Talbot, on the coast of South Wales, is literally overlooked. Most experience the town while flying over it on…

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…

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…

BBC1’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream seems deliberately designed to flush out purists

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Spoiler alerts aren’t normally required for reviews of Shakespeare — but perhaps I’d better issue one before saying that in…

Even the sternest Leavisite critic would find it hard to resist BBC2's Peaky Blinders

7 May 2016 9:00 am

The big returning show of the week began with servants laying out the silverware at a large country house in…

The integrity and chain-smoking of these East German Commies is rather attractive

23 January 2016 9:00 am

No one remembers this now but there really was a period, not so long ago, when the Eighties were universally…

Shakespeare at his freest and most exuberant: The Wars of the Roses reviewed

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The RSC’s The Wars of the Roses solves a peculiar literary problem. Shakespeare’s earliest history plays are entitled Henry VI…

The Last Kingdom is BBC2’s solemnly cheesy answer to Game of Thrones

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The opening caption for The Last Kingdom (BBC2, Thursday) read ‘Kingdom of Northumbria, North of England, 866 AD’. In fact,…

An Inspector Calls is poisonous, revisionist propaganda - which is why the luvvies love it

19 September 2015 8:00 am

What a load of manipulative, hysterical tosh is An Inspector Calls. It wasn’t a work with which I was familiar…

Are we ready for a play about Jimmy Savile?

6 June 2015 9:00 am

Have you heard the one about girlfriend-killer Oscar Pistorius not having a leg to stand on? Or what about the…

Raised by Wolves review: council-estate life but not as you know it

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Journalist, novelist, broadcaster and figurehead of British feminism Caitlin Moran, who writes most of the Times and even had her…

James McAvoy is wrong – the arts are better off without subsidy

14 March 2015 9:00 am

The season of cringe-making acceptance speeches at arts awards ceremonies is nearly over, thank heavens. But it hasn’t passed without…

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…

What parenting meant in 1914

10 January 2015 9:00 am

‘Not still War and Peace!’ exclaimed my husband on 1 January during the all-day Tolstoy splurge on Radio 4. In reality…