tue 12/12/2017

BBC Four

The best TV to watch this week

Sick of the early onset of Christmas? Just watch television instead (though preferably not the news). Try these out for size?Sunday 10 DecemberBlue Planet II, BBC One - 7th and final episode of David Attenborough's epic of the oceans, with...

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The Farthest: Voyager's Interstellar Journey, BBC Four review - awe-inspiring and life-affirming space odyssey

Long before Barack Obama spoke about the audacity of hope, the Voyager mission left the Earth driven by something else: the audacity of curiosity. What do the outer planets look like? What are they comprised of? And what’s beyond that?Storyville:...

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Witnesses: A Frozen Death, BBC Four review - plummeting temperatures in the Pas de Calais

A thankless task, perhaps, to find oneself following in the footsteps of the berserk Spanish melodrama I Know Who You Are (theartsdesk passim). However, BBC Four’s new Saturday night import, whose first series was shown on Channel 4 a couple of...

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I Know Who You Are, series 2 finale, BBC Four review - Spanish drama literally took no prisoners

So, if you’re reading this you probably trudged all the weary way to the very end of I Know Who You Are. Or you didn’t but still want to find out what the hell happened. After 20-plus hours of twisting, turning, overblown drama, long-service medals...

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Motherland / Detectorists review - comedy classics go at their own pace

As Motherland settles down into its first series proper after last year’s pilot, it still seems to be going at a fair gallop. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the sitcom, written by Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan along with Helen Linehan and...

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Storyville: Toffs, Queers and Traitors, BBC Four review - the spy who was a scamp

“There is something odd, I suppose, about anyone who betrays their country.” It’s an excellent opening line, particularly when delivered in director George Carey’s nicely querulous narrative voice, for Toffs, Queers and Traitors (BBC Four). He...

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I Know Who You Are, Series 2, BBC Four review - get on with it, por favor

Here we go again then. The “first series”, as the BBC are calling it after the fact, of I Know Who You Are slammed the brakes on and juddered to a bewildering halt back in the middle of August. Almost everyone who’d sat through the plot dodgems of...

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Queen: Rock the World, BBC Four review - we won't rock you

Forty years ago Whispering Bob Harris made a documentary about Queen. He eavesdropped on them as they recorded the album News of the World and then followed them around America on tour. The film was never broadcast but the footage was exhumed for...

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66 Days, BBC Four review - Bobby Sands strikes again

There was much more to Brendan J Byrne’s engrossing, even-handed documentary 66 Days (BBC Four) than its title might at first suggest. The timeline that led up to the death on 5 May 1981 of the IRA prisoner provided its immediate context – an...

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Jonas Kaufmann: Tenor for the Ages, BBC Four review - a musical megastar with sword and shortbread

Now we know who sent Jonas Kaufmann the Union Jack boxer shorts for the Last Night of the Proms. Whether the sender’s identity is the bigger surprise, or the hint of ambiguity over whether the "Greatest Tenor in the World" had previously heard of...

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Black Lake, Series Finale, BBC Four review – Nordic noir comes to an unsatisfying end

Beware – here be spoilers, though if you can make them out through the blizzard of cliché that engulfed the last double-bill of this thunderingly underwhelming Nordic noir then you’re already ahead of me.Black Lake (BBC Four) saw a group of largely...

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Cinema Through the Eye of Magnum, BBC Four review - moving pictures

Magnum was founded just after the war in 1947 as a co-operative that ensured both the quality of its members, and their clout in dealing with the media world. Its longevity is testimony to its success. The original founders were war-hardened photo...

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