mon 23/10/2017

BBC Two

The best TV to watch this week

Bored with the great outdoors? So curl up in front of the telly with slippers, spaniel, chardonnay etc. We sift the schedules for you.Saturday 21 OctoberGunpowder, BBC One – The plot to kill James 1, with Kit Harington as Robert Catesby, Mark Gatiss...

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Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me, BBC Two review - 'like an alien from another planet'

Chris Packham, who devises and presents programmes about nature and animals, has described himself as "a little bit weird". This autobiographical documentary about himself explained what being on the autistic spectrum meant to him in particular in...

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Lucy Worsley's Nights at the Opera, BBC Two review - there's anti-elitism, and there's infantilism

The first thing to say about Lucy Worsley’s Nights at the Opera (BBC Two) is that it is laser-aimed at those who have not enjoyed many nights at the opera. Enjoyed in the sense of attended; also, probably, in the sense of enjoyed. Anyone who is a...

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Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution, BBC Two review - words stronger than pictures 100 years on

It’s getting to that time of the century. A hundred years ago to the month, if not quite the day, the Winter Palace was stormed, and the Russian Revolution came to pass. To commemorate the communists’ accession, Russia 1917: Countdown to Revolution...

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Billion Dollar Deals That Changed Your World, BBC Two review - Big Pharma gets a diagnosis: it’s sick

“What if the way people understand the world is wrong? What if it isn’t politicians that shape the way people live their day-to-day lives, but secret business deals?” This is the question at the heart – and at the start – of Jacques Peretti’s...

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Top of the Lake: China Girl, BBC Two, series finale review - torpor not trauma

So who killed Cinnamon? Six weeks ago we saw the strangled sex-worker – packed in a pink suitcase – pushed into Bondi Bay. The finale of Top of the Lake: China Girl withheld enlightenment. Puss, the chief suspect, denied responsibility. Why would...

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Man in an Orange Shirt, BBC Two review - soft-focus view of 1940s gay love affair

As chat-up lines go, “I can’t do my fly up single-handed” is pretty full on – even if it is true. Thomas March (James McArdle) is speaking to James Berryman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who not only went to the same public school but has also just saved...

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Against the Law, BBC Two review - uplifting and deeply moving

The thing almost no one remembers about the great Nora Ephron/Rob Reiner 1989 romcom When Harry Met Sally is that the love story is intercut with real couples talking to camera about the mechanics and longevity of their true-life loves. It shouldn’t...

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Melvyn Bragg on TV, BBC Two review – too many talking heads, too little action

Presumably it seemed like a good idea at the time. Broadcasting juggernaut Lord Bragg would undertake a sweeping survey of the way that television has transformed our lives and reflected British society in the last 70-odd years, soaring over dramas...

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Sudan: The Last of the Rhinos, BBC Two review - requiem for disappearing wildlife

“The northern white rhinos are just a symbol of what we do to the natural world,” as one of the contributors to this haunting documentary put it. “We witness them disappearing in front of our eyes.” The programme ended with names of endangered...

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Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop on the First Great Immigration Row, review – how history repeats itself

Immigration…immigration… immigration… that’s what we need! Not the words of record-breaking, tap-dancing trumpeter Roy Castle, rather it’s the gist of a Times leader from 1853 (admittedly, fairly heavily paraphrased). It was just one of the eye-...

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Ripper Street, BBC Two, Series 5 review – apocalypse looms in Victorian Whitechapel

There has always been an air of incipient doom hovering over Ripper Street, since the show is more of a laboratory of lost souls than a mere detective drama. Now, as it embarks on its fifth and final season, there’s every reason to suppose that the...

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