sat 19/08/2017

costume drama

The best TV to watch this week

Too hot/wet outside? Take refuge on the box. We sift the schedules for you.Sunday 20 AugustThe State, Channel 4. Peter Kosminsky takes on the vexed topic of Britons choosing to join ISIS. First of four parts continuing through the week.Astronauts:...

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And Then There Were None, BBC One

None, or two? Only the tiniest whiff of spoiler is involved in pointing out that while the stage version, or at least the one I saw with an actor friend playing an early victim, settled for a semi-happy ending, this magnificently brooding adaptation...

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Mr Selfridge, Series 2, ITV

We return to the dramatised Selfridges five years after the opening of the store that changed the face of British shopping - and yet, despite proving those who doomed his enterprise to failure wrong, the smile on its eponymous owner’s face is as...

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The Paradise, BBC One

It's a reasonable assumption that Emile Zola would never have guessed his novel Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies' Paradise, part of the Rougon-Macquart series) would be the inspiration for a BBC costume drama. And it's an even safer one that he...

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Upstairs Downstairs, Series Two, BBC One

You remember Upstairs Downstairs – the lavish 2010 period drama-cum-soap based around servants and their masters that had the misfortune of not being named Downton Abbey. Making its entrance some three months after ITV’s series despite being filmed...

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A Dangerous Method

Those who are “Jung and easily Freudened” (to misquote Joyce) need have nothing to fear from David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Yes, it’s the film where Michael Fassbender takes a cane to a barely corseted Keira Knightley, but don’t let the S...

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W.E.

“I’m not a beautiful woman,” Wallis Simpson once declared. “I’m nothing to look at, so the only thing I can do is dress better than anyone else.” Madonna’s second feature W.E. operates under a similar philosophy – with rather less success. Never...

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The Mystery of Edwin Drood, BBC Two

You can never have enough Dickens, doctors say. Or is it exercise? Either way, the BBC has gone to town on the 200th anniversary of Dickens's birth as if the moths are eating away in the Victorian closet and all the costumes need to be used as much...

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Downton Abbey, Series 2 Finale, ITV1

And so the eventful second series surged to a close with a bumper 90-minute edition - or at least it was in a 90-minute slot, generously padded with the commercials battling to scramble aboard the great ship Downton - and we were still left dangling...

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Anonymous

Everyone is working against type, or so it would seem, in Roland Emmerich's deeply bizarre Anonymous, which asks us to accept a celluloid slob (Rhys Ifans) as an aristocrat, a vaunted republican (Vanessa Redgrave) as Elizabeth I and a highly...

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Downton Abbey, Series 2, ITV1

And now for that difficult second album. Downton Abbey’s stately progress last autumn revived in television audiences a taste thought long dead: for populist drama offering a sepia-tinted vision of the English class system in which the well-to-do...

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Jane Eyre

As fresh and enchanting as the first flushes of spring, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s imaginative retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s 19th-century proto-feminist novel captures the thrill of attraction with rare perception, sweep and tenderness. It foregrounds...

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