sun 25/06/2017

ITV

Fearless, ITV review - Helen McCrory lights up dense conspiracy thriller

Emma Banville is almost too good to be true: a human rights lawyer who houses Syrian refugees, wins the most hopeless cases of wrongful conviction, won’t be bullied by anyone – coppers, prison wardens, the system. OK she smokes, presumably for the...

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The Loch, ITV review - hokum shrouded in Scotch mist

There’s something nasty in Loch Ness – a corpse tied to a curling stone – but, this being tellyland, the real monsters lurk on its shores. The Loch aspires to be a Scottish Broadchurch – Braidkirk? – but, alas, is nothing of the...

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Election Night 2017, BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News

The latest test of the nation’s perseverance and patience – a snap election called just before the negotiations for Brexit are due to start – seemed like an extraordinary act of hubris at the start. The initial billing of “Strong and...

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Lord Lucan: My Husband, The Truth review - the coldest case of all

Four years ago the BBC dramatised the story of the Lucans. Rory Kinnear donned the forthright moustache and Catherine McCormack played his spouse Veronica as a brittle victim of mental cruelty. The script speculated about the murder of the nanny...

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Little Boy Blue review – 'the sum of all fears'

Turning the real-life murder of an 11-year-old boy into a four-part TV drama carries obvious risks (might it be exploitative, sick or in bad taste, for instance?), but judging by this opening episode of Little Boy Blue (ITV), screenwriter Jeff...

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Broadchurch review - the final reckoning

“Take your pick. Who shall we talk to first?” DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Miller (Olivia Colman) had their three prime suspects waiting for them in custody. The fact that none of them proved to be the guilty party was what was wrong not...

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Maigret's Night at the Crossroads review - 'more straight faces from Rowan Atkinson'

We’re three films into Rowan Atkinson’s tenure as Inspector Maigret and so far he’s barely twitched a facial muscle. Gone are the eye bulges and nostril flares, the rubbery pouts. There’s sometimes a hint of a frown, the odd twinge in a wrinkle...

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Vera, Series 7, review - 'brilliant Blethyn stuck in bog-standard drama'

Sunshine, sex and oodles of style: Vera (ITV) has no truck with any of them and is therefore unusual among Sunday evening dramas. There’s no escaping its mission to prove it’s grimy up north.The Blanket Mire, the fourth and final mystery of this...

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Harlots review - 'fun quasi-feminist costume romp'

We like to think of Georgian England as a wellspring of elegance: the Chippendale chair and the Wedgwood teapot, the landscaped vista and the neoclassical townhouse. But, as subversively embodied in the mock heroic couplet, the seemly Age of Reason...

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Prime Suspect 1973, ITV

The prequel is here to stay. In the end every popular TV drama flogs itself to death. The star wants out, or the writer dies, or the original source material runs dry, or the public falls asleep. And there’s nowhere else to go. Nowhere, that is,...

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Broadchurch, Series 3, ITV

The first series of Broadchurch was a gigantic hit four years ago, though 2015’s follow-up suffered a bit of a slow puncture. Can this third and supposedly final outing restore the show to its former glories?Episode one made a tidy and reasonably...

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The Halcyon, Series 1 Finale, ITV

A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now…One of the many ironies of Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon’s massive novel partly set in 1940s London, is that what follows these opening lines (...

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