thu 29/06/2017

TV drama

The best TV to watch this week

Channel-rich but time-poor? We sift the schedules for you.Friday 23 JuneVersailles, BBC Two – final episode of Series 2, with Louis XIV (George Blagden) arresting, torturing and burning his opponents to tighten his grip on the throne. The...

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Chance, Universal review – Hugh Laurie is reborn as a film-noir shrink

Hugh Laurie, in his new role of forensic neuropsychiatrist Eldon Chance, tells us that he works with those who are “mutilated by life”, and we soon see that Chance himself falls into that category. He’s in the midst of a divorce, he only sees his...

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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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Murdered For Being Different, BBC Three review - unbearable but unmissable

Heaven alone knows we have pressing anxieties enough to preoccupy us, but if you the emotional bandwidth to accommodate more, the iPlayer can oblige. Available now on BBC Three is the latest in what now becomes a trilogy of heartrending dramas with...

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Riviera, Sky Atlantic review - codswallop on the Côte d'Azur

W Somerset Maugham, who knew a thing or two about the dark side, summed up the Riviera as “a sunny place for shady people”. On the evidence of this first episode, Riviera is a funny place for shitty people.The first few minutes flung us...

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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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10 Questions for The Radiophonic Workshop's Paddy Kingsland

Formed in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneered groundbreaking innovation in music making, using anything and everything to create new textures and tones to satisfy eager TV producers looking for otherwordly...

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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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Poldark, Series 3, BBC One review - tempestuous passions and pantomime villains ride again

Is it always the same bit of Cornish clifftop they gallop along in Poldark? Anyway here it was again, raising the curtain on the third series. As the camera flew in over a gaggle of squawking seagulls spiralling above the foaming surf crashing on...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Naked Civil Servant

For those of us still mourning John Hurt, this lovely HD restoration of the actor’s favourite film is a real joy. Made in 1975 for Thames Television, it’s stood the test of time remarkably well. Funny, moving and often cited as a turning point in...

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Ackley Bridge, Channel 4 review – can the town's new academy bring racial and social harmony?

Welcome to Ackley Bridge Academy, home of a new Channel 4 drama and a new amalgam of two segregated schools in a Yorkshire mill town setting out to prove itself “a new school with a new attitude”. This, at least, is the vision of new headteacher...

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The Handmaid's Tale, Channel Four review - triumphant dystopian drama

The second episode of Bruce Miller’s brilliant dramatisation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4 finds Offred (the wonderful Elisabeth Moss) being penetrated by Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes, looking conflicted). Of...

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