thu 26/11/2020

BBC One

Small Axe: Mangrove, BBC One review - explosive start to five films about racial injustice

With the Black Lives Matter movement spurred this year by another wave of police brutality against African Americans, Steve McQueen’s blisteringly powerful, viscerally topical drama reminds us of the UK’s own torrid record in that regard,...

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His Dark Materials, Series 2, BBC One review – upping the ante whilst retaining the magic

The first series of the BBC and HBO’s fantasy adventure His Dark Materials felt even more timely than when author Phillip Pullman first published Northern Lights twenty-five-years ago. The second season builds on the heady mix of philosophy and...

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Extinction: The Facts, BBC One review - David Attenborough tells a devastating story

Fires are raging: by human agency – unthinking greed – in the Amazonian rainforest, by climate change, arson and accident in California and the American Northwest, and barely under control in Australia, another country whose leading politicians and...

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The Truth about Cosmetic Treatments, BBC One review - pain, but not much gain?

According to one interviewee here, a young Mancunian woman festooned with eyeliner, tattoos, pumped-up lips and huge hoop earrings, a major motivation for having cosmetic treatments is to make yourself look like Kylie Jenner and the Kardashians. “...

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The Luminaries, BBC One review - one of the most visually arresting dramas of the year

Alarm bells start ringing whenever you discover an author is adapting their own work for a screenplay. In the case of New Zealand novelist Eleanor Catton, the alarm proves to be false. Over the course of seven years, and apparently 200 drafts...

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The Salisbury Poisonings, BBC One review - the Cold War comes to Wiltshire

The poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal with the nerve agent novichok in 2018 was one of the more bizarre episodes in recent memory, a kind of delayed-action echo of the Cold War. Sergei, a former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as...

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The Other One, BBC One review - entertaining odd-couple sitcom

This engaging sitcom created by comedian Holly Walsh has had a long gestation: this, the pilot episode, was first broadcast back in 2017 but Walsh's pregnancy meant that the six-part series commissioned at the time was filmed last year.The show was...

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The A Word, Series 3, BBC One review - Christopher Eccleston steals the show

Christopher Eccleston isn’t the easiest actor to love, because he gives the impression he’ll reach through the screen and grab you by the throat if you don’t appreciate his ferocious thespian intensity, but with the role of Maurice Scott in The A...

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Killing Eve, Series 3, BBC iPlayer review - Eve and Villanelle resume operations

Instant spoiler alert: she’s not dead. But do we care? Prepare for the plumbing of new psychological depths from showrunner Suzanne Heathcote, previously story editor, appropriately enough, on Fear the Walking Dead, but that may not be enough to...

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theartsdesk Q&A: actor Gemma Whelan

She's not quite a household name yet, but Leeds-born Gemma Whelan is heading speedily in that direction. Having started out as a standup comedian, winning the Funny Women Variety Award in 2010, Whelan began notching up film and TV roles, en route to...

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Beauty Laid Bare, BBC One review - a facial peel for the cosmetics business

In this aptly-titled series (BBC One), four British 20-somethings visit the USA to investigate the inner workings of the beauty industry. Perhaps not surprisingly, they discover that it’s a hotbed of greed and exploitation.Their first stop was the...

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The Split, Series 2, BBC One review - where the law and family fortunes collide

The return of screenwriter Abi Morgan’s series about a largely-female London law firm is no doubt in tune with our gender and equality-conscious times, but that doesn’t mean it’s great television. Its legal storylines are counterpointed against...

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