wed 12/08/2020

BBC One

Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special, BBC One - a big cwtch from Barry

What joy to be back with the Shipman and West families, created by writing team James Corden and Ruth Jones. It has been 10 years since sitcom Gavin & Stacey left our screens, and in this Christmas special there was some catching up to do as the...

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A Christmas Carol, BBC One review – Dickens classic recast as gruelling horror story

If you came to this expecting to be reminded of such ghosts of Scrooges past as Alastair Sim or Bill Murray, you will have been reaching either for the brandy or the defibrillator. In the hands of screenwriter Steven Peaky Blinders Knight and...

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Elizabeth Is Missing, BBC One review - a tender but tough-minded drama about ageing and loss

In films, as in life, unreliable narrators are not hard to find. But there is something remarkable about the unreliable narrator of Elizabeth is Missing, BBC One’s newest feature-length drama. Its protagonist, Maud (Glenda Jackson), is unreliable in...

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Gold Digger, BBC One review - Julia Ormond tackles those mid-life blues

A tip of the hat to Julia Ormond for boldly going where many an actress might have chosen not to. In this new six-parter by Marnie Dickens, she plays Julia Day, a mother of three who’s just divorced her husband and is turning 60. Dickens’s objective...

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World on Fire, BBC One, series finale review - may this fine war drama fight on

A bit like all those people on the home front in 1940 (but only a little bit), we sit and nervously wait for news. Is World on Fire (BBC One) still listed among the living? Or even now is someone typing up the letter and sticking it in a brown...

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Dublin Murders, Series Finale, BBC One review - eerie detective drama grips tightly

You wouldn’t expect a drama called Dublin Murders (BBC One) to be a laugh a minute, but the cumulative anguish, menace and torment of this eight-parter made it almost unbearable, even if viewers were thrown a tiny scrap of hope in the final frames....

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Love and Hate Crime, BBC One review - Abel Cedeno was a killer, but was he also a victim?

This series examines murders in the USA “with elements of love and passion as well as prejudice”, and the second season opened (on BBC One) with "Killing in the Classroom", the story of the fatal stabbing of New York school student Matthew McCree by...

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The Capture, BBC One, series finale review - nimble drama alive with twists

What did we learn at the end of The Capture (BBC One)? A rice jar is a good place to hide USB sticks. It’s possible to withhold the opening credits for 11 whole minutes. A green coat works exceptionally well with light blue eyes and shoulder-length...

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The Capture, Episode 5, BBC One review - the man who knew too much

Five episodes ago, BBC One's The Capture set off at a cracking pace with the apparent abduction and murder of barrister Hannah Roberts by army lance-corporal Shaun Emery. With Roberts’s help, Emery had been acquitted of killing a Taliban fighter in...

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World on Fire, BBC One review - more melodrama than drama

For his new drama series for BBC One, writer Peter Bowker (The A Word, Monroe etc) has taken as his canvas no less than a panorama of Europe in 1939, just as World War Two is breaking out. His principal characters include Harry Chase, a young man...

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The Cameron Years, BBC One review - quite interesting but a bit boring

David Cameron has been a recluse since the fateful days of June 2016 when the referendum on EU membership didn’t go quite the way he’d hoped. He’s probably been living through a private purgatory. “I think I will think about this forever,” he...

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The Capture, BBC One review - gripping drama about the surveillance society

Ben Chanan's The Capture (BBC One), which he wrote and directed, is a bang-up-to-the-minute dystopian thriller about the increasingly surveilled society we live in. In last night’s opening episode of six, he set out his stall from the first frame,...

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