wed 05/10/2022

BBC Two

The Newsreader, BBC Two review - a drama series of welcome substance from Australia

Period drama from Australia is something of a rarity on our televisions, so The Newsreader scores for novelty alone. It’s not startlingly innovative in form, but it does what it sets out to do in a highly satisfying way. Which is to tell a tale of...

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Mick Jagger: My Life as a Rolling Stone review, BBC Two - the rock'n'roll enigma gives little away as the band reaches 60

At the beginning of this film, Mick Jagger says: “What most documentaries do is repeat the same thing over and over… all the mythology is repeated until it becomes true.” He’s right, as he so often is. This latest attempt to prise open the enigma of...

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Thatcher & Reagan: A Very Special Relationship, BBC Two review - when the Iron Lady met the Cowboy President

This two-part documentary about how the Eighties were partly shaped by the British Prime Minister and the US President was obviously planned long before the Russians invaded Ukraine, but it’s a powerful illustration of how history doesn’t stop, but...

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Danny Boy, BBC Two review - when law and war collide

The issue of public inquiries into the conduct of the military is in the headlines again, with a current focus on Northern Ireland, but at the centre of screenwriter Robert Jones’s Danny Boy was the attempt to find British soldiers guilty of war...

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My Father and Me, BBC Two review - Nick Broomfield's moving voyage around his family

Nick Broomfield made his first film 50 years ago, and his career over those five decades (and some three dozen works) has been as distinctive, and distinguished as that of any British documentary maker. It has ranged from early films on British...

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The Terror, BBC Two review - nightmare in the Arctic wastes

Admittedly, Antarctic explorer Captain Scott was at the other end of the earth from the protagonists of The Terror (BBC Two), but they would surely have concurred with his anguished observation: “Great God! This is an awful place.” Based on Dan...

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Harlots, BBC Two review – sublime, ridiculous, and always entertaining

Back to Georgian brothels, now – at least, for those of us who don’t have a Hulu subscription. The BBC’s airing of the second series of Harlots over the summer felt strangely timely. Barely an episode in and an angry crowd was hammering at the local...

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Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson, BBC Two review - ambitious history of the slave trade falls short

Enlisting Hollywood giant Samuel L Jackson to host a series about the history of slavery, his own ancestors having been trafficked from West Africa to the Americas, was a headline-grabbing move, and scenes where we travelled with Jackson to the...

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Our World: Colombia - Saving Eden, BBC Two review - the war is over, but can they save the rainforests?

Stories of the destruction of the natural environment are depressingly common, but Frank Gardner brought a fresh slant to this punchy account of a botanical expedition to Colombia (BBC Two). Best known as the BBC’s security correspondent, Gardner...

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The Unbelievable Story of Carl Beech, BBC Two review - a stomach-turning swamp of lies and incompetence

The story of the malignant fantasist Carl Beech is one of the more iniquitous episodes in British legal history, a stomach-turning swamp of lies, gullibility and heinous incompetence. It shook faith in some of our supposedly most robust institutions...

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Mandy, BBC2 review - Diane Morgan's new creation

Mandy started life in the Comedy Shorts season last year, and has now been given a six-part series. Diane Morgan, who has a solid CV in other writers' work including Philomena Cunk, Motherland and After Life, here writes, directs and stars as the...

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Bears About the House, BBC Two review - uphill struggle to save hunted animals

Sun bears and moon bears are probably doomed, so why bother? Wildlife trafficking is a hugely profitable worldwide criminal enterprise, with small charities (fingers in the dyke, anyone?) doing their best to stem the flow.The international charity...

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