sat 17/04/2021

TV drama

Too Close, ITV review - capable cast struggles with unrewarding material

What may have happened here is that an intriguing book has been turned into a not so great TV series. Too Close was Natalie Daniels’s well-received first novel, and she has adapted it for this ITV three-parter under her real name of Clara Salaman....

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Intruder, Channel 5 review - implausible but watchable

Channel 5 is rather partial to its four-night dramas, though recent effort The Drowning seemed to have sneaked unseen past the quality control department on its way to the screen. It pulled in the viewers though, and Intruder will probably do the...

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Extract: TV by Susan Bordo

"Television and I grew up together." As a baby boomer born in 1947, Susan Bordo is roughly the same age as our beloved gogglebox, which began life as a broad box with a ten-inch screen, chunky and clunky and encased in wood. With the rapid changes...

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Keeping Faith, Series 3, BBC One review - is the drama turning to melodrama?

After arriving with a bang in 2018, Keeping Faith (BBC One) disappointed many (though not all) of its fans with 2019’s second series. It’s had a bit of a breather before this third – and final – series, first seen in its Welsh version Un Bore...

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The Flight Attendant, Sky One review - first-class entertainment

“I get to see all these beautiful places and look passengers right in the eye and say the word trash.” Meet Cassie Bowden (the excellent Kaley Cuoco), flight attendant on Imperial Atlantic Airways. In firm denial about her alcohol problem, she...

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Line of Duty, Series 6, BBC One review - fasten your seatbelts, it's back

Jed Mercurio’s tangly police corruption thriller Line of Duty has become one of the jewels in the BBC’s drama crown, and this sixth (and possibly last) series has finally arrived on BBC One after a steadily growing crescendo of pre-publicity. Can it...

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The One, Netflix review - the downside of scientific matchmaking

Readers of John Marrs’s 2017 novel The One should probably look away now, since Netflix’s dramatisation of the story bears scant resemblance to the book. The basic premise – that a corporation has invented a method of DNA testing which can match...

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Unforgotten, Series 4, ITV review - is the familiar formula wearing thin?

There comes a time when every successful formula can do with an overhaul, and that particular bell may be tolling for Unforgotten (ITV). Regular viewers will be familiar with writer Chris Lang’s modus operandi – a corpse (usually grotesque and of...

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Deutschland 89, Channel 4 review - the Wall comes down, what next?

Joerg and Anna Winger’s gripping drama of East Germany, a loose portrait set over the final decade of that country’s existence, has reached its culmination, and this first episode of Deutschland 89 landed us right in the unpredictable maelstrom of...

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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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Your Honor, Sky Atlantic review - Bryan Cranston suffers fear and loathing in New Orleans

Nice to find Bryan Cranston taking the lead in a TV series again (this is his first since Breaking Bad ended in 2013), and the role of New Orleans judge Michael Desiato fits him like a well-tailored suit. Our first glimpses of him at work in his...

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Bloodlands, BBC One review - ghosts of the Troubles return to poison the present

Belfast-based thriller Bloodlands comes from the pen of first-time TV writer Chris Brandon, though he may find some of his thunder being stolen by the show’s producer, Line of Duty supremo Jed Mercurio. Line of Duty is filmed in Belfast too, though...

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