thu 23/05/2019

TV drama

Hatton Garden, ITV review - ancient burglars bore again

Have we passed peak Hatton Garden? It’s now four years since a gang of old lags pulled off the biggest heist of them all. They penetrated a basement next door to a safe-deposit company, drilled through the wall, and made off with many millions quids...

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Gentleman Jack, BBC One review - the revolutionary life of Anne Lister

In 2010, Maxine Peake starred in The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, but this new dramatisation of Lister’s life has been gestating in Sally Wainwright’s brain for 20 years, and finally arrives under the auspices of the BBC and HBO. Hugely...

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Cannes 2019: Too Old to Die Young - nightmarish LA noir

This year, Cannes has been adamantly defending traditional cinema, with more than a few jibes at Netflix (who remain persona non grata at the festival), but that hasn’t stopped them screening two episodes of Nicolas Winding Refn’s new Amazon TV...

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The Virtues, Channel 4 review - close and personal with stunning Stephen Graham

The Virtues (Channel 4) sees director Shane Meadows (Dead Man’s Shoes, This Is England) reunite with actor Stephen Graham in what is certainly their most raw and emotionally bruising project to date. Meadows returns to familiar territory, with...

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Years and Years, BBC One review - ambitious but amorphous

As the double-edged Chinese proverb has it, “may you live in interesting times.” Screenwriter Russell T Davies evidently thanks that’s exactly where we’re at, and his new six-part drama Years and Years (BBC One) is a bold, sprawling but – as far as...

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Chernobyl, Sky Atlantic review - a glimpse of Armageddon

“I take it the safety test was a failure,” remarked Viktor Bryukhanov, director of Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power station. You could say that again. The catastrophic explosions at the Vladimir I Lenin plant on 26 April 1986, caused by a safety...

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Trust Me, Series 2 Finale, BBC One review - dodgy doctors and unreliable nurses

Writer Dan Sefton’s four-part hospital drama reached a modestly satisfying conclusion as the phantom killer stalking the wards was finally unmasked, following the usual twists and misdirections obligatory in thrillerland. I felt quite pleased with...

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Line of Duty, BBC One, series 5 finale review - big highs and Biggeloe

The porn was a bit disappointing, was it not? Dear old Ted, no longer romantically active, admitted to being a user. The Superintendent Hastings fanclub sighed for sorrow to witness him toss away his status as an essentially decent heartthrob for...

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Chimerica, Channel 4 review - fake news, true drama

Chimerica is a stage-to-screen adaptation that has certainly kept up with the times. When it opened at the Almeida back in 2013 – a West End transfer followed, along with an Olivier award for Best New Play – Lucy Kirkwood’s drama was (very...

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Don't Forget the Driver, BBC Two review - trying to beat the Bognor blues

Bognor Regis was once renowned for its restorative climate and was much favoured by George V (he awarded the town the “Regis” tag), but times have changed if Toby Jones’s new series is anything to go by. The Bognor we see in BBC Two's Don't Forget...

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The Widow, ITV review - Kate Beckinsale stars in tale of a missing husband

The Williams brothers (The Missing, Liar, Rellik, Baptiste) are back. In The Widow, the writer-producer team of Jack and Harry move on to Wales, Rotterdam and corruption in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the recipe is wearyingly familiar...

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The Bay, ITV, review - Broadchurch goes north

In the 1970s, the Mancunian stand-up Colin Crompton had a famous routine about Morecambe. He characterised Morecambe as “a sort of cemetery with lights” where “they don't bury their dead, they stand them up in bus shelters with a bingo ticket in...

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