thu 02/04/2020

TV drama

Batwoman, E4 review - can Bruce Wayne's female cousin fill his bat-costume?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been saturating the globe with its multi-format superheroes, leaving its DC rival looking clumsy and disorganised by comparison. However, DC’s “Arrowverse” – a roster of TV shows including Arrow, The Flash and...

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Our Girl, Series 5, BBC One review - where soap and warfare collide

Some things never change in Our Girl. At the beginning of 2018’s Series 4, military heroine Georgie Lane (Michelle Keegan) had been traumatised by the death of her fiance Elvis Harte, killed in Afghanistan at the end of Series 3. At the start of...

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Penance, Channel 5 review - lust, disgust and mistrust in Kate O'Riordan's thrilller

Adapted by Kate O’Riordan from her own novel, Penance is a taut little thriller spread over three consecutive nights. It’s not going to rock the planet off its axis, but there’s enough twisty and salacious intrigue to keep you coming back.There’s a...

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Belgravia, ITV review - when the toffs and the nouveaux riches collided

The prolific Lord Fellowes returns with this six-part adaptation of his own novel (for ITV), a niftily-wrought yarn (originally issued in online instalments) about the old aristocracy and the rise of new money in the early 19th Century. Some are...

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The Trouble With Maggie Cole, ITV review - Dawn French stars in new comedy drama

ITV's drama department is in overdrive at the moment, with a seemingly endless release of series with high production values and stellar casts, and the latest is The Trouble With Maggie Cole. It's a six-parter based on an idea by Dawn French (...

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Liar, Series 2, ITV review - more crime-by-numbers from the Williams brothers

The first series of Liar, one of many thrillers from the fertile keyboards of Jack and Harry Williams, was on ITV back in 2017, so you may have forgotten the somewhat labyrinthine details. In a nutshell, smarmy surgeon and serial rapist Andrew...

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Flesh and Blood, ITV review - Vivien's new love affair throws a cat among the family pigeons

“Everybody lies," says property developer Tony to his PA and secret lover Natalie. “Even your mum probably.” And of course he’s not wrong.Sarah Williams’s drama, showing over four consecutive nights on ITV, is an easy-to-digest and deftly-wrought...

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Hunters, Amazon Prime review - bringing God's justice to Nazis in America

Apparently network executives initially reacted with alarm to the premise of Hunters, Amazon’s new big-ticket series chiefly (though by no means entirely) notable for hosting Al Pacino’s first full-scale television role. Its story of Jewish Nazi-...

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The Stranger, Netflix review - strong cast grapples with labyrinthine plotting

This eight-part mystery from Netflix is based on the titular novel by American writer Harlan Coben, who has formed a production company with Rochdale’s own Nicola Schindler, the production brains behind Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax and many...

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Sex Education, Series 2, Netflix review - the teen sex show we deserved

Netflix’s Sex Education has returned to our screens and streams. The show made waves last year for its refreshing take on the teen comedy-drama. It took on abortion, consent and female pleasure — subjects strikingly absent from our actual high...

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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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The Pale Horse, BBC One review - when in doubt, do another Agatha Christie remake

You could sometimes begin to believe that the notion of original TV drama is dying out, replaced by an interminable stream of adaptations and remakes. Did somebody mention Dracula? Screenwriter Sarah Phelps is currently the BBC’s go-to specialist...

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