mon 20/01/2020

TV drama

Messiah, Netflix review - con-artist or the Second Coming?

It’s an intriguing question. If a new Messiah appeared today, what kind of reception could he (if it was a he) expect? Possibly something similar to the one which greeted Jesus, according to Netflix’s new series Messiah.Created by Michael Petroni,...

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Best of 2019: TV

As symbolic moments go, the arrival of Martin Scorsese's new gangster epic The Irishman on Netflix took some beating. It exemplified the adage that "TV is the new cinema", and at the same time perhaps suggested a new and less digestible adage,...

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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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Traces, Alibi review - pedigree cast battles implausible plot

Alibi is usually your one-stop shop for re-runs of Father Brown or Death in Paradise, so well done them for commissioning this new murder mystery. It comes with a glittering pedigree, having been created by actor-turned-writer Amelia Bullmore (Scott...

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Giri/Haji, Series Finale, BBC Two review - a thriller, but much more besides

Happily, Joe Barton’s tinglingly original thriller (BBC Two) finished as smartly as it began, not by any humdrum tying-up of loose ends but by giving free rein to the story’s ambiguities and impossible choices. If indeed they really were choices....

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The Sinner, Series 2, BBC Four review - a white-knuckle ride into spiritual darkness

The first series of The Sinner in 2017 starred Jessica Biel as a disturbed woman who seemingly inexplicably stabbed a man to death on a beach, then could remember nothing about the crime. This second season on BBC Four finds Biel on board as...

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Vienna Blood, BBC Two review - psychoanalysis and murder in turn-of-the-century Vienna

“Talking cures and exploring the darkness of men’s souls – are you sure this is a career for a gentleman?” This is Vienna, 1906. Freud is exerting an influence, to the disapproval of many, including the father of cool-as-a-cucumber Max Liebermann (...

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The Crown, Series 3, Netflix review - if you want binge TV, there's none finer

Although it conforms to a realistic chronology of events, this third season of Peter Morgan’s remarkable voyage around the House of Windsor (on Netflix) has the feel of a sequence of standalone dramas, linked together by its interrelated characters...

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The Accident, Series Finale, Channel 4 review - ambitious mini-series leaves many unanswered questions

Channel 4’s The Accident closed with a bang and a whimper. Jack Thorne provided a definitive answer to his series’ central question, but his characters and subplots petered out in the meantime.Over four episodes, this series examined the fallout of...

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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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