tue 20/08/2019

tv

Best of 2014: TV

Adam Sweeting

Apologies in advance to fans of The Missing, The Honourable Woman, The Fall, Game of Thrones or House of Cards, none of which feature in the list below, but might well have done. So might The Good Wife, Ripper Street and Peaky Blinders.

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Wolf Hall comes to BBC Two

Adam Sweeting

You read the book, you saw the play, and in January you can see the BBC's new six-part dramatisation of Wolf Hall. Cunningly adapted by screenwriter Peter Straughan and directed by Peter Kosminsky, the series promises to be both a faithful translation of Hilary Mantel's novel and an absorbingly fresh approach to the telly-isation of history.

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Sci-Fi Week: Out of the Unknown

Tim Cumming

The lightning speed of the past, Raymond Carver once wrote. There’s no epic distance of space larger than that between the imagined futures of decades past and the way things are now. It’s the Jet-Pack conundrum: it should be here but what have we got? Drones and jogging apps.

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Opinion: The docusoap must die, again

Jasper Rees

Television is all about borrowing. One clever new format – a mock doc, a makeover show, a clever-clever quiz – spawns a stack of near-identical clones. Most of them do their time until the format starts to tire, eventually to die a natural death. The only exception is the indestructible talent show. Say what you like about Simon Cowell, but in taking reality ever deeper into the realm of fabrication, he killed off the docusoap.

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American TV not always better, claims BBC boss Danny Cohen

Adam Sweeting

Here at theartsdesk we still receive the occasional missive from readers on several continents incensed at the BBC's axing of Zen in February 2011, a decision taken by then-controller of BBC One Danny Cohen.

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Love for Sale - Rupert Everett's guide to the oldest profession

Adam Sweeting

Anybody who has read Rupert Everett's book Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins will be well aware of his fascination with sex and prostitution, so it's no surprise to find him very much in his element as writer and presenter of the two-part Channel 4 series Love for Sale.

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theartsdesk at the Final Frontier: Trekkie weekend in Blackpool

Jasper Rees

“I don’t do the costumes,” says an intense bloke called Adrian. “That’s for people without a life. I’ve no interest in that.” Further down the corridor, or the Upper Deck as they’re calling it for one weekend only, there’s Kevin, who presumably has no life. Kevin is wearing a maroon zip-up blouson with black shoulders, retailing at £35. “Last year I wore normal clothes and I felt out of place,” he says. “I’ve been a fan for years but I’ve never had the courage to actually come to one.

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10 Questions for Screenwriter Sarah Phelps

Adam Sweeting

In a hectic writing career spanning theatre, radio, film and TV, Sarah Phelps can lay claim to such milestone moments of popular culture as both the return of Den Watts to EastEnders and his subsequent demise in 2005, and writing the screenplay for BBC One's adaptation of Dickens's Great Expectations at Christmas 2011, which starred Ray Winstone and Gillian Anderson.

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Listed: Celebrating Dylan Thomas

Jasper Rees

It won’t have escaped the attention of anyone with an ear for poetry that Dylan Thomas turns 100 this year. He was born in a suburban house on a hill overlooking Swansea Bay a few months after the outbreak of war, and by his early 20s had been hailed a significant poetic voice by TS Eliot. By 39 he was dead, hastened to his grave by a lethal combination of alcohol, pneumonia and New York doctors.

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Preview: Martin Amis's England

mark Kidel

On Sunday night, you can hear Martin Amis sound off about Englishness. An advance selection of extracts from the interview were published in the Radio Times on Tuesday. The reaction from the press was instantaneous: Amis is always good copy.

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