sat 24/08/2019

tv

Brexit: The Uncivil War, Channel 4 review - Benedict Cumberbatch gets the best tunes

Jasper Rees

One day this all will be over. Give it half a century. In 50 years' time, there will be documentaries in which today’s young, by then old, will explain to generations yet unborn exactly how and why Britain went round the twist in 2016.

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Luther, Series 5, BBC One review - welcome return for Idris Elba's maverick 'tec

Saskia Baron

“Can you breathe?’ “Yeah.” “Shame, that”. Another ne’er-do-well is being banged to rights after a chase through container stacks in the dark. Luther is back, and he hasn’t upgraded his Volvo or changed his tweed coat – but we don’t really mind, do we?

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Escape at Dannemora, Sky Atlantic review - Ben Stiller's breakout drama impresses

Jasper Rees

The facts of Escape at Dannemora (Sky Atlantic) are notorious in America. Convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Indeed a less enquiring version of the story might have been called Escape from Dannemora. But the preposition is key.

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Les Misérables, BBC One review - Dominic West looks the part in new Victor Hugo adaptation

Adam Sweeting

There’s no singing, no Hugh Jackman and no Anne Hathaway, and the dolorous tone of Andrew Davies’s new adaptation of Victor Hugo’s sprawling novel is established in the opening scene.

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Best of 2018: TV

theartsdesk

Bruce Springsteen once sang about there being "57 channels and nothin' on". Those were the days. Now we have so much to watch (including Netflix's Springsteen on Broadway) that all the world's remaining elephants couldn't remember them all.

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The ABC Murders, BBC One, review - John Malkovich's dark reboot of Poirot

Jasper Rees

Sarah Phelps’s annual reboot of a canonical murder mystery by Agatha Christie has rapidly established itself as a Christmas staple of TV drama.

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Upstart Crow, BBC Two review - Shakespeare does Dickens in seasonal tale

Veronica Lee

After the heart-breaking ending to the third series earlier this year, which covered the death of William Shakespeare's young son, Hamnet, it was back to the comedy for this seasonal special. 

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Torvill & Dean, ITV review - skating into history

Adam Sweeting

When Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won their ice skating gold medal at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984, notching up an all-time record score which included 12 perfect sixes, it looked like a real-life fairytale.

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Merry Christmas Baby - Gregory Porter & Friends, BBC Two review - mellow becomes slo-mo

Sebastian Scotney

In 2017, the BBC Wales team with director Rhodri Huw filmed a Christmas show in the old 1888 Coal Exchange in Cardiff, now a hotel. Tom Jones and Beverley Knight’s Gospel Christmas was an exciting and upbeat show, which ended in an electrifying “Born in Bethlehem”.

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The Dead Room, BBC Four review - ghosts at the microphone

Adam Sweeting

Fired by the spirit of the MR James ghost stories which used to be a Christmas staple on the BBC, Mark Gatiss conceived this amusing bonne bouche as both a seasonal chiller and a nod to the ghost of broadcasting past.

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