sun 12/07/2020

tv

8 Days, Sky Atlantic review - could armageddon really be this boring?

Adam Sweeting

Beware the asteroid Horus! It’s 60km wide and it’s hurtling towards Earth at incalculable speed. Scientists say, with unfeasible precision, that the impact point will be La Rochelle in France, and it’s going to destroy all of western Europe.

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

Adam Sweeting

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.

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Country Music by Ken Burns, BBC Four review - grand history of fiddlers on the hoof

Jasper Rees

Ken Burns is the closest American television has to David Attenborough. They may swim in different seas, but they both have an old-school commitment to an ethos that will be missed when it’s gone – the idea that television is a place to communicate information with a sober sense of wonder. Burns’s field is American history in all its breadth and depth. Last time round it was a lapidary decalogue of documentaries about the Vietnam War.

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Greg Davies: Looking for Kes, BBC Four review - touching insights into the story of Barnsley boy Billy Casper

Adam Sweeting

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Ken Loach’s film Kes, and the 51st of A Kestrel for a Knave, the Barry Hines novel it was based on. The story of Barnsley boy Billy Casper who finds an escape from his painful home life and brutal schooling by training a wild kestrel has resonated down the decades, and the film is regarded as a classic of British cinema, even if the Americans couldn’t understand its Yorkshire accents.

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

Markie Robson-Scott

“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 (Matthew Beard).

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

Adam Sweeting

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 and their shared history.

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

Jill Chuah Masters

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.

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Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, Episode Three, BBC Four review – more than a bit of Botticelli

Tom Baily

Once again the whodunit becomes the whoforgedit in the newest installment of the Britain’s Lost Masterpieces series.

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Gold Digger, BBC One review - Julia Ormond tackles those mid-life blues

Adam Sweeting

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.

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Ant Middleton and Liam Payne: Straight Talking, Sky 1 review - when the commando met the pop star

Adam Sweeting

“What is wrong with us? What are we doing here?” Liam Payne asked the camera, as we neared the end of his jaunt round picturesque Namibia with his quizmaster Ant Middleton. The short answer would be “it’s for the publicity, you idiot,” but of course he knows that full well. He’d just leapt off a cliff face and swung in wide circles on a rope above the russet-coloured desert far below.

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