TV

This category contains 87 posts

Review: Person of Interest Season 4

Jonathn Nolan and J.J Abrams’ Post-911, high-concept, high-tech, high violence, vigilante, conspiracy-Western, cop-show powers on thanks to the charm of its cast and the lightness of tone, which levens otherwise dark material. The Machine now has its artificial intelligence nemesis in The Samaritan; the PoI gang of Reece, Finch, Fusco, Shaw, Root (and Bear the … Continue reading

Review: Beowulf Return to the Shieldlands (ITV Studios)

Aiming for the early Sunday night audience again, ITV re-boots the epic poem as a Game of Thrones slash Hobbit generic fantasy in a bleak Cumbrian landscape; it’s dark  earnest, but completely lacking any spark of energy or originality. Persuaded to pitch his Beowulf as a generic dour Northerner somewhere between Kit Harrington and Sean … Continue reading

Review: Jekyll and Hyde Season 1 (ITV)

This should be more properly titled “Son of Jekyll and Hyde”, as Tom Bateman is Robert Jekyll, son of Henry, picking up in the 1930’s where R L Stevenson’s literary classic left off. Returning from colonial India, Jekyll Jnr. is soon scouring London for the family secrets, including how it is that he loses his … Continue reading

Review: Dickensian (BBC TV)

It’s all abaht family, ain’t’ it… Eastenders writer Tony Jordan takes the rich tapestry of Dickens’ London characters from the body of novels and creates a complex back story in which they all knew each other – a unified prequel-of-everything. And what better way to kick-start the whole thing than with the murder of Jacob … Continue reading

Review: Last Kingdom (BBC TV)

Despite a funky electronic/tribal soundtrack and a leading man (Alexander Dreymon – Resistance) tilting at Luke Evans/Orlando Bloom charisma, this adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s Dark Age British historical adventure is strangely inert. How do you make the violent years of Saxons resisting Danish invasion dull? Somehow the BBC managed it. Which is curious given the … Continue reading

Review: River (BBC TV)

Do we need another TV cop show? When it’s as brilliant as the BBC’s River, with it’s London-based Scandi-noir feel and a stunning central performance from Stellan Skarsgaard as the grieving, ghost-whispering detective, the answer is definitely yes. From the outset, River is the Sixth Sense detective, with Skarsgaard’s (Thor, Pirates) John River speaking with … Continue reading

Review: River (BBC TV)

Do we need another TV cop show? When it’s as brilliant as River, with it’s London-based Scandi-noir feel and a stunning central performance from Stellan Skarsgaard as the grieving, ghost-whispering detective, the answer is definitely yes. From the outset, River is the Sixth Sense detective, with Skarsgaard’s (Thor, Pirates) John River speaking with the dead … Continue reading

Review: From Darkness (BBC TV)

Proving my old adage that you haven’t made it on TV ’til you have your own cop show, this time it’s Ann-Marie Duff’s turn to play detective. Unfortunately this earnest attempt at a female-led cop show to rival the Danes goes off the rails inside three minutes. Duff (Shameless, Suffragette) is retired constable Claire Church, … Continue reading

Review: CSI Cyber Season 1

Show runners Zuicker, Mendelson and Donahue give up on CSI-cities (they missed CSI Cricklewood) to give themselves free reign with the FBI’s glossed-over cyber-crimes team. Two lurid opening episodes fail to produce anything other than another glossy TV franchise behemoth assembled in expensive kit-form. Including yet another theme tune by The Who. The CSI Cyber … Continue reading

Review: Black Sails Season One

Beginning with a certain ship’s cook, John Silver, stealing a Spanish treasure galleon’s schedule from a certain Captain Flint, Black Sails plunges us into the broiling thieves’ den on New Providence Island (Nassau) in its pirate heyday. As Nassau’s time as a pirate haven is coming to an end and the British and Spanish navies … Continue reading

Review: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (BBC1, 2015)

The BBC brings more wigs and breeches to the Poldark slot; but hold fast, this is no high romantic drama, but the adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, a weirdly pedestrian and parochial tale of bumbling apologetic sorcerors. Imagine BBC’s Ghormenghast without the colour, or Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow without… pretty much everything; it’s … Continue reading

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