Shiny Shelf
By Lance Parkin on 30 September 2011 Comments Off

‘The Feathered Serpent’ is the love child of ‘I, Claudius’ and ‘Doctor Who’, and is just as peculiar and rewarding as that sounds.

By Julio Angel Ortiz on 13 June 2011 Comments Off

In late summer of 2003, I was laid off from my job. In-between looking for a new job, I had extra time at home to be with the family and watch television, and I got hooked on the American crime show ‘Law and Order’.
This began my interest in a genre of television that I had [...]

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By Lance Parkin on 08 June 2011 Comments Off

‘Upstairs Downstairs’ is one of the best known British TV series of the seventies, on both sides of the Atlantic (and has recently been revived). It quickly became a centerpiece of [...]

By Mark Clapham on 05 May 2011 Comments Off

Kate Summerscale’s ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’ is a brave choice of book to adapt into an ITV drama.
While the subject matter – the investigation of a nationally notorious child murder in the mid 19th century, at the dawn of the age of detection – is dramatic, the way Summerscale’s book deals with it concentrates [...]

By Jim Smith on 04 January 2011 1 COMMENT

ITV’s ‘Marple’ is, and always has been, a strange hybrid beast and this is perhaps down to what seem to be a large number of contradictory pressures on it.

By Shiny Shelf on 27 December 2010 Comments Off

Like Scrooge, we’re a bit at sea about what the future holds for our favourite kinds of nonsense.

By Iain Hepburn on 08 October 2010 Comments Off

If you’re on the southern side of Hadrian’s Wall, you may, but more likely may not, have heard about ITV’s spat with their Caledonian counterparts at STV.

By Mags L Halliday on 06 October 2010 Comments Off

‘Downton Abbey’ is haunted by the past. Not within the drama, but at a meta level.

By Jim Smith on 07 September 2010 Comments Off

One of those things that, while you’re watching it, you can’t help but be deeply suspicious of the reaction the production is trying to evoke.

By Scott Harrison on 19 July 2010 1 COMMENT

Ask any fan of 1960s spy show ‘The Avengers’ and they’ll all tell you the same thing – series four was the point where it started to go seriously bonkers.

By Scott Harrison on 29 April 2010 1 COMMENT

The remake of The Prisoner hadn’t even transmitted on British television before fans were leaping online to express their opinions on this apparent travesty.

By Scott Harrison on 15 April 2010 1 COMMENT

Do you remember when British television used to be good? I mean consistently good?

Good stuff like ‘The Avengers’, not Z-list celeb-reality tat or auditions for Lloyd-Webber’s latest West End ‘hit’. I’m talking G.O.O.D.

By Mark Clapham on 29 March 2009 Comments Off

… they take up most of our time: recent UK TV crime series ‘Whitechapel’, ‘Moses Jones’, and ‘Red Riding’ hit DVD.

By Mark Clapham on 15 January 2009 Comments Off


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By Mags L Halliday on 21 January 2006 Comments Off

There’s something about ITV’s talent/reality/celebrity shows which always smells faintly of desperation. In the case of ‘Dancing on Ice’, it is ITV’s desperation to catch the early Saturday evening audience’s loyalty before ‘Doctor Who’ returns…

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By Eddie Robson on 11 January 2006 Comments Off

ITV is making a bold step into the new year by changing its idents…

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By Jim Smith on 02 January 2006 Comments Off

I miss, I’ll confess, the pseudo art deco title sequence which accompanied the one hour episodes (especially the bit with the train).

By Eddie Robson on 02 January 2006 Comments Off

Our series on how 2005 went for the major players in British terrestrial TV continues with an overview of ITV’s 50th year…

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By Eddie Robson on 04 October 2005 Comments Off

It is, of course, a coincidence that ITV is screening a series about a medium called Alison just as BBC1 starts running its new American import, a series called ‘Medium’ about a medium called Alison…

By Eddie Robson on 25 July 2005 Comments Off

Last week it was reported that Ofcom had fined Five (the channel, not the defunct boyband) for broadcasting an unnecessarily loud commercial break…

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By Eddie Robson on 26 November 2004 Comments Off

Quite peculiar watching this light comedy-drama in the knowledge that it comes from the pen of the man who’s doing the new series of ‘Doctor Who’…

By Stephen Lavington on 30 January 2004 Comments Off

It’s good to find an original comedy concept, and it looks like this is such a rare discovery as Rob Brydon provides comic voice-over to a series of C-grade TV series (‘Bonanza’, ‘Duchess of Duke Street’, ‘Mr and Mrs’)…

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By Eddie Robson on 29 January 2004 Comments Off

‘The Director’s Commentary’ is one of those simple/genius ideas that you wish you’d thought of first…

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By Eddie Robson on 14 January 2004 Comments Off

It’s bleak. It’s slow. It’s depressing. It’s hardly surprising: it’s Thomas Hardy…

By Mags L Halliday on 17 December 2003 Comments Off

The quality of work put into this new series of ‘Poirot’ is undeniable. Technically it is faultless but there’s one main problem. Agatha Christie can’t plot her way out of a railway carriage…

By Mark Clapham on 15 November 2003 Comments Off

Seven years have passed since the last ‘Prime Suspect’, and Helen Mirren’s Jane Tennison is still as obstinate, clever and compassionate as before…

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By Jim Smith on 08 July 2003 Comments Off

‘Fortysomething’, a loose adaptation of Nigel Williams’ novel of mid-life crisis, is that great rarity of twenty-first century life – British television which is actually worth watching.

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By Jim Smith on 29 April 2003 Comments Off

This review may be a little late but, hey, so was the release of the discs. This is the last of the four two-DVD boxes that compromise writer Richard Carpenter’s magic-heavy TV re-working of England’s second favourite mythic hero…

By Jim Smith on 17 March 2003 Comments Off

Last episodes of TV series are important. They define the way a series is remembered by both its fans and the general public.

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By Jim Smith on 11 February 2003 Comments Off

‘Hello, is that Aidensfield Royal Free Hospital? I’d like to order a side of bland to go with my bland, as I’m afraid our TV schedule isn’t quite bland enough right now. I can? Could you get a tenth rate actor to bike it round to me immediately? Ta.’.

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By Jim Smith on 11 February 2003 Comments Off

So Steven Baxter is not so much God made man as post modernity made flesh in the concluding part of Russell T Davies ‘The Second Coming’. Davies’ script explicitly rattles Nietzsche’s cage for us…

By Jim Smith on 10 February 2003 Comments Off

The title gives you a pretty good idea of what the concept behind Russell T Davies’ superbly realised ITV mini-series is, and it’s a production which combines magic realism, wit, out-and-out-camp and manic pacing in roughly equal measure.

By Eddie Robson on 10 February 2003 Comments Off

Hyperbole? No. Believe it.

By Jim Smith on 08 February 2003 Comments Off

Much anticipated by many, this adaptation of the first of Leslie Thomas’ ‘Dangerous Davies’ novels marked the return of Peter Davison to the lead of a mainstream TV drama after far too long an absence.

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By Jim Smith on 06 January 2003 Comments Off

Tongue in cheek, sword at the ready, main sail at stunsel! Aaaah, that’s the ticket.

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By Jim Smith on 24 November 2002 Comments Off

Watched today ‘Robin of Sherwood’ strikes you as too good to be an ongoing British television drama series. It has production values, fine acting and a sense of style.

By Jim Smith on 08 November 2002 Comments Off

The second season of ‘Robin of Sherwood’ sees the programme hit its peak. This is a superbly put together box set containing several hours of terrific television.