Review: Twin Peaks (S3 E3&4/18), Tuesday 30th May, Sky Atlantic

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After last week’s incredible, dark, unpredictable start to the much-anticipated third series of Twin Peaks, there was no telling where things might go in episode three. Those first two episodes featured everything from two Dale Coopers – one in the conscious world reeking havoc and killing people, the other (the one we know and loved from the first two series) still imprisoned in the unconscious world of the Black Lodge – a brutal murder (or three), some mind-bending aural and visual thrills, visceral fear, and some familiar faces making a return. It had a bit of everything from the Lynch canon, and so, too, did these next two episodes. Just not in the way that anyone could have expected.

NB: Spoilers inside  Continue reading

John Simm and Adrian Lester to star in ITV thriller, Trauma

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It could be a busy year for John Simm. One of my favourite actors, he’s set to reappear as The Master in Doctor Who sometime soon, and now news reaches us that he’s signed on to co-star with Adrian Lester – another outstanding actor – in a new three-part ITV thriller, written by Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett. Continue reading

The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 29th May – Sunday 4th June)

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Usually, summer is quiet in the land of TV, especially so in crime drama. But not at the moment. Last week we had the return of Twin Peaks, which was extraordinary (and you really don’t want to miss the next two episodes), and this week sees the return of another my favourites, Fargo. Also look out for new Candian series, Cardinal, on BBC4 and Bloodline, which I forgot to mention last week and is still available to watch on Netflix. Enjoy! Continue reading

Review: Paula (S1 E1/3), Thursday 25th May, BBC2

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Fending off the attentions of randy colleague Philip (Edward Macliam), sozzled, thirtysomething chemistry teacher Paula Denny (Denise Gough) embarks on a one-night stand with James (Tom Hughes), a younger man who is trying unsuccessfully to keep two women and two children on a builder’s wages. And so we were off on this new, three-part thriller. Continue reading

Review: Twin Peaks (S3 E1&2/18), Tuesday 23rd May, Sky Atlantic

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It has been a long time since 1990 – 27 years, maths fans – and since those heady days, when Twin Peaks took over the world for a short while, we’ve had all kinds of dramas on television that have elevated the medium to new heights. Just think, we’ve had The Wire, The Sopranos, Sex And The City, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, True Detective, The Killing, The Bridge and the rise of Netflix and other streaming sites. All genre-defining – era-defining – dramas that have raised the bar. But at the start of it all was Twin Peaks. It struck a chord for so many people – me included – thanks to its beguiling alchemy of whodunit, police procedural, soap and a melodrama (unashamedly so), as well as Lynchian expeditions into other dimensions and the subconscious. There were memorable characters, cliffhangers, emotionally engaging moments, as well as terrifying scenes aplenty that are still branded onto my retinas. Despite its many influences, it became a post-modern masterpiece, something genuinely fresh and new. But 27 years is a long time, and even though I’ve been impossibly excited by its return there was a kernel of dread fomenting in my belly. How would it hold up after all these years and after so much good envelope-pushing drama? My only hope was that this new run of 18 parts, this return to the world of Twin Peaks, would not be engulfed by the new benchmark in quality we’ve seen develop over the past decade or so. I just wanted it to hold its own and be good. It was more than that.

NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading

Review: Inspector George Gently: Gently Liberates (S8 E1/2), Sunday 21st May, BBC1

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(C) Company Pictures – Photographer: Mark Mainz

I do like Inspector George Gently. I know others who think it’s as dull as dishwater, but I’ve always enjoyed the way it has tackled social issues and documented life in the northeast of England in the 1960s; a region that was both geographically and culturally a long way from Swinging London. Instead, Inspector George Gently has always set its detective stories around working people and their communities. Over the past decade, we’ve seen stories set in factories, working men’s club, rubble-strewn cityscapes, nicotine-stained hostess clubs, northern soul clubs and even holiday camps. But always at its heart of George Gently is the relationship between Gently himself (Martin Shaw) and his partner, John Bacchus (the always-watchable and versatile Lee Ingleby), one of the more successful copper partnerships on British television during the past decade. It was great to see them back for two final stories. Continue reading