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Review: Victoria – Season 1

There's being late to the party and then there's panic watching eight hours of a series to be prepared for the sophomore season starting tonight. So first, apologies for not taking Victoria seriously when everyone was saying how great it was. I have only myself and Poldark to blame, since the Cornish BBC drama aired around the same time and made me choose every Sunday. Oh, and I'll blame the production company Masterpiece too - they made both excellent television…

5 Reasons Why You Should Watch (or Rewatch) BBC’s 2016 War and Peace

Between January and February 2016, the BBC aired a new adaptation of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy's epic tome, War & Peace. Split into six episodes of around an hour, it was scripted by period drama veteran Andrew Davies (of 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries fame) and picked up 25% of the TV audience share in its first hour. Television critics raved about it, but it received a more mixed reaction among Tolstoy experts and social media users. Much was made…

The Addictive Agony of Watching Poldark

Edgar Allan Poe, eternal literary legend and one of my favourite ultimate goths, wrote this in a letter during the last year of his life: 'I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge.' He was talking about alcohol in that letter, and the sentiment is tough and painful, but I was reminded of it in a far more frivolous tone whilst watching Poldark this week. The BBC drama has, in blunt terms, been…

Review: Poldark – Episode 1, Series 3

When it comes to upping the stakes, series 3 of Poldark has a genuine challenge on its hand. After a second series that divided fans and caused plenty of controversy, the next step is dealing with a whole load of fallout. Fortunately, episode 1 set the series with a fun and dramatic beginning, maintaining the central story arcs that have held so far whilst introducing us to a few vibrant new characters. The episode begins with some seriously impressive stuntwork,…

Review: Cable Girls – Episodes 4 & 5

Don't forget to catch up on our review of episodes 2 and 3! In episodes 4 and 5 of Cable Girls (aka Las Chicas Del Cable), the stakes became a lot more real for our four leading women. The feminist message behind the show is coming face-to-face with real situations, as Alba and her friends must figure out what they're going to do with the cards they've been dealt. As ever, spoilers ahead... Cable Girls is still a beautiful show,…

Review: Cable Girls – Episodes 2 & 3

Completely new to the series? Check out our review of Cable Girls episode 1 first! After a delightful first episode, the next two hours of Cable Girls (or Las Chicas Del Cable) took the smart step of zooming out from our primary protagonist and spending more time on developing surrounding characters. It bodes well for the rest of the episodes, since this approach demonstrates a commitment to really creating a tangible setting, rather than just a simple main story. Watch…

Review: Jamestown – Episode 1

Imagine leaving behind everything you know to take on a brutal journey in a wooden boat, before arriving to meet the person you'll be tied to in a complex swirl of legal obligation and pressure. You'd better hope that they happen to be kind, with the alternative turning a brave new world into a ugly prison. There's the premise of Jamestown, Sky One's period drama set in the camp of the early English settlers, in what was later to be the…

Review: Cable Girls (Las Chicas del Cable) – Episode 1

Cable Girls, or Las Chicas del Cable to give the show its original name, is Netflix Original's first Spanish language drama and true to the streaming service's productions so far, it's a refreshing and lavish affair. A period drama that steps in the shadow of Baz Luhrmann whilst pushing an earnest message of feminism, it proudly stands apart from traditional British and American shows. Set in 1928, the story follows Lidia (Blanca Suarez), a mysterious woman who starts work as…

Review: Decline and Fall – Episode 2

Decline and Fall continued to delight this week with its second episode, packed full again with witty dialogue, sharp visual gags and easy performances from a lively cast. Despite a leading man that many find polarising, and vague marketing, this show has excelled expectations and done the author of the source novel very proud indeed. After a busy set-up episode, the sequel largely transported us away from the stuffy boarding school of Paul Pennyweather's (Jack Whitehall) employment and into the bourgerious…

Review: Decline and Fall – Episode 1

The BBC unveiled their latest classic novel adaptation in the form of Decline and Fall, a televised version of Evelyn Waugh's 1928 comic novel. Featuring comedian Jack Whitehall as the lead and boasting American star Eva Longoria, it promises a light tone and easy humour. It achieved this well, but in the end it was the source material that really was the star of episode one, with sharp quotes punctuating busy scenes. Despite an unusual leading couple, Decline and Fall…