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Vienna Blood (2019– )
8/10
Sherlock moves to Vienna and it's rather good
27 November 2019
First of all Vienna Blood based on the novels by Frank Tallis (no me neither) and developed for TV by Sherlock's Steve Thompson, is beautifully filmed, the whole production oozes quality from the costumes, script to acting. Maybe the lack of big name stars in the lead roles prevented the BBC from giving this show a more prominent slot on on BBC one. Which is a shame as the show has all the same qualities that made Sherlock such a successful worldwide hit. Set in Vienna at the start of the 20th century our dynamic duo played by Mathew Beard and Jurgan Maurer one an old school detective, his partner a student of Sigmund Freud plays a budding criminal psychologist and between them set out to solve a series of murders with the stunning backdrop of Vienna.

One minor criticism however in episode one we our exposed to a couple of graphic sex scenes. Which did not bother me but we're they really necessary? 8/10
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Guilt (2019– )
8/10
Cracking black comedy
6 November 2019
Two brothers driving home a bit worse for where hit a pedestrian and kill him. As it turns out he has terminal cancer so the brothers return him home, his body is found and everyone from the police to coroner assume he died from the cancer. What can go wrong? Well quite a lot as it seems. A suspicious relative, a nosy neighbor and a recovering alcoholic private detective determined to rebuild his career by solving the suspicious death. The writer Neil Forsyth has struck the perfect balance between comedy and drama to make this hugely enjoyable four part series. 8/10
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Dublin Murders (2019– )
4/10
I love a good crime drama sadly this isn't !
5 November 2019
Well I stuck with this to the end in the hope that this very confusing plot would reach a satisfying conclusion. And while a few boxes were ticked the whole show from start to finish was very messy and badly written. This was mainly due to the never ending flashbacks stretching from the eighties through to the current day. By the end I really didn't care who killed who. A shame as it had so much potential. 4/10
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Frayed (2019– )
8/10
Entertaining comedy from Sky/ABC
1 October 2019
This is a really enjoyable joint Anglo Australian comedy set in the late 80's about a wealthy woman who's world collapses when her husband dies, leaving her penniless and homeless. She is forced to return to her native Australian family and has to rebuild her life with her spoilt kids as well as facing her personal demons from years gone buy. Nicely written and starring Sarah Kendal in the lead role, and some fine comic talent from Australia and the UK, Frayed is well worth a watch. 8/10
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8/10
Thrilling piece of Nordic Noir
20 September 2019
I'm sure Denmark is a very nice country but after years of watching there excellent crime dramas I'm beginning to wonder if every other person is a psychotic violent killer! It can't be easy for the writers to come up with original ways to portray psychological serial killers but they do a pretty good job with Darkness those who kill. As always the detective heading the case and his assistant in this case a criminal psychologist played by the stunning Natalie Madurio have there own personal problems to deal with. I particularly enjoyed the opening of each episode which shows brief flashbacks of the perpetrators early lives and how it went towards turning out the way they did. All in all a very fine addition to the Nordic Noir genre. 8/10
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8/10
Russel Crowe fills the screen literally!
8 September 2019
If Russell Crowe picks up an Emmy for his mesmerising performance as the repulsive head of Fox News Roger Ailes, then he will owe a big thank you to the prosthetics people who do a truly remarkable job of in making Crowe virtually unrecognisable. Crowe dominates this show from start to finish appearing in nearly every scene. Crowe is ably supported by his long suffering wife played by Sienna Miller and Naomi Watts as the glamorous news reader who stood up to Ailes Gretchen Karlson. But I would give a special mention to Seth Macfarlane who I had only previously seen playing comedy rolls. I had not heard of Roger Ailes prior to this series, and on the back of this star studded drama we also have film later in the year 'Bombshell' staring Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman. It seems even in death this hideous sexist pig of a man will continue to make headlines. 8/10
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Brassic (2019– )
6/10
A shameless rip off
22 August 2019
Set in the north a dysfunctional family, a bunch of unemployed no hopers who are constantly looking for ways to make money from selling drugs, nicking cars and even pony rustling. Throw in lots swearing, sex and drink//drug abuse sound familiar? You pretty much have a carbon copy of Shameless. The camerawork and editing maybe a bit slicker and the soundtrack more retro and it does have some genuinely funny moments but it lacks Paul Abbots razor sharp script and more believable characters. 6/10
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Below the Surface (2017– )
9/10
Season one good season two brilliant
12 August 2019
Whilst I enjoyed season one of "Beneath the surface". But it was a bit slow and predictable. Season two on the other hand feels like a Danish version of Die Hard! It,s pretty much non stop action from the word go when a group of Syrian terrorists overtake a Danish car ferry. With our hero from season one just making it on board. Yes I know totally implausible but if you can put that aside and forget the plot holes, you have a really entertaining edge of the seat thriller. Not so much beneath the surface but drama on water! 9/10
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Shelley (1979–1983)
9/10
Timeless classic
8 August 2019
I just by chance stumbled across an old episode of Shelly on forces TV. And watched it just to see if it was as good as I remember it. I was 15 when Shelly first aired and the razor sharp script and Hywell Bennett's dead pan sarcastic delivery for me makes it one of the most underrated shows of all time.. This show was ahead of it's time it was almost too good to be classed as a sit com Peter Tilburys writing is a masterclass in comedic writing whilst Bennett delivers the gags and one liners with immaculate comic timing. I wonder if Ricky Gervais ever watched Shelly as his shows remind me of Shelley's sarcastic wit. Was the show as good as I remember it? Yes it was and more.
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Year of the Rabbit (2019– )
8/10
Ripper street meets the Sweeny for plenty of laughs
11 June 2019
Matt Berry, Alan Armstrong, Paul Kaye Jill Halfpenny Sally Phillips and Keely Hawes some of the countries finest acting talent so what can go wrong? Well nothing really, set against the backdrop of the Victorian Eastend of London. Berry is in fine form as the no nonsense detective who gets results his way. Assisted by Freddie Fox and Susan Wokoma they set about solving the Murders brutal crimes with hilarious one liners. There is more than a passing resemblance to Charlie Brookers Touch of cloth and earlier classics like Police Squad. Overall this is well made well acted piece of costume drama comedy 8/10
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Chernobyl (2019)
10/10
Outstanding
8 June 2019
I remember the when the Chernobyl disaster happened but at a time when the USSR was shrouded in secrecy no one in the west or indeed as it seemed many eastern block countries were aware of the true extent of the damage caused by the explosion. This mini series from HBO is truly revealing and frightening of how close it came to being so much worse. It's a story of incredible bravery sacrifice and gross incompetence that to the explosion happening in the first place. The direction, acting, script and most of all the attention to detail of the period are faultless. My only complaint would be it's only on HBO or Sky Atlantic a programme of this quality deserves a much wider audience. 10/10
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Bodies (2004–2006)
8/10
Blood sweat and vadge
1 May 2019
Being a fan of Line of Duty I thought I would check out Jed Mercurio's first hit series Bodies. Set in a gynaecology department at an NHS hospital the show focuses on the trials and tribulations of working with financial pressures and the trusts targets. Make no mistake this no Call the midwife, it's extremely graphic there are hysterectomies Caesarean sections and lots of blood. For those who remember This Life the programme is shot very much in that style and the very good looking senior staff members spend so much time shagging each other it's wonder any babies get born! There are moments of dark humour and Kieth Allen excels as the repulsive sex mad consultant. This is not your normal medical drama and may not be for everyone, but Mercurio's writing and the fly on the wall style camera work gives the show a very real feel about it. 8/10
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Back to Life (2019– )
9/10
Original clever and very funny
25 April 2019
Daisy Haggard writes and stars in this hugely entertaining comedy drama, about a woman released from prison after serving a sentence for murdering her best friend 18 years earlier. Out of work and having to live with her parents and still despised by the local community in a sleepy seaside town life is not a bed a roses as she tries to heal the wounds, with her friends and family. Beautifully written with a terrific cast Back to life is one of the best shows of 2019. 9/10
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8/10
Enjoyable observation comedy
20 April 2019
Written and starring Toby Jones and very much in the mould of the successful "Detecterists" in which Jones co starred. Don't forget the driver is a charming sometimes moving piece on the daly life of a day trip coach driver. The humour mostly comes in the shape of the diverse coach trips, the driver engages whilst trying to cope with a hectic home life of being a single parent to a teenage girl, a mother with dementia a will he or won't he relationship with a women who has a severely disabled son. If you enjoyed Detectorists or Ricky Gervais After Life then this will be for you. 8/10
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Endeavour (2012– )
9/10
A prequel that surpasses the original
17 February 2019
I have to confess to not being a fan of Morse. I always felt the stories set amongst the leafy spires of Oxford University were all very much the the same old tale of a student from the past seeking revenge for some foul play that happened in a cricket match 30 years earlier.

Endeavour on the other hand set in the 1960s, shows Morse in his younger days as a DS under the tutelage of inspector Thursday played superbly by Roger Allum, who really steals the show as an old school copper, who gets results his way much to to Morces frustration who is very much about doing things the right way and by the book.

The show still retains it's fair amount of implausible murders but feels grittier and more believable. The 1960s are beautifully observed through the cars, clothes and fashion for the time, as well as throwing in many of the significant events of the era. 9/10
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Safe Harbour (2018– )
7/10
Implausible but raises moral dilemmas
10 February 2019
We don't get to see to many Australian dramas in the UK the ones I have seen have been somewhat mixed. But I did enjoy screen Australia's Safe Harbour. Four parts long it tells the story of a group of friends on a sailing trip who come across a group of stranded boat refugees trying to make there way for a better life in Australia.

Taking away the plot holes and implausibility of the story it does at least ask the question what would you do in the same circumstances? They decide to tow the ship to Australia. What follows is how the lives of the people on both boats have been affected 5 years later by the actions of one person.

The subject of refugees a relevant one in all westernised countries right now, and whatever your thoughts on Safe Harbour as a one off drama are, it does at least raise the question what would happen if the decision is left to members of the public as opposed to governments.
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Bill (I) (2015)
8/10
Horrible histories hits the big screen and it's funny
6 February 2019
Anyone familiar with BBC'S children's TV show Horrible Histories will be familiar with the format and they take it a stage further by giving it the the big screen treatment in Bill. The plot is set in Elizabethan times with Philip of Spain set to invade whilst a young Bill Shakespeare leaves Stratford to head to London to make his name and fortune. Really you don't need to know to much more, th gags come quick, and there are plenty of laughs for all. The added bonus of a couple of high profile performers in husband and wife Damian Lewis and Helen Mcrorry only add to this fun for all the family film. 8/10
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The River (2017– )
6/10
Enjoyable Norwegian Cold War drama
17 January 2019
What makes a good crime drama? For me you need a believable storyline, sub plots that are relevant to the main story and characters you can relate to. Unfortunately with Elven it comes up short with all three of these. Which is a shame because in other aspects it has plenty going for it. The story is original the direction and photography are solid and most of all the Norwegian scenery is stunning. The cast do there best with a sub standard script, but it's the gaping holes in the storyline that really let this show down. It's by no means the worst crime drama to come from that part of the world and is still worth a watch. 6/10
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Age of Heroes (2011)
7/10
Broad sword calling Danny Dyer
9 January 2019
I just stumbled across this movie by chance, being a fan of war movies I thought I would give it a go. Made on a relatively low budget this film tells the story of a group of renegade commandos who are dropped behind enemy lines in Norway to capture German radar equipment. The film really is a mish mash of war films from years gone buy. Where eagles dare, Heroes of Telemark, and the Dirty Dozen. Whilst it is not in the same league as those classics There is enough action and excitement to keep most fans of WW2 movies satisfied.
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De Dag (2018)
9/10
Hugely enjoyable Belgium heist drama
16 December 2018
Have just found this as a box set, on my Virgin package. And the fact I watched the whole series in two days should tell you all you need to know! Whilst the plot is a bit far fetched the clever story line twist and turns made this the best foreign language drama of the year. Well done to all envolved.
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Inside No. 9 (2014– )
Another master class in dark humour from Shearsmith and Pemberton
23 January 2018
Having been a fan of the League of Gentlemen I have closely followed the careers of Gettis,Shearsmith and Pemberton. All have had various success. But it's with Inside number 9 which gives Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton the perfect opportunity to showcase there wonderful talent for mixing the macabre with humour. Each show is a one off with the only connection as the title says is the number nine. It's fair to say some ideas work better than others but on the whole the vast majority are hugely enjoyable and very entertaining. 10/10
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Darkest Hour (2017)
Oldman's finest hour
23 January 2018
Make no mistake this is Gary Oldman 's film. He dominates the movie from start to finish as one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century Winston Churchill. The film concentrates on the period leading up till WW2 with Britain on its knees. The Germans across the channel waiting to invade 300,000 troops stuck on the beaches of Dunkirk and ministers pleading for a negotiated peace.
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Living the Dream (I) (2017– )
2/10
About as funny as toothache
6 December 2017
We all have dreams of upping sticks and moving to Florida to take over a rundown ram shackled trailer park right? Of course we have and that is the plot for Sky Ones dreadfully unfunny new series Living The Dream. I can only hope that Philip Glenister and Lesley Sharpe were well paid as I can think of no other reason two of the countries finest acting talents would be involved in something so bad. Whilst the production quality is high the same can not be said of the script which just goes from insulting one American stereotype to another. From red neck American trailer trash to rich white god faring Christians no one is safe from a cheap insult. The half baked stories go from stupid to utterly ridiculous one can only hope this series is missed by our American friends, as it could do more damage to Anglo American relations since we burnt the White House down in 1812.
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Williams (2017)
9/10
Powerful moving film of an F1 family dynasty
28 November 2017
Having watched several documentaries over the years on legends of motor sport. Graham Hill Jackie Stewart Jim Clarke and now Sir Frank Williams. They all strike me as extremely driven determined and selfish individuals who put there need to increase the speed of their cars above all else and in Frank Williams most of all his family. They always came second to his F1 team. Despite having a remarkable wife who stuck by him despite numerous affairs and a near fatal accident that left him severely paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. In this insightful documentary we learn much about this remarkable man who took a struggling team on the point of bankruptcy to a multi million pound business winning several world titles along the way. We also learn much about his daughter Claire who herself has had difficult family decisions to make in her quest to become the most powerful woman in the male dominated world of Formula one. 9/10
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Motherland (2016– )
9/10
Top of the class
27 November 2017
With a couple of power house writers like Sharon Horgan and Graham Linham on board then you expect Motherland to be good and I'm pleased to report it's every bit as good as there previous work. I'm guessing the writers have based the material on there own experiences bringing up young kids, trying to juggle jobs between the school run and a lazy ex husband and a mother who would rather be socialising than looking after her gran kids. Anna Maxwell Smith is terrific as the frustrated mother who seems permanently on the point of a nervous breakdown and Diane Morgan is very funny as The worldly wise mother who knows every trick in the book when it comes to parenting on the cheap and who to avoid and befriend in the world of Motherhood!
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