House of the Dragon, finale review: a gory triumph – bar one unacceptably sadistic scene

The scales seemed tipped against House of the Dragon (Sky Atlantic) when the Game of Thrones spin-off first swooped onto our screens. Such was the backlash against the dreadful final season of Thrones, there were grounds for worrying that the viewing public had gone cold turkey on fire-breathing lizards. Plus, it was up against Amazon’s … Read more

Doctor Who: The Power of the Doctor, review: a true crowd-pleaser for classic Whovians

“Hello, Doctor,” snarled her nemesis. “Welcome to the end of your existence.” Well, this phase of it anyway. Doctor Who (BBC One) saw the 13th Doctor go out with a bang. No fewer than seven Time Lords and a blue box full of companions waved off Jodie Whittaker’s incarnation in style. It made for an … Read more

Tegan and Ace return to Doctor Who: all the references you may have missed in The Power of the Doctor

When Kate took the Master into custody, he wound her up by spitting “Your dad was an idiot” – meaning, of course, dear old Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (the late Nicholas Courtney), UNIT’s co-founder who was a loyal ally of the Doctor between 1968 and 1989. Chip-off-the-old block Kate heroically offered up herself up to the Cybermen … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Celebrating BBC 100 results, live – who will leave after a chaotic show?

The only thing worse than that bizarre BBC 100 night we suffered through on Strictly is the ensuing hangover. Unfortunately, we’ll have to revisit two of those ill-conceived routines in the dance-off, and one celebrity’s journey will come to an end in distinctly undignified fashion – possibly while wearing an ill-fitting wig or a golf … Read more

Strictly’s BBC centenary special was a self-indulgent damp squib

The BBC slapped its own back so hard, it nearly knocked over one of its flagship shows. Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One) marked the corporation’s 100th birthday with an embarrassingly awkward, frequently nonsensical themed episode which did the dancing no favours at all. This centenary special saw our 12 surviving pro-celebrity pairs hoofing through Auntie’s … Read more

How the BBC Began, review: a hopscotch history of 100 years of rights and wrongs

A hundred up, the BBC is raising its bat to the crowds and is applauded to echo by all bar the usual suspects. This week’s party isn’t all bunting and fizz. At the sober-suited end of the spectrum we had How the BBC Began (BBC Two), which in a pair of illuminating feature-length episodes is … Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2022: Celebrating BBC 100, live – prepare for a Line of Duty Viennese waltz

Will this be the most insane week in Strictly Come Dancing history? Granted, that’s a high bar – but the BBC centenary special might actually clear it.  It’s a truly bonkers dance list, including – Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey – Will Mellor doing a Viennese waltz to the Line of Duty … Read more

Deepfake Porn, review: Gen Z will be depressingly familiar with this tale of stolen identities

Deepfake videos have been in the news for a few years now, mostly in viral clips featuring the likes of Tom Cruise, Donald Trump or Barack Obama. They were the subject of the BBC’s recent thriller, The Capture, in which shady forces manipulated footage of a British cabinet minister. But did you know just how … Read more

Aldi’s Next Big Thing, review: sob stories fail to add spice to this mundane culinary Apprentice

Quickfire trivia question: what are the three biggest supermarket chains in the UK? I’ll tell you the answer at the end of this review. In the meantime, the fourth-placed store got its own reality contest. Aldi’s Next Big Thing (Channel 4) found budding food and drink entrepreneurs competing to get their goods onto the German … Read more

How many people die in a day? Channel 5’s Cause of Death gives a real sense of lives lost

The coroner’s office is the latest place to open its doors to the television cameras. Cause of Death (Channel 5) follows cases overseen by Dr James Adeley, a senior coroner in Lancashire, but the focus is not on him. We also observe the police investigations, and meet relatives of the people who died. It is … Read more