February viewing

The image is an enlarged version of the social media icon ‘rainbow eye’ by ‘celticfire’

Documentaries:

Stonehenge: the lost circle revealed***** BBC2 with Prof Alice Roberts. This is on iPlayer for eleven months and is well worth watching if you’re in UK. A new approach to Stonehenge suggests the source of the inner circle of bluestones in West Wales. Roberts on archaeology is always worth listening to.

Monty Don’s American Gardens***** BBC2.The series is probably available on iPlayer. This was a kind of eye candy with beautiful gardens, but it was also a fascinating tour of the US seen through some of its most famous gardens.

Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland***** The two programmes were on Channel 5 so will be available on My5. Dunbar makes a good presenter. He is very relaxed, clearly loves his country, and listens carefully to the local experts he interviews. I’m looking forward to the new season of Line of Duty later in March.

Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure: Dementia Choir at Christmas**** On BBC. Last year Vicky took us through a fascinating experiment to see how music affected dementia sufferers, particularly those who were comparatively young. This was a follow up programme and although I cried and loved what happened I was disappointed that we only saw a couple of the original singers. That suggests the rest might have deteriorated beyond interview, but it would have been good to know something about them. Another brilliant presenter whose return to acting in Line of Duty will be welcomed (along with Martin Compston whose work I enjoyed last month in the dram Traces).

Drama

Deliver Us***** Danish crime – Scandi very noir on All4. A group of people in a small town wants to rid the community of a psycopath. The series explores the way people can descend into irrational or hateful actions when sufficiently provoked. Fascinating, dark, and gripping.

The Fall*****Irish (Belfast) crime, about as noir as the Scandi stuff. I was impressed by the filming and direction, especially the way scenes were cut so as to mirror the behaviour of the criminal and the police e.g. in bedroom, bathroom, car, etc. I was less impressed by Gillian Anderson as the lead investigator and thought she was badly cast, too glamorous for a UK detective superintendent. I don’t usually like crime stories where I know the identity of the criminal (in this case a serial killer) from near the beginning, but this totally hooked me. All three seasons of it (and yes, three seasons’ worth of one crime) are available on BBC iPlayer.  

Bullets**** Finnish crime (terrorism and intelligence), also on All4. This is, if anything, even darker than the two other series mentioned. It is set in Finland with Finnish actors, but with some characters from Chechen and Russia. There are, for that reason, some sections in English though the bulk of the series needs subtitles. The filming is very dark but then it’s winter in Helsinki. It is also quite gory and at times I had to close my eyes.

Death in Paradise. Series 10.**** A relaxing change from all the Euro-noir! Death in Paradise is cosy mysteries with gentle humour set in glorious Caribbean surroundings. I like the way that although there is a seconded British policeman in charge of the station, Caribbean characters get plenty of opportunity to make their mark, especially as competent police as well as friendly locals. The deaths in question occur near the beginning of each episode and there is the comfort of knowing all will be solved within the hour. This season, there was a two-episode mystery which felt quite strange.

Music

Johnny Cash: Live in concert***** I really enjoyed this. We watched it on Channel 5 but there are similar shows all over the place. I have most of the songs on Spotify and on CD but it was great seeing them sung live.

2 thoughts on “February viewing

  1. Monty Don’s garden programmes are some of my favourites – I particularly loved his ‘Around the World in 80 Gardens’ and also have Gardens of Italy on dvd…

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