TV Listings | A dawn chorus of approval
Two compelling dramas about emotive subjects lead our line-up – not the kind of material you make light of, but we’ll do our best.
Birdsong is a two part miniseries adaptation (penned by Abi Morgan who wrote Shame) of the 1993 First World War novel by Sebastian Faulks, which premiered in the UK in January.
Most soldiers were haunted by that conflict. Not our hero – he goes into it haunted by a romance he had with some drippy French sort.
Still, it’s supposed to be good. “It does the book proud,” says the Daily Telegraph. “No-one has the right to look this good after being blown up,” the Guardian said about the lead, a former model. But it conceded it was “intense and moving, and an extraordinary portrait of war” that left “a bloody great lump in the throat”.
A bit like Inside Deep Throat (DR2, Tue 21:00), but how far do we want to go – sounds a bit murky.
That might be the reaction to Five Daughters (SV2, Mon 22:45), a real-life drama set in Ipswich, England in 2006. Written by Stephen Butchard (House of Saddam), it’s a bit like acclaimed British series Clocking Off, but this kitchen sink miniseries is going to feature the murder of a prostitute – five of them.
The media were fixated with the prostitute angle, forgetting the somebody’s children reality – this drama seeks to address it. “It humanises it,” praised the Guardian. The first victim is “now not just a grainy CCTV picture; she’s a person who had a story, a future, a family, a mother” – although it might distract you to learn she’s played by Ray Winstone’s daughter. The Guardian thought the parts were “beautifully written”, with Winston and Sarah Lancashire giving career-best performances.
Elsewhere, there’s another chance to see jolly hockey sticks miniseries South Riding (SV1, Mon 22:45); Jack Dee is back with the fourth series of Lead Balloon (SV2, Mon 19:30); Edward VII does the dirty on his Danish queen in Edward – King of Pleasure (DRK, Mon 19:05); and Lesbian Vampire Killers (DRHD, Sat 22:10) is a ridiculous horror starring the sex-starved Essex boys from Gavin and Stacey as a couple of sex-starved Essex boys.