Blighty’s finest a right blighter

Very few of the truly prolific authors become well known – quantity is no guarantee of quality. Then again, Musketeers scribe Alexandre Dumas wrote an impressive 277 works, and the queen of romance, Barbara Cartland, 722 – one novel for every seven weeks of her adult life. But she did live to 98, and the subject of this week’s pick managed 600 books, living 28 fewer years.

Enid, according to the Guardian, is a “riveting portrait” of the novelist who gave the world 21 lashings of the famous five, 15 instalments of the Secret Seven and, err, 24 Noddy books. Helena Bonham Carter as Enid Blyton is “icy and unhinged by turns, while still giving you a sense of what people must have found enthralling about” the author. While this was a savage portrayal of an author who has made more kids happy than chocolate, it didn’t pursue the theory she used ghost-writers. No, instead it sought to explain how the self-sacrifice made her “a lonely, unhappy monster”. 

The Soviets are also under the cosh – in Arktika, the Russia Dream that Failed (SV2, Wed 17:55), a doc about their attempts to conquer the Arctic. They displaced thousands, repopulating it with two million people to operate mines and nuclear weapons bases (in 1992, there were more there than the rest of the world combined).

And the Americans get a hard time in Ghosts of the 7th cavalry (DR2, Tue 21:00), which revisits some of the darkest chapters in American military history, from the cavalry being decimated at Little Bighorn (1876), and taking part in both the Wounded Knee (1890) and No Gun Ri (1950) massacres.


Elsewhere, US parallel universe drama series Fringe (K6, Sun 20:10) has more fans than fawning critics; The Last Templar (DR1, Fri & Sat 23:00) is wannabe Da Vinci Code nonsense; sports psychologist series Necessary Roughness (TV3 Puls, Wed 22:00) has an annoying protagonist; No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos (DRK, Sat 22:20) is a treat for film geeks about 1970s cinematography; sports fans shouldn’t miss the French Open finals (Eurosport, Sat & Sun 15:00) and Canadian Grand Prix (TV3+, Sun 18:30); while Infamous Assasinations this week deals with Lev Trotskij (DRK, Mon 21:35).