TV listings | Reflections on online personas
The first episode of the second series of Black Mirror (SVT1, Sun 23:00), ‘Be Right Back’, is easier to watch than the opener of the first series (talking of which, the film rights to the third episode, ‘The Entire History of You’, have been bought by Robert Downey Jr) in which the PM of Britain has sex with a pig on live TV to save the life of the country’s favourite princess.
This dystopian satire, penned by Charlie Brooker, was one of 2011’s most talked about series, so it’s no surprise to see it return, and according to the critics, the first episode, starring Hayley Atwell as a bereaved woman who enlists an IT company to resurrect her dead boyfriend from his cyber footprint, is the best of the three. The program can even mimic his voice – it’s spooky!
“The show touched on important ideas – the false way we sometimes present ourselves online, and our growing addiction to virtual lives – but it was also a touching exploration of grief,” praised the Daily Telegraph. The Guardian liked the premise, but thought the ending was “a flurry of false notes … arrived at with the toss of a coin”.
Hopefully, the same won’t be true of miniseries Labyrinth, which like a growing number of films (think The Hours, WE and Julie & Julia), is set in two different time periods – the modern day and 13th century Europe – and details two different quests for the Holy Grail. Based on Kate Mosse’s 2005 bestseller, it stars Jessica Brown Findlay (youngest daughter in Downton Abbey) and Tom Felton (Draco in the Harry Potter films). But despite being shown in Sweden in January, there’s little critique of it out there.
Elsewhere, last week’s pick, Voices of a Generation, catches up with actress-turned-politician Glenda Jackson; James Steele: America’s mystery man in Iraq (SVT2, Sun 22:10) looks at how a retired US colonel has been training Iraqi police commandos in the art of torture; and given that it is Easter, there are three religious programmes: doc series From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians (DRK, Thu 16:05), which you can watch in its entirety, and The History of Christianity (SVT2, Mon-Thu 18:00), of which you can watch the first four of six episodes, and the ambitious five-episode miniseries The Bible (SVT1, Thu 22:00), which in less than ten hours endeavours to tell the whole story, Genesis to Revelation.