TV this Week: Ginge magnate and minge magnet put it into overdrive

Pic of the week:

Top Gear BBC Ent, Ep 1: Fri 22:00; Ep 2: Tue 22:00

The return of the post-Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear has been eagerly anticipated given that it features a brand-new presenting line up – with motormouth Chris Evans taking the lead and actor Matt LeBlanc bringing up the rear.

Admist rumours of a feud between the two co-stars and an inordinate amount of pressure to deliver, the first nerve-strewn episode was greeted with a mixed bag of reviews after airing on Sunday.

Some of the unforgiving twitterati have eloquently branded it ‘flop gear’ and one particularly merciless Guardian reviewer described it as “so boring it barely exists”.

Episode one – which sees Evans and LeBlanc driving Reliant three-wheelers from London to Blackpool – might just be early teething problems though as the new cast find their grounding, independent of their former predecessors’ shadow. (AC)

Also New:

Fans of Game of Thrones might see some irony in Richard Madden succeeding onscreen dad Sean Bean as Mellors the wheelbarrow pusher in another feature-length drama version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover (SVT1, Sat 22:30) Kings of the north!

Northern England is one of the settings for the return of Top Gear, but Chris Evans has resisted the urge to recruit his old pal Gazza. Given their fondness for the lash, it would have only ended up with more cars in the lake.

Gazza’s been busy co-producing the 2015 biopic Gascoigne, and it’s a “vanity project” about the 1990 World Cup, according to the Daily Telegraph that completely ignores his story of “self-destruction and victimisation, of exploitation and venality, of cruelty and penury”.

Lemmy meanwhile remembers the Motorhead frontman who passed away earlier this year. Made in 2010, it documents his contribution to music.

Elsewhere, we’ve got S2 of Forbryldsen rip-off Shetland (DR1, Mon 22:30); US sci-fi series Stitchers (K5, Sun 20:00) and The Whispers (K5, Sun 21:00) are mostly absurd; David Guelta (SVT2, Thu 22:50) is in charge of the Euro 2016 warm-up; The Fear of 13 (DR2, Tue 20:45) and Lyme Disease a Silent Epidemic (DR2, Tue 23:05) will give you the creeps; and Her Majesty’s Prison: Aylesbury (TV2, Sun 00:05) is strictly an inside job. (BH)


Coming soon:

 Roots the new eight-hour miniseries reboot of the popular novel by Alex Haley – a New York Times bestseller – is set to reinvigorate one of the most well-known slave stories in recent American literature. Available on HBO Nordic since Tuesday, it’s a brutal tale of how one man, Kunta Kinte (Malchi Kirby) – shackled deep in the galleys of a slave ship – journeys from defiant African warrior to downtrodden american slave, and how his family lineage is irreparably affected thereafter. Although uncomfortable viewing at times, its theme of residual hope promises to uplift the series’ new generation of viewers. (AC)


Sport of the week:

In the calm before the storm that is Euro 2016 we have a quiet week of sport that kicks off with England vs Portugal. Just hours later, Denmark is starting its ‘Euros’ – the Kirin Cup over in Japan – with a game against Bosnia. K6 is showing delayed coverage. Elsewhere, we’ve got the finals of the French Open (Eurosport, Sat & Sun 15:00 French Open finals) and the X Games (all week on DR3, from Fri 23:00). (BH)


Film of the week:

When Taken 2 (DR1, Fri 21:25) is the week’s most acclaimed film on IMDB, you know you’re in trouble. With 4.5, The Courier (SVT4, Fri 00:10), a crime thriller starring Mickey Rourke, might have the site’s lowest ever score. They’ve got strong competition from Henry’s Crime (any relation to the Henry’s Dream festival?) that stars Keanu Reeves as a man who wants to rob the bank he was falsely accused of robbing (DR3, Wed 22:00). (BH)


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