What’s on TV (Jan 13-26): The ladies’ man in red


TV2 Charlie, Jan 14, 15:00 – the first four episodes 

Richard Gere in ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’, Terrence Stamp in ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’, Sean Bean in ‘Sharpe’, and now Aidan Turner in ‘Poldark’ … give female viewers a man in uniform and the plot goes out of the window.

This redcoat has reddened cheeks the length of Britain, and now he’s bringing his considerable allure to TV Charlie to woo the real housewives of Hellerup. With Barnaby (John Nettles) on board (plus Phil Davis and the late Warren Clarke), there’s little Denmark can object to.

Of course, the character quickly swaps the uniform on his return from the US War of Independence for something with fewer buttons – for obvious reasons – to brood with intensity on Cornwellian cliff-tops about getting his tin mine back.

Turner, a good bet to be the next James Bond, has become one of Britain’s biggest stars. Tune in to watch the first four episodes on Saturday. (BH)


Wow, what a line-up: the Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and America’s Got Talent singer Jackie Evancho – don’t miss Donald Trump’s inauguration (SVT2, Jan 20, 18:00).

Had they written that in S6 of Homeland, you’d write it off as their most preposterous storyline yet. Last we saw, it was turning into ’24’, but will S6 see a return to the form of S1 and 4?

The Challenger Disaster (DR2, Jan 21, 23:00) never got a second chance, and this aftermath TV movie presents a fascinating dissection of events. The 2016 doc Challenger Disaster – Lost Tapes (DRK, Jan 13, 19:10), meanwhile, provides a thoughtful companion piece.

In a good week for docs, David Bowie: the last five years (SVT1, Jan 13, 22:00) and political expose Weiner (SVT1, Jan 18, 23:05) are recommended, but Barack Obama: Inside his Presidency (DR2, Jan 16-19, 23:00) and President Trump (DR2, Jan 19, 21:30) might be too depressing for some.

Elsewhere, Football Fight Club (DR3, Jan 19, 22:30) takes us to the dark side of English football; and there’s another chance to see S4 of Boardwalk Empire (SVT1, Jan 13, 23:20), British miniseries The Driver (DR2, Jan 18, 20:00), classic US miniseries The Winds of War (DRK, Jan 23, 20:50) and The Golden Globes (DR3, Jan 14, 22:30). (BH)


On paper Taboo looks like dynamite. Tom Hardy stars and co-creates, and a great cast includes Jonathan Pryce and Oona Chaplin from ‘Game of Thrones’ and Michael Kelly (Doug Stamper in ‘House of Cards’).

But something isn’t clicking in this HBO drama series set in 19th century London about a returning son trying to solve his father’s mysterious death. The reviews have been mixed (Metacritic: 68).

“Taboo is utterly ridiculous,” warns Digital Spy. “It’s melodramatic, stagy and desperately unsubtle throughout. But it’s still supremely watchable.”

A mysterious death also drives Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (82) in which Neil Patrick Harris has taken over from Jim Carrey as the evil-doing Count Olaf in this Netflix series.

“Although it promises tragedy at every turn, this series proves hope can trump hate – at a time we need to hear it as much as our children,“ notes mashable.com.

Safer bets, perhaps, are British series The Halcyon – ‘Downtown Abbey’ set in a hotel during WWII – and miniseries The Witness of the Prosecution, which is adapted by Sarah Phelps, who previously took on ‘And Then There Were None’.

The Guardian was a fan of both, noting of the latter that it doubted “there has ever been more brought by a cast, crew and writer to Agatha Christie”. (LH)


Thanks for the sunshine, NFL! At the serious end of the season, we’ve got the divisional playoffs and Conference championship games (3+, Jan 15 & 22, 19:00) ahead of Super Bowl LI. Vying for top EPL game status are Man City vs Tottenham (K6, Jan 21, 18:30) and Man Utd vs Liverpool (3+, Jan 15, 16:00). Elsewhere, we’ve got the Men’s Handball World Championship (DR1 & TV2) and the X Games (DR3, from Jan 26). (BH)


If only they’d called it Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy (DR3, Jan 15, 21:00). Despite the success of ‘Precious’, a great cast, racial tension and a smouldering Nicole Kidman all over Zac Efron, it’s been criminally ignored. Zac is also in the equally under-rated Parkland (DR2, Jan 14, 23:00), a drama set on the day of JFK’s death in 1963. Elsewhere, Tom Cruise star vehicle Oblivion (DR1, Jan 20, 22:35) had no such problems grabbing attention. It’s a cruel world. (BH)

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