James Walton

A highly polished exercise in treading water: Season 3 of Succession reviewed

23 October 2021 9:00 am

At one point in an early Simpsons, Homer comes across an old issue of TV Guide, and finds the listing…

Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution should be called ‘The Tragedy of Gordon Brown'

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Murder Island features eight real-life ‘ordinary people’ seeking to solve a fictional killing on a fictional Scottish island. What follows…

A compelling mess: No Time to Die reviewed

2 October 2021 9:00 am

These days, James Bond can no longer just be the main character in the Bond films. He’s also had to…

No Time to Die is a compelling mess

29 September 2021 7:15 pm

Times being what they are, James Bond can no longer just be the main character in the Bond films. He’s…

Somewhere between eye-opening and jaw-dropping: Sky's Hawking – Can You Hear Me? reviewed

25 September 2021 9:00 am

It is, of course, not unknown for a man to become famous with the support of his family — and,…

Bleak, unashamedly macho and grown-up: BBC2's The North Water reviewed

11 September 2021 9:00 am

‘The world is hell, and men are both the tormented souls and the devils within it.’ This was the cheery…

A total mess: BBC2's The Watch reviewed

14 August 2021 9:00 am

Last Sunday on Channel 4, a man called Eric Nicoli proudly remembered ‘the bravest thing I’ve ever done’. In November…

When did Sunday night TV become so grim? Baptiste reviewed

31 July 2021 9:00 am

There was, you may remember, a time when Sunday night television was rather a jolly affair: gently plotted and full…

Looks lovely if nothing else: Craig and Bruno's Great British Road Trips reviewed

17 July 2021 9:00 am

To its huge credit, ITV has managed to find perhaps the last two television celebrities who’ve never before been filmed…

Thoughtful and impeccable: Ken Burns's Hemingway reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Ken Burns made his name in 1990 with The Civil War, the justly celebrated 11-and-a-half-hour documentary series that gave America’s…

Return to LA Confidential: Widespread Panic, by James Ellroy, reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Even by James Ellroy’s standards, the narrator of his latest novel is not a man much given to the quiet…

One of the best Covid dramas so far: BBC2's Together reviewed

19 June 2021 9:00 am

Let me start with a spot of admin: if you’re wondering what The Speccie makes of GB News, it’ll be…

Camp am-dram, plus stuff about the patriarchy: Channel 5's Anne Boleyn reviewed

5 June 2021 9:00 am

Fifty-one years ago, in the BBC’s much-acclaimed The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn was portrayed as a brave…

Quietly radiates a wholly justified confidence: BBC 1’s The Pact reviewed

22 May 2021 9:00 am

There was certainly no lack of variety among new TV dramas this week, with a standard British thriller up against…

Haunted by the past: Last Days in Cleaver Square, by Patrick McGrath, reviewed

22 May 2021 9:00 am

At the risk of encroaching on Spectator Competition territory, what is the least surprising thing for any given narrator in…

A TV doc that is truly brave: BBC1's Ian Wright – Home Truths reviewed

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Ian Wright: Home Truths began with the ex-footballer saying that the home he grew up in was ‘not a happy…

A very watchable doc cashing in on Line of Duty: BBC2's Bent Coppers reviewed

24 April 2021 9:00 am

If you’re after an exciting, twisty programme about police corruption that doesn’t also feel a bit like sitting an exam…

It's impossible not to feel snooty watching ITV's Agatha and Poirot

10 April 2021 9:00 am

Agatha and Poirot was one of those programmes that had the annoying effect of making you feel distinctly snooty. ITV’s…

Is Jed Mercurio bored with Line of Duty?

27 March 2021 9:00 am

When a drama begins with news of a ‘Chis handler’ receiving ‘intel graded A1 on the matrix’ that causes a…

Undemandingly enjoyable (just don’t read the episode’s title): McDonald & Dodds review

13 March 2021 9:00 am

Well, this a bit awkward. A fortnight ago, in my last TV column, I confidently asserted that, despite the involvement…

Bloodlands is well worth watching – just don't expect Line of Duty

27 February 2021 9:00 am

To begin on a cheerful note, it’s certainly been a good week for fans of slow-burn British crime dramas with…

Incoherent and conspiracy-fuelled: Adam Curtis’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head reviewed

13 February 2021 9:00 am

‘History,’ wrote Edward Gibbon, ‘is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.’ In…

John DeLorean: man of mystery – and full-blown psychopath

30 January 2021 9:00 am

DeLorean: Back from the Future was one of those documentaries — for me at least — that takes a story…

Watch Mark Kermode find 1950s political attitudes in 1950s films

16 January 2021 9:00 am

The new series of Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema began with an episode on British comedy films. As ever, Kermode…

A romcom with very little com: BBC1’s Black Narcissus reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

In Black Narcissus, based on the novel by Rumer Godden, five nuns set off for a remote Himalayan palace in…