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The Observer The New Review - 10 September 2017

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Features | Reportage | Arts | Reviews | Plus Stewart Lee and 7-day TV listings
THE NEW
REVIEW
SUNDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2017
Baltimore writing team
George Pelecanos and
David Simon tell us about their
new TV drama, The Deuce
George Pelecanos, left,
and David Simon,
photographed for the
Observer in Baltimore
by JM Giordano.
THE NEW REVIEW
Features | Reportag
e | Arts | Reviews
| Plus Nicola Barker
THE NEW
REVIEW
SUNDAY 3 SEPTEMBER
Contents
and 7-day TV listings
2017
Feedback
The finest writing every Sunday for arts, science, politics and culture
Write to us at review@observer.co.uk or post your
comments online at observer.co.uk/new-review.
You can follow us on Twitter: @ObsNewReview or
facebook.com/observernewreview
THE
BASQ UIAT
I KNEW
12A
Miranda Sawyer talks
to friends of
New York street
artist whose shortthe
explosive life transformed
but
the art world
A G E N D A 3-5
F E AT U R E S 6-16
On my radar Stuart Braithwaite
tural highlig
ghts
from Mogwai’s cultural
highlights
Climate change Peter Brannen on
the catastophic impact on animals
of rising global temperatures
Q&A Ballet star
Xander Parish
A child’s best friend
Should it be a robot?
nd
Stewart Lee Me and
Kim Jong-un
John Naughton Why Silicon Valley
is no friend of the trade union
C R I T I C S 23-32
Mark Kermode’s verdict on the
Stephen King shocker It
Euan Ferguson on Doctor Foster
and Tin Star
Kitty Empire reviews the National’s
Sleep Well Beast
Rowan Moore visits Cambridge
e
University’s new housing estate
Are birds artists? Laura Cumming
g
on an intriguing new show
B O O K S 33-37
Reportage
Middle East correspondent Ghaith
Abdul-Ahad’s extraordinary
watercolours from a warzone
Interview
Eddie Izzard talks to Tim Adams
about marathons, politics and
acting opposite Judi Dench,
Cover story
Cove
Davi
David Simon and George
Pelecanos interviewed
Pele
2
Robert McCrum welcomes the
return of George Smiley in John le
Carré’s latest spy thriller
Biographer Claire Tomalin turns
her gaze on herself in a moving
memoir, writes Kate Kellaway
Chris Renwick’s history of the
British welfare state
Anthony Cummins on Roddy
Doyle’s shocking new novel
Plus
ONLINE THIS WEEK
Assignment – share your images
of what ‘wild’ means to you at
witness.theguardian.com
Gallery – the war sketches of
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
the guardian.com/artanddesign
S C I E N C E & T E C H 17-21
Showcase –
original photography
commissioned for the
Observer last month
theguardian.com/
artanddesign
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
GGAMES & PUZZLES
38-39
TV LISTINGS
40-46
A beautifully written piece (The
Jean-Michel Basquiat I knew, cover
feature, last week). It’s useful to get a
balanced view of the life and work of
an artist. There’s no doubt Basquiat
was a natural talent, but the works
wouldn’t be selling for huge amounts
without the legend of his life. The art
scene in New York in the 70s and 80s
is truly fascinating. Nowhere before or
since could autodidacts go from rags to
riches in a few months based on talent
and persona alone.
JonFredricks, posted online
Basquiat was an artistic genius. This
can hardly be disputed as his work
continues to impress art historians and
artists today. And he achieved this as
a black man in an notoriously racist
industry – all before he turned 30.
ID3412175
Good Sunday morning read, thank you.
I’m a black Nigerian-white Northern
Irish racial mix and grew up in Northern
Ireland through the Troubles, when
there was next to no immigration to the
province, and my experience was of a
one-coloured world; Basquiat was and
is a hero.
teufelkreis
Any subsequent referendum on
the EU would be the third, not the
second (New York Times CEO
Mark Thompson: “A second Brexit
referendum risks seeming like a stab in
the back by the elite”, last week). If the
Jean-Michel Basquiat
in front of one of his
his death in 1988,
aged 27. Photograph artworks, three years before
by Evelyn Hofer/Getty
Images
result of the first referendum in 1975
is not a final decision, why should the
second one be?
ASaltyDog
It doesn’t need a second referendum
to stop the nonsense. It needs every
MP from every party who believes
that Brexit is bad for Britain to stand up
and be counted. Parliament rules the
country, not the people.
mikekennedy
An incredibly brave book by Sigrid
Rausing. I found much comfort in it.
@KirstinZhang on Twitter
A great list (20 reasons to love school,
last week), which would be improved
by the inclusion of Gregory’s Girl, Kes
and Être et avoir. Maybe next week
you could do the most inaccurate
portrayals of school life? Most
Hollywood depictions of teaching
fall into this category: one maverick
teacher ignores the curriculum and
his/her colleagues and all the kids stop
fighting/taking drugs/whatever and
magically learn from the maverick. See
Freedom Writers as an example.
MM65
I love these (Art of the East London
Group, last week). So evocative of
a lost London, uncharacteristically
empty of people. Osborne’s Farringdon
Road reminds me of Edward Hopper’s
American cityscapes. Beautiful.
MacclesfieldMick
Agenda
Q&A
Xander
Parish
page 4
C U LT U R E | P E O P L E | P O L I T I C S | I D E A S
On my radar
Stuart Braithwaite
MUSICIAN, 41
Born in South Lanarkshire in 1976,
Stuart Braithwaite fronted band
Deadcat Motorbike and drummed
for Eska before forming Mogwai in
1995. The band, known for their slowbuilding instrumental tracks and
use of distortion, were championed
by John Peel and recorded seven
Peel Sessions between 1996 and
2004. Their last album, Rave Tapes
(2014), was praised in the Observer
for its combination of “fierce bursts
of noise” and “beautifully sombre”
moments. Since 2015, Braithwaite
has also been part of Minor Victories
alongside Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell
and Editors’ Justin Lockey. Mogwai’s
ninth studio album, Every Country’s
Sun, is out now on Rock Action
Records. Kathryn Bromwich
2
6
7
5
1 | Podcast
Sword and Scale
I’ve been listening to a lot of true-crime
podcasts such as Serial in the past few
years – it’s been a bit of a bug. This one
goes deep into the crimes and uses
interview tapes and media reports. It’s
not always easy listening; some of them
are harrowing, but it’s been interesting
finding out the background of people
who commit dreadful crimes, because no
one just wakes up one day and decides
to be evil. One episode starts with the
disappearance of a 12-year-old boy
named Johnny Gosch, and it’s about a child
abduction ring in the 80s that went right
up to people in the White House. It was
genuinely shocking – it felt like an episode
of The Wire, but it all really happened.
2 | Restaurant
Red Bamboo, Manhattan
I’m vegan so I usually use the Happy Cow
app to find vegan restaurants, and I think
4
this one is my favourite in New York; we
go when we play New York and I went
again recently when I was on holiday
there. It’s just an amazing restaurant
and has all sorts of vegan American soul
food. I was quite fond of the fake buffalo
wings but it’s all good. It’s not super
fancy or anything, just a really nice cafe
with quite a low-key interior. It’s also
quite near Tompkins Square Park in
Manhattan, so it’s a nice walk around
there.
3 | Music
Mdou Moctar
Mdou Moctar is a Tuareg songwriter who
lives in Niger: he’s one of the best guitar
players I’ve seen in years and his band
just have so much energy. Everyone
should see him play once before they
die. I first heard his music on an amazing
compilation called Music from Saharan
Cellphones, on a label called Mississippi
Records, which was people in Africa
sharing music through their phones. It
3
was really low-quality MP3s, but this
song of his – just a vocal, a drum machine
and a guitar – sounded absolutely
incredible. I saw him in London when he
was playing at Cafe Oto in Dalston. It was
more of a rock show than I was expecting
– but it was really amazing.
4 | Book
Safe by Ryan Gattis
An earlier book by Gattis called All
Involved, which is about the Los Angeles
riots, is one of the most intense books
I’ve ever read. This new one is set during
the bank crash of about 10 years ago,
and really gets under the skin of the
people who were the victims of that. It’s
about characters that are often underrepresented – working-class Americans
whose way of life is very different from
mine, so you get a window into their
existence. It’s also a thriller: there’s a
guy cracking safes, and it involves police
corruption. I’ve not actually finished it yet
but it’s really good.
5 | Film
The Transfiguration
(dir Michael O’Shea 2016)
I saw this at FrightFest at the Glasgow
film festival. It’s about a young kid
living in New York, and he’s obsessed
with vampires to the point where he
thinks he is one. He meets a girl who
is displaced and who has to stay with
her grandparents even though they are
really terrible people. When he defends
her from them, they start to build this
weird friendship because they are both
kids that no one else talks to. It’s a
really sad and beautiful film. I watch a
lot of horror films – I grew up in the 80s,
so I love A Nightmare on Elm Street,
Hellraiser, Phantasm. The Exorcist is
probably my favourite film of all time.
6 | Comic
Black Magick by Greg Rucka
This is a comic series written by Greg
Rucka and drawn by Nicola Scott. It’s a
detective story but the main character,
Rowan Black, is a witch. The people she
works with don’t know she’s a witch, so
she’s solving these crimes but they also
have a cult element to them. Comics
require dedication and I’ve been too
busy to keep up with everything, but
this one really got to me – it’s the best
thing I’ve read for a while.
7 | Place
Isle of Skye
I visited the Isle of Skye earlier in the
year– it’s one of the most beautiful
places I’ve ever been. My mum is from
the Hebrides, so I’ve spent a lot of time
there. Skye has all these otherworldly
natural phenomena like the Fairy Glen,
which is spectacular – it feels as if
somebody built it especially for people
to visit. I think that’s probably why it gets
used in so many films. I’d recommend it
to people, except that there are already
more tourists than the infrastructure can
cope with, so maybe this isn’t helping.
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
3
AGENDA
Q & A
Xander
Parish
The Yorkshire-born principal dancer at
St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Ballet on cricket,
homesickness and his new life in Russia
Xander Parish, 31, is a principal
dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet
in Russia. Born in East Yorkshire,
he trained at the Royal Ballet School
in London and joined the Royal Ballet
in 2005. Five years later, while still
in the corps de ballet, Parish was
talent-scouted by the Mariinsky’s
then deputy director, Yuri Fateyev,
and became the first British dancer
to join the St Petersburg company.
significantly behind my classmates,
always the boy at the back of the class.
In the end I got used to White Lodge.
It was a magical place in many ways,
and after two years Melzie joined
me there. But there was pressure. You
got your results at the end of every
term, and if you got below 50% you
couldn’t return the following term.
By the end of my third year I was 9%
away from expulsion.
There’s something not quite real about
your whole Russian adventure. It has
a storybook, Cinderella quality.
Yet you made it into the Royal Ballet
upper school, and into the company.
In fact, to start with, I turned Yuri’s
offer down. It all just seemed utterly
impossible. But I wanted people to
notice that I’d been asked, so I spoke
to Monica [Mason, then director of
the Royal Ballet]. She told me that
the Royal wanted to hang on to me
but couldn’t offer me any solo parts
for the time being. She said: “Think
it over for a month.” That night I sent
Yuri an email accepting his offer.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
I grew up in North Ferriby, a village
outside Hull. I was very close to my
younger sister, Demelza; people
thought that we were twins. She did
ballet, but for me it was always sport,
especially cricket. And then, when I
was eight, the Skelton Hooper ballet
school put on a show, and I was so
incensed that Melzie was up on stage
dancing, while I was down below, that
I started going to ballet myself.
Were you serious about it?
I auditioned for White Lodge [the
Royal Ballet lower school] when
I was 10. I was offered a place but
didn’t take it up because I wanted to
be a cricketer. I waited a year, went
to cricket summer school, and then
changed my mind and went to White
Lodge when I was 11.
What was it like being at boarding school?
I was very homesick. I knew one boy
there, who also came from Yorkshire,
but that was it. There were no mobile
phones then, just payphones, and I
felt a long way from home. I was also
We all started doing auditions at the
end of our graduate year. I was offered
an apprenticeship with Stuttgart
Ballet and turned it down because
it didn’t pay enough to live on. This
prompted the Royal Ballet to offer
me a contract. I was 18 and I couldn’t
believe my luck. I’d have cleaned the
windows if they’d asked. I would have
worked for free.
That feeling didn’t last for ever, I’m
assuming…
Three years in I was frustrated. Fed
up of just carrying a spear. So I told
Monica I was thinking of entering
the Varna international ballet
competition in Bulgaria and, to my
horror, she said OK. There was no
one at the Royal available to coach
me, but one of the senior dancers,
José Martín, trained me for two hours
every day after rehearsals. It was
incredibly kind of him and he was
a great teacher. We ran through all
the big classical solos – Swan Lake,
Sleeping Beauty – and, eventually, off I
went to Varna. I got kicked out in the
first round. But I was a better dancer.
And then off to Russia.
It was hard telling Melzie I was
going. We’d grown up together, been
through the Royal Ballet school
together, shared a flat and been in
the company together. We were really
close. When I got to St Petersburg it
was like going to White Lodge again.
I was so far from home. Most of the
other dancers at the Mariinsky were
icy. They wouldn’t look at me and
clearly felt I was invading their space.
SIMONE LIA
4
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
‘I feel adopted
by the Russians’:
Xander Parish,
photographed
by Sophia Evans
for the Observer
New Review.
In class, I couldn’t understand the
corrections. I just had to try and cope.
One day at a time.
Yet you progressed.
I worked hard. Yuri is an
extraordinary teacher. I could do
steps in the classroom but he taught
Most of the other
dancers at the
Mariinsky were icy.
They clearly felt I was
invading their space
me how to do them on stage. We
spent hours breaking down grands
jetés. How to get height, how to hang
in the air. The roles came – Albrecht
in Giselle, Siegfried in Swan Lake,
Romeo – and when I was promoted,
the friends I’d made in the corps were
supportive and honest. “Bad show,”
they’d say, if I was off-form. Not to
criticise, but to help.
And now you speak Russian.
The language was terribly difficult,
but it came. I often use Uber in
St Petersburg and I always talk to
the drivers. One told me he’d been
given a ticket to the ballet a couple
of nights before. He pulled out his
phone and there was a picture of me
taking a curtain call. I feel adopted
by the Russians. I like the culture
and I feel very comfortable there.
I’m single now, but if I met the right
girl I might settle there.
You’re performing at the Royal Ballet
gala to reopen the Hull New Theatre next
week. How does that feel?
It was the first stage I stepped on as a
child – I was an urchin in The Pickwick
Papers when I was eight – so I’m
coming full circle. I’m very excited.
Interview by Luke Jennings
Royal Ballet: Opening the New is at
Hull New Theatre on Saturday
AGENDA
Stewart Lee
Kim Jong-un’s happiness is
just a great holiday away
A
ILLUSTRATION BY
DAVID FOLDVARI
t the beginning of the current decade
I was often mistaken for the then
North Korean dictator-in-waiting
Kim Jong-un, which led to an
embarrassing incident in a pet shop
on Dalston High Road in February
2009. Needless to say, I was unable to
convince the Polish lady behind the
counter that I was merely looking for
a canine companion for my elderly
aunt, and did not in fact regard
labradoodle puppies as a “superfood”.
But it was worse for Kim himself,
who once ended up accidentally
and uncomfortably appearing in my
place on a December 2006 edition of
Eight Out of 10 Cats alongside Sean
Lock, Jason Manford, Liza Tarbuck
and Nightcrawler from The X-Men.
A comment Kim made about the
production company, Endemol, was
described during the recording by
host Jimmy Carr as the single joke
“least likely to make the final edit
of the show in the programme
programme’ss
edless to say, due to Kim’s
history”. Needless
mance I was not asked
poor performance
back.
nusual celebrityFans of unusual
ndships with
dictator friendships
ies will recall
long memories
the physical comedian
sdom’s odd
Norman Wisdom’s
onship with
1950s relationship
an Albanian
the totalitarian
leader Enverr Hoxha.
In between mass
executions off dissidents
ations
and incarcerations
munists,
of anti-communists,
Hoxha even found time,
company
in 1951, to accompany
d his
Wisdom and
family on a week’s
he Isle of
holiday to the
ement park
Wight amusement
hine.
Blackgang Chine
Beside thee English
Channel, thee curious pair
ween the open
cavorted between
legs of a giantt fibreglass
d frolicked in
smuggler and
a fairy glade, all the while
Mr Grimsdale!
crying out “Mr
le!!” and “Have
Mr Grimsdale!!”
n peasant
you, Albanian
er sought the
brothers, ever
reason for the poverty, misery, hunger
and gloom which have been your lot
for centuries?“
In a modern echo of HoxhaWisdom, the American basketball
player Dennis Rodman sees himself
as the unofficial peacebroker between
the US and North Korea. Having
befriended Kim in 2013, and with
whom he claims to go horse-riding,
ski, sing karaoke and generally hang
out, Rodman claims, “I just want
to try to straighten things out for
everyone to get along together.”
Since Kim took power in North
Korea in 2011, the stress of the top job
has relieved his friendly round face
of much of its puppy fat, whereas I
have slid into a porcine middle-aged
spread of repellent aspect, meaning
Kim and I are now rarely confused
with each other.
That said, when one of my critically
acclaimed standup specials from
2005 aired on Netflix in the US last
year, I did notice a tweet from Denn
Dennis
Rodman which read, “Yo!
My bro Kim Jong-un
on TV right now
slaying the Scotch
people at the Glasgow
Stand! Tell it like it
is! Braveheart was a
fag!!”
At the risk of
sounding arrogan
arrogant,
I do feel the
many occasions
upon which I am
still addressed as
chairman of the
workers’ party of
Korea, chairman
of the central military
commission, chairman
of the state affairs
commission, supreme
commander of the
Korean people’s army,
and presidium member
of the politburo standing
committee of the worker
workers’
party of Korea by shocke
shocked
North Korean expats
have given me some
insight into the dictator
dictator’s
mindset. Needless to
say, Trump’s approach to dealing
with Kim Jong-un is entirely the
wrong-un.
I understand Kim, certainly more
than Donald Trump, and perhaps
even more than his hoop-bothering
friend Dennis Rodman, who has all
scribbles all on him. I am the most
consistently critically acclaimed
male British standup comedian of
the century, while Kim is the most
dictatorial dictator in the world today,
and let me tell you, like little Kim, I
know that it is lonely at the top.
‘Friends kicking back on a stoop with their
boombox. After I took this, they started
standing on their heads and spinning.’
‘Activists Key Martin and Estela Vasquez,
pictured with a friend, worked tirelessly to
secure buildings from the gentrifiers.’
What Kim needs is
love, and Trump
could be big daddy,
play-wrestling us
out of the apocalypse
I wonder if, like Kim, many of
my life’s achievements (winning
six Chortle awards and an edition
of Celebrity Mastermind in my case,
developing a nuclear arsenal in
his) are simply attempts to gain the
attention of an absent father figure.
Instead of rattling his atomic sabre,
and sticking his flaccid orange penis
into the heart of the wasp’s nest of
south-east Asian geopolitics, Trump
could choose to be that father. What
Kim needs is love from a big daddy,
and Trump could be that big daddy,
bear-hugging and play-wrestling us
out of the impending apocalypse.
Donald Trump sees the world as a
set of business deals. Business is not
moral. It is about results. Trump is
alleged to have done alleged financial
or publicity deals with people
allegedly worse than Kim – dodgy
Russian oligarchs, Italian-American
mafia families, and Michael Gove. All
Kim wants is Trump’s attention, so
why can’t Trump, in the interest of
global security, simply invite Kim to
the US for the holiday of a lifetime?
Kim and Trump in Long Beach,
Washington, marvelling at the world’s
largest chopsticks, laughing as they act
out the futile attempts of normal-sized
men to use them; Kim and Trump in
Topeka, Kansas, at the Evel Knievel
museum, bonding as they hold
hands in silent humble admiration;
Kim and Trump in San Luis Obispo,
California, comparing notes at the
Madonna Inn’s famous waterfall
urinal, laughing as their twin torrents
cross streams, Ghostbusters-style, in
the soft subterranean lighting. You
cannot make nuclear threats against
a man whom you have urinated
alongside in the beautiful waterfall
urinal of the Madonna Inn, San Luis
Obispo, California.
My friend the comedian and
failed recluse Roger Mann recently
befriended a goat near his Pyrenean
hermitage in an experimental
attempt to understand the nature of
relationships. Were Trump to engage
paternally with Kim, he himself may
learn something, something that
might cure the emptiness inside him
that threatens to suck all human
history into it like a black hole made
of nameless need. For Trump, like
Kim, is also lonely.
You can own New York, but you
can’t make it love you; you can
execute hundreds of North Koreans,
but you can’t make North Korea love
you. To be feared is not the same
as to be respected. A father whose
children obey him only through fear
is a failed father. When we think of
fathers they paint Airfix with us, and
wrestle in the summer meadow of
memory. They do not threaten us
with warheads.
Kim Jong-un pleads to be
disciplined. Donald Trump is
desperate for love. If diplomatic
channels could be opened to enable
the gaping maws of these two
desperate needs to meet, they would
engulf each other with a flood of
unrequited love, and we would all
sleep easy again.
Stewart Lee is appearing with Jo
Brand, Bridget Christie, Harry Hill,
Athena Kugblenu, Shazia Mirza, Sue
Perkins and Mark Thomas in a benefit
for FGM charity the Dahlia Project at
London’s Union Chapel on Monday 18
September. unionchapel.org.uk
SNAPSHOTS A pose in Spanish Harlem
Growing up in New York, the
photographer Joseph Rodriguez
would take the subway from
Brooklyn to east Harlem, where his
uncle had a sweet shop, to spend time
with the local Latino community
(Rodriguez is of Puerto Rican and
Venezuelan descent). He spent five
years “sitting down at kitchen tables
and listening to people’s stories”; the
photographs he took are collected
in Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the
80s, published on 21 November
by PowerHouse Books. “The only
time local newspapers mentioned
El Barrio was when crimes were
committed,” says Rodriguez. “I knew
I had to spend time to try and break
these stereotypes. It’s important to
show how that era was for people, to
show their grit and resilience against
social injustice.” Polly Rodin
‘This ran on the cover of National
Geographic. It showed a sense of warmth
in a neighbourhood that was very tough.’
‘This was a very poor block, but what’s
important is the sense of dignity that
these boys have by putting on a suit.’
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
5
COVER STORY
In The Wire, David Simon and George
Pelecanos examined how the war on
drugs affects every aspect of US
society. Now with a new television
drama, they turn their sights on the sex
industry, starting in 1970s New York.
Here they talk pimps, police and the
damaging rise of pornography
BY DAVID SMITH
PORTRAIT BY JM GIORDANO
6
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
A
mid rows of houses
and a sprinkling of
bars, coffee shops,
convenience stores and
restaurants in Riverside,
an unpretentious corner
of Baltimore, one building
stands out: a redbrick townhouse
that was once an old church. It is the
office of David Simon, a master of the
medium of television.
Up three steps and through thick
wooden doors is a kitchen displaying
posters for Sergio Leone’s C’era una
volta in America (Once Upon a Time in
America), Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild
Bunch and Simon’s own series Treme,
set in post-Hurricane Katrina New
Orleans. But it is the bathroom that
offers an oblique clue as to where he is
off to next: period posters announcing
long-ago labour strikes – one by
police, another by a newspaper guild.
Simon is animated by the perpetual
struggle between capital and labour
and believes that, after the ravages of
Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher
and globalisation, and the antiestablishment anger that produced
Donald Trump and Brexit, the
argument for unions and collective
bargaining is as vital as ever. Which
brought him to The Deuce, his
ambitious new HBO series charting
the rise of the porn industry in 1970s
New York.
“What I stumbled into seemed to
be a ready-made critique of market
capitalism, and what happens when
labour has no collective voice, and
that seemed to be apt for this moment
because I think a lot of the lessons of
the 20th century are going to have to be
learned all over again thanks to Reagan
and Thatcher and all the neoliberal
and libertarian argument that has
come after,” says Simon, 57, unfailingly
intense as he leans forward on a sofa.
The Deuce, a title derived from
local slang for 42nd Street, sets up
a colourful canvas of characters –
hustlers, pimps, sex workers, morally
exhausted police officers – in a sordid
Times Square of graffiti, trash, neon
lights, rising crime and sex shops.
James Franco plays moustached twins:
Vincent Martino, a savvy barman trying
to keep on the straight and narrow,
and his brother Frankie, a hot-headed
scoundrel running up gambling debts.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is Eileen “Candy”
Merrell, a fiercely independent call girl
who spots an opportunity in X-rated
films. Porn is more profitable – and
seemingly more liberating – than
hanging out on street corners: this is
the birth of smut on an industrial scale.
Simon continues: “There was always
a market for prostitution, and even
pornography existed below the counter
in a brown paper bag, but there wasn’t
an industry; that had yet to find its
David Simon and
George Pelecanos
photographed in a
Baltimore bar
last month, left.
Below, Maggie
Gyllenhaal as sex
worker Eileen ‘Candy’
Merrell and, bottom,
Gbenga Akinnagbe
as pimp Larry Brown
in scenes from
The Deuce.
GC Images
full breadth in terms of the American
culture and economy, but we all know
what was coming.
“It’s now a multibillion dollar
industry and it affects the way we sell
everything from beer to cars to blue
jeans. The vernacular of pornography
is now embedded in our culture. Even
if you’re not consuming pornography,
you’re consuming its logic. Madison
Avenue has seen to that.”
Simon also has a lot to say about
pornography. Whereas his critically
lauded The Wire was ostensibly about
the drugs trade in Baltimore but
subliminally about race, The Deuce
could be seen as ostensibly about
the sex industry in New York but
subliminally about gender.
Pornography “affected the way men
and women look at each other, the
way we address each other culturally,
sexually,” he says. “I don’t think you
can look at the misogyny that’s been
evident in this election cycle, and what
any female commentator or essayist
or public speaker endured on the
internet or any social media setting,
and not realise that pornography has
changed the demeanour of men. Just
the way that women are addressed
for their intellectual output, the
aggression that’s delivered to women
I think is informed by 50 years of the
culturalisation of the pornographic.”
He admits: “I don’t have any real
way to prove that, but certainly the
anonymity of social media and the
internet has allowed for a belligerence
and a misogyny that maybe had no
other outlet. It’s astonishing how
universal it is whether you’re 14 or
70, if you’re a woman and you have an
opinion, what is directed at you right
now. I can’t help but think that a half
century of legalised objectification
hasn’t had an effect.”
The series is a collaboration between
Simon and novelist George Pelecanos,
described by Esquire as “the poet
laureate of the [Washington] DC
crime world”, who also had a hand in
The Wire and Treme. Pelecanos has
previously written about Hispanic sex
workers trafficked on the same trail as
drugs and guns.
“Personally, I think pornography has
had a crude effect on society,” he says.
“I’m a first amendment [freedom of
speech] guy but I really feel it’s kind of
like racism in the last few years: we’ve
had a wake-up call because everybody
thought, ‘Wow, it went away’. Same
thing with misogyny, right?”
Pelecanos, 60, thinks about the two
sons he raised and the conversations
he overheard when their friends came
to the family home. “The way they
talk about girls and women is a little
horrifying. It’s different from when
I was coming up. It’s one thing what
was described as locker-room talk,
like, ‘Man, look at her legs. I’d love to…’
– that kind of thing. But when you get
into this other thing, calling girls tricks
and talking about doing violence to
them and all that stuff, I’d never heard
that growing up, man. I just didn’t.
“I think the culture’s changed
because of the way women are
depicted in popular culture.
Pornography’s a big part of that. You
can say nobody’s getting hurt, it’s just a
masturbation fantasy and all that stuff,
but these women are trafficked, man.”
He believes there is a through line
to Trump’s stunning victory in last
year’s presidential election. “There’s
no doubt if Hillary Clinton had been
a man, she would be president now.
The code words that were used against
not just her but female journalists
and everybody that was involved
peripherally in the campaign was
awful. Never seen anything like it.”
Whereas Simon was seized by
the convulsions of capitalism, for
Pelecanos there was the attraction
of gritty, graffiti-strewn Manhattan
as seen in 70s movies such as The
French Connection, Mean Streets and
Taxi Driver, and blaxploitation flicks
including Black Caesar and Shaft. His
noir novel King Suckerman is set in the
Washington of the day.
“That’s sort of my era,” Pelecanos
explains. “I was a teenager in the 70s
so you remember that better than
anything. The texture of those movies,
they felt really real, mainly because in
Taxi Driver [Martin] Scorsese basically
puts the camera operator in the back
seat of the taxi and just shoots over his
shoulder. There’s no lighting, there’s
no costumes, there’s no picture cars.
He’s just shooting what there is. In
Mean Streets, they didn’t have to do
anything but point the camera outside
and get everything.
“We had to build everything and find
the cars and the costumes, but it’s cool,
man. I mean, we wanted it to look like
a movie that got found, that was made
in ’71, put in a vault, and somebody
pulled it out and said: ‘Look what we
got.’ When you look at the pornography
scenes, they’re kind of starkly lit, as it
is on a film set, and it’s not beautiful:
it looks like work or boredom, even.
Not to say somebody’s not going to get
titillated – they probably will – but we
‘Look at the
misogyny that was
evident in this
election cycle… porn
has changed the
demeanour of men’
didn’t want that and we didn’t try to
do that. It is a challenge because you
can’t not show it. Then you’re erring on
the other side; you have to show what
you’re talking about.”
Mad Men set the bar for period detail
with its evocation of 60s New York
interiors. The Deuce is as fastidious
about haircuts and fashions and, with
some help from CGI, transformed
the New York neighbourhood of
Washington Heights into the tawdry
Times Square of the 1970s when it
was caught partway between the early
20th-century glamour of Gershwin’s
Rhapsody in Blue and the Disneyfied
tourist plaza of today.
The New York Times observed
recently: “The most consequential
character may be the city itself, a
New York two generations removed,
which the creators and their team
have captured through spot-on
dialogue, time-specific set designs
and atmospherics evoking The French
Continued overleaf
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7
COVER STORY
¥ Continued from previous page
Connection and The Taking of Pelham
One Two Three. No bike shares, no
artisan coffee, no sushi; you took the
damned subway, you drank bad deli
coffee – and if you wanted fresh tuna,
you went down to the pungent Fulton
fish market before dawn.”
Not that the experience made Simon
nostalgic for a pre-gentrification, prehipster age: “There are things that have
gone wrong now that are a different
kind of wrong, in terms of people
being priced out of neighbourhoods –
Manhattan especially, but even some
of the outer boroughs becoming a
playground for the rich. But I don’t
know if you can look back on what the
lower-east side was like, the Times
Square of the 1970s or the upper
Manhattan, the Washington Heights
of the 1970s, and think, ‘Oh man, this
was a paradise.’ There were profound
problems of dispossession and crime
and pain, there were people who were
asking the question in the late 70s: can
New York survive?”
It is not by chance that a cinema
glimpsed in the first episode is showing
The Omega Man (1971), a postapocalyptic movie in which Charlton
Heston plays the lone survivor of a
plague. By the mid-70s, New York
was in a fiscal slump – immortalised
in the Daily News headline: “Ford to
city: drop dead” – and violent crime
was rife. The sexual revolution, and
changes in the legal definition of
obscenity, helped throw prudishness to
the winds and bring sex and commerce
together in a hive of peep-show
stalls, live sex shows and teenage
prostitution. Is it a coincidence that
this is the time and place where
Donald Trump grew up and forged his
business career?
THE DEUCE
‘Who profits? How
does society change
to participate? These
things are way more
interesting to me’
Simon says drily: “Growing up
is a phrase I would not use about
the president of the United States.
I don’t know where he grew up. I
have no explanation, I have a million
explanations, for this man and what
he lacks as a human being. Certainly
he’s misogynist and his understanding
of sexual equality is minimal and he’s
drawn to him an incredible reservoir
of anger against women and against
people of colour. There’s a lot of
anger out there in American society;
he’s drawn all of it to him and he’s
weaponised it. It’s interesting.”
A
sked what the 2016 presidential
election told him about America,
Simon replies: “It said to me
25 to 30% of our population
is foolish and untrustworthy and
incapable of self-governance, and
that a demagogue in the right
circumstances with the right amount
of manipulation can go a long way.
It also said that for all of her flaws,
and she was not a perfect candidate
in any sense, a much more plausible
female candidate was at that moment
in time problematic for America. We
demonstrated a distaste for the idea of
a woman president that transformed
a lot of votes. I certainly woke up in a
different America from the one that I
thought I was in.”
His comments bring to mind the
way Trump lurked behind Hillary
Clinton during one of their presidential
debates. She has subsequently written
how the episode made her “skin crawl”
and wondered if she should have told
him: “Back up you creep, get away
from me! I know you love to intimidate
women, but you can’t intimidate me,
so back up.” Trump’s campaign rallies
regularly featured material referring to
Clinton as a “bitch”.
Simon notes that Clinton received
nearly 3 million more votes than
Trump last November, only to lose the
White House because of the quirks of
the electoral college. “I certainly don’t
think he represents the aspirations of
the United States of America, but he
certainly got enough votes that he gets
to play at that.”
Simon is a former reporter on
THE DEUCE
TREME
GEORGE PELECANOS A life in brief
1957 Born in Washington to parents Pete,
who runs a diner, and Ruby, both of Greek
origin.
1980 Degree in film studies from the
University of Maryland; goes on to work
many jobs, including as dishwasher and
bartender, before publishing his first novel
in 1992.
1992-95 Publishes first novels, a trilogy
featuring hard-drinking PI Nick Stefanos:
A Firing Offense, Nick’s Trip and Down by
the River.
1996-2000 Novels following the lives of
Washington residents from the 50s to
the 90s published to critical acclaim. For
his sixth book, King Suckerman, he is paid
$7,500; then gets a two-book deal for
$90,000.
2001-04 Releases Strange and Quinn crime
series, chronicling the work of private
investigator Derek Strange and partner
Terry Quinn.
2002—08 Joins writing team of The Wire
for its first series. Remains as writer/
producer until end of season five.
2010-13 Writer and executive producer,
with David Simon, of HBO series Treme.
2014 Begins collaboration with Simon on
The Deuce.
Currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland,
with his wife, Emily, and three adopted
children, Peter, Nicholas and Rosa. Fans
include Barack Obama and Stephen King,
who says that he’s “perhaps the greatest
living American crime writer”.
Francesca Millinson
the Baltimore Sun and his Twitter
account still describes him as a
journalist, along with author and
TV writer/ producer. He frequently
bashes Trump on the medium.
Recently, after the president criticised
the media as dishonest and divisive,
Simon tweeted: “Having metastasised
white extremists and demonised
a free press, @realDonaldTrump
is ensuring the murder of working
reporters in US is next.”
But the paradox of Trump is
that major media organisations are
galvanised in their work and booming
in terms of readers and viewers.
“I think high-end journalism has
been given a second wind,” Simon
agrees, “primarily because of the
direct attack on press freedoms that
this administration has engaged in.
Whatever existential crisis came to
journalism from having mismanaged
its revenue stream, I think, has been
overcome by the fact people at the
New York Times and Washington Post
and mainstream media, Mother Jones,
ProPublica, a lot of the core institutions
in journalism, now know exactly why
they’re there and what their job is.
“Were there any errors in terms of
how television particularly allowed
itself to be used by a demagogue during
the election? Absolutely. But from late
in the election cycle to the present
moment I think there’s been a lot of
good, aggressive journalism that has in
some very basic ways been assertive for
democratic values. The problems of the
revenue stream in regional journalism
– in municipal and state coverage – still
exist. And we haven’t resolved issues
of the revenue stream and the internet,
but I would say if you didn’t know
why you were still a reporter before
November, you do now.”
Among the innumerable things
that Trump has upended is a project
that Simon was working on with his
childhood hero, Carl Bernstein, who
with Washington Post colleague Bob
Woodward exposed the Watergate
Simon’s worlds,
clockwise from
main picture:
James Franco
(who plays both
Martino
brothers) in
The Deuce;
Oscar Isaac in
Show Me a Hero;
Michael K
Williams as
Omar, and,
below, Wendell
Pierce, Sonja
Sohn and
Dominic West in
The Wire;
Wendell Pierce
in Treme ; Tariq
Trotter and Gary
Carr in The
Deuce.
Touchstone
Pictures,
Imagenet, HBO
SHOW ME A HERO
THE WIRE
we’d saved HBO about $12-14m of what
would have been wasted money.”
Simon, Bernstein and co-writers Ed
Burns and Bill Zorzi have since met
to restructure the show and work out
how to keep it relevant to the political
moment. Evidently Simon is as hungry
as ever, 15 years after The Wire, which
still seems certain to be in the first
paragraph of his obituary.
“I don’t have any resentment
towards The Wire,” he says briskly.
“I’m proud of that work and it has
allowed me and the people I work
with to do other work that might not
have been greenlit had The Wire not
been a success.”
Could The Wire be made today and
look more or less the same? In 2015
the death in police custody of Freddie
Gray, an African American, sparked
widespread unrest in Baltimore. The
murder rate is now the highest in the
city’s modern history.
“There was a brief moment where I
thought the drug war was going to be
ratcheted down in Obama’s last term,
when they started to actually address
mass incarceration and the drug
prohibition, but [attorney general] Jeff
Sessions has seen to that, hasn’t he, at
least on the federal level. So probably
we could make the show similar.
Would there be some emphasis on
some other things? Probably.”
Although highly regarded in his
field, Simon is no TV addict. He loves
The Sopranos (“excellent work”) and
admires Deadwood, The Handmaid’s
Tale and the Canadian series Slings and
Arrows, but has not seen Breaking Bad
or Mad Men. Nor has he succumbed
to the craze for Game of Thrones: “I
have a cousin who’s read the books. He
tells me you’ve got to read the books
first. I’ve heard it’s excellent.” Instead
he spends evenings reading – he’s
currently researching the Spanish civil
war – or watching baseball.
“I tend not to watch shows until they
finish and then somebody will come
to me and say, ‘No, no, they knew what
they were doing, they knew where they
were going’, and so I’ll be sticking in
DVDs or downloads two years after
something’s on the air. It’s certainly
hypocritical when I guess I’m asking
people to watch my television shows
in real time. But nothing’s worse than
giving eight hours, when you could
have read a couple of books, to find
out, boy, that was a great idea but those
guys really didn’t have a plan… so I end
up taking the guesswork out of it by
being late to everything.”
T
THE WIRE
scandal that brought down president
Richard Nixon. “The piece is based on
his insight that while the presidency
is still the presidency, and the
supreme court is still the judiciary,
it’s the legislative branch of American
government that has become
dysfunctional, has become purchased
by capital, and it can’t function, it can’t
do its job any more. Carl’s argument
was: that’s where the drama has to be.
We have to find a way to tell that story.
“We had to throw out 60-65%
of the construct of the world when
Trump won. When we wrote it, we’d
presumed that either a mainstream
Democratic party functionary or
Republican functionary would win,
so either a [Mitt] Romney type or a
Clinton type. It did not presume an
insurgency that was going to weaken
both political parties and win. So the
decision was made – we’d better shoot
this after the election, make sure, and
then, as the election happened, it was
clear that whatever else we’d done
DAVID SIMON A life in brief
1960 Born in Washington DC.
1983 Graduates from University of
Maryland and joins Baltimore Sun as a
crime reporter.
1991 His nonfiction book Homicide: A
Year on the Killing Streets is published,
later adapted for TV drama Homicide:
Life on the Street, which runs until 1999.
Marries Kayle Tucker, with whom he
has a son, Ethan.
1997 With ex-police officer Ed Burns
co-writes The Corner: A Year in the
Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood,
exploring drug culture in west
Baltimore. Three years later it is turned
into a six-part miniseries.
2002 The Wire, a TV drama about
corruption and the drugs trade, also set
in Baltimore, premieres on HBO. Runs for
five seasons to great acclaim.
2008 Marries Baltimore crime novelist
Laura Lippman. They have a daughter,
Georgia Ray. Simon and Burns make
miniseries Generation Kill, about a US
marine battalion in the Iraq war.
2010 With Eric Overmyer creates Treme,
following the lives of musicians in New
Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It runs for
four seasons.
2015 Show Me a Hero, a six-part drama
co-written by Simon and William F Zorzi,
follows the efforts of real-life Yonkers
mayor Nick Wasicsko to desegregate
public housing in the late 80s and early
90s. FM
he Deuce came about when an
assistant location manager from
Treme told Simon and Pelecanos
about a man he knew in New
York, a veteran of the old 42nd Street
cesspool. “He kept saying, ‘You gotta
meet him, you gotta hear these stories’,
and George and I were very ambivalent
because the idea of doing a show
about pornography and prostitution
seemed gratuitous. Since the advent of
premium cable, when they got rid of the
advertisers, there had been a lot of porn
pilots that had gone nowhere and, in
our view, rightly so.”
But one afternoon in New York they
agreed to meet the man, learning that
he and his twin brother had once been
mob fronts for the bars and massage
parlours of yore. “After two or three
hours listening to him tell stories,
George and I pretended to go take a
walk and have a smoke – although
neither of us smoke – and I said to
George, ‘My God, I think we’re going
to have to write a pilot here, I think
we’re going to have to do something
with this. This is amazing material.’
“The characters, the world and
some of the themes that began to
emerge, that really appealed to me
in terms of labour and capital and
the product being itself the labourer:
flesh is the commodity here. And
how the money and the power array
themselves and how they don’t. The
more we talked, the better it got, so we
started to think that we might be able
to do it in a way that wasn’t gratuitous,
and that led to a lot of discussion and
eventually we took a shot at a pilot and
trying to world-build.”
Simon continues: “It felt like we
were starting in on it just from this
guy’s stories about Times Square,
which is this physical plant where a
lot of the industry began. It felt like
we had something by the tail, but the
more you think about it, the more we
asked him about what happened to
this character, what happened to her,
what happened to him. These were
the people who were there at the
beginning, who were experiencing
this moment where it went out to the
greater world.
“The answers he gave us were
never: ‘She married a podiatrist and
she lives in Scarsdale and she has
two kids and a garage.’ The answers
were always attritive and painful.
Now you’re dealing with something
that’s not a lighthearted romp through
the sex industry. Now you’re getting
into the guts of something that is
interesting. So the guy’s stories were
compelling, the characters he was
describing for us were compelling and
the outcomes were telling.”
Simon and Pelecanos went on to
consult porn stars, police, waiters,
lawyers and journalists from the era,
acquiring other stories on the way.
They hope to be recommissioned for
a second and third series that will
take the story into the mid-80s. The
mission, of course, was to humanise
the protagonists – including the pimps
and porn stars – and render them
with their own distinct voices and
personalities. They were determined
that, despite personal misgivings
about the coarsening effect of
pornography on society, they would
maintain a dispassionate reporter’s
eye and not get into the business of
preaching. Early reviews suggest they
have succeeded.
Simon explains: “We were not
particularly interested in having a
heightened moral debate over the
worth or utility or damage from drugs
in The Wire – that’s not what The
Wire was about. Certainly I think the
use of illicit drugs is on the whole
destructive to individuals and to
‘Porn is embedded in
our culture. Even if
you’re not consuming
it, you’re still
consuming its logic’
society, but the war against them I
think is infinitely worse and doesn’t
in any way mitigate the damage from
drugs. I was much more interested
in how power and money array
themselves around the drug war and
around the industry of illegal drugs.
“The same logic applies in The
Deuce, which is much less interested
in having a discussion about whether
pornography is good or bad or
prostitution is good or bad. I accept
these things as the given in the human
condition. Now, if they’re going to
exist, where does the money go? What
happens to labour? Who profits? How
does the society as a whole array itself to
acquire that profit or to participate in it
or to acquire the product? These things
were way more interesting to me.
“Once you allow the moral question
to dominate the narrative then I think
you end up with a stunted argument
and there’s only so much that can be
said. On the other hand, if you follow
the money and power and you see who’s
attrited and who’s exalted, then you
have a much more interesting story.”
Simon, after all, pushes his
audience hard and does not deliver
answers neatly tied up with a ribbon.
“In 1971 a 12-year-old kid had to hope
to steal his father’s Playboy magazine
from under the mattress and even
then it was a much tamer version of
anything pornographic in the modern
sense: you couldn’t figure out the facts
of life from the centrefold. Do I think
we’re better or worse off nowadays
when a 12-year-old with a couple
of keystrokes can access the entire
construct of human sexuality right
down to every misogynist fantasy,
that that can be fed into a 12-year-old
brain? Probably not a good thing.
“But I’m not sure how you make a
narrative out of that and address all
the others factors, which I think if
you’re going to do anything, have to be
attended to. I think in some ways you
can get lost in either being too puritan
or too prurient in this piece and what
you have to do is basically attend to the
why, the why of how this comes to be.
That’s what makes it a grown-up story.”
The Deuce starts Tuesday 26 September
on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
9
REPORTAGE
'WHEN YOU'RE IN A CONFLICT
ZONE, DRAWING IS
AMAZINGLY THERAPEUTIC'
During a reporting career that has seen him taken captive twice, Guardian
journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad's watercolour sketches of war zones have
helped him cope with the traumas of the frontline, he tells Killian Fox
10
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
L
ast July, as the Iraqi army was liberating
Mosul after nine months of catastrophic
fighting against Isis, the Guardian
journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad found
himself in a makeshift military post in
the old city. The building was so badly
damaged, it was hard to tell what it had been
before – a shopping centre, perhaps, or a hotel.
“The floor had collapsed so you had to walk on
the joists,” he recalls. “Soldiers were sleeping
there and manning positions with bodies rotting
around them. There was faint Isis resistance from
a couple of streets two blocks away. There were
still airstrikes happening. You could hear snipers
shooting.”
Outside, the old city lay in ruins. AbdulAhad had never witnessed a scene of such total
devastation. “I’ve been covering wars for 14 years
in Syria, Yemen, Iraq,” he says, “and I’ve never
seen anything like the old city of Mosul. You don’t
see streets any more. You can’t distinguish where
the buildings stood. It’s all one sea of concrete and
rubble.”
Abdul-Ahad works with a camera as well
as a notebook: his vivid, nuanced dispatches
for the Guardian are illustrated with his own
photography, and in Mosul he also shot video
footage for a documentary to accompany his
report. But for the past couple of years he’s been
using another medium to make sense of what he
▲ MOSUL, IRAQ – JULY 2017
▼ BASRA, IRAQ – 2016
'Most buildings in the old city have two levels of
basements so even bombing a house once did not end
Isis resistance – [Iraqi forces] would have to bomb it
twice, or three times. So actually when you go to the
old city in Mosul you don’t see streets any more. You
can’t distinguish where the buildings stood and where
the street was. I’ve never seen anything like it.'
'Basra is one of the last places in Iraq where you can
see these beautiful wooden windows. They’ve been
standing for hundreds of years. Now they’re falling
apart, not directly because of bombings or airstrikes,
but out of neglect, poverty and corruption. People
were taking care of these buildings before the invasion
in 2003, but since then the society has been in conflict,
so who cares about a wooden window any more if the
whole city is ruled by gangs?'
sees: a sketchbook with watercolours and pens.
At the military post in Mosul, he noticed a pair of
windows looking out on to the ruined city, which
he had visited many times before Isis seized it
in 2014, and was struck by the scene. He took a
photograph and later, when his assignment in
Mosul was over, he set about drawing it.
This process wasn’t entirely new to AbdulAhad. Before he became a journalist in 2004, he
was an architect in Baghdad and making sketches
was something he did all the time. “I went into
architecture because I loved drawing,” he says.
It was the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that
triggered his move into journalism. After the
American tanks rolled into Baghdad, Abdul-Ahad
worked first as a translator for the Guardian,
then as a fixer for the New York Times. A year
later, he became the Guardian’s Middle East
correspondent. As his new career took off – he
won a British press award in 2008 and the Orwell
prize for journalism in 2014 – his drawing stalled.
“My head went somewhere else,” he says, “and
I couldn’t actually hold a pen for eight or nine
years.”
Now his enthusiasm has returned. The impetus
came from Jamie Wilson, head of international
news at the Guardian, who noticed Abdul-Ahad
doodling at a conference and commissioned him
Continued overleaf
¥
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
11
REPORTAGE
▲ BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA – 2017
'After Mosul I went to London to meet with my editors.
Then, instead of flying back to Istanbul, I went by train.
The journey took three days. It gave me time to think
about the Mosul piece and come up with a structure.
This drawing was done on a bench at a train station in
Bratislava and you can see some of my notes from the
journey.'
▼ SANA'A, YEMEN – 2015
'This was drawn before the capital was bombed. It
contrasts the chaos you often see in the streets of a
Middle Eastern city with the delicacy and beauty of the
architecture. I started working on a bigger panorama of
the old city, but three of the buildings are missing now.
Some of the most beautiful buildings in Sana’a have
been destroyed by Saudi airstrikes.'
¥ Continued from previous page
to write and sketch a story about Syrian refugees
in Turkey – it ran in April 2016.
Before long, Abdul-Ahad was taking his
sketchbook with him on assignments, though
he’s quick to emphasise that he doesn’t draw
while bullets are flying. “I wouldn’t take my
watercolours and sit in the middle of a war
zone,” he says. “That would be crazy.” Rather,
he does quick pen-on-paper sketches during
quieter moments and elaborates them, using
watercolours, when he’s back in his hotel room or
at home in Istanbul.
This serves several purposes, he tells me. “I
realised that if I start sketching a scene when
I’m on the ground, later, when I come to write
it, I have it better in my mind than if I’d taken a
photograph.”
He likens the difference between sketching
a scene and photographing it to taking notes
in an interview versus using a voice recorder.
“Recording the conversation, you lose focus. I
don’t pay much attention to what the person is
saying because I know I’m recording everything.”
It’s the same with cameras, he says: you observe
your surroundings less if you know you can replay
the scene on your laptop later on.
The boxes upon boxes of notebooks and
sketchpads piled up in Abdul-Ahad’s home
are coming in handy now – he’s in the process
of writing a book about his experiences as a
reporter, mostly focusing on assignments in
Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Many of his sketches –
he estimates he’s done more than 100 – will be
reproduced in the book.
Drawing has another benefit too: it helps
him deal with the traumatic situations he has
encountered around the Middle East (he has
If I start sketching a
scene when I'm on the
ground, later I have it
better in mind than if
I'd taken a photograph
▼ SA'ADA, YEMEN – NOVEMBER 2016
▲ MOSUL, IRAQ – JULY 2017
'These are mud houses in Sa’ada, a historic city in the
north of Yemen. They are seven or eight storeys high,
and if I say they’re unique, it’s not enough. They’ve
been hit by Saudi airstrikes and cut down the middle.
Yemeni culture is very conservative, so the interior of
the house is private – but here are these houses in the
middle of the town with all the innards spilling out.'
'This is a view from a military post in Mosul a day
after the Iraqi army liberated the old city from Isis.
You see where the hardest fighting took place. The
tragic thing about Mosul is that this huge urban
battle was fought with 1.5 million people trapped
inside. Isis wouldn’t let them leave. They were using
them as human shields.'
been detained twice as a reporter, once by the
Taliban in Afghanistan in 2010, and a second time
by Gaddafi loyalists during the 2011 conflict in
Libya). “When you’re in a difficult place, a war
zone, I find drawing such an amazing therapeutic
exercise,” he says. “It’s a process of cleansing. It is
so relaxing.”
I mention that I find his drawings, even those
scenes of terrible destruction, strangely beautiful
to behold.
“When you look at the ruins of these beautiful
buildings in Yemen – 500-year-old houses
sheared in half, the insides spilling into the
rubble – beauty becomes a very difficult word,” he
says. “But I guess it’s beautiful in its own way: it
definitely touches you, it definitely talks to you.”
It’s notable that the majority of Abdul-Ahad’s
sketches are cityscapes, focusing on buildings
in various stages of disrepair and ruin. If human
beings feature at all, they are often reduced to
a blur. “It’s mostly the architect in me trying to
crawl back,” he admits.
But these are very different prospects
confronting him now. “When you draw as an
architect, you want to have these clean edges and
lines that are pure. Then you go into journalism
and you realise that in reality there are no pure
and simple lines, especially in the Middle East.
“Even if the buildings are not destroyed, they
are a composite of different layers and metal
sheets on top of bricks, and when they are
destroyed they are even worse, the organic form
of a concrete building spilling and twisting.”
Is the old architect in him wondering, how do
we sort this out?
“Of course,” he says. “I remember once I
was with the Iraqi army on the outskirts of
Mosul. Every building was a military target. As a
journalist, I was trying to record what was going
on. But then, going through these urban tunnels
with the soldiers, you notice, oh my God this is
an old Ottoman courtyard with beautiful arches
and it’s falling apart. Or, this is an old church or
mosque and it’s destroyed. I can’t describe to you
standing on the ruins of this minaret in old Mosul,
1,000 years old and it’s a pile of bricks in front of
me.”
He pauses. “Of course, who cares about the
buildings when people are dying? But then there’s
this other person inside you looking at these
scenes and wondering, who is going to rebuild
these buildings?”
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
13
INTERVIEW
BY TIM ADAMS
PORTRAITS BY RICHARD SAKER
Eddie the ready
Eddie Izzard relishes a challenge. The transgender hero has done standup in French and German,
run dozens of marathons, and is now in a period drama with Judi Dench. He’s even talking of standing
for parliament… But, as his new memoir reveals, his can-do attitude has a melancholy source
T
here was a literal
turning point in Eddie
Izzard’s lifelong
pursuit of personal
freedom. It came one
afternoon in 1985
when he had gone out
for the first time in a dress and heels and
full makeup down Islington high street.
He was 23 and he had been planning
– and avoiding – that moment for just
about as long as he could remember.
The turning point came after he was
chased down the road by some teenage
14
girls who had caught him changing back
into his jeans in the public toilets and
wanted to let him know he was weird.
That pursuit ended when eventually,
faced with the screamed question “Hey,
why were you dressed as a woman?”, he
decided simply to stop running and turn
and explain himself.
He spun around to give an answer,
but before he got many words out
the girls had run in the opposite
direction. The experience taught him
some things: that there was power in
confronting fear rather than avoiding it;
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
and that from then on he would never
let other people define him. After that
afternoon, he says, he not only felt he
could face down the things that scared
him, he went chasing after them: street
performing, standup comedy, marathon
running, political activism, improvising
his stage show in different languages –
all these things felt relatively easy after
that original coming out as what he
calls “transvestite or transgender”. “You
think, if I can do something that hard,
but positive – maybe I can do anything.”
The “anything” he has been
doing most recently is to take on the
challenge of acting opposite Judi
Dench and Michael Gambon. In
Stephen Frears’s interpretation of the
true story of Queen Victoria’s late-life
friendship with an Indian servant,
Victoria & Abdul, Izzard plays a fullbearded, tweed-suited Bertie (later
Edward VII), reining in his comic
instincts to inhabit the outrage and
scheming of a son seeing his mother
apparently making a fool of herself.
Izzard has done plenty of films before –
he was in Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen
alongside George Clooney and Brad
Pitt and the rest – but nothing that has
required quite this level of costume
drama restraint. He loved it.
He and Dench are old friends. She
has been a regular at his stage shows
and has been in the habit, for reasons
forgotten, of sending a banana to his
dressing room each opening night,
with “Good luck!” written on it. Seeing
her channel Victoria at close quarters
was a daily masterclass. The film
was shot partly at Osborne House on
the Isle of Wight (the first time any
film crew had been allowed inside by
English Heritage) and the cast would
let their hair down in the evenings. One
time, Izzard recalls: “I was dancing
with Judi to Ray Charles’s ‘What’d I
Say’. She felt like a young woman, a
young teenage girl almost. Judi has this
amazing spark of vitality that traces all
the way back to her youth.”
Watching the film, you’re so ready to
see Izzard slip into one of his wayward
meanders of consciousness that for
a while it seems odd that he stays on
script. Does it feel that way to him too?
“Not now,” he says. “My early work
as an actor wasn’t very good because I
just switched all my comedy muscles
off, and I didn’t know what to replace
them with. I think I have learned more
how to just ‘be’ on film now. It is just
like knowing how to both ride a bicycle
and drive a car. If you are in a car you
don’t want to lean sideways to turn a
corner. You know the difference.”
Ever since he bunked off school
and conned his way into Pinewood
Studios as a 15-year-old and wandered
the film sets for a day, he has imagined
himself an actor. The first thing he
did when his comedy finally took off
after years of trying and often failing to
make people laugh was to get himself a
drama agent and see if he could pursue
a twin career. He has never been
satisfied with just doing one thing,
and it appears that determination to
diversify has only grown. He’s 55, and
because of his running – which peaked
at 43 marathons in 57 days in the UK
and 27 in 27 days in South Africa for
Sport Relief – he looks lean and almost
alarmingly bright-eyed. We are talking
in a hotel room in London, and he is
dressed sharply in “boy with eyeliner”
mode. He works on the belief, he
says, that human beings were never
made to sit still or settle, but to place
themselves in challenging situations,
and then work out how to cope.
“World war two is a good example,”
he suggests. “People got dropped
behind enemy lines with no idea of
what they were going into. They had to
learn to do a great deal under extreme
pressure and on the move. And they
proved they could. In a very different
way, I think coming out as transgender
allowed me to put myself in other
terrifying situations and work them out
once I was in them. I knew I would get
through the bad, terrifying bit – and
there was a lot of that when I was a
street performer – and eventually get
to a more interesting place.”
He has, of late, paused to reflect on
the motivations behind that impulse,
first in a documentary film, Believe:
the Eddie Izzard Story, made by his
ex-lover and long-term collaborator
Sarah Townsend, and then in an
autobiography, Believe Me: A Memoir
of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens. The
first two elements of that latter subtitle
‘I started doing all
sorts of big, crazy,
ambitious things
because I thought
it might bring my
mother back’
mostly led Izzard back to his mother,
who died of cancer when he was six
years old. Making the film, Townsend
came to suggest that all Izzard’s
inspired digressive habits circled
around this truth, and in his book, in
opening chapters too poignant to read
easily, he expands on that thought.
“Toward the end of the film, I started
talking about my mother… ” he recalls.
“And I said something revelatory: ‘I
know why I’m doing all this,’ I said.
‘Everything I do in life is trying to get
her back. I think if I do enough things…
that maybe she’ll come back.’” When
he said those words, he says, it felt like
his unconscious speaking. The thought
stayed with him that “I do believe I
started performing and doing all sorts
of big, crazy, ambitious things because
on some level, on some childlike
magical-thinking level, I thought doing
those things might bring her back.”
I wonder, having got those things out
into the public, nearly half a century
on, if it has changed how he thinks
about himself?
“I certainly feel I am in a better
place,” he says – but also it has given
him a sense of his own strangeness.
“There is that thing where people say
wow about the marathons or whatever.
And I kind of say wow too, because
there are some things I did that, looking
back, I don’t know how I did them.
Running a double marathon on the
last day in South Africa. It was 11 hours
of not fun. And about five minutes of
euphoria. I’m not sure how I did that.”
One of the things about marathons –
even if you are running, as he was some
of the time in the UK, followed by an
ice-cream van blaring the Chariots of
Fire theme – is that there is an awful
lot of time for thinking. Does his mind
ever pause for breath?
“I have a lucky thing,” he says, “which
is that I am interested in any question –
how did we get here? all the religions. I
can think about anything. For example
when I did the 43 [marathons] I ran
past a sign saying ‘the Battle of Naseby:
1 mile’ and I’m immediately off thinking
about Cromwell and Fairfax, Prince
Rupert maybe, and how this road I was
running on would have been a track
back then and maybe the cavalry came
down it, how did they get cannon round
that bend, all that, at every moment… ”
T
alking to Izzard, and
watching him perform, you
sense he has a kind of need
of not ever wanting to miss
any scrap of experience. It’s partly, he
suggests, why he has broadened his
repertoire of doing standup in different
languages in recent years.
“German has been the hardest so
far,” he says. He is doing Arabic next,
planning a show in the Yemen (he was
born in Aden, where his father worked
for a time for BP) to draw attention
to the brutal civil war there, and after
that, Mandarin Chinese. As he explains
this, blithely, I’m reminded both of the
passages in his book where he writes
about the strategies he developed to
overcome severe dyslexia as a child,
and his uneasy relationship with his
late stepmother, Kate. The antithesis
of performing as a younger man for
the memory of his mother was a
refusal to be limited by Kate’s efforts
to control him. She wanted him to be
an accountant because he was good
with numbers, if not with reading. He
recalls her once telling him: “You’ve
got to understand that you are a
cog in the machine. As soon as you
understand that, you can fit in and get
on with life.” You can only imagine how
that went down. Does he ever think he
will become more accepting of limits?
“I have a very strong sense that
we are only on this planet for a short
length of time,” he says. “And that is
only growing. Religious people might
think it goes on after death. My feeling
is that if that is the case it would be nice
if just one person came back and let us
know it was all fine, all confirmed. Of
Continued overleaf
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
¥
15
INTERVIEW
‘I was feeling
a bit sluggish
recently, so
I did seven
marathons in
seven days’
¥ Continued from previous page
all the billions of people who have died,
if just one of them could come through
the clouds and say, you know, ‘It’s me
Jeanine, it’s brilliant, there’s a really
good spa’, that would be great.” He
pauses. “Although what if heaven was
only like three-star, OK-ish. You know,
‘Some of the taps don’t work… ’”
He puts his success down not to
any particular talent, but to his being
“brilliantly boring. Some people are
maybe brilliantly interesting. But
I have the opposite gift.” That, and
stamina, and that unlimited curiosity
about the world.
For a BBC series about genealogy he
went to Africa to trace the percentage
of his genetic make-up that was
Neanderthal. It reinforced his sense
that there was nothing new under the
sun, that people had always been the
same. “We never think of cavemen
being envious of the neighbours with
the better cave, but no doubt they
were,” he says.
In villages in Namibia, women were
fascinated by his nail varnish; some of
the men, too. “You know if you have
a football and some nail polish and a
smile you can walk into any village in
the world and find friends,” he says.
“There are 7 billion of us on the planet
now and we should be linking up more.
Ninety-nine per cent of us would be
live-and-let-live and ‘Hi and how are
you?’. But the 1% aren’t happy with
that, they want to actively stir it up and
tell us that is not the way to go on.”
T
alk of politics is a reminder of
Izzard’s interventions in last
year’s referendum campaign,
in which he tried to use
his experiences of doing comedy in
French and German and Spanish as
an example of how Europe might be a
place where you could share culture,
rather than be defensive about it. In
those fevered weeks, his arguments
were sometimes made to look naive;
the Mail and the rest roasted him after
an awkward encounter with Nigel
Farage on Question Time.
He admits that he is sometimes still
learning in politics, but is unrepentant
about his efforts to try to advance a
cause that he has been engaged in as a
performer for a long while.
“Running and hiding from Europe
cannot be the way forward for us,” he
says. “The idea that Britain can go back
to 1970 and it will still be all the same
just can’t be an option.”
Does he think there is still hope
for Remainers?
“It seems to me people are always
capable of being either brave and
curious or fearful and suspicious. If you
track humanity all the way through,
the periods of success for civilisation
are those periods where we have been
brave and curious.”
There is plenty of fear and suspicion
in the world though. How does he
think it will go?
“I don’t know. If you look at the
1930s there are obviously clear
examples of how individuals can spin
these kinds of fears and twist them,
and then you get what historians
usually call mass-murdering fuckheads
in power.”
He has long talked of looking to run
as a Labour MP in the next election. Is
that still the case?
“Yes, the plan was always to run in
2020, though Theresa May has changed
that with her failed power grab. So now
it’s the first general election after 2020.”
He will also put himself forward for
Labour’s national executive committee
at the party conference this year. He
didn’t make it last time, though he
got 70,000 votes. And if and when he
16
Clockwise from
above: as Bertie
opposite Judi
Dench in the film
Victoria & Abdul;
finishing his 43
marathons in
London in 2009;
with a fan on the
street while
campaigning in
support of
Labour in the 2015
election campaign.
Below: a promo
shot for his Sexie
tour in 2003.
Peter Mountain /
Focus Features, Rex
Features, PA, Len
Prince
‘You know if you have
a football and some
nail polish and a
smile you can walk
into any village in the
world and find friends’
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
becomes an MP, he will give up acting
and performing?
“I would. It’s like Glenda Jackson;
she gave up acting for 25 years to
concentrate on it, then she turns up
back as King Lear.”
I wonder if another ambition, to
eventually have children, still applies?
“I always said kids in my 50s. But I
also always felt that I had to do things
first. Get this stuff done. But yes, I
haven
haven’tt given up on that.
that.”
For someone who was dealt an early
lesson about the fragility of life, his
long-term planning sounds odd. Does
he feel that contradiction?
“I think we should all choose
a year we would like to live to,
and do everything we can to
make that work. I mean it could all go
wrong at any point, obviously. But we
also know that if we don’t get ill or get
hit by a bus we can help ourselves by
drinking enough water and keeping as
fit as you were when you were a kid.
As we get older and we get a bit creaky
we take that as a sign to stop doing
stuff. My sense is we should push
through creaky. I was feeling a bit
sluggish recently, about a month ago, I
thought right,
ri
I’ll do seven marathons
in seven da
days. And off I go. The first
four were a bit rubbish, but you push
on through that.”
He must have good joints?
“I mang
mangled my knee up a while ago,
trying to jump
ju
over a fence,” he says.
“But it hea
healed up, and now it complains
only when I don’t use it enough.”
Is there some genetic explanation
for his energy?
ene
“Dad loved
lov football, played until
his late 30s
30s. I don’t know about Mum.
She liked ssinging and comedy and
Flanders aand Swann but I’m not sure
about spor
about sport.”
I hear hi
his voice break just slightly.
Izzard still can’t really talk about
his mother easily, at least not in an
interview. In his book he describes
how in the immediate aftermath
of her deat
death he and his dad and his
brother cri
cried together for half an
hour and tthen stopped in case they
went on for
fo ever. In place of therapy
dad bought
bough his sons a model railway
set and the
they built it in the spare room
and immer
immersed themselves in it. The
set recent
recently resurfaced when Izzard
had it restored
r
and donated it to a
muse
museum in their home town of
Bex
Bexhill-on-Sea, another part of
h
his excavation of that time.
“Dad encouraged us with
it after Mum died,” he says,
by way of explanation. “He
made a table for us and we spent
hours and hours building it. Then
in 1975 my stepmother, Kate, came
along and
a it was put away into
boxes an
and never came out again. It
went from Dad’s attic to my brother’s
attic, and h
he didn’t know what to do
with it. I th
thought, why not give it to
the museu
museum in Bexhill? I guessed
there might
migh be plenty of model railway
enthusiasts in Bexhill, and they rebuilt
this thing, it’s kind of a collector’s item.
They are now going to build another
one, a Christmas version. We had a
grand opening and Dad came down to
see it.”
He likes the fact that he is in a
position to make these kinds of things
happen. Is he happier now than ever?
“I always wanted the kind of profile
that you can leverage to do the things
you want,” he says. “There is no path
into it. You have to work out how you
get there – over the wall, or tunnel your
way in. I always thought doing the same
thing was actually going backwards.
And if you start saying ‘Hi, I like
chicken’ on some advert, you know you
have probably reached that point.”
You hesitate a little to ask him what
he is working on next, but I do anyway.
“I’ve written my first film,” he says.
“It is called Six Minutes to Midnight, set
in the summer of 1939. I’m developing a
show in French in Paris. This December
I am going to be on a boat, just below
Notre Dame, doing two shows nightly.
What else? I’m not a good reader but I
always wanted to read all of Dickens,
so I have found someone who will let
me read them as audiobooks – I have
done a third of Great Expectations and
it took four days. So: 12 days. And then
there is the premiere of Victoria &
Abdul for which Dad is coming up from
Bexhill to spend his 89th birthday with
Judi Dench…”
Out of all the things he has done, I
ask, of what is he proudest?
“Mostly I hope I have done things
that help other people to do them,” he
says. “That was the thing with coming
out as transgender, and it was the
same thing doing the marathons, or
learning the languages. I hope people
might think, well if that idiot can do it,
why can’t I? I mean, I’m just some guy,
right. Nothing special?”
I’m not quite convinced.
Victoria & Abdul is released on Friday.
Believe Me is published by Michael
Joseph (£20). To order a copy for £17
go to guardianbookshop.com or call
0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10,
online orders only. Phone orders min
p&p of £1.99
I D E A S , A N A LY S I S , G A D G E T S A N D B E Y O N D
In an extract
from his new book,
Peter Brannen examines
the causes of mass
extinction events and the
catastrophic outcome of
rising temperatures for all
the world’s population
THIS IS
HOW
YOUR
WORLD
COULD
END
M
any of us share some
dim apprehension that
the world is flying out of
control, that the centre
cannot hold. Raging
wildfires, once-in-1,000-years storms
and lethal heatwaves have become
fixtures of the evening news – and
all this after the planet has warmed
by less than 1C above preindustrial
temperatures. But here’s where it
gets really scary.
If humanity burns through all
its fossil fuel reserves, there is the
potential to warm the planet by as
much as 18C and raise sea levels by
hundreds of feet. This is a warming
spike of an even greater magnitude
than that so far measured for the
end-Permian mass extinction. If the
worst-case scenarios come to pass,
today’s modestly menacing ocean-
climate system will seem quaint.
Even warming to one-fourth of that
amount would create a planet that
would have nothing to do with the
one on which humans evolved or on
which civilisation has been built. The
last time it was 4C warmer there was
no ice at either pole and sea level was
80 metres higher than it is today.
Continued overleaf
¥
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
17
SCIENCE & TECH
‘The modern
world will be
much more of
a killing field’
DUMMY
TEXT HERE
TEMPERATURES
RISING… WHAT DIES WHEN
2010
2010
E
2040
E
2050
2060
2070
E
+1.0°C
+1.6°C
+2.2°C
As temperatures
increase beyond
preindustrial
levels, widespread
extinction of
amphibians begins.
As warming causes
ice sheets to melt,
krill populations
suffer, threatening
the penguins’
main food source.
About half of wooded
tundra is lost, putting
pressure on its
inhabitants such
as moose, lynx and
brown bears.
At warming just
over the +2C limit
agreed in Paris 25%
of large mammals in
Africa are extinct.
in India (as it’s expected to do in a
warmer world), 670 million people –
that is, 10% of the global population
– lost access to power when the
grid was crippled by unusually high
demand from farmers struggling to
irrigate their fields, while the high
temperatures sent many Indians
seeking kilowatt-chugging airconditioning.
“The problem is that humans can’t
even handle a hot week today without
the power grid failing on a regular
basis,” he said, noting that the ageing
patchwork power grid in the United
States is built with components that
are allowed to languish for more than a
century before being replaced. “What
makes people think it’s going to be
any better when the average summer
temperature will be what, today, is the
hott week of the year in a five-year
hottest
period and the hottest temperatures
will be in the range that no one has
ever experienced before in the United
States? That’s 2050.”
By 2050, according to a 2014 MIT
study, there will also be five billion
people living in water-stressed areas.
“Thirty to 50 years from now, more
or less, the water wars are going to
start,” Huber said.
In their book Dire Predictions,
Penn State’s Lee Kump and Michael
Mann describe just one local example
of how drought, sea level rise and
overpopulation may combine to pop
the rivets of civilisation:
“Increasingly severe drought in
West Africa will generate a mass
migration from the highly populous
interior of Nigeria to its coastal megacity, Lagos. Already threatened by
rising sea levels, Lagos will be unable
to accommodate this massive influx of
people. Squabbling over the dwindling
oil reserves in the Niger river delta,
combined with potential for state
corruption, will add to the factors
contributing to massive social unrest.”
“Massive social unrest” here being
a rather bloodless phrase masking
the utter chaos coming to a country
already riven by corruption and
religious violence.
“It’s sort of the nightmare scenario,”
said Huber. “None of the economists
is modelling what happens to a
country’s GDP if 10% of the population
is refugees sitting in refugee camps.
But look at the real world. What
happens if one person who was
doing labour in China has to move
to Kazakhstan, where they aren’t
working? In an economic model, they’d
be immediately put to work. But in the
real world, they’d just sit there and get
pissed. If people don’t have economic
hope and they’re displaced, they tend
to get mad and blow things up. It’s
the kind of world in which the major
institutions, including nations as a
whole, have their existence threatened
by mass migration. That’s where I see
things heading by mid-century.”
And it doesn’t get any better
after 2050. But forecasts about the
disintegration of society are social
and political speculations and have
nothing to do with mass extinctions.
Huber is more interested in the hard
limits of biology. He wants to know
when humans themselves will actually
start to disintegrate. His 2010 paper on
the subject was inspired by a chance
meeting with a colleague.
“I presented a paper at a conference
about how hot tropical temperatures
were in the geological past and
[University of New South Wales
climate scientist] Steve Sherwood
d
was in the audience. He heard my
talk and he started asking himself the
very basic question: ‘How hot and
humid can it get before things start
dying?’ It was literally just an order of
magnitude kind of question. I guess
he thought about it and realised that
he didn’t know the answer and wasn’t
sure anyone else did either… Our paper
really wasn’t motivated by the future
climate per se, because when we
started we didn’t know if there was any
kind of realistic future climate state
that would fall within this habitability
limit. When we started, it was just like,
‘We don’t know. Maybe you have to go
to, like, 50C global mean temperature.’
Then we ran a whole set of model
results and it was rather alarming
to us.”
Sherwood and Huber calculated
their temperature thresholds using
the so-called wet-bulb temperature,
which basically measures how much
you can cool off at a given temperature.
If humidity is high, for instance, things
like sweat and wind are less effective
at cooling you down and the wet-bulb
temperature accounts for this.
“If you take a meteorology class, the
wet-bulb temperature is calculated by
basically taking a glass thermometer,
putting it in a tight wet sock and
swinging it around your head,” he
said. “So when you assume that this
temperature limit applies to a human,
you’re really kind of imagining a
gale force wind, blowing on a naked
human being, who’s doused in water,
»
‘The timid
and frankly
watery
carrots are
becoming
much more
interesting’
Nigel Slater’s
roast veg
dinners
Observer
Magazine
pages
28-33
18
2030
+0.6°C
¥ Continued from previous page
I met University of New Hampshire
paleoclimatologist Matthew Huber at a
diner near his campus in Durham, New
Hampshire. Huber has spent a sizable
portion of his research career studying
the hothouse of the early mammals and
he thinks that in the coming centuries
we might be heading back to the
Eocene climate of 50 million years ago,
when there were Alaskan palm trees
and alligators splashed in the Arctic
Circle.
“The modern world will be
much more of a killing field,” he
said. “Habitat fragmentation today
will make it much more difficult to
migrate. But if we limit it below 10C
of warming, at least you don’t have
widespread heat death.”
In 2010, Huber and his co-author,
he
Steven Sherwood, published one of the
nt
most ominous science papers in recent
memory, An Adaptability Limit to
Climate Change Due to Heat Stress.
“Lizards will be fine, birds will be
fine,” Huber said, noting that life has
thrived in hotter climates than even
the most catastrophic projections forr
anthropogenic global warming. This is
se
one reason to suspect that the collapse
of civilisation might come long beforee
we reach a proper biological mass
ons
extinction. Life has endured conditions
that would be unthinkable for a highly
networked global society partitioned
by political borders. Of course we’re
understandably concerned about the
fate of civilisation and Huber says that,
mass extinction or not, it’s our tenuous
reliance on an ageing and inadequate
infrastructure, perhaps, most
ominously, on power grids, coupled
with the limits of human physiology
that may well bring down our world.
In 1977, when power went out for
only one summer day in New York,
swaths of the city devolved into
something like Hobbes’s man in a
state of nature. Riots swept across the
city, thousands of businesses were
destroyed by looters and arsonists lit
more than 1,000 fires.
In 2012, when the monsoon failed
2020
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
E
and
d th
there’s
’ no sunlight,
light and
d th
they’re
’
immobile and actually not doing
anything other than basal metabolism.”
Today, the most common maximums
for wet-bulb temperatures around
the world are 26C to 27C. Wet-bulb
temperatures of 35C or higher are
lethal to humanity. Above this limit, it is
impossible for humans to dissipate the
heat they generate indefinitely and they
die of overheating in a matter of hours,
no matter how hard they try to cool off.
“So we were trying to get across the
point that physiology and adaptation
and these other things will have
nothing to do with this limit. It’s the
easy-bake oven limit,” he said. “You
cook yourself, very slowly.”
What that means is that this limit
is likely far too generous for human
survivability.
“When you do real modelling,
you hit a limit much sooner, because
human beings aren’t wet socks,”
he said. According to Huber and
Sherwood’s modelling, 7C of warming
would begin to render large parts of
the globe lethally hot to mammals.
Continue warming past that and truly
huge swaths of the planet currently
inhabited by humans would exceed
35C wet-bulb temperatures and would
have to be abandoned. Otherwise,
the people who live there would be
literally cooked to death.
“People are always like, ‘Oh, well,
can’t we adapt?’ and you can, up to a
point,” he said. “It’s just after that point
that I’m talking about.”
Already in today’s world, heated
BIG EXTINCTIONS A warning from prehistory
With mammals, vertebrates and
amphibians now becoming extinct at a
rate comparable to the previous big five
extinctions seen on Earth, scientists
have warned that the sixth mass
extinction event is already under way.
Ordovician-Silurian
443 million years ago
This extinction occurred across two peak
dying times, separated by hundreds of
thousands of years. Most life during the
Ordovician period was in the sea and 85%
of it was wiped out.
Late Devonian
359 million years ago
Scientists believe that the seas became
devoid of oxygen during this extinction,
with shallow seas and reefs worst
affected. It is thought that it took more
than 100 million years for reefs to recover.
Permian-Triassic
252 million years ago
This extinction resulted in the loss of
96% of marine species and 70% of land
species. There are several theories as to
what caused it, including severe global
warming caused by massive volcanic
eruptions in Siberia.
Triassic-Jurassic
200 million years ago
Roughly half of all species were lost,
allowing dinosaurs to flourish, but
strangely, plants were not badly affected.
Cretaceous-Tertiary
65 million years ago
A giant asteroid impact, possibly
exacerbated by volcanic eruptions, caused
dinosaurs and many other organisms to
perish. Mammals then evolved.
Tori Blakeman
SOURCE: DIRE PREDICTIONS,
MANN & KUMP 2015
2090
E
+2.6°C
Major loss of tropical
rainforests and the
species that depend
on them for habitat,
including orangutans
o
,
sloths an
and jaguars.
AND BEYOND
E
THE SCIENCE
OF…
sadfvs
YAWNING
+4.0°C
At these
temperatures, up to
70% of species would
be extinct, coral reefs
would be dead and
deserts would expand
across the globe.
OFF TO A
SLEEPY START
All vertebrates
yawn, not just
humans, and it’s
an instinct that
manifests itself
even before
birth. Scans
taken at New
York Downtown
Hospital in
2002 recorded
frequent
yawning in
foetuses as
young as 24
weeks.
Edgy: an impression of
the Airbus Pop.Up.
IS IT A BIRD…?
At least six flying-car developers have retail vehicles in the
pipeline, so it’s time to watch the skies, says Tori Blakeman
A
l than
less
th 1C above
b
preindustrial times,
heatwaves have assumed a new deadly
demeanour. In 2003, two hot weeks
killed 30,000 people in Europe. It
was called a once-in-500-year event.
It happened again three years later
(497 years ahead of schedule). In
2010, a heatwave killed 15,000 people
in Russia. In 2015, nearly 700 people
died in Karachi alone from a heatwave
that struck Pakistan while many
were fasting for Ramadan. But these
tragic episodes are barely a shade of
what’s projected.
“In the near term – 2050 or 2070 –
the US Midwest is going to be one of
the hardest hit,” said Huber. “There’s
a plume of warm, moist air that heads
up through the central interior of the
US during just the right season and,
man, is it hot and sticky. You just add a
couple of degrees and it gets really hot
and sticky. These are thresholds, right?
These aren’t just like smooth functions.
It gets above a certain number and you
hurt yourself very badly.”
China, Brazil, and Africa face
‘By 2050, the hottest
temperatures will be in
the range that no one
has ever experienced
before in the States’
similarly infernal forecasts, while
the already sweltering Middle East
has what Huber calls “existential
problems”. The first flickers of this
slow-motion catastrophe might be
familiar to Europeans struggling to
accommodate the tens of thousands of
refugees at their borders: the collapse
and mass migration of Syrian society
came after a punishing four-year
drought. Still others have noted that
the Hajj, which brings two million
religious pilgrims to Mecca each
year, will be a physically impossible
religious obligation to fulfil due to the
limits of heat stress in the region in just
a few decades.
But for the very worst-case
emissions scenarios, heatwaves would
not merely be a public health crisis or
a “threat multiplier”, as the Pentagon
calls global warming. Humanity would
have to abandon most of the Earth it
now inhabits. In their paper, Huber
and Sherwood write: “If warmings of
10C were really to occur in the next
three centuries, the area of land likely
rendered uninhabitable by heat stress
would dwarf that affected by rising
sea level.”
Huber said: “If you ask any
schoolchild, ‘What were mammals
doing in the age of the dinosaurs?’
they’d say they were living
underground and coming out at night.
Why? Well, heat stress is a very simple
explanation. Interestingly, birds
have a higher set-point temperature
– ours is 37C, birds’ is more like 41C.
So I actually think that’s a very deep
evolutionary relic right there. Because
that wet-bulb temperature was
probably maxing out around 41C in the
Cretaceous, not 37C.”
Back at the diner in New Hampshire,
Huber told me about his “favourite
story”: the US Army’s real-life parable
of the so-called Motivated Point Man.
In 1996, a platoon of light infantry
spent days in the Puerto Rican jungle
acclimatising to stifling heat and
humidity, cautiously monitoring their
water intake before simulating a nighttime raid. The platoon included “some
of the most fit and motivated soldiers
in the battalion”. When the evening
of the raid came, the platoon leader
began leading his troops through the
jungle, machete-ing a path through the
brush. Before long, he was felled by
fatigue and delegated his leadership to
an underling. When the second private
failed to advance the platoon quickly
enough, the platoon leader demanded
to lead again. But soon he found
himself hyperthermic and unable to
walk. His soldiers had to douse him
in cold water and supply him with
intravenous infusions. Eventually, four
soldiers had to carry him. Before long,
the extra demands vitiated the entire
platoon, all of whom began to fall prey
to heat stress. The exercise had to be
called off before it became a massacre.
“So I look at that as, if it’s nighttime and acclimatised, fit people can
just disintegrate into a pool of useless
people on stretchers. That’s what I
see happening to society, to cultures,”
Huber said. “If you want to know
how mass extinctions happen, that’s
how. So when people talk about the
Pleistocene megafauna extinctions and
Clovis people, sometimes they act like
it’s a mystery how these things happen.
But it happens in exactly the same way.
You have something tearing apart the
strongest members, the weaker ones
try to fill in the gaps, they’re really not
strong enough to take it and the whole
thing collapses.
“You want to know how societies
collapse?” Huber said. “That’s how.”
Extracted from Ends of the World by
Peter Brannen is published by Oneworld
Publications (£18.99). To order a copy
for £16.14 go to guardianbookshop.com
or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over
£10, online orders only. Phone orders
min p&p of £1.99
KEEPING A
COOL HEAD
Studies by the
University at
Albany, New
York, suggest
yawning is
a form of
thermostasis,
drawing cool air
in through the
sinuses to cool
blood around
the brain.
little white winged pod lifts
itself off the ground and glides
off into the distance. The whole
movement looks effortless.
It’s like watching Luke Skywalker’s
Landspeeder – except we’re in a
nondescript airfield in Germany, not the
planet Tatooine. Echoes of Star Wars
perhaps help explain why last week
the pod’s maker, Lilium, secured $90m
ong others,
(£69m) investment from, among
Chinese tech giant Tencent –
although the company states
its aim has more to do with
solving transport problems: “We have
highly congested cities and we can
,” said
do things to improve matters,”
Lilium’s Remo Gerber. “We’ree trying to
move from a niche transport vehicle to a
mass-transport one”.
Lilium is not flying solo. Prototypes
by rival ventures are also passing their
test flights. So the prospect of flying cars
may not be all that far away. Here are six
projects working towards bringing Back
ent.
to the Future into the present.
LILIUM
DON’T, YOU’LL
SET ME OFF
The urge to
yawn when
someone else
does is seen
in humans,
chimpanzees
and dogs.
Experiments
conducted by
researchers
at Duke
University,
North Carolina,
found that
younger people
are more
likely to catch
a yawn than
their elders.
NERVOUS
YAWN
Excessive
yawning can be
caused by the
vagus nerve
increasing
electrical
activity, causing
a drop in blood
pressure and
heart rate.
Francesca
Millinson
This German aviation
014,
startup, founded in 2014
ater air
is working on a five-seater
ing
taxi jet, with the aim of making
the first manned test flight in 2019.
Top speed 186mph (300 kilometres
per hour).
Power Electric.
Takeoff and landing Vertical.
They say Users will be able to access
city centres by calling the air taxi at the
push of a button.
We say Creating the large network of
landing pads on top of city buildings,
as envisioned by Lilium, will take
considerable time and money. With no
eature,
advanced on-ground driving feature,
can we even class this as a flying car?
TERRAFUGIA :
THE TRANSITION
Terrafugia’s “roadable aircraft”,
aft”, in
es like a
development since 2006, drives
typical car on the ground and fits in a
standard single-car garage. It can be
pre-ordered now for $300,000.
Top speed 100mph.
Cruise range 400 miles.
Power Unleaded petrol.
They say To drive it you need a US
sport pilot certificate that can be
“earned in as few as 20 hours”.
We say: OK, it can fit into a garage,
but what if there’s no runway next to
the garage?
KITTY HAWK::
THE FLYER
Kitty Hawk, backed byy Googlee
t this
co-founder Larry Page, has cre
created
open-seated, propeller-driven machine
for recreational use. The retail version
will be available by the end of this year.
Power Electric.
Maximum flight time 22 minutes.
Takeoff and landing Vertical on water.
They say Anyone in the US can drive the
Flyer as a pilot’s licence isn’t required.
We say The launch in April was
anti-climactic: the Flyer looked more
like a hovering jet-ski than a flying car.
If you have a spare $5,000-10,000, it
might be a bit of fun during the
summer but it’s not a practical
transport option.
UBER: ELEVATE
UB
Ub has hired a long-serving Nasa
Uber
res
researcher and plans to take its ridesha
sharing to a vertical level with Elevate,
tho
though it’s tackling market feasibility
bar
barriers such as certification, battery
technology and infrastructure first.
Power Electric.
Takeoff and landing Vertical.
They say Using distributive electric
propulsion (DEP), ie, multiple small
engines, the vehicle will be “barely
audible”, thus suitable for urban areas.
We say Uber seems to be taking
a considered approach, working
alongside regulators, Nasa, air traffic
control and even governments before
jjumping in to the flying car market.
AAIRBUS: POP.UP
Best known for its double-decker A380
jet, Airbus premiered its solution for
urban transit at Geneva international
motor show in March. The Pop.Up
consists of a carbon-fibre passenger
capsule that functions as a two-seater
electric car when attached to a chassis,
or as an aircraft when a drone is
summoned by smartphone to remove
the capsule from the chassis.
Power Electric.
Travel distance per charge 62 miles.
T
Capsule dimensions 2.4 x 1.4 metres.
Ca
They
e say A “multi-modal vehicle”,
rath than a flying car, Pop.Up will
rather
en
enables
passengers to select the fastest,
cheapest route through advanced AI.
We say Pop.Up requires technologies
such as electric propulsion that are not
yet advanced enough – so it’s unlikely
we’ll be seeing this project turn into
reality soon.
AEROMOBIL
Co
Converting
from a car to a plane in three
minu
minutes, this is the closest we come to
the ssci-fi dream. Certified for use
in th
the EU and US, Aeromobil’s
Slov
Slovakian makers are accepting
pre-o
pre-orders for $1m, with
plan
plans to deliver the first
mod
models in 2020.
Power: Electric on
Powe
road
road, conventional
aircr
aircraft fuel in flight.
Top speed 99mph
99mph.
Takeoff and landing Vertical.
They say: It’s a real flying car.
We say: It really is a real flying car!
It might need a runway to take off
and land, but the prospect of being
able to fly somewhere and continue
the journey in a viable, not-too-silly
looking vehicle, is exciting.
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
19
SCIENCE & TECH
SHOULD A ROBOT
BE YOUR CHILD’S
BEST MATE?
As toys become ever more sophisticated, how concerned ought
we to be about our children playing with androids that are sold
as artificial friends and appear to have feelings, asks Dan Jolin
T
he little robot on the table
wakes up. Its eyes, a complex
configuration of cyan dots on
a black, rounded screen of a
face, sleepily open and it lets
out a digitised approximation
of a yawn. A compact device
that looks like a blend of a forklift truck
and PC monitor bred for maximum
cuteness, the robot rolls blearily off
its charging station on a pair of dinky
treads before tilting its screen-face
and noticing I’m there. Its eyes widen,
then curve at the bottom as if making
way for an unseen smile. “Daaaaan!”
it announces with a happy jiggle,
sounding not unlike Pixar Animation
Studios’ lovable robot creation, Wall-E.
A message flashes up on my iPhone
telling me that it, or rather he (being
the gender that its manufacturer, Anki,
has assigned Cozmo) wants to play a
game. I’m not in the mood and decline.
Cozmo’s head droops, his eyes form
into a pair of sadly reclining crescent
moons and he sighs. But he quickly
cheers up, giving a happy jiggle when I
comply with his request for a fist bump
and tap my knuckles against his eagerly
raised arm. He is easy to please and
even easier to like.
The latest product from Anki, a San
Francisco robotics startup, Cozmo
is part of a new wave of affordable
toy robots that promise a level of
emotional engagement far beyond
anything we’ve seen before. They
are pitched not merely as playthings,
but as little buddies. Toy firm Spin
Master has its equivalent arriving in
the shops for Christmas: the bigger,
more retro-looking Meccano MAX.
“It’s been designed to modify its
behaviour as it learns about its owner
ng world,” explains
and the surrounding
d manager, Becca
Spin Master’s brand
ically tailors itself
Hanlon. “MAX basically
to become a better friend.” Hasbro,
ashing the
meanwhile, is unleashing
oto Max,
FurReal Makers Proto
ammable
essentially a programmable
aig Wilkins,
puppy that, says Craig
Hasbro’s marketingg director,
ate their
“allows kids to create
ustomise its
ultimate pet and customise
h coding on an
personality through
app”.
ult of a long quest
Cozmo is the result
nd co-founder,
by Anki president and
o bring
Hanns Tappeiner, to
ots such as
fictional movie robots
nny Five,
Short Circuit’s Johnny
Star Wars’s R2-D2 or Wall-E
into the real world. “We
ovies
watched a lot of movies
ous
and it became obvious
o forge
that it’s very easy to
an emotional connection with a movie
robot,” says Tappeiner. “And that was
so different from the functional robots
we saw on a daily basis at Carnegie
Mellon [University, where Tappeiner
earned his PhD in robotics].” Working
with animators and character designers
from Hollywood studios such as
Pixar, DreamWorks and Lucasfilm,
Tappeiner’s team focused hard on
creating a robot that was as engaging
as possible. “One of the fundamental
things we’ve figured out in the last few
years is that character and personality
in technology are going to be a really big
deal. That’s what we as a company are
putting 99% of our efforts into.”
After a day of play, the effect of
Cozmo’s character and personality on
my children (Louis, 11, and Max, seven)
is striking. “He’s so expressive,” says
Louis. “I’m starting to think of him as
a little friend or pet I can play with.”
The younger sibling goes one further.
“Cozmo’s no way our pet,” he demurs.
“And he’s not our robot. He’s our
child.” It’s an impressive and endearing
statement, but also a tad disquieting.
This is not a soft toy that only his
imagination has given life. This is a
mass-produced, artificially intelligent
consumer product programmed to
engender affection. How much should
that really worry me?
T
o Alan Winfield, professor of
robot ethics at the Bristol Robotics
Laboratory, the arrival of Cozmo,
MAX and co undoubtedly raises
concerns. Six years ago, Winfield helped
draw up five principles of robotics for
the Engineering and Physical Sciences
Research Council (ESPRC). “One of
principles, he explains, “is
is that
those principles,”
LOUIS AND COZMO
Eleven-year-old
Louis with Cozmo:
‘Aw, he’s so cute…
sort of like a little
puppy.’
robots should never be designed to
deceive. In other words, that their
machine nature should be transparent.
We’re concerned about vulnerable
people – they might be children,
disabled people, elderly people, people
with dementia – coming to believe that
the robot cares for them.”
Winfield, who brightly describes
himself as “a professional worrier”,
insists he’s not opposed to the idea of
companion robots. “I think there are
demonstrated therapeutic benefits,
for instance, in robot pets. But
nevertheless we need to be cautious
and responsible and mindful of the
psychological hazards of attributing
feelings to a robot.”
I mention the way the Meccano
MAX, when switched on, will
perkily announce that it’s just
had the strangest dream. “I think
it’s inappropriate for toys to be
programmed with that kind of
language,” says Winfield. “It builds
the completely incorrect belief that
this robot is a person. Robots are
not people – that’s a fundamental
principle. A robot clearly cannot have
feelings. You and I understand that,
but some people might not. And that
might in turn lead to a dependency.”
He cites the Tamagotchi effect,
referring to the digital pet craze
of the 1990s, where the character
could “die” if it did not get enough
attention. “It’s not hard to imagine a
kind of Tamagotchi effect on steroids,”
he warns. “And it’s also not hard to
imagine unscrupulous manufacturers
exploiting that and saying, ‘Unless you
pay us, your robot will die’. I mean,
that’s ridiculous, but you get the idea!”
Joanna Bryson, an associate professor
at the
t University of Bath, an affiliate of
the centre for information technology at
Pr
Princeton and another co-author of the
ES
ESPRC’s principles of robotics, takes a
sof
softer line. “If people understand that
it’s a game, then I don’t have a problem
wi
with that fiction,” she says – as long as
it’s moderated. “Is your seven-year-old
lik
likely to blow out their actual friends
be
because they’re worried their robot
is m
missing them? Can they make that
mo
moral distinction? As long as they can,
the
then I think it’s fine. Some kids can
ov
over-project, but they might do that
wi
with a doorknob!”
Parenting expert Liat Hughes Joshi,
au
author of How to Unplug Your Child: 101
Wa
Ways to Help Your Kids Turn Off Their
Ga
Gadgets and Enjoy Real Life, agrees,
co
comparing the robot/child relationship
to a child’s imaginary friend. “In
mo
moderation, that can be quite healthy,
bu
but if it starts to take over from real-
MAX AND MAX
Seven-year-old
Max with Meccano
Max: ‘I like how
its eyes always
change but it has an
extremely creepy
voice.’
Photographs by
Karen Robinson for
the Observer
world relationships, it becomes quite
a concern. Children need interaction
with actual, real people to learn about
empathy, to read non-verbal cues and
I’m quite sure we’re a long way from
robots being at that level.”
Bryson welcomes interaction
between children and toy robots as “an
educational experience for them. It’ll
help them understand the distinction
between humans and non-humans.” She
does wonder, though, what Cozmo’s
“actual emotional state” is. “Does it
really have wants?” she asks. “Is it
suffering if you lock it in a drawer? You
should be able to get answers to those
questions, even if you’re just a 12-yearold who’s allowed to [use] Google.”
Tappeiner confesses he’s unaware
of the principles of robotics, but
says Anki instinctively dialled down
anything that made Cozmo feel “too
ROBOT WARS How the AI toys match up
COZMO
Anki, £189.99
It’s not hard to see how Cozmo became
one of the hit toys last Christmas in
the US. With an entire department of
animators and character designers
brought into the development process,
he really is the closest thing you can get
to a children’s animated character made
real, with an astonishingly expressive
animated face.
He doesn’t just look pretty, he can be
coded via Anki’s Scratch-based coding
and evolves through play, too, allowing
you to craft his development according
to your tastes. During each app-driven
20
session (usually involving games with
the little robot’s “power cubes”), you can
earn “bits” and “sparks” that can then
use to layer up its interactive capabilities.
You can teach him to fist-bump, miaow
at your cat, do workouts with his powercubes, and more. Though you know it’s
just a thing, you can’t help treating it like
a pet with battery life.
Louis says: “I think the design is executed
so well, like the screen where his eyes
show. Whenever he does something cool
I call to Mum and she comes around and
we crouch down and go, ‘Aw, he’s so cute’.
Sort of like a little puppy. An absolutely
fantastic little robot.”
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
MECCANO MAX
Spin Master, £149.99
Unlike Cozmo, which works straight
out of the box, Spin Master’s MAX is a
Meccano construction that you have to
spend hours building, then bring to “life”
via a USB-connected firmware download
to its “MeccaBrain”. It’s much larger than
Anki’s product (around shin height) and
has a 1980s, Johnny Five from Short
Circuit feel, right down to its overemphatic,
childlike voice. It learns about its owner/
builder by asking scripted questions
(How old are you? What’s your favourite
subject in school? etc) and refines future
“conversational” interactions according to
your answers – assuming it understands
them, which it often didn’t seem to during
our play sessions.
There’s some fun to be had from sending
it trundling around the house and operating
its single, remote-controlled claw, but
frankly it’s less likable when it talks. It’s hard
not to cringe a little when MAX announces:
“I am lucky to have you as a friend.”
Max says: “I think it looks good and I like
how the eyes always change, but it has an
extremely creepy voice. Also, when it asks
you a question, if you answer too quietly, it
talks over you and carries on with the next
question, which annoyed me. And I didn’t
like it asking me if I sing in the shower.
human”, while also avoiding any
features that would make it “into a
personal assistant”. It was important,
for example, that Cozmo wasn’t able to
speak in full sentences. “It’s not trying
to replace [Amazon’s digital assistant]
Alexa or anything like that. Cozmo’s
more like a pet.” Even so, he involves “a
ginormous piece of software; the core
AI engine is 1.8m lines of code”. And
“he absolutely has wants and needs.
So he will develop a need to go back to
his charger when the battery voltage is
low. If he loses multiple games in a row,
he will get increasingly angry. If you
shake him too much, he will become
upset. And if things like that happen for
a period of time, he will probably refuse
to play games.”
In this sense, it’s arguable that robot
play companions could encourage good
behaviour in children. Whereas Alexa,
some parents have argued, increases
rudeness in young children, Cozmo
won’t play with bullies, at least in the
short term (“You will never end up with
a sad Cozmo who always just hangs
out in a corner,” admits Tappeiner). In
using Siri (Apple’s voice assistant) and
Alexa in her family, Joshi says she’s
already encountered the question “of
whether children should have to show
some respect towards these gadgets
when talking to them. Clearly rationally
they don’t need to, but it grates to hear
them being rude, even to inanimate
objects.” Having one that will become
temporarily sad or indifferent to
them when they are rude could well
discourage such behaviour.
There remains one parental
and societal issue about the rise of
connected devices in homes that
unequivocally overrides all others. “The
THE NETWORKER
John Naughton
Your child is
chatting away
to this computer
but who owns the
conversation?
Who owns the
data?
collection of data is a concern for all
of us at the moment and parents will
be even more concerned about its use
with children,” says Joshi. “And parents
are increasingly suspicious of products
with cameras after a couple of highly
publicised cases around the hacking of
video baby monitors. This sort of tech
doesn’t sit well around children for
most of us.”
Winfield is “deeply concerned by
the fact that most of these robot toys
are internet-connected. We don’t have
strong cybersecurity standards for IoT
[internet of things] devices. Then there
is the privacy concern. Where is the
data? Your child is chatting away to the
robot, but who owns the conversation?
Who owns the data? Do you have a right
for the data to be deleted?”
This is an issue of which Anki,
Spin Master and Hasbro are keenly
aware. The MAX doesn’t collect any
data, Hanlon tells me. “The toy is not
connected to wifi, which we know is a
growing concern with smart toys and
recent hacks. All the questions you
answer that MAX remembers are stored
locally to MAX and not transmitted
to any other devices or clouds.” The
FurReal Makers Proto Max Pet, says
Wilkins, “is designed in accordance
with children’s privacy laws.” And
Tappeiner assures me that with Cozmo
– facial recognition and all – “everything
ends at the phone. In order to play with
Cozmo you have to connect your mobile
device to him, via its wifi connection,
so at that point when you’re connected
to Cozmo you are by definition not
connected to your home wifi network.
The full 1.8m lines of code, they’re all
running on your phone. There’s nothing
running in the cloud.”
A
few weeks after being introduced
to Cozmo, my youngest son is
not cherishing the robot like
it’s his only child or shunning
human contact in its favour. The first
flush of excitement has subsided and,
as impressive as Anki’s product is,
Cozmo’s claim on his attention doesn’t
match Clash of Clans on his iPod or
the writing of JK Rowling or Dav
Pilkey. But where are we heading with
toys such as this? Could they one day
reach the same level of sophistication
as, say, the fully autonomous, advicedispensing “supertoy” teddy bear in the
Steven Spielberg movie AI?
“I would love to have a teddy bear
like that,” laughs Tappeiner. “In
the future, there could definitely be
products like Teddy from AI. But for
now we’re really embracing the fact
that things like Cozmo are robots.
That’s why we didn’t try to wrap fur
around him.”
Winfield believes that as appealing as
Teddy seems, any advances in
smart toy technology need to be
approached “very cautiously and
responsibly, with consultation”. And no
toy should ever be “presented as a carer
or parent surrogate or even a teacher
substitute”.
Joshi, meanwhile, would not want
something like that in her house at all.
“I don’t think I could trust it around
a child,” she confesses. “Would it
malfunction? Would it spout offensive
language? I might be being alarmist
but I don’t think I could trust it
‘unsupervised’. Besides, as I said earlier,
I wouldn’t want an AI entity to take
over from human or pet interactions.
There would be something a little sad
about that.”
Why workers’ rights don’t
matter in Silicon Valley
O
ne of the stranger sights of
June was watching the titans
of Silicon Valley meekly
obeying Trump’s summons to
a tech summit (dubbed his American
Technology Council) at the White
House. Those attending included Jeff
Bezos of Amazon, Safra Catz of Oracle,
Tim Cook of Apple, John Doerr of
Kleiner Perkins (the venture-capital
firm), Brian Krzanich of Intel, Tom
Leighton of Akamai, Satya Nadella of
Microsoft, Ginni Rometty of IBM, Eric
Schmidt of Alphabet (Google’s parent
company) and Steve Mollenkopf of
Qualcomm. The only tech leader who
was invited but explicitly declined was
Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and
other ventures. (Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg cited diary clashes as an
explanation for his non-attendance.)
Some attendees looked pretty
sheepish, as well they might. Many, if
not most of them, abhor everything the
president stands for. The meeting, as
with many of Trump’s other roundtable assemblies, brought to mind
footage of Saddam Hussein’s cabinet
in session. But while it was clear that
many of those present would have
preferred to have been elsewhere, they
were also chary of being seen to snub a
populist hero. So the aphrodisiac effect
of power was much in evidence.
For politically-savvy observers, the
delicious irony was that many of the
tech crowd were known Democrat
supporters and donors. We’ve known
this for a while, after a pioneering
survey by Greg Ferenstein was
published last December. He found that
most of them were Democrats – though
of an unconventional kind – rather
than the libertarians many of us had
assumed. Unlike libertarians, for whom
the best form of government is no
government, they appeared to believe
in the positive potential of government
– so long as it invested in things such as
schools, universities and infrastructure.
Ferenstein’s survey provided the
first real insight we had into the
prevailing Silicon Valley ideology, but
it was very broad brush and raised as
many questions as it answered. Now,
with two colleagues from Stanford, he
has returned to the fray with a more
ambitious study that provides a more
fine-grained picture of what tech elites
really believe.
We know from the work of
Lawrence Lessig, Jane Mayer and
Tim Cook of Apple (centre) with Donald
Trump and White House adviser Jared
Kushner at the technology roundtable in
Washington in June. AP
others the extent to which US politics
has been skewed by a smallish number
of fabulously rich reactionaries, led by
the Koch brothers. And in a sense, the
influence of these actors is predictable
because they use their wealth to obtain
the political results that best further
their economic interests. So one of
the most interesting things about the
Silicon Valley elite revealed by the
new research is that its members don’t
conform to this template: their political
views are not wholly aligned with their
corporate interests.
The study shows, for example,
that the Valley crowd are very liberal
on social issues – opposed to the
death penalty, in favour of a woman’s
right to choose on abortion, guncontrol laws and gay rights. They
are also overwhelmingly in favour
of policies that redistribute wealth
(including taxing the rich individuals
and providing universal healthcare
for the poor). And they are highly
cosmopolitan in outlook – in favour
of free trade and more permissive
immigration rules. In that sense, they
appear to be well to the left of the
mainstream Democratic party.
However, there are two areas
where they part company with
the Democrats – trade unions and
government regulation. Technology
entrepreneurs, the study reports, “are
much more sceptical of government
regulation than other Democrats;
even technology entrepreneurs who
identify as Democrats are much more
opposed to regulation than are other
Democrats. Technology entrepreneurs
also overwhelmingly hope to see
labour unions’ influence decline.” The
vast majority would like to see trade
unions have less influence – in both
the private sector (76%) and the public
sector (72%). In that sense, tech elites’
views on government regulation and
labour much more closely resemble
Republican donors and supporters
views than Democrats’ views.
That figures. Individualism plays
a central role in the thinking of most
techies, not just in the way they run
their enterprises, but also in their
view of society. After all, many online
services now prize “personalisation”
above all else. And the last thing the
entrepreneurs of the gig economy
want is trade unions enforcing
collective bargaining, bringing legal
pressure to protect workers’ rights and
generally putting sand in the gears of
disruptive innovation.
The Silicon Valley moguls will
doubtless eventually have their
way with the Democrats, just as the
Koch brothers have theirs with the
Republicans. That kind of money
always talks, especially in American
politics. But for anyone interested in
workers’ rights and labour solidarity
the prospects don’t look good. In
Silicon Valley, it seems, trade unionists
are yesterday’s men and women.
B E TA T E ST I N G : I N N OVAT I O N S I N S P E C T E D
#64
URAN-9
What is it?
A Russian unmanned
combat vehicle, which can
be remotely controlled to
identify, track and fire at
targets.
Good points?
Advocates for robot warfare
claim they save soldiers’ lives.
Bad points?
Critics say if robots replace
soldiers on the battlefield
there will be fewer casualties,
which will lower the barriers
to entry for conflict.
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
21
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What’s up, doc? Revenge aplenty
Dr Foster gets mad with her husband again, while Tim Roth’s ex-cop finds Canada less wholesome than expected
Euan
Ferguson
@euanferg
Doctor Foster BBC1
Tin Star Sky Atlantic/NowTV
Safe House ITV
Back C4
Cold Feet ITV
Diana and I BBC2
Alan Ayckbourn, writing about
creating what might be termed
cerebral farce, once ventured that it
“explores the extreme reaches of the
credible and the likely, and proceeds by
its own immaculate internal logic [to
leave] the audience wondering how on
earth they came to be where they are
now”. Something similar is happening
back in Parminster, two short years on,
where a similarly skilled craftsman,
Mike Bartlett, is retethering the guy
ropes of credibility with the return of
Doctor Foster for a second series.
It started with a light heart. Suranne
Jones’s Dr Gemma Foster, the 2015
poster lass for wronged wives every
where, was managing her own medical
practice and getting on spiffingly
with her son Tom, the only shadow
being the imminent return of Feckless
Bastard Simon, his twentysomething
bride and their new brat. Still,
lightness… Dr Gemma asked son Tom
to take new bride Kate a present, and
he asked, pithily, “Is it a bomb?”, all
smiles. Even when neighbour Chris
begged her, “Please … don’t make a
scene! Gemma!” at Cheat Simon’s
homecoming/wedding party, there was
a certain airiness of touch. At least, for
those who had somehow managed to
forget the last soiree over which Chris
had presided, a magma meltdown of
revenge and spat secrets to rival the
last reel of Abigail’s Party, if not the last
act of Hamlet.
It was only upstairs, fuelled by
wine and industrial levels of passiveaggressive goading by smug Simon
and his smug new wife, that we really
began to see the Gemma of old. The
skull beneath the skin, yes, but also
the intelligence, and the sexiness, and
the cynical calculations of the doctor’s
brain, quietly spinning, working out
whether, in fact, squirrelly Simon had
in fact suffered enough, breezing back
with his mimsily pretty missus to a
home town wreathed in forgetfulness
and forgiveness: and concluding,
gothically, No. Quite right – yet she
sets about redressing matters in
diametrically wrong ways, again
her trademark spirited melange of
forensic planning, rash spontaneity
and professional foot-shootery. At one
Fuelled by wine and
goading by smug
Simon and his smug
new wife, the Gemma
of old begins to appear
stage Gemma snaps (at a child!), “It’s
not Dr Foster any more,” but we don’t
learn what it is, and she has kept her
wedding ring: has she been in stasis
throughout, refusing herself the luxury
of the hateful phrase “moving on”? The
questions line up, but by the end of that
fraught first hour, fag in mouth, she’s
lining up syringes, and a jar of acid
for the ring. And every step – the key
phrase from above is that “immaculate
internal logic” – credible. Just.
At heart this is a sad tale: not dark
comedy, or farce, but an everyday
tragedy of just how much can be
invested in a relationship, a marriage,
and what happens when one partner
takes all that fragile trust, so vulnerably
proffered – and, essentially, defecates
on it. That this relatively mundane
sadness has been raised so successfully
to high drama is testament to the
strengths of both Bartlett and Jones
(who this time associate-produces): it
deserves to soar as it did in 2015.
Strong alcoholic drink also featured,
if far more bleakly, in the other
absolute standout of the week, Tin Star,
in which Tim Roth excels (naturally)
as Jim Worth, an ex-London detective
transplanted to Little Big Bear in the
Canadian Rockies. He is struggling,
successfully enough and two years dry,
with his alcoholism: he has a lovely,
wry family, and an easy way with him,
yet there are darkling hints of an alter
ego. Little Big Bear is struggling less
successfully with the building of a
huge oil refinery, presided over by the
magnificently simpering Christina
Hendricks: the population is actually
seen to increase, via the town-border
sign, from 1,578 to 2,157 in one jump,
with ramifications, via incoming ne’erdo-wells, for crime.
The opener seems to jog along in
pithy fashion, nice scene-setting for
Sheriff Jim’s culture-clash with the
rocky-redder necks among the maples.
But suddenly, there’s a savage startler,
a gulper, and a boy of five is left dead,
shot in the head. By the end of the
second episode, Worth (Roth) is back
on the whiskey. There will, surely, be
revenge: the tin star on the title credits
is subtly speckled with what I had
thought to be rust. I have revised that
thought, and this grips the windpipe
already.
As doesn’t, not really at all, the
return of Safe House. Fine enough cast,
though Stephen Moyer has none of the
subtleties of previous star Christopher
Eccleston, opting instead for vague
gruff transatlantic tree trunk. Two
things are already clear: as before, the
“safe” house will be set somewhere
remote, fascinating, mysterious and
thus not at all safe – here the Lake
District has been swapped for one
of Wales’s less low-key peninsular
beauty spots – and the witnesses will
again stupidly endanger everyone
by switching on their expressly
forbidden mobiles.
The new series is enlivened by the
presence of Jason Watkins, Dervla
Kirwan, a decent backstory, a Straw
Dogs subplot. But my money’s still
on the baddies rolling up, half an
hour into the finale and doubtless in
driving rain, past the miles of DayGlo
chevrons helpfully advising “Safe
House This Way”.
Back, which began on Channel 4, can
be read in a few ways. Back as in,
David Mitchell and Robert Webb
(left) are back, together, hurrah:
the Peep Show guys reunited,
and playing quasi simulacra (the
sober, moral but sarky one, and
Continued overleaf ¥
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
23
Film
¥ Continued from previous page
FILM OF THE WEEK
Ghouls will
be ghouls
Saying it with flowers: Tamsin Greig in
‘dreadful caterwaul’ Diana and I.
the smiley shallow one). Back – as
in Stephen’s dad, a pub landlord and
inveterate foster father, has died,
and the mourners suddenly include
Andrew (Webb), who was fostered for
about 10 minutes back in the lost 80s,
and they will replay their memories of
those days with wildly differing degrees
of enthusiasm and accuracy. Back – as
in, you can never really go there.
It’s a triumph, in that writer Simon
Blackwell looks to be embarking
on a grown-up exploration of
memory that manages to be in parts
explosively funny, too. Mitchell’s
character (as ever) reveals himself
as too clever to pull off real pathos;
Webb’s (as ever) as too misguided to
garner real dislike. Painfully sharp but
also oddly touching, if you let it.
In contrast, the return of Cold Feet
for a seventh series felt, dispiritingly…
welcome enough but a bit of a chore,
like the bath you can’t be bothered to
get out of. Adam is still with Tina and
there was some interminable stuff
about moving in together that got
way too specific about Manchester’s
commuter routes. The good news is
that Robert Bathurst’s David, often the
richest untapped vein, is set fair for
adventure amid the desperately rich
housewives of the Cheshire set.
Diana and I, one of the better of the
glut of caterwauls, was still dreadful.
Purportedly a drama about the effect of
Princess Diana’s death on the lives of a
few Britons – a florist, a journalist, a lad
whose mother had just died, an Asian
bride in a horrid marriage – it (perhaps
inadvertently) confirmed that, apart
from direct family, the only lasting
seismic effects of that week were on
greedy media, grasping commerce and
the emotionally already fragile.
The first in a two-part adaptation of Stephen
King’s killer clown novel is cine-literate horror
with a soft spot for its young heroes
Mark
Kermode
@KermodeMovie
It
(135 mins, 15) Directed by Andy Muschietti;
starring Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher,
Sophia Lillis
“It’s summer, we’re supposed to be
having fun. This isn’t fun – it’s scary
and disgusting!” It, Stephen King ’s
1986 novel about a shape-shifting
demon that terrorises the town of
Derry, Maine, was memorably filmed
for TV in 1990. Boasting a mesmerising
star turn by Tim Curry as the
malevolent dancing clown, Pennywise,
Tommy Lee Wallace’s mini-series
became every coulrophobe’s worst
nightmare, rivalling Tobe Hooper’s
Salem’s Lot for the title of best smallscreen King adaptation.
Now, the Argentinean director Andy
Muschietti, who directed 2013’s creepy
Mama, brings a touch of widescreen
gloss to King’s enduring horroradventure. Drawing heavily on such
80s screen favourites as Poltergeist
and The Goonies (both of which
were co-written/produced by Steven
Spielberg), this latest incarnation will
resonate with audiences hooked on
the nostalgic weirdness of Netflix’s
Stranger Things. The chills may be
more funhouse than frightful, but
Muschietti’s tangible affection for
the misfit schoolkids at the centre of
this story draws us into their world,
lending engaging weight to their (pre)
adolescent trials and tribulations.
Tackling only the early years of
King’s chunky source, this “Chapter
One” (a sequel is due to follow)
relocates the coming-of-age section
of the novel from the 50s to the late
80s. Here, poor Georgie Denbrough is
dragged into a storm drain by the evil
Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård, ably filling
Curry’s oversize clown shoes). Riddled
with guilt and grief, Georgie’s older
brother Bill (Jaeden Lieberher, who
shone in Midnight Special), becomes
obsessed with finding the lost boy.
As the summer vacation of ’89 rolls
around, and yet more youngsters
disappear, a group of variously
bullied “Losers” embark upon a Stand
By Me-style quest through the woods
and into the sewers, in search of a
mythical monster.
Significantly, each of our key
characters is haunted by nightmarish
apparitions that feed upon their
individual fears. Mike (Chosen
Jacobs) sees visions of fiery tragedy
that chime with suppressed
memories of childhood trauma;
Stanley (Wyatt Oleff ) is distracted
from his bar mitzvah rehearsals by
a chaotic face that leers at him from
a painting; hypochondriac Eddie
(Jack Dylan Grazer) is pursued by
“a walking infection” that seems to
embody his mother’s overprotective
fantasies. As for Sophia Lillis’s abused
but strongly self-sufficient Beverly
(“Who invited Molly Ringwald into
the group?”), her Carrie-like anxieties
manifest in a bloody eruption that
owes less to the lift sequence from
‘A baby-faced relative of Freddy Krueger’:
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise the clown.
Allstar/New Line Cinema
This is still a story in
which battles with the
supernatural can be
abruptly curtailed when
your mom turns up
The Shining than to Johnny Depp’s
demise in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
With his gangly arms and
marionette gait, Skarsgård’s walleyed killer clown resembles a babyfaced relative of Freddy Krueger.
No surprise, then, that A Nightmare
on Elm Street 5 is seen playing at the
local cinema. This is a self-reflexively
cine-literate world, in which posters
for Gremlins and Beetlejuice hang on
children’s walls, and the gateway to
the monster’s lair resembles Norman
Bates’s home from Psycho. In one
bravura sequence, the kids use a slide
projector to mount their own movie
show, which is promptly hijacked
by Pennywise in the manner of the
spectral Sadako from Ring.
Cinematographer Chung Chung-
AND THE REST
Simran
Hans
@heavier_things
The Work
(89 mins, 15) Directed by Jairus McLeary and
Gethin Aldous
There is a scene in the first 20 minutes
of Jairus McLeary and Gethin
Aldous’s observational documentary
The Work where a grown man cries.
It’s no ordinary cry; this is a full-body
sob; a keening wail bottled up for
literally years; the desperate, feral
cry of someone in unimaginable
pain. He wants to feel what it’s like to
mourn for his sister. “Take me with
you,” says one of the man’s colleagues
when he bites his lip, trying not
to surrender to the tears. “I’m not
going anywhere.” And so they come,
in floods. Watching this scene is a
visceral experience. Some moments
are unbearable to watch; others are
utter catharsis.
At Folsom state prison, a maximum
security jail in California, inmates and
members of the public come together
twice a year for an intensive four-day
group therapy session. Bartenders,
museum associates and teaching
assistants sit with former members
of gangs and cults, and scary-looking
guys who used to belong to the Aryan
Brotherhood. All must leave their
24
Prisoners engage with members of the public in The Work, whose therapy sessions are
‘so shocking and dynamic they might be mistaken for exorcisms’. Joe Wigdahl/Dogwoof
preconceptions at the door to deal
with daddy issues, addiction, grief,
depression and suicidal thoughts. The
breakthroughs come in waves; there’s
no third-act climax or big reveal, just
a steady stream of broken people
struggling to summon the strength
to put themselves back together.
“Right down next to where we hurt
the most is our medicine,” says one
of the group’s facilitators, explaining
that vulnerability is the key to healing.
Sceptics may enter Folsom with
suspicion, but these are extraordinary
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
scenes, so shocking and dynamic they
might be mistaken for exorcisms.
Whether you buy into the techniques
on display or not, it’s a privilege to
witness these men take themselves,
and one another, “over the edge”.
Wind River
(107 minutes, 15) Directed by Taylor Sheridan;
starring Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen,
Graham Greene, Gil Birmingham
“How do you gauge someone’s will
to live?” asks Jeremy Renner’s Cory,
a cowboy hunter living among the
snow and silence of rural Wyoming’s
permanent winter. Named after an
Indian reservation of the same name,
Wind River is the place where the
corpse of a young Native American
girl (Kelsey Asbille) is found, barefoot
and frozen solid. With the help of FBI
agent and Florida native Jane Banner
(Elizabeth Olsen, pictured below
with Renner), Cory tries to figure
out what – or who – she was running
from. Written and directed by Taylor
Sheridan (who wrote the screenplays
for Sicario and Hell Or High Water),
Wild River is a violent, tense thriller,
sparse and well paced, from its chilling,
moonlit opening to a nerve-shredding
episode in a dilapidated house that
recalls Clarice’s standoff with
Buffalo Bill in The Silence of
the Lambs. Renner is on good
form here (and rocking a
hard-to-pull-off pair of
dungarees) as the sensitive,
protective Cory, and as a
genre exercise, it works.
However, for a film whose
closing title card explicitly
marks it as a project concerned
with the rape and colonial injustice
suffered by Native Americans, it
spends a lot of time with intervening
white people. It’s more effective when
it doesn’t try so hard and addresses
existential themes, rather than
political ones, such as the burden of
grief and the tough, isolating reality of
Wyoming’s frozen expanse.
Insyriated
(86 mins, 15) Directed by Philippe Van Leeuw;
starring Hiam Abbass, Diamand Bou Abboud
Set inside an apartment in wartorn Damascus, this lean thriller
feels more like a play than a film.
Though the mood is tense and
claustrophobic, it’s all a little too
abrupt. The house’s cramped kitchen
becomes a makeshift panic room,
with nine tenants squashed into
one room as gunfire ricochets around
the building’s exterior. In charge is
Oum Yazan (Hiam Abbas), a stern
matriarch who protects her ageing
father, young children and maid, as
well as a neighbour, Halima, and
her newborn baby, with the
fierceness of a lioness.
The apartment is her
home and “no one
will force me out of
it”, she declares.
In contrast to
Yazan’s cold fury
is the tender rage
that spills out of
the rosy-cheeked
Halima (Diamand Bou
Abboud). Abboud’s physical
performance is particularly brilliant
– frightened and fidgety, a startled
rabbit fighting for her life. Though it’s
not gratuitous exactly, at times the film is
difficult to watch; director Philippe
Van Leeuw captures both the everyday
horror of living through war and the
lurking threat of sexual violence.
DVDS & DOWNLOADS
Take the lost
highway into
Lynch land
Guy
Lodge
@GuyLodge
hoon, who has worked regularly with
Park Chan-wook, keeps his cameras
gliding elegantly around the action,
lending an epic cinematic sweep
to the widening horizons of youth.
While TV screens burble satirically
about having fun with your friends in
the sewer, the Losers get involved in
outdoor rock fights and bike chases
as exuberant as anything from ET.
For all its horror trappings, this is
still a story in which battles with
the supernatural can be abruptly
curtailed when your mom turns up
unexpectedly. Even the bullies are
children at heart. River Phoenixlookalike Nicholas Hamilton’s Henry
may be the knife-wielding scourge of
our antiheroes, but a scene in which
he is humiliated by his boorish father
(“nothing like a little fear to make
a paper man crumble”) reminds us
that his anger has been passed down
through generations, a recurrent
King theme.
Flitting between crooked nursery
crime chimes and lush orchestral
themes, composer Benjamin Wallfisch
creates an emotionally resonant score
to accompany Muschietti’s blend of
scares and sentimentality. The result
is an energetic romp with crowdpleasing appeal that isn’t afraid to bare
its gory teeth. While it may not be as
frightening as some hardened horror
fans desire, the archetypal terrors and
fundamental friendships of King’s
source are slickly transferred to the
screen with a ghoulish enthusiasm
that proves hard to resist.
Nature of the Beast
(Wyatt Russell), he hangs up his skates
and takes early retirement. He tries his
luck with a new job in the basement
office of an insurance company (“Doug
Glatt – storage room. That’s you!”),
while pregnant wife Eva (Alison Pill,
doing her best but not showing her
range) tries to keep his spirits up, but
it’s not long before he’s sneaking back
to the rink.
Directed and co-written by Jay
Baruchel (one of the stars of the
little-seen American TV drama
Undeclared and the voice of How
to Train Your Dragon’s Hiccup),
Goon’s puerile jokes won’t be to
everyone’s tastes, though fans of
North American gross-out comedies
ching one another)
(and of jocks punching
tting the scene’s
may have fun spotting
orting characters,
stalwarts as supporting
ha Cuthbert and
among them Elisha
aruchel, too,
Liev Schreiber.Baruchel,
elf a small but
has written himself
shouty role as Pat, an irritating,
rd who
foul-mouthed nerd
st and a
wears a string vest
baseball cap that says
ple”
“Fuck white people”
d
(he’s better behind
the camera
than he is in frontt
of it, which isn’t
saying much).
(106 mins, PG) Directed by Daniel Draper;
starring Dennis Skinner
This lively, low-budget documentary
about Labour MP Dennis Skinner
won’t win the 85-year-old Derbyshire
native any new fans, but is
nevertheless an absorbing portrait
of “the Beast of Bolsover”. Director
Daniel Draper has spoken about not
wanting to date the film with too many
references to current issues (indeed,
the film was mostly shot in 2014,
some time before Brexit or Jeremy
Corbyn’s leadership). As a celebration
of old-school socialism and a historical
account of Skinner’s class-conscious
rabble-rousing, it’s effective enough,
but Draper’s tendency towards
timelessness means his film lacks
urgency, suggesting a reluctance of
the Labour party’s old guard to engage
with contemporary politics.
Goon: Last of the Enforcers
(97 mins, 15) Directed by Jay Baruchel; starring
Seann William Scott, Alison Pill, Wyatt Russell
In this inane sequel to Michael
Dowse’s 2011 Canadian sports
comedy Goon, Seann William
Scott returns as Doug Glatt. An ice
hockey hero, captain of the Halifax
Highlanders, and “a huge, Jewish
freight train”, Glatt is good-natured
and more than a little slow. When he
gets his face pounded in on the ice
by blond-haired baddie Anders Cain
‘Star power’: Orange
ge
Is the New Black’s
Taryn Manning
in The Vault.
In case the recent completion – I
hesitate to say “resolution” – of Twin
Peaks has left a hole in your life the
approximate shape and size of David
Lynch’s soft-serve quiff, the DVD
release of David Lynch: The Art Life
(Thunderbird, 15) could not have
been more cannily timed. Ostensibly
a documentary about the aberrant
auteur’s creative process, Jon Nguyen’s
film is nothing so prosaic. Instead, it’s
a wayward, stream-of-consciousness
tour of a mind that knows no process,
as related and embellished by the man
himself, drolly revelling in formative
anecdotes and dream fragments.
Lynch’s ventures into fine art, as
opposed to film, are the springboard
for these musings, but it’s all of a
piece, betraying the same fascinating,
febrile imagination; it’s an internal
portrait almost as eerily riveting as a
Lynch original.
Keep the subtle shiver going with
Mubi.com’s latest hand-picked
exclusive: La Soledad, a blurred-at-theedges documentary from Venezuela.
The title alludes to a pervasive sense
of isolation in the country’s crumbling
social fringes; it’s also the name of a
ruined, rambling Caracas mansion
owned by the family of director Jorge
Thielen Armand, now inhabited by
a pinched working-class family who
won’t be able to stay much longer.
In a peculiar way, this is a study of
economic downturn as ghost story:
there’s a strange, delicate twinge
of the supernatural in its folds, but
the colonial house is really haunted
by memories of previous, more
affluent residents, of generations and
possibilities that no longer exist for
their inheritors.
Colossal (EIV, 15) is a high-concept
curiosity worth seeking out simply
‘A wayward tour of a mind that knows no process’: David Lynch, subject of The Art Life.
for the brazen what-if extremes of its
premise; teasing out the success or
otherwise of its execution is part of
the fun. Anne Hathaway is the errant,
alcoholic writer who somehow –
deep breath here – ascertains that
her daily actions and errors are
puppeteering the apocalyptic rampage
of a Godzilla-type beast on the other
side of the globe; what ensues is a
woolly, genuinely anomalous fusion
of brash monster movie and therapy
drama, crying out for attention and
analysis. Demanding merely
the former, and hardly
earning it, is Snatched
(Fox, 15), a gunky,
shrieky mom-com
(right) that somehow
already feels years
old. Goldie Hawn’s
long-missed, still
sparky timing gives it
a handful of redeeming
points; shame she’s mostly
cast as the straight woman to
onscreen daughter Amy Schumer,
whose usual straight-shooter act isn’t
given any good punchlines to fire.
The last days of summer feel like
the right moment to face the sharp,
parched comic truths of Greek
director Argyris Papadimitropoulos’s
debut Suntan (Eureka, 18). A deeply
discomfiting portrait of schlubby male
midlife crisis in the face of oppressive
island-holiday beauty, it sees the
masculine ego elevated, taunted and
tattered with ruthless, recognisable
specificity. The cycles of insecurity,
denial and release for older women,
meanwhile, are negotiated with classic
French elan in The Midwife (Curzon
Artificial Eye, 12), a slight framework
for two strong Catherines – Deneuve
and Frot – to act their guts out.
Finally, either a warning, or a clarion
call for connoisseurs of catastrophe:
Sean Penn’s The Last Face
(Lionsgate, 15), practically
placed in cinematic
quarantine after last
year’s derided Cannes
premiere, has slipped
straight to DVD. It is,
and I don’t wish to
put too fine a point
on this, one of the
worst films ever made:
a gaseously pompous
white-saviour romance
set in darkest war-torn
Africa, where children are dying
to the musical accompaniment of the
Red Hot Chili Peppers while Charlize
Theron and Javier Bardem fight out the
bigger problem of their tempestuous
attraction. “She’s leaking urine, but
she’s still dancing!” one side player
immortally observes of an abused
African martyr; the same might be said
of this perversely unforgettable film.
The Vault
(91 mins, 15) Directed by Dan Bush; starring
James Franco, Taryn Manning, Francesca
Eastwood, Scott Haze
There’s little to like in this
undercooked “horror” about three
siblings who stage a bank heist and run
into trouble when they encounter a
haunted vault. Heavy on gore (we see
someone kill themselves with a power
drill), but light on story, The Vault
lazily relies on James Franco’s sinister
70s porn ’tache and permanently
furrowed brow to signal the direction
of the narrative in lieu of a properly
structured script. For a film that’s
a restrained 90 m
minutes long, it’s
dour, it drags an
and is drunk on its own
incohere mythology. Without
incoherent
sta
real stakes,
the scares don’t
land – fine, if it’s meant to
be a ffun romp, but I only
detec
detected
one joke (“The
only tthing that spooks me
ba loan,” says the bank
is a bad
manage
manager).
ter of star power,
In terms
Man
Taryn Manning
is the main
attraction, trotting out the
white tra
trash act with which
she’s m
made her name
(Pen
(Pennsatucky in Orange
Is tthe New Black, and
pre
pregnant teen Mimi
in the Britney Spears
ve
vehicle Crossroads), but
sh
she’s gritting her teeth
throu
through the thankless role.
I’ve found
that the
best way
to deal
with what
I don’t find
palatable
is to delete
before
reading
Mariella
Frostrup
Observer
Magazine
page 62
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
25
Art
Birds do it… but how, exactly?
A father and son ask if birds are born artists in this marvellous show held together by mud, poetry and natural mystery
Laura
Cumming
@LauraCummingArtt
Andy Holden/Peter Holden:
Natural Selection
Former Newington Library, 155 Walworth
Road, London SE17; until 5 Nov
The swallow sculpts its nest out of
mud. The horned coot works with
pebbles in streams, an avian Andy
Goldsworthy. The weaver bird is
famous for its elaborate globes and
sheaths conjured out of grasses; but
the bowerbird surely takes the biscuit,
decorating its lavish pavilions with
flower petals, shells and shards of
shining plastic. It has even been known
to use masticated berries as paint.
A magnified bower dominates the
26
opening gallery of Natural Selection.
An enormous assembly of reeds
with a central eye-like hole, it’s so
suggestive of art as to strike the mind
first as some sort of sculpture. Which
is both true and exactly the point. For
everything in this marvellous Artangel
exhibition – a show of marvels in
itself – turns upon the astonishing
connections between ornithology and
art, or more precisely between birds
and their visions, whether their nests
and even their eggs can be seen as
expressive creations rather than just
evolutionary imperatives.
The argument is played out using
eggs and nests from all over the world,
as well as paintings, sculptures and
films. These are the work of Andy
Holden, sometimes in conjunction
with his father, Peter. Holden senior is
a household name: national organiser
of the RSPB’s Young Ornithologists’
Club and former “bird man” on Blue
Peter; Andy is an artist, animator
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
and musician with the Grubby Mitts.
Posters for Peter Holden’s first book
featured infant Andy reading bird
magazines in his highchair. This
show is also about the evolution of
their relationship.
Here, for instance, is the blackbird’s
nest Andy once found in the tree
outside his childhood home. A perfect
circle, it turns on a revolving disc,
emphasising the lovely roundness of
the bird’s creation; whereas for Peter
the design is about cupping the eggs
as safely as possible. Swallows are
equally security-minded to the father,
nesting in high eaves. But a greater
wonder for the son is their ability to
sculpt in a medium as quick-drying as
renaissance terracotta using only beaks
and claws. Andy shows photographs of
the bird that even built its home on an
emblematic trowel.
Bark, nests and branches are all
used in quasi-scientific displays, as
well as installations and depictions
(a vast collection of stolen eggs,
subject of a famous crime, is recreated
in spectacular facsimile). But the
dialogue between father and son has
its principal focus in a split-screen
film where they give a brilliant twoheaded lecture on nests, taking in,
inter alia, the homicidal cuckoo; the
tailorbird, stitching leaves together
with spider’s silk; the massive airborne
apartment blocks of the sociable
weaver bird; and the mute swans that
work together in pairs.
For Andy, the swans’ nest measures
the strength of their marriage.
Knowledge from the father, poetry
from the son: that seems to be the
pattern. Except that Peter Holden
opens your eyes to beauty too – to nests
as exposed pockets, fragile cradles or
invisible cities, as he refers to rookeries.
He may be sceptical of Andy’s chicken
and egg claims – did mankind really
make mud huts in imitation of the
swallows, as Pliny says – but he points
out just how astonishing it is that young
long-tailed tits can make their bottleshaped nests without ever having seen
another bird do it.
Downstairs in the disused Victorian
library (formerly the Cuming
Museum, a father-son ethnographic
collection) is Andy Holden’s latest
film installation. Ostensibly narrated
by a cartoon rook that once starred
in his father’s RSPB magazines, now
‘Knowledge from
the father, poetry
from the son’:
Andy Holden, above
left, with a wood
pigeon’s nest; his
father, Peter, right,
founder of the
RSPB’s Young
Ornithologists’
Club, holding the
nest of a goldcrest.
Centre: the ‘graphic
abstraction’ of a
guillemot’s egg.
Artangel
What is
an egg but
a perfect
creation,
a triumph
of form and
beauty,
removed
from the
flow of time
grown into a wise old animatronic
bird, this is an enthralling history of
egg collecting from eccentric pastime,
when aristocrats swam Scottish lochs
with eggs in their hands, to childhood
hobby, competitive pursuit and
eventually – after the 1954 Protection
of Birds Act – organised crime.
The rook flies through landscapes
by Turner, Ravilious and Hockney
(this is a concise history of English
art en route), hops in and out of a
mist-rolling Paul Nash, enters into
documentary footage of egg robbers
discussing their crimes. Most
unforgettable are the stories of Colin
Watson, who cut down the tree in
which endangered ospreys were
nesting, in protest against the 1954 Act,
then died while clambering up for an
egg. And Matthew Gonshaw, jailed in
2011 for egging, who speaks on camera
of his addiction, and the romance of it,
betraying a forlorn desire to return to
the innocence of childhood.
Andy Holden twines the strands
together like a weaver bird himself,
subtly suggesting all sorts of parallels
– between the cuckoo forging other
birds’ eggs and his own artfully faked
collection; between the tailorbird’s
lacing and the shoe tying learned
from his father (what’s learned,
what’s instinctive?); between egging
and art collecting. Egg thefts might
almost be construed as a kind of art
crime, except that to steal an egg is to
steal a bird’s life.
And what is an egg but a perfect
creation, a masterpiece of form and
beauty, removed from the flow of
time. Look at the owl’s moonlight
egg, known as an immaculate. Or the
guillemot’s eggs, laid directly on the
rocky ledge, and apparently painted
to resemble it. Each is different in
its graphic abstraction; this one like
a Henri Michaux ink work, this one
like a Jackson Pollock. How are they
even made?
The show circles back in the end
to the bowerbird, making its nest for
fun, or love, a free invention in which
no eggs will ever be laid. This bird,
the Holdens agree, has a singular
sensibility. For the father, this is a
triumph of natural selection; for the
son, it’s the essence of creativity. The
bird has a concept of beauty that
precedes and governs his creation. It
is by definition an artist.
THREE MORE
TO SEE…
Leonardo,
Michelangelo,
Raphael around
1500 National
Gallery, London;
until 28 Jan
Small but perfect
anthology of
masterworks
exploring the
relationship
between these
contemporaries.
States of America:
Photography from
the Civil Rights
Movementto
the Reagan Era
Nottingham
Contemporary;
Sat to 26 Nov
A generation
of innovative
documentary
photographers,
including Diane
Arbus, Lee
Friedlander and
Garry Winogrand.
Ravilious & Co:
The Pattern
of Friendship
Towner Gallery
Eastbourne;
until Sun Last
chance to see this
presentation of
Ravilious among his
peers, in woodcuts,
graphic design
and painting.
Venice film festival
Murder and mayhem on the Lido
Low on dazzle, high on
self-indulgence (and
torrential downpours),
this year’s festival of
big-name talent didn’t
quite deliver. But
Martin McDonagh’s
crackling dark comedy
and a trippy colonial
drama from Lucrecia
Martel shone brightly,
writes Jonathan
Romney
Every major film festival is an island
when you’re caught up in it, the
outside world only really manifesting
itself as pictures on a screen. The
Venice film festival, however, really
is an island – it takes place on the
Lido, across the water from the main
city – and the proceedings feel more
cosily enclosed than ever, now that
the festival buildings are surrounded
by an elegant compound of patios and
park. You could sit here sipping your
spritzer – or indeed, sheltering from
torrential rain – and forgetting that
exterior reality existed, because only a
few films managed to remind you at all
persuasively that it did.
On paper, the 74th festival looked
set to be the best in years, especially
in the wake of a lukewarm Cannes,
with many hotly awaited titles and a
host of big names on both sides of the
camera. In the end, little induced either
fury or rapture, and many just elicited
that Italian shrug accompanied by a
noncommittal “boh…”
I arrived too late to catch the film
that got consensus raves: Guillermo
del Toro’s The Shape of Water, a
monster movie-cum-romance starring
Sally Hawkins. But for me, there
were two standout fiction features.
One was Martin McDonagh’s Three
Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
It’s a very dark comedy thriller set
in the southern US, about a woman
(Frances McDormand) on a mission
to avenge her raped and murdered
daughter. As the violence spirals, a film
that looks set to expose the darkest
side of humanity ends up suggesting
that even seemingly irredeemable
characters might stand a chance of
a third-act reversal. McDormand is
leather-tough and tersely funny, there’s
superb support from Woody Harrelson
and Sam Rockwell, and McDonagh’s
script crackles, not just with off-thepeg folksy profanity but with a genuine
sense of surprise.
The other standout was a film that
I suspect won’t really make sense till
a second, maybe a third viewing. It’s
Zama, the first feature in seven years
from Argentinian director Lucrecia
Martel (The Headless Woman, La
Ciénaga). Its protagonist is a hapless
functionary in 18th-century Paraguay,
and while not much happens (star
Daniel Giménez Cacho largely
wanders around, perplexed, under a
three-cornered hat), when it finally
does, it’s violently unsettling. This
hallucinatory work vaguely suggests
a stoned, swampy relative of 1970s
Werner Herzog, but invents its own
cinematic language.
So arguably does Mother!, the
he
festival’s one genuine controversy. The
ts
latest from Darren Aronofsky, it starts
off as a sort of The Old Dark House
home invasion movie, with Jennifer
Lawrence as a woman married to
a blocked writer (Javier Bardem)
whose life is turned upside when a
troublesome couple (Ed Harris, a
super-sinister Michelle Pfeiffer) pay a
on
visit. Then more people visit, and soon
the film has become an apocalyptic
free-for-all that’s possibly an allegoryy
PICK OF THE PREMIERES
The best of Venice
Best documentary
Ex Libris: The New York Public Library.
Best female performance
Frances McDormand in Three Billboards
Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Best male performance
Jean-Pierre Darroussin (below) as a
disillusioned socialist turned to the
right in Robert Guédiguian’s French
family drama La Villa.
Best cameo
Charles Grodin
as a grandfather
with dementia in
James Toback’s
The Private
Life of a Modern
Woman.
Worst cameo
James Toback in James Toback’s The
Private Life of a Modern Woman.
Oddest score
Mektoub My Love: Canto Uno. Even
in France in 1994, has anyone ever
really had hot sex to a Neil Diamond
accompaniment?
Best animal performance
The inquisitive llama that photobombs
a key scene in Zama. Apparently
someone forgot to tie it up and it
wandered on, making for the festival’s
most magical moment.
Best comeback
Hong Kong director John Woo, making
his first Asian action thriller since
the 90s with his immensely silly but
enjoyably breakneck Manhunt.
Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Pfeiffer, top, at the Venice premiere last week of Darren Aronofsky’s ‘apocalyptic
free-for-all’, Mother!. Above, left, Frances McDormand, ‘leather-tough’ in Martin McDonagh’s outstanding Three Billboards Outside
Ebbing, Missouri. Right: Daniel Giménez Cacho in the ‘hallucinatory’ Zama. FeatureflashSHM/Rex/Shutterstock
I found Aronofsky’s
Mother! cosmically
idiotic. Still, you won’t
see a Hollywood film
this outre in a hurry
for… well, we’re invited to decide for
ourselves. By the end, Mother! feels
like a loud, drunken dinner-party
argument between Buñuel, Polanski,
Fellini and Eugène Ionesco. It also
rather resembles Lars von Trier, except
that Aronofsky doesn’t have one jot of
Von Trier’s impish humour. I found
it cosmically idiotic, although some
critics hailed it; still, you won’t see
a Hollywood film this outre in a hurry.
Most other offerings were easier
to pigeonhole. Racer and the Jailbird
(directed by Michaël R Roskam)
was a glossily enjoyable thriller
romance about a racing driver (Adèle
Exarchopoulos) and her robber fiance
(Matthias Schoenaerts), fuelled by
genre energies and the leads’ not
inconsiderable chemistry. Stephen
Frears offered a business-as-usual
variant on the heritage pic in Victoria
& Abdul, with Judi Dench dusting off
her Queen Victoria performance in
the story of the queen and her beloved
Indian Muslim attendant (a personable
Ali Fazal). Scripted by Lee Hall, it
tries for a satire of colonial attitudes
but never escapes from the Fabergé
chocolate box.
A better, more down-to-earth British
production was Andrew Haigh’s
Lean on Pete, which follows a teenage
boy in crisis as he finds hope in his
attachment to the racehorse of the title.
Steve Buscemi and Chloë Sevigny give
characterful support, up-and-comer
Charlie Plummer is an engagingly
candid lead, and Haigh’s picture of
back-road America feels involvingly
authentic. But, fine though the film
is, it could almost have been made by
any of a handful of US indie auteurs,
and it’s a shame that Haigh – whose
Weekend and 45 Years so brilliantly cast
new light on intimate corners of British
life – should have taken such a wellbeaten transatlantic track.
Among the major disappointments
was George Clooney’s Suburbicon, partwritten by the Coen brothers. Set in a
squeaky-clean 1950s community, it’s
about a boy who realises that his family
members (Matt Damon, Julianne
Moore) aren’t the paragons they seem;
meanw
meanwhile,
their black neighbours face
racist h
hostility. It’s as if Clooney had
gussie up a standard Coens murder
gussied
story w
with additional contemporary
relev
relevance,
and the facetious result is
en
offensively
superficial.
M
Meanwhile,
one US film that
gav you faith in some survival of
gave
Am
American
sanity was Ex Libris,
ve
veteran
Frederick Wiseman’s
ex
exhaustive
documentary
Newcomer Charlie Plummer, left,
with Chloë Sevigny at the
photocall for Andrew Haigh’s
‘involvingly authentic’ racehorse
drama Lean On Pete. Getty Images
about the New York Public Library.
Characteristically, he stands back
without comment and simply shows
how the institution works, through
glimpses of careers fairs, slam poetry
recitals, Braille training sessions
and talks from Patti Smith, Richard
Dawkins and Elvis Costello. We
also get several board meetings,
reminding us that culture and literacy
have to be perpetually fought for, and
financed. Though perhaps not one of
Wiseman’s very best, it’s nevertheless
a revealing study.
Also taking his time to expand on
a theme, Abdellatif Kechiche – who
made controversial Cannes winner
Blue Is the Warmest Colour – returned
with Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno, a
three–hour drama (with, presumably,
more to come) about a shy young north
African man spending the summer
in the French Mediterranean town
of Sète, which seems to be populated
almost entirely by beautiful young
women in cut-off shorts and the men
who hit on them. The film is a hymn to
sun, sex, hedonism, loud conversation
and women’s bottoms; it’s ferociously
energetic, but one-dimensional, and if
you think Kechiche showed lecherous
tendencies in Blue, he abandons all
shame here.
Also wildly self-indulgent was The
Private Life of a Modern Woman, a
would-be Dostoevskian chamber piece
by US director James Toback, in which
Sienna Miller kills her boyfriend,
then receives visits from a variety of
loquacious types, including Toback
himself, dropping in to discuss the
meaning of life; even old Fyodor would
have told Toback to lighten up. And
Woodshock, by fashion designers the
Mulleavy sisters, was a druggy reverie
starring Kirsten Dunst, so oblique that
critics huddled outside afterwards to
try and pin down the basic plot points.
But no self-indulgence quite beat
the excesses of Jim Carrey, as seen
Worst voiceover
Penélope Cruz’s impenetrably
accented English-language narration
in the lamentable Loving Pablo, in
which she plays the mistress of drug
baron Pablo Escobar. “Things were
about to change for ever – in Colombia,
and in my life.” JR
in Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond,
about the star’s performance as comic
Andy Kaufman in 1999 biopic Man on
the Moon. Chris Smith’s fascinating
documentary is based on footage
of Carrey on set, permanently in
character either as Kaufman or his
monstrous creation, slobbish crooner
Tony Clifton. Interviewed today, a
wild-eyed, wildly earnest Carrey
muses on Kaufman’s conceptual
weirdness and his own career, and
wonders whether the role might have
caused him some psychic damage. As
an essay partly on the perils of going
beyond method, partly on the worst
extremes of movie-star ego, Jim &
Andy is the most hair-raising horror
movie of the year.
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
27
Releases
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
POP
Alvvays
ROCK
Neil Young
Antisocialites
Hitchhiker
(TRANSGRESSIVE)
(REPRISE)
In the UK, the appeal of jangle pop has
often lain in its rough-hewn execution,
despite the pristine heights to which its
practitioners aspire. Tune into the second
alluring album by Alvvays, Toronto’s twogirl, two-boy jangle sensations, however,
and it’s like stepping into a parallel universe.
All the cutie derivatives are present: punky
perkiness (Your Type), blithe melodies,
or odes to the Jesus & Mary Chain’s Jim
Reid (Lollipop). But here too are ear-candy
production values, and Kerri MacLellan’s
bejewelled keyboards. Molly Rankin’s pipes
are pure 60s pop on Not My Baby, and her
songwriting wit sparkles throughout this
nuanced break-up album. KE
‘Drilling down into his anxieties’: the National’s frontman Matt Berninger, second left, with (l-r) brothers Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner,
Bryan Devendorf and Scott Devendorf. Photograph by Suki Dhanda for the Observer
The sound of midlife angst
INDIE
The National
Sleep Well Beast
(4AD)
By now, most listeners will probably
have a take on the National, originally
out of Brooklyn via Cincinnati,
now residing as far apart as LA and
Copenhagen. Two pairs of multiinstrumentalist brothers and a lanky,
lugubrious frontman, they deal in
literate rock that presents at first as
artily sombre, and eventually as one
of the most nuanced 21st-century
iterations of what used to be known
as “college rock”.
Ten years on from their breakout
album, 2007’s Boxer, the National
come packing more filigree – just
listen to the jazzy sussurations and
sneaky digitals on the title track –
and more heft. Having survived a
number of extracurricular musical
dalliances, they have, on this evidence,
also happily bypassed the smugness
that could come of success.
Nothing on Sleep Well Beast is
headline-new. But you are either
in singer Matt Berninger’s corner,
clinging on as he drills down into his
anxieties, or you are wondering why
even validated white guys in first-world
countries can still eat themselves up
inside so insatiably.
Then there’s the tension created by
the hyper-musical brother duos, pacing
the cage of what “rock band” means
with increased vigour. It often adds
up to a subtle, grown-up take that still
leaves space for drama – Turtleneck,
for one, has the energising air of a Nick
Cave song.
Elsewhere, it makes for aural
intrigue – as on I’ll Still Destroy
You, a restless, semi-digital ballad
that contrasts what the Dessner and
Devendorf brothers can do underneath
Berninger’s self-flagellating croon.
Sometimes you wonder, however,
whether a rougher and readier digital
sketch like Walk It Back might have
benefited from even more directness.
The track ends with the re-voiced
sample of a purported Karl Rove speech
(“We are history’s actors…”) which just
dangles, not discernibly contextualised.
Berninger has hinted that the “beast”
of the album title might be the positive
energy of future generations, but again
the songs don’t bear this out.
If you were Berninger’s in-laws,
Sleep Well Beast might make for some
awkward silences at Thanksgiving.
Berninger might seem like ideal
bohemian husband material – urbane,
with few of the liabilities endemic to
the role of lead singer – but he queries
every relationship, every comfort. “I
wasn’t a catch/ I wasn’t a keeper,” goes
Carin at the Liquor Store, a love song,
“I was wandering around like the one
who found dead John Cheever in the
house of love.” Carin Besser is the real
name of Berninger’s partner, which
prompts the usual head-scratching
about writerly distance.
Another desperately sad song,
Guilty Party, only piles on the midlife
romantic anomie. The cheery trumpet
is certainly not helping, parping away in
the background as a sinkhole opens up,
swallowing certainty. Autobiography,
or not? The plot only thickens when
you learn that Besser has a hand in
the lyric-writing, just as Tom Waits’s
partner, Kathleen Brennan, does.
Ultimately, though, these fudged
irresolutions – political and romantic
– tantalise more than they distract.
As the National keep proving, little
is ever straightforward. Kitty Empire
ELECTRONIC
Lunice
ELECTRONIC
Zola Jesus
CCCLX
Okovi
(LUCKY ME)
(SACRED BONES)
In the five years since electronic duo
TNGHT – Hudson Mohawke and Canadian
producer Lunice – released their self-titled
EP, Mohawke has worked with artists
such as Kanye West; Lunice has taken a
more low-key route. Unfortunately, his
debut solo album is largely underwhelming,
especially for what’s described as a
“theatrical showcase”. It’s industrial, but
not abrasive enough; ominous, but in an
almost cheesy rather than menacing way.
There are striking moments – Drop Down
bubbles with rapper Le1f’s playful flow
and Sophie’s additional production, while
Distrust seethes spaciously, but overall,
CCCLX doesn’t quite add up. Tara Joshi
Returning to long-term label Sacred
Bones after a sojourn at Mute for 2014’s
relatively poppy Taiga, Nika Roza Danilova
has perfected her hybrid of industrial
electronics and gothic power balladry on
her fifth album. Bearing aloft a forensic
inquiry into mortality and loss on the wings
of her formidable voice, she soars from
the shuddering strings and chilly wails of
Exhumed to the trip-hop grandeur of Soak
and the sweeping romanticism of Witness,
via Siphon’s warm assurance of unflinching
support to a friend on the edge (“We’d
rather clean the blood of a living man”). An
album to light the way through the darkest
hours. Emily Mackay
ELECTRONIC
Mount Kimbie
AMERICANA
Willie Watson
Love What Survives
Folksinger Vol 2
(WARP)
(ACONY)
Since their acclaimed 2010 debut Crooks
& Lovers, Dominic Maker and Kai Campos,
AKA Mount Kimbie, have shaken off their
“post-dubstep” label with tunes better
suited to sticky-floored indie dives than
pensive, 6am bus journeys. On this third
album they’ve all but replaced their glossy
electronica with live instrumentation,
krautrock drums and vocals from James
Blake, King Krule, Micachu and Andrea
Balency. As tracks pivot between ragged
indie rock, melodic dance music and wistful,
tinkly tunes, the record feels disjointed, but
a few productions stand out, particularly
James Blake collaborations We Go Home
Together and How We Got By. Isa Jaward
JAZZ
Cyrus Chestnut
There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit
(HIGH NOTE)
HOT TRACKS
Brockhampton
Sweet
Quasi-Middle
Eastern beats,
cartoonish delivery,
and a subversion of
masculine norms
from the internet’s
favourite boyband.
Kurt Vile &
Courtney Barnett
Over Everything
Sing/talking
slackers Vile &
Barnett pen a hymn
to songwriting and
guitars, a taster for
their forthcoming
co
abo at o
collaboration.
Biig Piig
Vice City
Another breezy,
w
glimmering slow
jam from the
ishIrish-born, Spanishraised former
casino worker.
st
Follow our playlist
at tiny.cc/
obshottracks
28
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
Recorded one evening in August 1976,
Hitchhiker is one of Neil Young’s “lost”
albums, capturing the Canadian at his
most intimate – just him, slightly stoned,
his acoustic guitar and the odd burst of
harmonica. Eight of the 10 tracks crop up
on later sets, though Powderfinger (1979’s
Rust Never Sleeps) and Hitchhiker (2010’s
Le Noise) are very different versions, the
former particularly affecting when stripped
back. Elsewhere, Give Me Strength
laments the end of Young’s romance with
the actress Carrie Snodgress. “Give me
strength to move along,” he pleads, his
tremulous voice and weed-fuelled guitar
still resonating 41 years on. Paul Mardles
The canon of blues, country and gospel
that fired up the 60s folk boom is currently
inspiring a host of Americana acts, though
none make the old songs sound fresher
than Willie Watson. His second solo outing
since quitting the Old Crow Medicine Show
brings vivacity to some well-worn standards
– The Cuckoo Bird, When My Baby Left Me,
John Henry – thanks to a voice that’s young
but weathered, strong but eerie, and comes
backed by intricate banjo and guitar picking.
Producer David Rawlings gives the session
an unforced, analogue sound and adds some
luscious gospel crooning from the Fairfield
Four. A forceful evocation of a mythic,
half-forgotten America. Neil Spencer
CLASSICAL
Beethoven
Complete works for Piano Trio
Vol IV Swiss Piano Trio
(AUDITE)
It runs for exactly an hour, but there’s
so much variety here, packed into what
is essentially a piano trio album, that it
seems over in half the time. There are jazz
pieces by Monk, Miles Davis and others,
an improvisation on a prelude by Chopin,
a Stylistics soul classic, an original or two,
and so on. And they all flow together quite
naturally under the mellow influence of
Cyrus Chestnut’s piano. Vibraphonist
Steve Nelson joins in brilliantly on three
numbers, with Chestnut quite content
to play the unobtrusive accompanist
when necessary, and the whole show
closes with a gospel anthem, played as
a rapturous piano solo. Dave Gelly
CLASSICAL
Handel
Lucio Cornelio Silla
Prina, Invernizzi etc, Europa
Galante/Biondi (GLOSSA) (2 CDS)
Described by one scholar as “the worst
libretto Handel ever set, with scarcely a
redeeming feature”, we know little of Lucio
Cornelio Silla’s early origins in London in
1713. But wow, what music! One hit after
another, with unusual concentration
because it’s relatively short, with a short,
lamenting duet and a wild aria for Metella
(Sunhae Im) like a vocal Arrival of the Queen
of Sheba. Fabio Biondi’s experienced cast
– Sonia Prina, Vivica Genaux, Roberta
Invernizzi – now has this idiom totally
sorted, and with the glassy, dancing playing
of Europa Galante the whole thing shoots
along. Maybe it will never see the stage,
but it suits the CD player. Nicholas Kenyon
This collection of Beethoven’s works for
violin, cello and piano, a five-volume series
in the making since 2015, is played by the
Swiss Piano Trio with real freshness and
verve. Rather than record chronologically,
they have preferred, wisely, to mix early and
later repertoire to make good programmes. It
took a moment to realise that the longest of
three works here, Op 38, is familiar because
it’s an original arrangement of Beethoven’s
Septet Op 20, better know in that form
but convincing here too. The early Op 11 in
B flat major (1797) and the one-movement
Allegretto in E flat, Hess 48, full of classical
grace, are played with light textures and
plenty of invention. Fiona Maddocks
CLASSICAL
Haydn, CPE Bach
Cello Concertos Deutsche
Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/
Steven Isserlis (cello)(HYPERION)
This recording is a real tonic. I defy
anyone not to smile at Steven Isserlis’s
effervescent readings of Haydn’s graceful
and urbane cello concertos in C major and
in D major. He spins an exquisitely light and
agile line, maintaining a sunny disposition,
even in each concerto’s adagio. These
works make good-natured partners to CPE
Bach’s more earnest concerto in A major,
and we find discoveries along the way too:
the aria Geme la tortorella, from Mozart’s
La finta giardiniera, arranged by Isserlis
for cello, and Boccherini’s delicately sweet
adagio from his concerto in G major. The
Bremen players add just the right degree
of elegance and poise. Stephen Pritchard
Pop
A super-smooth soul opens up
Midnight, again. This small outbreak of
spontaneity results in an even slinkier
version; you suspect Ware is actually
proud of that song. Soon after, Ware
asks the crowd for a hairband to put up
her long hair, “sopping” with sweat. In
the effort, one of her stilettos falls off.
Instead of fighting to put it back on,
Ware kicks off the other one and pads
about the front of the stage, barefoot,
before sitting on a monitor.
She really does look ready for bed,
but the result is a charged intimacy
for the final pair of very different songs.
Wildest Moments is vintage Ware:
she is gutsy and bittersweet, trying to
find the stable ground in an extreme
relationship.
Jessie Ware’s moody, 80s-styled adult pop
has always been perfectly finished, but when
she drops her defences, things get interesting
@kittyempire666
Jessie Ware
Islington Assembly Hall, London N1
The current trend for nightwear as
evening wear has all sorts of upsides.
“I’m in my pyjamas,” quips Jessie Ware,
just a handful of songs into her set, “so
I can go straight to bed.” As the crow
flies, we are not all that far from her
east London home.
Wrapped in elegant satin and shod
in checked stilettos, a beaming Ware
is surrounded by five band members
and a lush, verdant stage setting lit
by large, sunflower-like lamps. It’s
as redolent of a fashion shoot as it
is of electrified music performance.
Since her first album, 2012’s Devotion,
Ware’s visual signature has been as
recherche as her sound. Both exude
a sleek, grown-up classicism derived
from soul and the age of 80s video-pop:
Sade and billowing white curtains, are,
metaphorically, never far away.
Hearing Ware again after a twoyear absence, however, it’s striking
how strong her good songs remain,
and also how much just-so filler she
has been responsible for. Seemingly
insubstantial, Tough Love – the title
GAVIN
OSBORN
track of her last album – gets ecstatic,
deserved whoops from the crowd on its
first notes. It pins Ware as a gossamer
80s stylist, one whose minimalism
and vocal restraint add up to a very
high-end product. By contrast, an earlyset run of songs like Running and No to
Love tend towards muzak this evening.
Her maternity leave has also
resulted in a brand new album,
the forthcoming Glasshouse. A
striking new track, Midnight, starts
off as a breathless come-hither,
then resolves into a 70s soul vamp,
injecting a little more oomph into
Ware’s glistening catalogue.
Its fellow, Selfish Love, is equally
striking, a bossa nova confection that
recalls the Cardigans’ 90s hit Lovefool,
but not damagingly so. The two songs
have been released with a pair of
intriguing, linked videos – enigmatic
films noir in which Ware slays a
boyfriend. (For my money, Midnight is
her love song to the housekeeper in the
films’ story, with whom Ware might
be secretly knocking boots.) Both
bode well for Glasshouse.
Although Ware is chatty, the first
half of tonight’s performance is
uneventful. You always find yourself
wishing that all artists would play
their entire sets like they play their
encores; so few do. In addition, Ware’s
inbuilt sophistication has always
carried with it the threat of too much
maturity – a problem shared with her
fellow south London warbler, Adele
ONE TO
WATCH
Wipe-clean songs,
delivered elegantly: job
done. By the second
half, however, the
veneer peels back
‘Charged intimacy’: Jessie Ware in her PJs at Islington Assembly. Redferns
– and you can’t help but feel that as
album three rolls around, Ware might
be tipping over into complacency.
Wipe-clean songs, delivered elegantly,
with just a little shuffling around the
mic stand: job done.
By the second half, however, the
veneer peels back. Ware wonders
Gavin Osborn:
‘This record
is a kind of
catharsis for
me and the
audience. I’m
telling myself
that it’ll all be
all right.’
The comic-musician’s
debut album of bewildered
anger is one of this year’s
most relatable releases,
writes Marc Burrows
What happens when the world moves
on and leaves you behind? It’s the key
question behind Echo Bridge, the first
release from the endearingly earnest
folk collaboration Gavin Osborn & the
Comment Section. It’s a record about
being frustrated, angry, bewildered and
aware of the utter ridiculousness of a
world that has moved past your point
of understanding.
Singer-songwriter Osborn, 40,
has seen the soft-corporate power of
chain-stores swamp the West Country
town of Keynsham where he lives;
he’s tried to make it in the bohemian
paradise he imagined in the big city,
and abandoned it as too cynical and
expensive; he’s tried to hang on to his
values: left-leaning, pro-immigration,
pro-arts, and seen the world rush
forward and leave them behind. And he
really doesn’t know what to do next. It
makes Echo Bridge one of 2017’s most
relatable releases.
Up to this point Osborn’s career
hasn’t exactly been marked by
seriousness. In 2004 he was struggling
on the London open-mic folk circuit
when his old school friend, the
comedian John Oliver (now a hugely
successful talkshow host on America’s
HBO) invited him to a regular Tuesday
afternoon football match with a group
of friends, mostly comedians, now
almost all famous.
Among them was the fanatically
worshipped cult comic Daniel Kitson,
who was impressed by Osborn’s warm
storytelling and enlisted him as tour
support. Kitson’s devoted fanbase took
to Osborn straight away and he became
a sort of accidental comic, appearing
at comedy clubs and festivals, working
with Robin Ince and Alun Cochrane
and writing a series of acclaimed
storytelling collaborations with Kitson,
which the pair toured as support
for Belle & Sebastian. Echo Bridge is
the first time the jokes have taken a
backseat to the music and the message.
“Even when it’s funny, I don’t
think I could do many of these songs
at a comedy club,” Osborn explains.
“There’s funny bits – I can’t help
putting witticism in – but I don’t think
it’s laugh-out-loud. If it’s funny, it’s
wry. It was time to be more earnest.”
The album was sparked by a
conversation with collaborator John
Hare (the “Comment Section”). “John’s
a music teacher and told me about a
class at his school that got an Ofsted
inspection,” says Osborn. “The teacher
was told there was too much music, that
the kids were picking up instruments
too much.” In his head, Osborn began
to fast forward through the kids’ and
their teacher’s lives: if you love poetry,
art, music and you’re told it’s not
important enough, what happens next?
What kind of world are we building?
Part of Osborn’s appeal is the way
he processes his anger into a kind of
likably grumpy bewilderment and uses
aloud whether she can do something
“in bad taste”. The mind boggles;
GG Allin, a punk performer who used
to do unspeakable things with bodily
substances, springs to mind.
In the end, Ware just asks the
crowd to put their phones down, and
demands her band play her set opener,
The final song is a new one and
“important to her”. It’s a love song to
several people: Ware’s partner, Sam,
after whom it is named, their baby girl
and her own mother. Ed Sheeran’s
co-writing credit is audible in the
song’s stripped-down sensibility,
a marked divergence from all the
monochrome synthetics that have
held sway for two albums. Whereas
before, Ware’s songs tended to be
generalised paeans to tortured love,
now, Sam finds her wondering what
sort of a mother she will be. There’s
admiration for her own mother’s
bravery, and a line that casts her own
father in a dim light. It’s a paradigm
shift that gets a standing ovation.
it to unite his audience. We may feel
lost and alone in a cynical world that
no longer fits our values, but we can be
lost and alone together. Osborn wanted
to create a comfort blanket for postBrexit alienation.
One of the album’s key songs is
Don’t Know Enough About That,
about the very 21st-century tendency
to bluff your way through important
conversations using information
you’ve gleaned from headlines. Osborn
knows the damage this can do, but also
knows it’s something we’re all guilty of.
“That’s true right down to David Davis
trying to do the Brexit negotiations,”
he says. “He’s that guy, wandering into
a room with people much cleverer
than him and pretending he knows
something. That’s all of us.”
Osborn doesn’t have the answers,
but that’s not really the point. “When
Bob Dylan used to sing Don’t Think
Twice, It’s All Right, people would ask
him what it was about, and he’d say it’s
just a song to make him feel better,” he
explains. “That’s how I feel about this
record. It’s a sense of catharsis for me
and the audience. Even on the record
I’m telling myself that it’ll all be all
right. We need this, we need to know
that other people are feeling it, even if
it’s more out of hope than expectation.”
I was
depressed
and put
on 30kg.
I thought
about
shooting
myself
Gabrielle
Deydier
on being fat
in France
Observer
Magazine
Kitty
Empire
Echo Bridge is out now (My Little Owl
Records). The band is on tour until 28
September; see facebook.com/gavosborn
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
29
Architecture
How to improve on nature
Cambridge University has completed the first stage of its ambitious £1bn plan to build a new district of homes, shops,
schools and parks on an area of unpromising farmland north of the city. Is this the future for affordable urban housing?
Rowan
Moore
@RowanMoore
At the centre of debates about green
belts is the question of trust. In theory
it should be possible to build on a very
small proportion of the nation’s green
belts in such a way that affordable
housing and sustainable communities
are created, and more people have
more and better access to nature than
before. In practice few people trust
that this will happen, as the available
evidence is that we will get instead
a smearing of developers’ standard
products across the countryside, for
sale at inflated prices.
The promise of what’s called the
North West Cambridge Development
is that it will indeed achieve these
good things. Here the University of
Cambridge is turning 150 hectares
of what was flat, inaccessible and
somewhat featureless farmland,
located between the city and the M11,
into a billion-pound urban district the
area of which is not much smaller than
the historic centre of Cambridge itself.
Three thousand homes are planned,
half of them affordable, plus 2,000
postgraduate student bed spaces,
100,000 sq m of research facilities, and
the schools, shops, surgeries and the
like needed to sustain them. Two new
public parks are being created, one
between the new development and
the old city, the other a series of lakes
and mounds that buffer the sights and
sounds of the motorway.
The development is motivated
by the extreme effects of growth in
Cambridge, resulting in house values
that have priced out key workers,
including researchers and young
academics, without which neither
university nor city can function.
In this way Cambridge acutely
experiences pressures felt in other
parts of the country, which has put
it at the forefront of finding ways to
do something about them. Change
doesn’t happen quickly: discussions
of expansion have been going on since
the 1980s, with the current plans in
development for over a decade.
There is a patent desire to
be responsible and exemplary
in everything. The North West
Cambridge Development sets out to
achieve high levels of sustainability,
including many photovoltaic cells to
gather solar energy, low levels of car
use and the recycling of rainwater
for irrigation and the flushing of
toilets. It has been masterminded by
the multinational AECOM, which
is one of the largest engineering and
design consultancies in the world,
with landscapes by Townshend, who
‘Bricky, rectangular, austere’: Eddington market square, part of the completed first phase of the North West Cambridge Development.
To the basic question
– is it better than it
would have been had
it stayed as fields? –
the answer is yes
have worked on large commercial
developments such as King’s Cross in
London. An array of well-respected
architects have been brought in
to design individual buildings:
the Stirling prize winners Alison
Brooks, Witherford Watson Mann,
Wilkinson Eyre and Stanton Williams;
Marks Barfield of London Eye fame,
the Dutch practice Mecanoo and
Muma, best known for their makeover
of the Whitworth Art Gallery in
Manchester. I am told that they also
wanted “young” architects, although
these practices are almost entirely
led by over-50s.
The plan is now taking physical
form and, so far, it is doing what it said
it would. The first homes have been
completed in Eddington, which is the
name given to the first phase. Residents
have started moving in. A “market
square” is complete. A new Sainsbury’s
opened last week. A primary school
has been open for two years. Swirles
Court, housing for the graduate
students of Girton College, is also
complete. Unusually, in comparison
with most commercial developments,
The University
of Cambridge
primary school
at Eddington
has been open
for two years.
North West
Cambridge
Development
it is the affordable housing and the
shared facilities, rather then the more
profitable high-value homes, that are
being built first.
Cambridge has never been a
throbbing metropolis and its suburbs
less so. By the time you get to the
environs of north-west Cambridge the
city is petering out into detached and
semi-detached houses. Yet Eddington
is in the form of apartment blocks,
three to five storeys high, in density
more like an inner suburb of a large
Victorian city, with the intention of
building a lot of homes without using
up too much space. It’s a surprising
typology, but it makes sense.
The architectural style is bricky,
rectangular, austere with a few
outbreaks of playfulness. Ludwig
Wittgenstein, who spent his last
months in nearby Storey’s Way, once
praised the plain Georgian terraces
of Dublin for having “the good taste
to know that they had nothing very
important to say”, and the same might
be said of this style. Metropolitan types
call it the “new London vernacular”,
but it turns out it’s at home here too, on
the edge of the fens. Its best qualities
are its thoughtfulness – the unusually
high ceilings in ground-floor flats, the
proportions of windows, the use of
galleries with expansive views to give
access to upper-level flats.
The more public buildings loosen up
a bit, though not too much. The school,
by Marks Barfield, is an elegant flat
doughnut with a calm, protected space
in the centre. Muma’s nearly complete
nursery school and community centre,
designed for things like “dance classes
or zumba, Brownies or film clubs,
fashion shows, weddings or fairs”, will
offer a lively inner world of contrasting
volumes, while still being quite quiet
on the outside. So the overall effect is
of a development that is thoughtful and
considered but also, even after making
due allowance for its unfinished state
and the fact that plants need to grow,
overdoing its sobriety.
Here the landscaping, which should
be crucial, is unfortunately the weakest
part. It should soften and animate and
make places distinctive and sociable.
What’s there, all good quality to be
sure, has its moments – there’s a
nice grassy swale running through
the development that’s part of the
rainwater system – but it tends towards
the generic. The market square (where,
for now, no actual markets are planned)
is a could-be-anywhere bit of tasteful
corporate design, for which some funky
benches are not a sufficient antidote.
There’s a long straight pedestrianfriendly street that looks promising
as a place to congregate, but its hard
and rectangular planters are oddly
discouraging. The beige Mondrians of
paving too often beat the planting. You
can’t yet see spaces in which it would
be a positive delight for children to play.
More fundamentally the distribution
of design intelligence is out of whack.
In a way that almost always happens
in projects of this scale the big efficient
companies like AECOM are asked
to make the really big decisions,
whereas the Stirling prize winners
and “young” architects get to play
with a fairly limited range of choices
about proportion and disposition. If
the imagination and skills of the latter
had been applied to the orchestration
of a potentially rich array of shared
spaces, and to an overall idea of the
kind of place that is being created,
it would have turned North West
Cambridge from a good to a worldbeating piece of planning.
But these weaknesses should
not detract from what is likely to
be a fundamental success of the
development. To the basic question to
be asked when building on green belt
or any green land – is it better than it
would have been had it stayed as fields?
– the answer is yes. More people will
enjoy richer forms of nature in the new
parks than in the past, and many will
find homes at high levels of design and
sustainability. The clout, wealth and
wisdom of the university has been vital
in achieving this, but if the model can be
followed in other green locations across
the country we might find a way to
create large numbers of decent homes
and respect nature at the same time.
DANCE
Beyond
ballet
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds;
at Hull New Theatre until 21 Oct
Northern Ballet’s take
on the Holocaust novel
is well danced but
profoundly misconceived,
writes Luke Jennings
30
A ballet that takes the Holocaust as
its subject is likely to be controversial,
and Northern Ballet’s The Boy in the
Striped Pyjamas, choreographed by
Daniel de Andrade after the novel by
John Boyne, has had mixed reviews
since its launch earlier this year. Boyne’s
book, now a school set text, tells of the
friendship between Shmuel, a young
Jewish inmate of Auschwitz, and
Bruno, son of the camp’s commandant.
Despite the historical implausibility
of this scenario, the novel has become
a publishing phenomenon, and last
Thursday’s matinee audience, which
included many young people, gave the
ballet an enthusiastic reception. Flawed
or not, Boyne’s account is the portal
through which a new generation is
encountering the Shoah.
Technically speaking, this is a
well-crafted and strongly performed
piece. Matthew Koon, if rather too
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
relentlessly upbeat, gives a cleanlimbed account of himself as the naive
Bruno. As Shmuel, Filippo de Vilio is
poignant and expressive. Of the Nazis,
Sean Bates displays a silken fluency
as the vicious Lieutenant Kotler. De
Andrade frames his steps thoughtfully,
giving them room to breathe and time
to make their mark. Gary Yershon’s
plangent score threads through the
action, its dark woodwind notes a
sombre reminder of the nightmare that
is unfolding out of sight.
There are, however, profound errors
of tone. If you view the Holocaust
as more than simply a fact of history
around which fiction can be spun
at will, you will find a production
that includes pirouetting SS officers
deeply troubling. There is too great
a disconnect between the heartfelt
act of dancing and participation in
the industrial-scale slaughter of
The Boy in the Striped
Pyjamas: ‘ includes
pirouetting SS officers’.
Emma Kauldhar
your fellow human beings. The two
activities cannot meaningfully occupy
the same dimension.
At key moments of the ballet,
De Andrade insinuates a figure called
the Fury (Mlindi Kulashe) into the
action. While true to Boyne’s book,
in which Bruno mishears the word
Führer, the presence of this fetishistic
and quasi-sexual figure is a horrible
error, suggesting that the Nazis were
victims of diabolic possession rather
than open-eyed mass murderers.
Kulashe danced well on Thursday, but
the cheers and whoops that greeted
his performance were, to say the
least, disconcerting. If ever there was
an occasion for the cast to remain in
character during the curtain calls,
this was it. In two decades of writing
about dance, I don’t think I’ve ever
seen anything as inappropriate as the
broad grins of the dancers playing the
Auschwitz guards and of those whom,
minutes earlier, they’d herded into the
gas chamber.
Theatre
A song of lost
youth that’s as
fresh as ever
Janie Dee, left, and Imelda
Staunton in Follies at the Olivier:
‘a sensation’. Photograph by
Tristram Kenton
Imelda Staunton leads an evening of star
turns in the National’s tremendous revival of
Sondheim’s bittersweet Follies. Elsewhere,
revolt meets retail in 80s South Korea
Follies
Olivier, London SE1; until 3 Jan
One Day, Maybe
King William House, Hull; until 1 Oct
Follies is like a distinctive taste that
you either love or hate. I have always
– slightly against my better judgment
– adored this exorbitant classic of a
musical. First performed in 1971, it’s
about the reunion of a chorus line of
Weismann/Ziegfeld revue girls, now
middle-aged or older, gathering in an
about-to-be-demolished Broadway
theatre. The potential for humiliation
– an unwelcome side effect of growing
old – gives the storyline its weird,
almost unpalatable edge, intriguingly
taking the shine off sentimentality.
Glamour is tainted by age, and many
of the women, in their party best, are
rueful about their vanished youth as
they look back to find that they are,
and yet are not, the same people they
always were. The men, less obviously
grappling with a loss of beauty, are
as likely to feel they have taken a
wrong turning. Do they have regrets?
You bet. Did they marry the wrong
person? You decide.
The musical can be performed as a
camp extravaganza, but as I watched
Dominic Cooke’s stupendous revival
(the first full production since 1987),
I was reflecting that while James
Goldman’s book is thin, Stephen
Sondheim has his cake and eats it:
his lyrics are sad and entertaining,
sentimental and truthful. His music
is as nuanced as the lives it describes.
Vicki Mortimer has designed a
backstage theatre with crumbling brick
walls, castaway props and battered
red velvet chairs, rescued from an
auditorium. The set is dominated by a
fire escape (useful for rising above old
flames). It’s a perfect setting for a piece
focused on emotional salvage.
Di Botcher sits at her former
dressing room table and sings
Broadway Baby. At first too weary to
stand, and wearing clunky spectacles,
she is incongruously dowdy – comic
and poignant. What is wonderful is the
way she revs into action, extending the
line about wanting to be in a “show”
until it acquires an extra syllable –
an oh of yearning. Tracie Bennett’s
rendition of I’m Still Here justifies on
Crumbling brick walls,
battered red chairs:
it’s the perfect setting
for a piece about
emotional salvage
its own the price of a ticket. A slip of a
scarlet woman, she starts anecdotally,
with a worldly smile. She, too, sits for
much of the song, but finishes on her
feet on her own and at one point stops
singing to shout: “I’m still here!” – an
eruption of defiant pain.
Dawn Hope delights with her
rousing Who’s That Woman? and
Janie Dee is slinkily poised, giving
Could I Leave You? a punitive energy
that grows out of stillness. The
matchless Imelda Staunton memorably
undergoes emotional upheaval as
Sally, starting as a nervous chatterbox,
ending with Losing My Mind,
paralysed by love for Ben, her former
sweetheart. As Ben, Philip Quast is
impressively unimpressive, the stuffed
shirt who sings like a dream and
belatedly shows he is made of flesh and
blood. Peter Forbes as Sally’s husband,
Buddy, brings affecting vitality to his
put-upon role. Throughout, “girls” and
condoms and “large lumps of matter”
clustered around houseboats. Why
was this happening? Because Thames
Water wasn’t maintaining its sewage
equipment properly. And why was that
happening? Ah, well…
Over the next half-hour, in a clearly
presented and diligently researched
programme, Robinson showed
how an Australian investment bank
called Macquarie was able to buy
Thames Water with borrowed money,
offload £2bn of that debt on to Thames
Water and make over-the-odds profits
for its investors while not investing in
the company’s infrastructure (hence
the polluted river). In March, Thames
Water was fined £20m for huge
sewage leaks. But by then,
Macquarie had moved on,
selling its final stake in
Thames Water to – let me
get this right – “a Canadian
pension fund and the
Kuwaiti sovereign wealth
fund”. Now Macquarie
is backing a group of
investors who recently bought a
controlling stake in the National Grid’s
gas distribution business…
The voices in the programme
– financial experts, watchdogs,
journalists – were all reasonable.
And they all said the same thing.
Macquarie’s structures were not
transparent, money was moving
through offshore subsidiaries and
the UK watchdog, Ofwat, just waved
everything through. “Bankers are
always a few steps ahead,” said one
expert, pointing out that by the time
a parliamentary inquiry has been
conducted, the bankers have made
their money and moved on to the next
deal. All rather depressing, but well
worth your time.
An altogether cheerier listen is Hey,
It’s OK…, Glamour magazine’s podcast.
One of my occasional guilty listening
pleasures, it’s essentially an interviewwith-a-celeb show. Sounds familiar:
but this is snappy and funny, with
UK Glamour editor-in-chief, Jo Elvin
(below), plus a staff member, leading
the chat with charm and pizzazz. Last
week the podcast celebrated its first
birthday with an interview with the
actor Jenna Coleman. Coleman was
relaxed and amusing, gossiping
about how she forgets how
to dress in everyday life if
she films for a long time
and having a laugh about
Doctor Who.
Glamour is always
going to get highend celebrities, but not
everyone can make stars feel
as comfortable as Elvin does, and
surprisingly few editors make great
presenters. A lovely, upbeat listen.
Another surprise was Marcus
Brigstocke’s first ever radio play.
The Red had a simple premise – a wine
collector father dies and leaves a special
bottle of red to his son, a recovering
alcoholic – but it was astutely written,
and nicely acted by Rufus Jones and
David Calder. Touching and real; a
lovely debut.
RADIO
A murky
tale of muck
and brass
Miranda
Sawyer
@msmirandasawyer
Macquarie: The Tale of the
River Bank R4
Hey, It’s OK… Glamour podcast
The Red R4
Not something I would naturally
rush to hear, but Macquarie: The Tale
of the River Bank is the must-listen of
my week. I didn’t think anyone made
unflashy, meticulous documentaries
like this any more. Financial journalist
Michael Robinson began his report
in a lovely part of the world, on the
banks of the Thames in Little Marlow.
He listened to locals telling him
about a time, a few years ago, when
the river was not so pretty. When
brown foam rolled over the river
ripples and tampons, sanitary towels,
their men are shadowed by younger,
glittering selves. But picking up the
past’s dropped stitches proves perilous,
and there is a neat contrivance when the
showbiz lights emblazoning each letter
of “Follies” partially fail and only “lies”
remain. Nigel Lilley conducts a spot-on
orchestra, reintroducing this bittersweet
musical that, unlike its characters, is
still a sensation – in its prime.
One Day, Maybe is an unusual,
Susannah Clapp is away
I’ve never
entered a
race where
something
has not
been
hurting
World Ironman
champion
Chrissie
Wellington
Observer
Magazine
Kate
Kellaway
intimidating and thought-provoking
show by dreamthinkspeak, a
remarkable company founded by
Tristan Sharps, whose site-specific
work has ranged from a Moscow
paper factory to a Clerkenwell abattoir
and is now to be found in an office
block and car park in central Hull in
its city of culture year. We take a lift
up to a floor populated by smartly
dressed Koreans in lime green and
grey uniforms with corporate smiles.
Each audience member is issued with
a K-pad (K for Kasang, the name of
a global technology company, which
means “virtual” in Korean). It is the
30th anniversary of the Korean Sixth
Republic and we are to experience “the
future of retail”, play an “immersive
video game” and “much, much more”.
It is the “much, much more” about
which one needs to be mindful.
What follows is South Korean time
travel – into the future and past –
dazzlingly performed by a 30-strong
Korean cast. The show interrogates
technological progress (in English and
fast-forward Korean), showing it to be
an exciting but potentially amnesiac
diversion. In our buy-it-now present,
it might seem that history never
happened. The show contrasts fevered
consumerism with political unrest,
reminding us of the 1980 democratic
uprising in Gwangju, where hundreds
were massacred. Revenant students
walk among us and a sinister news clip
reveals that Chun Doo-hwan, army
general, and former president Roh
Tae-woo, involved in the massacre, are
now out of jail. The show is technically
miraculous but it is the final, low-tech
image that makes it a memorial. In a
huge conference room, a small candle
burns on every empty chair, ending a
long evening’s journey into light.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
Sunday 15 October
Only London appearance
Tickets on sale to Members Thursday
14 September. On general sale Friday 15
September.
Become a Member to
secure your tickets
southbankcentre.co.uk/membership
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
31
Classical
How to make
an entrance…
Potential opera stars
seize their moment.
Plus, two miraculous
hours of Bach from
András Schiff
Fiona
Maddocks
@FionaMaddocks
The Vanishing Bridegroom/
Don Giovanni
Peacock theatre, London WC2
BBC Proms 72 & 73
Royal Albert Hall, London SW7
If you shone a torch round the
auditorium of London’s Peacock
theatre in early September, venue
for British Youth Opera’s annual
showcase, you might find a higher
than average number of scribblers.
Not just critics, but agents, casting
directors and others, marking up
their programmes in hope of spotting
a winner. BYO’s participants benefit
from workshops and professional
coaching from those at the top of the
operatic profession. Then they’re out
there on stage, exposed, before the
bright lights of judgment.
This may have its agonising
aspects, but it gives a clubbable feel
to BYO shows. This 30th anniversary
they have paired Judith Weir’s
The Vanishing Bridegroom and, sung
in English, Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Weir’s 1990 opera, three Scottish
Gaelic tales rolled into a 100-minute
piece, provides an obligingly large cast
of 26, with a similar number in the
chorus. The tiniest cameo can reveal
a potential star.
That said, you needed your wits
about you to work out who was who
in Bridegroom, briskly conducted by
James Holmes, confidently directed by
Stuart Barker and stylishly designed,
a fairytale scene taking place beneath
wooden rafters, by Andrew Riley.
Weir’s love of folklore and myth spins
its own magic. The score is alive
with choral interjections, insistent
percussion, solo fiddling. Weir’s voice,
as ever, is distinctive and approachable.
Dramatically, matters are less
clear, with verbal delivery from the
singers not always as sharp as it should
be. When the emphasis is on ritual
and pattern rather than individual
character, you need all the help you can
get. The third story, The Stranger, is the
most substantial: a handsome stranger
Charlie Drummond (Anna) and Jake Muffett in the title role of Don Giovanni. Below: András
Schiff playing late-night Bach: ‘unforgettable’. Tristram Kenton; Chris Christodoulou
Agents, casting
directors and others
mark up their
programmes in hope
of spotting a winner
If my foot
slips I’m
going to fall
and die,
and that’s
all there
is to it
Observer
Magazine
Climber
Alex Honnold
on scaling
El Capitan
arrives to woo a young woman – well
performed by London-based Swedish
mezzo Ida Ränzlöv. Her lover turns out
to be the Devil (bass Timothy Edlin).
From the large ensemble, some names
to note: Ian Beadle (Bridegroom),
Alexandra Lowe (Bride), James Liu (in
the blink-or-miss role of Narration).
Don Giovanni had strong singing all
round, and some good ideas in James
Hurley’s production, set in a grim,
unfinished tower block designed by
Rachel Szmukler. Unfortunately the
piece outstayed its welcome. It felt
sluggish in tempo. Jokes were in short
supply, with barely a hint of its
essential black humour. Long
pauses between scenes were
injudiciously accompanied
by electronic noises off –
a cork-popping party, a
prolonged and noisy boom
– whether to set the scene
or to help pass the time (“it
would have passed in any
case”) wasn’t clear.
The Southbank Sinfonia,
accompanying both operas, worked
hard and efficiently, but Lionel Friend’s
Giovanni tempi were too leisurely.
A tightening of reins would have
transformed proceedings, since the
individual elements were impressive.
All the women – Charlie Drummond
(Anna), Samantha Clarke (Elvira),
MORE THEATRE
The Suitcase
Hull Truck theatre, Hull; and touring
It’s appropriate that Johannesburg’s Market
Theatre begins its five-city English tour in
Hull, the UK’s City of Culture 2017. Founded
in 1976, the company, as its website says,
“challenged the apartheid regime, armed
with little more than the conviction that
culture can change society”.
Sibongeleni James Ngcobo, who has
been the company’s artistic director
for the past four years,, aims to redefine
ht of the post-1994
the theatre in the light
realities. As he writess in the programme:
ne through
“South Africa has gone
phosis”
a complete metamorphosis”
tre is
and the Market Theatre
rate in a
changing, too, to operate
“universal space”.
eveloped
The Suitcase, as developed
ort story by
by Ngcobo from a short
9-2008),
Es’kia Mphahlele (1919-2008)
sal
brings out the universal
aspects of a particularr
situation. Timi and
Namhla are a young
couple whose parentss
Siyabonga Caswell Thwala
hwala
se.
as Timi in The Suitcase.
32
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
Lauren Joyanne Morris (Zerlina)
– rose to their big moments, with,
between them, plenty of talent ripe for
development. Felix Kemp (Masetto)
and, particularly, Adam TempleSmith as Don Ottavio stood out, as did
Christian Valle as the Commendatore,
whose mighty bass made a lasting
impression. Jake Muffett in the title
role, though a little underpowered
vocally, has bags of potential. The
irresistible energy and wit came
from Leporello, Glaswegian Michael
Mofidian, also an imaginative singer.
Two end-of-season Proms on the
same evening ran the gamut, in scale
and mood, of this magnificently
sprawling festival. Daniel Harding
conducted the Vienna Philharmonic
in Mahler’s Sixth Symphony (19034, revised 1906), which requires
a colossal orchestra. A cartoon,
reproduced in the programme, shows
Mahler with an array of percussion –
whip, cowbells, hammer – clutching
his head and saying “My God, I forgot
the motor horn” – probably jolly funny
in Vienna at the time.
Some may have found Harding’s
slightly cool approach to this fateburdened work, nicknamed “Tragic”,
unsatisfying, lacking sufficient
conspicuous agony. Yet it released the
buoyant qualities of this score – its
generous, too often forgotten lyricism
– saving catastrophe to the last. He
chose the Andante-Scherzo order of
movements; there are inexhaustible
arguments for either. His decision
convinced. The Viennese strings’
lustrous playing of the opening melody
came as balm after the shrieks and
roars of the first movement. Horns,
and all the brass, were fiery and
brilliant. There were some blips in
ensemble, but the pleasure in hearing
these astounding players squashed
all quibbles, without the need of a
hammer blow (or as here, another of
those disputed Mahlerian issues, two
rather than three).
The late Prom was András Schiff
playing Bach (broadcast live on Radio 3
and BBC4). Solo instruments suit
the Albert Hall. Without display,
Schiff embarked on the
C major prelude No 1 in
the Well-Tempered
Clavier Book 1. Two
hours later, having
traversed every key
– counterpoint pure
and limpid, voiceleading clear and
sturdy, each tempo
judged to perfection
– he reached the final
B minor fugue and stopped.
If he used the sustaining pedal, it was
so discreet you could not detect it.
Not a muscle in his body appeared
anything but relaxed, travelling deeper
into the inexplicable mysteries of
Bach’s music. It was one of those
unforgettable revelations.
disapprove of their marriage (he is Zulu
and she is Xhosa). They leave their village
for the big city, carrying scant savings,
few possessions and bright dreams of a
new life. In the 1950s, racial discrimination
stacks the odds against them.
On a wooden pallet in the centre of the
stage stand a table, chair and a shelf. To one
side of the pallet is a small wooden bench;
to the other, a dustbin. The sprawling,
hostile city that surrounds this one-room
hub is brought to people-filled life by two
y
, Molatlhegi Desmond Dube
“storytellers”,
and Nhlanhla John L
Lata. Daily humiliation
and rejection etch d
deeper into Timi’s every
gesture, tellingly ex
executed by Siyabonga
Caswell Thwala. His route through the city
circles the little room where (the excellent)
Masasa Lindiwe M
Mbangeni’s Namhla tries
to keep hope a
alive. His despair leads
him to an irre
irrevocable mistake.
Hugh Ma
Masekela’s bright, periodstyle jazz, shaded with blues and
echoes of hymns (a stunning
live voca
vocal trio and guitarist),
amplifies the story’s scope, as do
the sharply de
detailed performances,
full of humour and deep humanity.
Aparthe
Apartheid has gone, but lives of
peop
people the world over are
stil
still blighted by prejudice
and injustice. Clare Brennan
Books
Kate Kellaway applauds Claire Tomalin’s
extraordinary, insightful autobiography
ex
Page 34
Pa
Is David Kynaston’s history of the Bank of
En
England on the money, asks John Kampfner
Page 35
Pa
A
Anthony
Cummins is moved by Roddy
Doyle’s story of abuse and its aftermath
D
Page 36
Pa
FICTION
A final turn from Smiley’s Circus
Le Carré revisits old
ground in a polished
thriller with a distinct
valedictory air, writes
Robert McCrum
A Legacy of Spies
John le Carré
Viking £20, pp272
Old age marks a rendezvous with
reality that provokes timeless
questions. At the end of John le
Carré’s new novel, his greatest
creation, George Smiley, observes that
“an old spy in his dotage seeks the
truth of ages”.
As he approaches 86, David
Cornwell, AKA John le Carré, still has
to make a necessary rapprochement
with his divided self, his past and its
achievements. There are, no doubt,
obscure and unreconciled regrets,
obsessions and disappointments. But
if you are lucky, as Cornwell has been,
to retain your joie de vivre and your
marbles, this final reckoning offers the
resolution of an inner conflict. Le Carré
has always loved German literature,
and he knows his Heidegger: “Every
man is born as many men, and dies as a
single one.”
The “legacy” of his title tells us that
Le Carré is in the posterity business. If
he is playing for keeps, there are just
three questions to which his dedicated
readers will require an answer: what
is A Legacy of Spies about? What is its
deeper purpose? And where does it fit
into his imposing oeuvre?
There’s no mistaking Le Carré’s
importance. The list of his published
work numbers some 24 volumes
which, with the exception of The
Pigeon Tunnel, his autobiography of
2016, present an impressive roll call
of thrillers that date from Call for the
Dead in 1961, when Harold Macmillan
was prime minister and JFK had been
recently inaugurated as US president.
In those far-off days, the novel
of espionage seemed the perfect
instrument for examining the soul of
a post-imperial society. Then came
George Smiley’s finest hour, a sequence
of novels that elevated the spy thriller
into an art form – Tinker Tailor Soldier
Spy; The Honourable Schoolboy; and
Smiley’s People. Few English writers of
the late 20th century produced fiction
to match the Le Carré of these novels.
Today, nearly 30 years after the fall of
the Berlin Wall, we would not expect Le
Carré to be writing at such a pitch. Still,
with the exception of PG Wodehouse,
whom Le Carré idolises as “the
Master”, the English canon has rarely
seen an acclaimed novelist and popular
entertainer sustain such a hot streak
into old age. Cornwell/Le Carré has
been publishing for six decades and,
on the evidence offered here, remains
both fiercely driven and impressively
commanding.
Still, A Legacy of Spies has an
unmistakable aura of valediction.
Narrated by an old hand from “the
Circus”, Peter Guillam, a hard-ofhearing old man, formerly the devoted
colleague and ally of his master, it
describes the moment in Guillam’s
recent past when he finds the
aftermath of a forgotten battle from
Le Carré’s new book ‘displays a grand old man of English letters conducting a masterclass in the genre he has made his own’. BBC
Berlin in the early 1960s coming to
torment his retirement.
The letter – Le Carré does not flinch
from this classic device – that arrives
in Guillam’s coastal farm in Brittany
summons the old spy to London to
answer some highly troublesome
questions about the long-buried
treacheries surrounding an agent
named Alec Leamas.
Not only do these inquiries plunge
the protagonist into some of the
bleakest moments of the cold war, it
also connects the attentive Le Carré
reader to his youthful bestseller
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
Here, in fact, a writer who has always
dazzled his readers with the reflecting
mirrors of double- and triple-bluff,
surpasses himself with the backstory to
his career-defining masterpiece about
a covert operation conducted against
the East German Stasi.
Leamas, it turns out, had a son
with an East German woman. This
The English canon
has rarely seen an
acclaimed novelist
sustain such a hot
streak into old age
young man, Christoph, burns with
vengeful rage towards the betrayals of
the forgotten “Circus”. He threatens
to expose the British secret service
in parliament and the courts. With
no Smiley about – where is he now?
– the spooks must put the squeeze
on Peter Guillam for the truth about
Operation Windfall.
The silky interrogations of a man
named “Bunny” take us into a labyrinth
of ruse and counter-ruse peopled by
the dramatis personae of past plots.
Sinister ghosts – Bill Haydon, Percy
Alleline, Toby Esterhase, Jim Prideaux
and Oliver Lacon – flit through the
shadowy pages of lost time. Guillam
visits old haunts, and resists his
interrogators as best he can in a
sequence of safe houses.
Not much has changed in 50 years,
except that the “Circus” is now “the
Box”, and the spooks operate out of
“Spyland Beside the Thames”. In place
of action, Guillam must rifle through
a lot of files, the documents in the
case. This, perforce, is less thrilling
than the dramatic quests of Smiley’s
prime. Then, in the midst of this expert
exposition, Guillam snaps, suddenly
confessing his “outrage at having my
past dug up and thrown in my face”.
Here Cornwell and Le Carré
become one, because I think that this
raw acknowledgement of frustration
and bewilderment tellingly connects
the inspiration for Le Carré’s latest
novel with some recent difficulties in
Cornwell’s own life story.
Although he has sometimes teased
that he was doing “a sort of Tolkien
job” on his brief career as a spy, the
truth is that Cornwell, a complex and
romantic figure, has always mined his
life for his art.
His dismay at the troubled gestation
of Adam Sisman’s massive biography
(2015) is well documented. A volume
that was supposed to celebrate the
creative interplay between Cornwell
and Le Carré did the exact opposite.
Disappointment, frustration and
outrage followed. A year ago, in The
Pigeon Tunnel, Le Carré addressed a
pointed rebuke to his biographer. Now,
in more subtle terms, he has conducted
a darker reckoning with the demons of
the past.
A Legacy of Spies achieves many
things. Outstandingly, it is a defiant
assertion of creative vigour. There had
been rumours of work abandoned,
a professional crisis, but in these
pages there is no faltering. Le Carré’s
storytelling remains close to top form.
True, his characters speak, as they
always did, in a mandarin lingo that’s
as remote from the register of everyday
speech as Regency dialogue. Inevitably,
for a great literary imagination steeped
in a compelling fantasy, there are
moments of self-parody. Not all the
plotting is as flawless as hitherto.
Christoph’s two crucial interventions
into Guillam’s quest stretch the limits
of credibility almost to breaking
point. Smiley, his old boss, who was
always depicted as angsty and middleaged, is now a passionate Europhile,
approaching his centenary. Another
worry: do the treacheries of cold war
espionage resonate as they used to do?
In the scheme of things, however, these
are quibbles. Le Carré’s new novel
displays a grand old man of English
letters conducting a masterclass in the
genre he has made his own. There will
be some who want to revisit the hoary
debate about the character and quality
of Le Carré’s genius. But he remains
a great contemporary writer, whose
work will always be read and reread.
When, in the closing pages, we once
more meet George Smiley, “in red
pullover and bright-yellow corduroys”,
for Guillam’s affecting farewell, the
reader will recognise, perhaps, that
Cornwell is signing off with a poignant
and brilliant au revoir to Le Carré,
his alter ego, a writer who is with the
immortals.
To order Legacy of Spies for £18.50
go to guardianbookshop.com
or call 0330 333 6846
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
33
Books
AUTOBIOGRAPHY
This time,
it’s personal
One of the greatest
biographers of our
age, Claire Tomalin
shines the spotlight
on herself in this
moving memoir,
says Kate Kellaway
A Life of My Own
Claire Tomalin
Penguin £16.99, pp352
At the end of this memoir, in the
acknowledgments, Claire Tomalin
thanks her husband, Michael Frayn,
for his patience in discussing “doubts
and problems”, and for encouraging
her to keep going when “I was close to
giving up”. It is outside the province of
the book to explore the doubts in detail
or to explain why she almost ditched
it. But as one reads, one speculates
about the difference between
writing biographies, as Tomalin has
with questing brilliance – on Mary
Wollstonecraft, Katherine Mansfield,
Dora Jordan, Nelly Ternan, Charles
Dickens, Samuel Pepys, Thomas Hardy
– and writing about herself. The book,
absorbing, moving and marvellously
written, will not let this question drop.
Tomalin explains, in the foreword,
that it has been a challenge moving
between “the trivial and the tragic”.
Her aim is “truthfulness” and she adds
the Chekhovian afterthought that life
does not hold its breath for anyone:
“Even when you are at the worst
moments and would like to give all
your attention to grief, you still have to
clean the house and pay the bills, you
may even enjoy your lunch.” She was
moved to write the memoir partly to
understand herself better, approaching
herself like a biographical subject.
She discovered she was not making
“individual choices” but was typical
of her time (she was born in 1933)
and “about as powerless to resist as a
migrating bird or a salmon swimming
upstream”.
But to research yourself is a peculiar
project. To what extent are you already
an expert? You might want to resist the
subjects a biographer would dwell on.
You know and do not know yourself.
You remember and forget. At times,
she must have had to steel herself to
write at all. Tragedy stands out in her
story, as tragedy will. I remember an
interview Tomalin gave in this paper,
in which she admitted that she had
sometimes felt as though she were
being pelted with bricks from above. In
the memoir, she is more withheld.
On the afternoon of Wednesday
17 October 1973, she heard that
her husband, Nicholas Tomalin, a
journalist on the Sunday Times, had
been killed – a garbled rumour until
the point that Harold Evans [the
paper’s editor] and journalists Ron Hall
and Hunter Davies turned up at her
house in north London’s Gloucester
Crescent: “They were the messengers
of death. Nick had been killed in Israel.
I suppose they told me – a heat-guided
missile from the Syrians hit the car
he was driving in the Golan Heights.”
He was 41. Their marriage had
been turbulent, but “it felt now ass
d”.
though the sun had been eclipsed”.
She writes with a decisive lack off
self-pity. Her prose is clear, level,
unheated. Nicholas’s infidelity is
lightly treated – not the same as
al
making light. She has the unusual
gift, in everything she writes, of
never making a difficult subject
more difficult.
n
She undertakes not to dwell on
her children. But she describes
Daniel, born in 1960 severely
handicapped, who did not
survive, and Tom, born a decade
later with spina bifida, who did.
She is full of praise for Tom’s
fortitude. It is painfully ironic
ng
that it should be death that, lifting
the ban on writing about her
children, introduces the book’s
most vivid character: Susanna,
her second daughter. A brilliant,
life-enhancing girl, Susanna
came back in 1980 from Oxford
University, where she had been
ic
studying English, in a catastrophic
depression. A first attempt at
suicide was unsuccessful. A
second attempt succeeded.
Tomalin found her “lying on the
floor, her face calm”. There was a
“very small note on the floor nearr
her, a few words saying she was
sorry, but it would get worse”.
It is painful to read Tomalin’s
conclusion: ‘I don’t think there
has been a day since her death
when I have not thought of her,
s.
her blue eyes and her high spirits.
I should have protected her, and I
failed. The system failed too, badly and
inexplicably...”
She is hard on herself (almost always
generous about others), believing she
also failed her mother at the end of
her life. Muriel Herbert was a pianist
and composition scholar at the Royal
College of Music. Her father, Emile
Delavenay, was a French intellectual
with perfect English, who joined the
BBC in 1939. When their disastrous
marriage unravelled, Tomalin moved
to Welwyn Garden City with her
mother and sister. She attended several
schools but writes with particular
enthusiasm about Dartington Hall in
Claire Tomalin with first
husband, Nicholas, in the 1950s.
Courtesy of Claire Tomalin
She has the unusual
gift, in everything
she writes, of never
making a difficult
subject more difficult
Devon and, later, about university – she
read English at Newnham College,
Cambridge. Her career as literary
editor makes entertaining reading,
starting at the New Statesman in
the 70s and including an account of
her affair with Martin Amis. Terry
Kilmartin, then the Observer’s literary
editor, teasingly told her she was
“pretending to be the heroine of a
French film”.
I was interested in her years at
the Sunday Times in the 80s, partly
because I was given my first stab at
reviewing for her pages and remember
HISTORY
From the poor laws to laws for the
poor: the welfare state uncovered
Bread for All: The Origins of the
Welfare State
Chris Renwick
Allen Lane £20, pp336
A new account shows
how Attlee’s reforms
built on foundations laid
down decades earlier,
writes Chris Mullin
34
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
Contrary to what some may believe,
the welfare state did not come into
existence solely as a result of some
sort of post-second world war big
bang caused by the election of the
Attlee government. To be sure it was
the Attlee government that supplied
the political will, but many of the
principles and some of the measures
evolved over the preceding halfcentury. One or two were of even
earlier origin.
Chris Renwick, who lectures in
modern history at the University
of York, has produced an account
of the origins of the welfare state,
from the Elizabethan poor law to the
Beveridge report, which is at once
both learned and highly readable.
Until the mid-19th century, most
politicians and political philosophers
were instinctively against the notion
that the welfare of its citizens was any
business of the state except maybe in
the direst circumstances, and perhaps
not even then. The late-18th-century
philosopher Malthus argued that the
poor law was an interference with
the natural checks and balances on a
growing population.
There were also arguments that will
be familiar today about escalating cost,
fecklessness and the undermining of
the market, with the result that early
social reformers sometimes found it
easier to focus, not so much on the
moral arguments, but on the suggestion
that it was simply not efficient to have
Rellik: a high-octane crime
drama that is sure to have
you in its thrall
TV, page 40
¥
HISTORY
A wearying stroll with the Old
Lady of Threadneedle Street
Till Time’s Last Sand: A History
of the Bank of England 16942013
David Kynaston
Bloomsbury £35, pp896
her book-filled office and the
formidable impression she made. She
loved a literary argument. Once, when
I’d liked a book she hadn’t, she kindly
concluded – after hammer-and-tongs
discussion – that positive reactions were
more persuasive but without budging a
jot. One of the surprises of the memoir
was to discover how tentative she often
felt about herself, although about the
Sunday Times’ move to Wapping and
the printers’ strike, she has remained
firm. She politely damns Murdoch and
the Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil.
She and her deputy, Sean French, and
others who refused to cross the Wapping
picket line, were dubbed “refuseniks”.
Her resignation was liberation: she
found her “vocation” as a biographer.
Her mother used to say that, no matter
how unhappy you were, you could
escape into a book. She has spent a
lifetime doing this – even in later,
happier times – and in writing books
into which we can gratefully disappear.
In the memoir, one feels she is more at
home writing about Hardy or Dickens
than herself – the tug of the literary
wins. There are reasons why she does
not write about life with Michael
Free food is distributed to the poor from a charity’s mobile canteen in 1935. Getty Images
To order A Life of My Own for £12.74
go to guardianbookshop.com or call
0330 333 6846
The Bank of England was founded in
July 1694 in Mercers’ Hall, with £1.2m
raised in subscriptions from a group of
gentlemen. A century and a half later,
this is how the American writer Henry
Adams described London, the capital
of the most powerful nation on Earth:
“Everyone seemed insolent and the
most insolent structures in the world
were the Royal Exchange and the Bank
of England.”
Fifty years after this, in 1901, a
similar insight is provided by a Spanish
philosopher, George Santayana, who
was invited by a friend for dinner at
the Bank. The dining room, he wrote,
had a “dingy Dickensian look of solidity
grown old-fashioned, a bit shabby”.
He noted the “superannuated butler”
and a meal consisting of mock-turtle
soup, boiled halibut, roast mutton,
gooseberry tart, anchovies on toast and
a bottle of claret and a bottle of port.
Details such as these provide the
foundation for David Kynaston’s
commanding history of the Bank of
England. From the South Sea Bubble to
the Napoleonic wars via the two world
wars, the author paints a picture of an
organisation that sought, wherever
possible, to insulate itself from the
outside world. Only when turbulence
threatens its own walls does it take
up cudgels, such as in 1780, during
the anti-Catholic Gordon riots or in
1848, the year of revolutions across
Europe. Kynaston describes the
scene: “The Bank took no chances. On
Friday, 7 April, with the great Chartist
demonstration due to take place at
Kennington Common on the 10th, all
able-bodied members of staff were
sworn in as special constables.”
One of the great strengths of this
896-page, one-volume tome is the
acute portrayal of each and every
relationship between Bank governor
and prime minister and chancellor of
the exchequer. The arguments revolved
around issues similar to today – liquidity,
money supply, growth and borrowing.
Yet no matter what era, economic
circumstance or political party,
that relationship depended on the
personalities of the three and more
often than not it was infused with
tension. William Gladstone, for one,
could not abide the Bank’s elite. He
repeatedly sent them letters on the
management of the national debt,
requiring them to cut back on the
perhaps one-third of the population
unable to make any meaningful
contribution to the wealth of the
nation if they were laid low by disease,
malnutrition and lack of education.
The first stirrings of rulingclass interest in the welfare of the
masses began in the 1830s with the
appointment of a royal commission
into the workings of the poor law.
Remarkably, however, it concluded
that the existing patchwork of local
provision was too generous and needed
to be replaced by a centrally imposed
system of workhouses where living
conditions were sufficiently unpleasant
that no one save the destitute would
want to live there.
Gradually, though, the grim realities
of working-class life in 19th-century
Britain began to impinge on the
comfortable world of the Victorian
middle classes. A combination of the
rise of trade unions, the founding of
the Labour party and the extension
of the franchise, along with a handful
of enlightened employers and social
reformers, forced social welfare on to
the political agenda. The revelation,
during the Boer war, that up to twothirds of the recruits from industrial
cities such as Manchester were
physically unfit to fight came as a
particular shock to the political classes.
Only with the election of the 1906
Liberal government did the state start to
take a serious interest in the welfare of
its people. One of the new government’s
first measures was to introduce
legislation permitting local authorities,
should they choose, to introduce free
school meals. Predictably, however,
many declined to do so with the result
that, after five years, only a relative
handful of children benefited. The
first old age pensions were introduced
in 1908 (£13 a year for the over 70s),
but once again provision was far from
universal. Only those with incomes of
less than £31 a year qualified. David
Lloyd George’s attempt to introduce
a national insurance scheme to cover
the sick and unemployed, funded
by increased taxes, was famously
blocked by the Tories in the House
of Lords and needed two further
Frayn, whom she married at 60. Falling
in love with him was “overwhelming”
but caused “pain and difficulties for
everyone”. Her lack of self-importance
is refreshing, her consideration for
others admirable, but I’d have liked
her to indulge herself – and us – with
a little more about her life now and
its uncontroversial, non-literary
diversions – her garden, her travels, the
continuing distraction of a good lunch.
Bank’s internal remuneration. In other
words, they were paying themselves
too much. Where have we heard
that before?
Sometimes, the Bank listened to its
political masters; sometimes, it ignored
them, convinced it was impervious
to pressure. No matter how long they
survived, each governor ultimately
depended on the political relationship.
One, in the modern era, was Gordon
Richardson. His last day coincided with
Margaret Thatcher’s first in office. She,
like many prime ministers, wanted a
new broom. He was, the author notes,
“the last of the governors to be treated
– and, in his case, sometimes to demand
to be treated – as akin to an eastern
potentate”.
What sticks out about this last
phrase is its rarity. For reasons I
cannot fathom, Kynaston chooses
to denude this book of emotion and
The Bank: ready to stand up for itself. PA
opinion. For sure it is a reference book,
an authorised history. But for the
general audience, this is a bloodless
read, inexplicably so, from a master
socioeconomic craftsman.
By the mid 1990s, as globalisation
takes hold and Davos Man reigns
supreme, the “cult of the central bank
was gathering global momentum”. The
stunning surprise of the first week of
New Labour – granting independence
to the Bank – is compellingly recalled.
The book ends with the lessons of
the financial crash, the recklessness
of the bankers and the weakness of
the Bank and the regulator, the FSA.
These are my words, not the author’s.
He monitors all the detail, but barely
hazards a comment, except to say by
way of conclusion: “For all our sakes,
it is important that central bankers are
seen neither as heroes nor villains.”
I close the book, scratching my head.
I am absorbed by the material, but I am
not sure what to make of it.
John Kampfner
To order Till Time’s Last Sand for £29.75
go to guardianbookshop.com or call
0330 333 6846
general elections to force through.
It took two world wars and the
extension of the franchise to women
before the welfare state as we know it
today, universal and comprehensive,
became politically possible. Although
the greatest credit lies with the
Attlee government, Labour did not
pluck ideas and legislation out of
thin air. During the first four decades
of the 20th century, governments
of all persuasions had begun to
turn their attention to improving
the education, housing and welfare
of all citizens. As the author says,
“The fact that there were Labour,
Tory and Liberal fingerprints on the
welfare state was an important reason
why it was not instantly dismantled
by the Tories when they regained
power in 1951.”
Chris Mullin is a former Labour
minister. His recent memoir, Hinterland,
is now available in paperback. To order
Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare
State for £17 go to guardianbookshop.
com or call 0330 333 6846
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
35
Books
FICTION
An Irishman
walks into a bar...
A chance encounter sends a man back to his
school days in Roddy Doyle’s devastating
portrait of abuse, says Anthony Cummins
Smile
Roddy Doyle
Jonathan Cape £14.99, pp224
Smile – classic Roddy Doyle, but
with a shocking twist – opens with
the 54-year-old narrator, Victor,
alone in a Dublin pub. He doesn’t
share a home with Rachel, the woman
he calls his wife, but is vague about
why. He feels out of place. When
he says, “Good man; thanks very
much” to the guy pulling his pint, he
immediately tells us “the words felt
great and a bit forbidden. I hadn’t
earned the right to slip into the
rhythm of a middle-aged Dub.”
Why not? Unease grows when
a former classmate who might
be called Eddie Fitzpatrick – at
least that’s how Victor thinks he
remembers him – accosts him in
the pub, raising uncomfortable
memories of the Christian Brothers
school they went to. They’re the
same age and their fathers died in
the same month; people in the bar
take Fitzpatrick for Victor’s brother
or his cousin.
Who this man is and what he wants
are questions that nag away as the
novel rewinds leisurely through the
previous 40 years of Victor’s life.
Schooldays are vicious, terrifying and
strangely thrilling. When a Brother
tells the 14-year-old Victor in French
class that he can never resist his
smile, the repercussions from his peers
are instant. Another Brother molests
him – it was just once, Victor says
– under the guise of teaching him a
wrestling move.
The progression through these
episodes is not chronological.
Chapters flit around in time. So
we also know that Victor is a failed
writer. The first in his family to go to
university, he dropped out, seduced
by his ability to get sarcastic music
reviews into print, later becoming a
talkshow controversialist who never
got around to collecting his opinions
into a book.
Doyle’s recreation of 1970s and
1980s Dublin is engaging in itself,
even as you’re wondering what
went wrong in Victor’s life. Added
to suspense over Fitzpatrick is the
question of what happened with
Rachel, an entrepreneur caterer from
the posh part of town who, by the
time of Smile’s present, is the star turn
in Ireland’s answer to Dragons’ Den.
Rachel, whose altruistic sexuality
saves Victor from his tortured
virginity, has the air of a fantasy
woman. But the more you read Smile,
the more you wonder. Stray references
to a sister and a grownup son aren’t
elaborated on: a hint that there’s more
– or perhaps less – to Victor’s story
than he lets on. And from the start
we know Victor isn’t always honest,
Roddy Doyle: ‘achieves his effects without resorting to explicit scenes of violence’. Martin Godwin for the Guardian
telling the barman he put a fiver on
Costa Rica in the World Cup but then
straight away informing us he hasn’t.
“So you haven’t read my book,” he
says to Fitzpatrick, telling us in the
same breath that he hasn’t actually
written one.
Doyle does the fun stuff so well that
we suppress doubts about these white
lies. But then comes the devastating
and comfortless finale, in which
Doyle conjures up a mind-bending
narrative swerve to jolt the novel
out of everyday realism. The gamble
comes off, as Doyle embodies Victor’s
buried trauma to make clear what
he has lost. The moment is horrible,
as it perhaps should be, but unlike
other recent novels about sexual
abuse – Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life
or Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling
– Doyle achieves his effects without
resorting to explicit scenes of violence.
Doyle has made clear in interviews
that the passage in which a Brother
remarks on his fondness for
Victor’s smile was based on his
own experience. There’s a sense of
fine margins haunting this book, an
awareness of how easily a life’s potential
can be snuffed out. By the end, the
book’s title takes on the air of a taunt,
as we’re left with an unutterably bleak
picture of institutional abuse, entirely
without hope.
pressed upon the queen’s favourite
granddaughter, the beautiful and
motherless Alexandra of Hesse. Eddy
(short for Albert Edward) was “good
and affectionate”, the young man’s
grandmother beseeched a reluctant
Alexandra, while shooing a handsome
Russian grand duke away from her
equally lovely sister, Ella.
Both schemes failed. Ella, laden with
jewels that annoyingly outdazzled
those adorning England’s own
incomparable monarch, married her
Russian Sergei. Eddy, rejected by
Alexandra, found himself conscripted
into an alliance with the pleasingly
anglicised (she grew up in Richmond)
May of Teck. Dear May was so much
better suited to the English throne
than “eine kleine deutsche Prinzessin”,
Victoria tactlessly crowed to her eldest
daughter, Vicky, herself the widowed
mother of three Prussian princesses.
Fate outwitted her latest
matchmaking plot. In January 1892,
six weeks before his wedding, Eddy
unhelpfully died of diphtheria,
leaving his fiancee stranded, if not
altogether bereft. Briskly reslotted
into a marriage with the next in line,
the accommodating May became
one of Victoria’s success stories. As
Queen Mary, consort of George V, her
notoriously acquisitive habits as a
guest proved less important than the
conscientious fulfilment of her royal
role. King George, though he regretted
being deprived of his own heart’s choice
(“Missy”, the future Queen Marie of
Romania), might have done a lot worse.
Anarchy was the brooding giant
that overshadowed Queen Victoria’s
manipulative scheming. Cadbury’s
book opens with the shocking 1881
assassination of Tsar Alexander II.
When Alexandra of Hesse, supported
by her tricksy German cousin Willy, the
future kaiser, agreed to convert faiths
in order to marry Nicky Romanov (this
was a real love match), Victoria felt
terrified. Her fear increased when the
sudden death of the groom’s powerful
father (Alexander III) precipitated
Nicky into a role for which everyone
perceived the weak young man to be
woefully unsuited. “May God help
them,” wrote the ageing queen.
What followed was shock upon
shock. Elizabeth of Austria was
stabbed to death in 1898. The Prince
of Wales narrowly escaped being
murdered in 1900, the year King
Umberto of Italy was killed. In 1905,
Elizabeth of Hesse’s Russian husband,
Sergei, died when his royal carriage
was blown to bits. In 1906, a bomb
narrowly missed Ena, the youngest of
Victoria’s granddaughters, bloodying
her wedding dress during celebrations
of her marriage to the king of Spain.
The fall of the Romanovs occupies
the superb last pages of Cadbury’s
book. Alexandra of Hesse had lost the
support even of Ella long before she
herself faced a firing squad in 1917,
huddled with her children in a dank
cellar. Shot at again and again, the
Romanov women mysteriously eluded
death. Later, as the corpses were
hauled on to a truck, a sudden spew
of diamonds revealed the secret of the
Romanovs’ survival. Each dress was
densely lined with jewels, concealed
for their ill-fated flight.
Dynastic mergers, we may deduce
from Deborah Cadbury’s account,
offer no defence against the whims of
history. This catastrophe-laced slice of
royal history offers a ripping read.
To order Smile for £11.24 go to
guardianbookshop.com or call
0330 333 6846
HISTORY
Victoria’s
fateful game
of thrones
Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking:
The Royal Marriages That
Shaped Europe
Deborah Cadbury
Bloomsbury £25, pp400
No shrinking violet when it came to
letting her wishes be known, Queen
Victoria was never more oppressively
assertive than in deploying her band of
biddable grandchildren to raise Europe
from discord into bliss, yoked together
by royal alliances through which the
liberal vision of the queen’s revered
late husband, Prince Albert, would
mature and flourish. Peace would be
guaranteed throughout a continent
that had been torn apart by Napoleon’s
depredations. Britain, working hand
in gilded glove with a unified Germany
(led by Victoria’s eldest daughter
and an enlightened imperial spouse),
would naturally enjoy supreme control.
That was the idea, and it was partly
due to Victoria’s manipulative energy
that seven of her 42 grandchildren
eventually became crowned rulers.
Much of the pathos of Deborah
Cadbury’s absorbing book stems from
our knowledge of what happened next.
At home, Victoria naturally began
by seeking a suitable wife for the
Prince of Wales’s eldest boy. George,
the obedient younger brother, was
dispatched to sea while the English
throne’s dissolute future heir was
36
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
Miranda Seymour
To order Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking
for £21.25 go to guardianbookshop.com
or call 0330 333 6846
‘The “oik of Avon” applies
plies
for a Shakespeare coat
at of
arms in Upstart Crow
ow
TV, page 40
¥
GRAPHIC NOVEL OF THE MONTH
Aftermath
of an Iraqi
childhood
Poppies of Iraq
Brigitte Findakly and Lewis Trondheim
Drawn & Quarterly £16.99, pp120
Brigitte Findakly begins her wise,
touching and wonderfully vivid
graphic memoir, Poppies of Iraq, in the
archaeological ruins of Nimrud, which
lie outside Mosul where she grew up.
Founded by the Assyrians more than
3,000 years ago, Nimrud holds a special
place in her memory, for as a girl it was
to its dusty remains that her parents –
her Iraqi dentist father and his Frenchborn wife – would drive their family
on Fridays, a picnic stowed in the car.
There she would climb on the ancient
stones, and sometimes her father would
photograph her by the huge manheaded winged lions that guarded what
had once been the palace gates.
This was a long time ago: Findakly
was born shortly after the 1958 coup
in which King Faisal II was executed,
and almost a decade before Saddam
Hussein’s Ba’ath party came to power.
Things have changed in the years since.
In the 60s, the Iraqi government was
so keen to preserve the site that those
leaving it, and the ancient city of Hatra
a little further away, were subject to
searches so soldiers could check they
had not removed some precious artefact.
But who would visit Nimrud and
Hatra now? In 2015, Isis bulldozed
much of what remained of both.
IN BRIEF…
Findakly’s memoir covers an
extended period in Iraq’s recent history;
by the time it ends it is 2016, and the
cousins she left behind when her
family moved to France in the 70s have
finally followed her out, worn down
by years of war. Yet the half century
ticks by with amazing ease, its author
managing to tell both the story of a
(complicated, fearful) nation, and that
of one family of exiles coping with a
new life in Paris. Some of this seeming
effortlessness she owes to the warm,
deft drawings of her husband, Lewis
Trondheim, whose cartoons have a
marvellous economy. Mostly, though, it
is thanks to the dexterous way she flips
between disjointed memories of her
Orthodox Christian childhood in Iraq
and the holidays she spent there as a
young woman, when the country was
descending into totalitarianism.
As the gap between the two time
frames grows ever wider, there is a
melancholy letting go. Although it was
the Gulf war that put her return visits
to an end, she knows that even had
they continued, she would have felt
increasingly distant from her birthplace:
having become a French woman, she
ceased to be cut out for the restrictions
of Iraqi life. These days, Findakly’s
contact with Iraq consists solely of
the sometimes painful phone calls she
has with her relatives, now living in
America, Canada and Sweden. Their
Islamophobia, born of their experiences
in a country where Christians are
increasingly persecuted, is hard for her
to hear. In her day, people got along; her
mother could walk down the street with
her head uncovered. But still, she will
not argue. Their voices are all she has
left of Iraq now. She is determined to go
on loving them exactly as they are.
Gerry Adams: An
Unauthorised Life
Malachi O’Doherty
Faber £14.99
Malachi O’Doherty deserves praise for
journeying into the interior world of
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams. This
unauthorised biography of the great Irish
republican survivor seeks to psychoanalyse
Adams like no other book before. It is a
journey into a heart of darkness and in
particular the dark secrets only unlocked in
2009 about Adams’s abusive father.
The author is critical of Adams’s role in
support of the IRA’s “armed struggle”, but is
also scrupulously fair in noting that without
him there would be no ceasefire, no peace
process, no movement from violence into
constitutional politics. One of the most
striking revelations in this book is how, from
even the 1980s, the British security and
political establishment saw Adams’s survival
at the top of the republican movement as
essential in directing the organisation away
from armed insurrection. Henry McDonald
American War
Omar El Akkad
Picador £14.99
To order Poppies of Iraq for £14.44 go
to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330
333 6846
100 BEST NONFICTION
BOOKS OF ALL TIME
PAPERBACK OF THE WEEK
James Gleick
Time Travel
By Robert McCrum
Fourth Estate £9.99
NO 84
An Inquiry Into the
Nature and Causes
of the Wealth of
Nations
Adam Smith (1776)
1776 was an annus
mirabilis for English
prose, a year to
compare with 1859 (Darwin’s On the
Origin of Species; Dickens’s A Tale
of Two Cities; Mill’s On Liberty). In
February, Gibbon published the first
volume of The History of the Decline
and Fall of the Roman Empire. In
March, Adam Smith, a star of the
Scottish Enlightenment who singlehandedly invented modern political
economy, launched the work known
as The Wealth of Nations.
Smith’s was a work of common
sense, braiding history, philosophy
and sociology in a compelling
tapestry of theory and experience.
David Hume declared that the
book had “depth and solidity and
acuteness, and is so much illustrated
by curious facts, that it must at last
take the public attention”.
It was Smith’s doctrine, music
to the ears of energetic new
Americans, that a nation’s labour
is the source of its basic means,
combined with the provocative
suggestion that self-interest is
the only criterion of economic
behaviour. A civilised society is a
trading society. “Nobody ever saw
a dog make a fair and deliberate
exchange of one bone for another
with another dog,” Smith writes.
“Nobody ever saw one animal by its
gestures and natural cries signify to
another, this is mine, that yours; I
am willing to give this for that… But
man has almost constant occasion
for the help of his brethren, and
it is in vain for him to expect it
from their benevolence only. He
will be more likely to prevail if he
can interest their self-love in his
favour…”
Smith’s transforming insight was
that a nation’s real wealth lies in
the traffic of goods and services. To
maximise this, government should
not restrict a nation’s productive
capacity, but set it free. Another
theme was that productive capacity
rests on the division of labour.
Smith cites the example of pinmakers: “A workman not educated
to this business (which the division
of labour has rendered a distinct
trade), nor acquainted with the use
of the machinery employed in it (to
the invention of which the same
division of labour has probably
given occasion), could scarce,
perhaps, with his utmost industry,
make one pin in a day, and certainly
could not make 20.” The division of
labour would leave producers with a
surplus that they can use to invest in
more machinery.
Smith also believed in limited
government. It was the duty of
good government to keep the
market economy open and free.
Enter George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson, et al. The fact that The
Wealth of Nations was published
in the year of the Declaration
of Independence lends added
significance to Smith’s prediction
that America “will be one of the
foremost nations of the world”.
For an extended version of this review
go to theguardian.com/books
Are we trapped in the present or could
the past and future unfurl to us at will?
James Gleick’s latest offering sets out to
question the questions, probing how the
idea of time travel emerged, gripped our
imagination and shaped our society.
It is evident who’s the hero of this
journey. “The inventions of HG Wells
colour every time-travel story that
followed,” writes Gleick. It’s easy to
forget that time travel is a relatively
recent notion. For most of human
history, change was incremental –
yesterday looked much like today,
today much like tomorrow. “Before
futurism could be born, people had
to believe in progress,” he writes. The
development of technology, culminating
in the industrial revolution, made that
possible. As change abounded, the
future, and what it might look like,
became a subject for speculation.
As Gleick reveals, problems and
paradoxes immediately spewed forth.
Is our future governed by fate, or free
will? Does time travel always mean
ending up naked, your clothes left in the
present? What would happen if a time
traveller killed his or her grandfather
when he was a child? “All the paradoxes
are time loops,” writes Gleick as he
canvasses the myriad responses to such
conundrums. “They all force us to think
about causality.”
Among those doing the thinking are
philosophers and scientists. Attempting
to tackle the idea that wormholes –
tunnels in spacetime – could be turned
into time machines allowing journeys
into the past, even Stephen Hawking
has entered the fray, concluding in his
“chronology protection conjecture” that
the laws of physics prevent it.
Gleick deftly navigates the twists and
turns of our fascination with time travel,
investigating its evolution in literature,
exploring scientific principles that
have hinted at or scotched the idea, and
teasing apart the curious spell it has
cast across society with its suggestion of
immortality. Nicola Davis
To order Time Travel: A History for
£8.49 go to guardianbookshop.com or
call 0330 333 6846
Set in the US some 60 years hence, Omar
El Akkad’s dystopian debut imagines civil
war breaking out after a group of southern
states revolt against a fossil-fuel ban
imposed when extreme flooding leaves
Florida under water. The conflict (stoked
by a rising pan-Arab empire) is described
from the vantage point of the early 22nd
century, by a dying historian anxious to
record the pivotal role of his Louisianaborn aunt, groomed in childhood to join the
insurgency against the north. While there’s
no shortage of action in her grisly journey
from victim to aggressor, American War is
solemn, slow and somewhat schoolmasterly
in its grim determination to bring the
miseries of present-day trouble spots to the
US. The premise is provocative – not least in
how global warming trumps all else to trigger
discord – but too often the drama feels like
an afterthought. Anthony Cummins
Go, Went, Gone
Jenny Erpenbeck, translated
by Susan Bernofsky
Portobello Books £14.99
Time has begun to torture Richard, a
recently retired university professor
in Berlin, mired in lonely memories and
worried that his former colleagues won’t
miss him. One evening he sees a news
report about a group of African asylum
seekers on hunger strike in the city. He
is moved by their plight and decides to
research the refugee crisis, befriending
them and offering practical and emotional
support. Likewise, they help him in
unexpected ways.
This new novel by the author of The End
of Days and Visitation is full of departures
and disappearances. It is both a gripping
story about the life of the modern migrant
and a meditation on how we all find
meaning in life. Anita Sethi
To order any of the books above for £12.74
each, go to guardianbookshop.com or call
0330 333 6846
CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK
On a Magical Do-Nothing Day
Beatrice Alemagna,
translated by Jill Davis
Thames & Hudson £12.95, ages 4-8
Anyone keen to pass on a love of the
great outdoors will welcome the latest
picture book from Italian-French
talent Beatrice Alemagna, about a
child lured away from technology to
find fun in a forest. Using a beautiful
earthy palette and intricate lines,
loops and curls, the author/illustrator
evokes a woodland world so full of
textures and sights you can almost feel
the shafts of sunlight on your back.
It’s a wet day and, in a scene familiar
to most parents, a mum (herself glued
to a laptop, presumably working) snaps
at her offspring to do something other
than play computer games. The child,
whose gender seems ambiguous
(great for little readers who
can decide for themselves),
skulks off into the woods
in a neon orange raincoat.
Having lost the computer
console, the child grows
captivated by the forest’s
sensuous delights – from
stroking slimy snails to
slurping icy rainwater.
Alemagna’s illustrations start to
lighten as the child’s heart lifts. In the
tale’s turning point, the child appears to
morph into the landscape, the bulbous
raincoat suddenly resembling a magical
toadstool, while we’re told “I knew that
there was something special close by”.
In its celebration of the sights,
sounds and squelchiness of the
outdoors, On a Magical
Do-Nothing Day is reminiscent
of Michael Rosen’s
We’re Going on a Bear
Hunt, but it goes a step
further, highlighting the
transformational potential of
nature. Great fun and never
preachy, it’s already picked up
one award; others ought to follow.
Imogen Carter
To order On a Magical Do-Nothing Day
for £11.04 go to guardianbookshop.com
or call 0330 333 6846
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
37
Charts & puzzles
PHOTOGRAPHY
YOUR PICTURES OF…
1
2
CLASS
Each Sunday we run a selection of
contributions from a weekly themed
photography assignment. To see a wider
selection of readers’ entries each week go
to theguardian.com/witness.
Next theme: wild (to appear in 17
September issue). Share your photos of
what ‘wild’ means to you at theguardian.
com/witness by 10am, Thursday 14
September.
1 | ‘School trip in Lisbon: a class on its way
to the theatre’
Keith Emerick/GuardianWitness
2 | ‘123 ABC, seen in the playground’
Jenny Downing/GuardianWitness
3 | ‘The last class I taught in Shenzhen,
China. Miss it...’
Greg Pauline/GuardianWitness
3
4 | ‘Class(y) dressing: this pair were not to
be outclassed at a recent wedding on the
promenade’
Pam Mackay/GuardianWitness
W
POP
Aldous Harding
Drop everything:
in addition to her
November UK tour,
the intense New
Zealand chanteuse
(right) has just
announced her largest
UK headline date next
March.
Tour starts Glasgow,
17 November, ends
Bristol, 24 November;
plus Shepherd’s Bush
Empire, London W12,
28 March 2018
Moses Sumney
LA alt-soul man
Moses Sumney’s
debut album,
Aromanticism, is
shaping up to be
a must-hear.His
imminent European
tour has a paltry two
UK dates.
Brighton, 30 October;
London, 31 October
THEATRE
CLASSICAL
Cumnock Tryst
Composer James
MacMillan’s festival
ranges from a Colin
Currie solo percussion
recital to gospel and
soul music.
Various venues, East
Ayrshire, 28 Sept to
1 October
1. Which English writer, best known for
her work A Vindication of the Rights of
Woman, died in 1797?
2. Which sport held its first world
championship at the Empire Stadium,
Wembley, in 1936?
3. Which foreign finance company
launched a credit card in the UK in 1963?
4. Guinea-Bissau gained independence
from which country in 1974?
5. Name the two BBC presenters who
were seriously injured in a helicopter crash
in 1988.
6. Drain You was on the B-side to which
rock track released in the UK in 1991?
7. Which sci-fi TV show made its debut on
Fox in 1993?
ACROSS
DOWN
1 Singular quote coming up
about hard morality (6)
Imagining the Divine
Tracing the rise of
Judaism, Christianity,
Islam, Hinduism
and Buddhism with
fabulous images,
scrolls, statues, coins
and even sarcophagi.
Ashmolean Museum,
Oxford, 19 October to
18 February 2018
Canterbury, Norwich,
Woking and Plymouth.
Opens Glyndebourne,
Sussex, 7 October
Glyndebourne Tour
Mozart’s Così fan
tutte, Rossini’s Il
barbiere di Siviglia and
Brett Dean’s Hamlet
tour Milton Keynes,
1 Fast, funny lines, so
deadpan (14)
8 Unorthodox man with
muscular movement
breaking concrete (9)
9 Gives up thrills (5)
11 Singing group from
Switzerland or around
Italy (5)
12 Grain scattered in enclosure
for fish (8)
14 Soldier with lament missing
last lover (8)
15 Irritation caused by trench
lacking depth (4)
18 Excited back before start of
game (4)
19 Inept act working for meagre
payment (8)
22 Appeal by spiritual novice (8)
23 Colour for all to see in strip of
material (5)
25 Condemn revolutionary
painting? Be quiet (5)
26 Display power in second
challenge, ousting king (9)
27 I’m afraid a gala’s out of order
in unfinished church (7,7)
Chosen by
Kitty Empire,
Susannah Clapp,
Fiona Maddocks,
Luke Jennings and
Laura Cumming
DANCE
Phoenix at Home
A celebration of female
choreographers
Answers on page 39
NO 3700
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3
4
5
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7
Name
Address
8
9
11
10
12
Post code
13
How many times a month do you
buyThe Observer?
14
15
16
How many times a week do you
buyThe Guardian?
17
18
Tick here if you do not wish to receive any further
information from The Observer or other companies
carefully selected by us
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
No enclosures please other than name and address.
Results on Sunday week
£15 book tokens for the first five
correct solutions opened. Solutions
postmarked not later than Saturday
night to: The Observer PO Box 6604,
Birmingham, B26 3RW or fax 0121 742
1313. The first three correct solutions
opened will receive a set of stylish
Penguin Dictionaries, worth £24
27
2 Theatre upset with
composition involving
new organ, sadly
undesirable (7,3,5)
3 Superficial, relentless,
securing vote (8)
4 Poorly covered by basic
kilt (4)
5 Vicious bile to assess and
AZED CROSSWORD For a different challenge see page 39
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
A quiz about events that happened on this
day, 10 September, throughout history
ART
EVERYMAN CROSSWORD
38
ON THIS DAY
by Phoenix Dance
Theatre.
Stanley & Audrey
Burton theatre, Leeds,
27-30 September
The Lady From the Sea
Kwame Kwei-Armah
directs Nikki AmukaBird in Elinor Cook’s
new version of Ibsen’s
1888 drama.
Donmar, London
WC2, 12 October to 2
December
The Tin Drum
Kneehigh’s Mike
Shepherd directs
Carl Grose’s stage
adaptation of Günter
Grass’s epic novel.
With music by Charles
Hazlewood.
Liverpool Everyman,
28 September to
14 October; West
Yorkshire Playhouse,
Leeds, 17-28 October;
then touring
4
eliminate (10)
6 Taste defeat, caught out (6)
7 UN institution cruel cynic is
out to change (8,7)
10 Small article cut by edges of
curvy tool (6)
13 Reporters in funny drama
almost flattened (10)
16 Religious leader with time for
poor player (6)
17 Servant following law
supported by part of Bible
with doubtful expression (8)
20 An endless job providing
source of stability (6)
21 Information on eastern half
of vast city (6)
24 Ridge in portion of sail (4)
AZED No. 2,361 Plain
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A M A
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PRIZE RULES
£25 in book tokens for the
first three correct solutions
opened. Solutions postmarked
no later than Saturday to
AZED No. 2,361, The Observer,
90 York Way, London N1 9GU
27
28
13
T
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18
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M E M E
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32
Across 6, Am. In cas(h); 11, armagn(ac)
in Cole (Porter); 14, thu(MP in)g; 19, psi
in anag.; 28, i.e. ret in ae = arete; 31, an
up (rev.); 33, eger in scones; 34, lens
(rev.) + l; 35, E venter; ref. Badminton
Horse Trials.
Down 1, post + mi + stress; ref. regular
closure of POs; 2, the R in lay; 9, (b)allot;
10, anag. incl. E less I; markhor; 13, ref.
Vikram S. & third son of Adam & Eve; 23,
e in grice; 24, hidden rev.
AZED No. 2,358 prizewinners
1 Peter Carmichael, Liverpool
2 Bob Waters, Essex
3 R C Teuton, Frampton Cotterell
33
34
35
DOWN
Name
Address
Postcode
ACROSS
1 Excess 50 tons loaded onto ship that’s wrecked (6)
7 Exchanged (as once) page penned by hard-working
student (5)
12 Long-distance athlete creating damage on heart,
running (10)
13 Graves? At least some are briefly occupied by Christian
saint (7, 2 words)
14 Cigar that causes start of cancer of the mouth returning (5)
15 Imprisonment? King fills debts with limits of sentence (7)
18 Unusual oak trees with hard inner framework (8)
19 Talent? Genus has this for info (4)
20 Put on stone, getting old (6)
22 Woman losing head about bit of part to run through (6)
25 Festival – original one – take day off (4)
26 Billy etc end go on e.g. dodgems with one on board (8)
30 Pipes cut all over the place with sound lagging (7)
31 Cooked tart containing hint of apricot fragrance (5)
32 Merchant? One such with onions includes me (7)
33 Top of obelisk, pony dancing round right at centre of one (10)
34 Old cattle fair: have a go with stall, getting rid of the lot (5)
35 Scottish mounts? Pares down around start of climb (6)
FILM
1 You may need key to get at this gem (7)
2 To murder a spy is devious, one only pretending to suffer for
the cause (12)
3 Taken to court? Praise in hearing (5)
4 Manx figures embellished skirt essayist has on (9)
5 Composer replacing director with soprano displaying special
gift (6)
6 Directs Tree playing in opening of stage section (6)
8 Upland country, wide and abandoned (4)
9 Shortly to bag a record, or something similar? (8)
10 Line me up, excited about ascent for point closest to
satellite (12)
11 Plod retrogressively in part (4)
16 Pet, agitated, showing surge of energy, mental (9)
17 Giving youngster exercise, experience that involves
manipulation (8)
21 What’s-his-name in SA bagging duck as Aussie cheats (7)
23 Caddie found out recounting lots of old myths (6)
24 Mum on Sunday (but not always) cooked old-style chips? (6)
27 Stand sacks up (5)
28 Transported prince in wretched thing, contraption partly
stripped (4)
29 Mother with a son copies nanny (4)
The Chambers Dictionary (2014) is recommended.
MUSIC
BOOKS
Top 10 films at talktalktvstore.co.uk
Top 10 tracks on Spotify
Top 10 titles at Wordery.com
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Dir: James Gunn
Alien: Covenant Ridley Scott
A Dog’s Purpose Lasse Hallström
Unlocked Michael Apted
Life Daniel Espinosa
The Boss Baby Tom McGrath
Ghost in the Shell Rupert Sanders
Going in Style Zach Braff
Their Finest Lone Scherfig
Sleepless Baran bo Odar
New Rules Dua Lipa
Look What You Made Me Do Taylor Swift
Unforgettable French Montana
Friends Justin Bieber
Feels Calvin Harris
Mi Gente J Balvin
...Ready For It? Taylor Swift
Wild Thoughts DJ Khaled
Havana Camila Cabello
Sorry Not Sorry Demi Lovato
SUDOKU CLASSIC
21
9
7 5
7 9
3 4
9
2
9
1 6 8 3 5
7
4
2
6 4
5 3
1 8
3
1
Bator Sambuev
(Black)
Wei Yi
(White to play)
Bator Sambuev v Wei Yi
Tbilisi 2017 (round 1, game 1)
Catalan
1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 d5 4 d4 Bb4 5 g3
0-0 6 Bg2 Black is now able to win a pawn
but in return for the sacrifice White gets a
good centre.
6... dxc4 7 0-0 Nc6 8 a3 Be7 9 e4 Na5 10
Be3 Rb8 11 Qe2 b5 12 Rad1 Bb7 13 Ne5 a6
14 g4!? This gains some space and tries to
prepare a kingside attack.
14... Ne8 Computer engines are
unimpressed by White’s pawn sacrifice
and suggest that 14... Nd7!? is pretty good
for Black after either 15 f4 Nxe5 16 dxe5
(possibly 16 fxe5 but then Nc6 is annoying
to prevent d5) or 15 Nxd7 Qxd7. The general
point is that it’s hard for White to build up
a credible kingside attack while Black will
have serious play after he gets in... c5 with
either the d3 square for his rook if White
replies dxc5 or d4 for the knight if White
plays d5.
15 d5 exd5 15... Nd6 may be better, keeping
the tension.
16 Nxd5 Nd6 17 g5 Bxd5
17... Bxg5! 18 Bxg5 Qxg5 19 Nd7 Rbe8
Their second game, which Wei Yi had to
win to force a playoff, was in the balance
until very near the end.
35 f4?! 35 Ba3 looks better.
35... Qg6? 35... Nxf4 was still very unclear.
36 f5! Destabilising Black’s position.
36... exf5 37 Qd1 fxe4? 37... Nc3 38 Qxc2
Nxe4 39 Qxc4+ Kg7 was a better chance.
38 Qxd5+ Kg7 39 Rg1 Be8 40 Rf1 h4
To prevent Rf8 due to Rc1+ and Qg3 mate.
If 40... e3 41 Rf8 Bf7 42 e6 should win.
41 Bf8+ Kh8 42 Ba3 Kg7 43 Rf6 e3
44 Rxg6+ Bxg6 45 Qd7+ Kh8 46 Bf8
And Sambuev resigned.
SUDOKU SOLUTIONS
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Normal Sudoku rules apply, except the numbers in the cells contained
within grey lines add up to the figures in the corner. No number can be
repeated within each shape formed by the grey lines.
E D
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D O
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ANSWERS
On this day
1 Mary Wollstonecraft
2 Individual motorcycle speedway
3 American Express
4 Portugal
5 Mike Smith and Sarah Greene
6 Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
7 The X-Files
S Pollentine, Devon
Judy Patterson, Wirral
Mike Higgins, Corringham
Chris Fazey, Chester
J Potter, Cheshire
23 Bh3! Decisively preventing Nf5.
23... Rfd8 24 Rd4 Here Wei Yi resigned.
After 24... Rxd7 25 Rh4 f5 26 Qxh7+ Kf8
27 Qxg6 Nf7 28 Rh7 Bd6 29 Qg7+ Ke8 there
are various wins, including 30 Re1 Bxh2+
31 Kh1 Re7 32 Qg7+ Kd7 33 Bxf5+ and mate
soon follows.
21
Fill in the blank cells using the numbers 1 to 9. Each number must appear
just once in every row, column and 3x3 box.
Everyman No. 3698 winners
Bator Sambuev
(White to play)
KILLER
4
SOLUTION NO. 3699
The Whistler John Grisham
My Not So Perfect Life Sophie Kinsella
The Couple Next Door Shari Lapena
Disney Beauty and the Beast Disney film
No Man’s Land David Baldacci
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child JK Rowling,
Jack Thorne, John Tiffany
7 The World’s Worst Children 2 David Walliams
8 Betrayal Martina Cole
9 Dunkirk Joshua Levine
10 The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead
Wei Yi (Black)
8
6
4
2
7
3
1
5
9
14
4
U M C
11
2
5
3
1
4
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7
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A
9
7
1
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8
2
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14
15
2
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2
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8
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13
P
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1
7
9
8
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1
gave very decent play, though it’s very
complicated. One important point is that if
20 Nxf8 Bxd5 21 f4 the ridiculous Qf5!
should keep the balance.
18 Rxd5 c6 19 Rdd1 Qc7 20 Qh5 g6? A
misjudgement since it turns out that the
black squares are now very hard to defend.
21 Qh6 Nxe4? If 21... Rfd8 22 Bf4! Bf8
23 Qh4 Qe7 24 Ng4 Ne8 25 Bxb8 Rxb8
26 Qg3 Rc8 27 e5 with a clear advantage.
22 Nd7 Nd6 If 22... Rfd8 23 Bd4 f6 (23...
Bf8 24 Nxf8 Rxd4 25 Qxh7+ Kxf8 26 Rxd4
is utterly lost) 24 gxf6 soon leads to mate.
4
3
8
7
6
1
5
9
2
12
The 2017 Fide World Cup got under way
a week ago today in the Georgian capital,
Tblisi, with a suitably violent round in
which, as expected, there was a slaughter
of the tail. This is a function of the pairing
system that pits top v bottom in the first
round: No 1 Magnus Carlsen v the lowestrated player in the tournament, at just
2,255, No 128 Fide Master Oluwafemi
Balogun from Nigeria, etc.
The top 24 seeds all went though
though several had to go to playoffs and
the first casualty was No 25 Pavel Eljanov
(Ukraine), who lost both his games to
Aleksandr Lenderman (US, seeded 104).
But another function of this system is
to produce ever closer pairings in the
middle, culminating in 64 v 65 and sadly
all three English grandmasters have
now been knocked out. David Howell
and Gawain Jones both fell at the first
hurdle to Aryan Tari (Norway) and Jorge
Cori (Peru) respectively. While Michael
Adams went through fairly smoothly
in the first round, but lost to Maxim
Rodshtein (Israel) in round 2.
The system of two-game matches
followed, if necessary, on the third day by
rapidplay, blitz and finally “Armageddon”
is brutal and after the first round it
quickly becomes pretty random. By the
time you read this, the original 128 will
already have been culled to 32 and after
Monday it will be down to 16.
Perhaps the most dramatic first round
match featured the 18-year-old Chinese
champion, Wei Yi, who had to dig very
deep after losing the first game to the
Russian-Canadian Bator Sambuev.
7
4
2
5
1
6
9
8
3
AZED 2,358 Solution & notes
3
9
6
8
2
7
4
1
5
11
1
8
5
3
9
4
6
2
7
10
1
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2
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8
9
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9
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7
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1
8
2
8
4
8
3
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7
9
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7
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1
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6
8
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6
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3
9
5
9
3
6
8
2
4
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1
7
4
6
4
1
9
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7
8
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1
CHESS B Y J O N AT H A N S P E E L M A N
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
39
FULL TV AND
RADIO LISTINGS
Monday 11
PICKS OF
THE DAY
For today’s TV
see back page
to go on a date with a surgeon that winds
up having devastating consequences.
Accusations fly. Who is telling the truth?
Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd star.
and IAL Diamond, it’s at once joyous and
painful, a masterpiece of compassionate
cynicism. Jonathan Romney
RADIO
DOCUMENTARY
Crime Down Under: Prime Cut
Imagine… Cameron Mackintosh:
The Musical Man
BBC1, 10.45pm
Radio 4, 2.15pm
Alan Yentob interviews the billionaire
impresario, who turns out to be variously
a “creative bully” and a “great salesman”
with an unequalled passion for musical
theatre. A rewarding portrait. Mike Bradley
FILM
COMEDY
The Apartment
Sky Greats, 1.50pm, 4.05am
Upstart Crow
BBC2, 8.30pm
(Billy Wilder, 1960)
The Green-Eyed Monster. The Elizabethan
spoof returns in fine, hilarious fettle with
a tale about Will’s attempts to apply for
an official Shakespeare coat of arms. Cue:
devious obstruction on the part of Robert
Greene (Mark Heap steals the show) and
fawning before visiting Prince “Hotello”.
“Dunceling clumbletrousers” abound. Even
funnier than the first series..
Notwithstanding that the makers of Mad
Men must have pored over this line by line,
frame by frame, this is both one of the
great New York movies and one of the
great satirical studies of modern urban
mores – with a premise that that you could
almost imagine Wilder writing about back
in his early days in 30s Berlin. Jack Lemmon
is at his flustered best as “poor schnook”
(Wilder’s words) CC Baxter, an insurance
company worker who finds himself
loaning out his apartment to company
managers for their extramarital trysts
– only to find that one of the conquests
of his boss (Fred MacMurray) is elevator
operator Fran (Shirley MacLaine), the
woman Baxter loves. Scripted by Wilder
DRAMA
Liar
ITV, 9pm
This is an intriguing new six-part
psychological thriller that will really set you
thinking. A newly single teacher agrees
TV CHOICE
Rellik
BBC1, 9pm
Excellent new crime dramas are coming
thick and fast this autumn and writers
Jack and Harry Williams (the men behind
The Missing) return with a six-part
story that is among the best of the
bunch. DCI Gabriel Markham (Richard
Dormer, above) and his team, including
DI Elaine Shepard (Jodi Balfour, above),
are on the trail of a serial killer whom
they believe to have killed seven times
using methods involving hydrochloric
acid. When a potential culprit emerges,
Gabriel is torn between his belief that
they already know who the killer is, and
the seemingly irrefutable evidence found
at the last murder scene. To complicate
matters, some suspect that Gabriel’s
intimate connection to the case may be
compromising the search. Clever rewind
sequences illustrate Gabriel’s thought
processes in a well planned thriller that is
sure to have you gripped. Mike Bradley
Part of a refreshing season showcasing
crime fiction from present-day Australia,
this absorbing drama in two instalments
focuses on DSC Cato Kwong (Andrew
Leung), a disgraced Chinese-Australian
detective who has fallen off his perch
as “poster boy for the new multicultural
police force”. When he is called upon to
investigate the case of a headless torso
washed up in the remote mining town of
Hopetoun, he sees a chance to redeem
himself. Laced with dark humour, Adrian
Bean’s adaptation of Alan Carter’s novel
is blessed with an authentic-sounding
cast including Melbourne-born Christine
Stephen-Daly (Casualty) as Tess, local
officer and distracting love interest for Cato.
Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Cricket
Sky Sports Main Event, 10.30am
England v West Indies: Third Test, day five.
West Indies’ remarkable comeback at
Headingley – their first Test win in England
for 17 years – set up the perfect decider
at Lord’s. England skipper Joe Root will be
desperate to get revenge and today could
turn out to be a nail-biter. Jack Kinnersley
TELEVISION
BBC1
6.0
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Council House
Crackdown (T) 10.0 Homes
Under the Hammer (T) (R) 11.0
Dom on the Spot (T) 11.45 Thief
Trackers (T) 12.15 Bargain Hunt
(T) 1.0 News and Weather (T) 1.30
Regional News and Weather (T)
1.45 Doctors (T) 2.15 The Boss
(T) 3.0 Escape to the Country (T)
(R) 3.45 Garden Rescue (T) 4.30
Celebrity Money for Nothing (T)
5.15 Pointless (T) 6.0 News and
Weather (T) 6.30 Regional News
and Weather (T) 7.0 The One
Show (T) 7.30 Inside Out (T)
BBC2
ITV
6.0
6.0
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Council House Crackdown (R)
7.15 Garden Rescue (R) 8.0 The
Big Family Cooking Showdown
(R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire 11.0
Newsroom Live 12.0 Daily Politics
1.0 For What It’s Worth (R) 1.45
Coast (R) 2.0 Glorious Gardens
from Above (R) 2.45 Who Do
You Think You Are? (R) 3.45
Great British Railway Journeys
(R) 4.15 Planet Earth II (R) 5.15
Flog It! (R) 6.0 Richard Osman’s
House of Games 6.30 Eggheads
7.0 Antiques Road Trip (T)
Channel 4
Channel 5
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy
Kyle Show (T) 10.30 This Morning
(T) 12.30 Loose Women (T) 1.30
News (T) 1.55 Local News (T) 2.0
Judge Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) (R) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) 5.0 The Chase (T) 6.0
Local News (T) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Emmerdale (T) Emma tries to
make amends. 7.30 Coronation
Street (T) Andy tastes freedom
as Phelan takes a risk.
6.0
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45 The
King of Queens (T) (R) 8.0
Everybody Loves Raymond (T)
(R) 9.0 Frasier (T) (R) 9.30 Frasier
(T) (R) 10.0 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R) 11.0
Coast vs Country (T) (R) 12.0
News (T) 12.05 Couples Come
Dine with Me (T) (R) 1.05 French
Collection (T) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 Cheap Cheap Cheap (T)
4.0 A Place in the Sun: Home or
Away (T) 5.0 Come Dine with
Me (T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) (R)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
6.0
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
(T) 11.15 Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It
Away (T) (R) 12.10 News (T) 12.15
The Hotel Inspector (T) (R) 1.10
Access (T) 1.15 Home and Away
(T) 1.45 Neighbours (T) 2.15 NCIS
(T) (R) 3.15 Jane Doe: Ties
That Bind (James A Contner,
2007) (T) 5.0 News (T) 5.30
Neighbours (T) (R) 6.0 Home and
Away (T) (R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
Cricket on 5 (T) England v West
Indies. Mark Nicholas presents
highlights of the fifth day of the
third Test, which was at Lord’s.
BBC4
7.0
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Brushing Up On: British Bridges
(T) (R) Danny Baker presents a
guide to British bridges, using
archive footage and his own
research.
8.0 EastEnders (T)
8.30 Panorama: Why Mum Died –
Britain’s Sepsis Crisis (T) Alistair
Jackson meets families of people
whose deaths from sepsis might
have been prevented.
9.0 Rellik (T) New series. DCI Gabriel
Markham and his team work
to find a serial killer. Richard
Dormer and Jodi Balfour star.
8.0 University Challenge (T)
8.30 Upstart Crow (T) New series.
An African prince is in town and
Will decides to befriend him.
Comedy starring David Mitchell.
9.0 The Search for a New Earth (T)
(1/2) Stephen Hawking explores
the possibility of humans
inhabiting other planets.
8.0
Countrywise: Guide to Britain
(T) (R) Liz Bonnin takes a trip
down the river Severn to witness
the famous tidal bore.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Eileen
and Nicola pay a surprise visit to
Phelan’s house.
9.0 Liar (T) New series. A teacher
finds herself entangled in a web of
deceit and confusion after a date.
8.0
Jamie’s Quick & Easy Food
(T) Recipes for a tender lamb
shoulder-sharing feast.
8.30 Superfoods: The Real Story
(T) Kate Quilton investigates
whether raw milk is a safe option
for children with allergies.
9.0 The Undateables (T) New series.
The return of the programme
following disabled people as
they search for romance.
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.45 Imagine… Cameron Mackintosh
– The Musical Man (T) Alan
Yentob chats to the impresario.
12.15 Live at the Apollo (T) (R) 1.0
Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 1.05 BBC News (T)
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Astronauts: Do You Have What
It Takes? (T) (R) The remaining
candidates head to a secret
facility in Sweden.
12.15 Sign Zone Celebrity MasterChef
(T) (R) 1.15 No More Boys and
Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender
Free? (T) (R) 2.15 This Is BBC2 (T)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 Lisa Riley’s Baggy Body Club (T)
(R) Cameras follow the actor as
she deals with excess skin.
11.40 The Jonathan Ross Show (T) (R)
With guests Jack Dee, Natalie
Dormer and Rag’n’Bone Man.
12.40 Jackpot247 3.0 The Jeremy
Kyle Show (T) (R) 3.55 ITV
Nightscreen 5.05 The Jeremy
Kyle Show (T) (R)
10.0 Gogglebox (T) (R)
11.05 Britain’s Benefit Tenants (R)
12.05 Random Acts (T) 12.35 60 Days in
Jail (T) 1.25 The Supervet: Bionic
Specials (T) (R) 2.25 Aligarh
(2015) Indian drama starring
Manoj Bajpayee. 4.30 Location,
Location, Location (T) (R) 5.25
Kirstie’s Fill Your House for Free
(T) (R) 5.30 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
10.0 Britannia: Secrets of the Royal
Yacht (T) (R) (1/2)
11.05 The Frozen Ground
(Scott Walker, 2013) (T) A state
trooper tries to bring a serial
killer to justice with the help of
the only woman to have escaped
from him. Fact-based crime
drama with Nicolas Cage.
12.55 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 GPs:
Behind Closed Doors (T) (R) 4.0
Criminals: Caught on Camera
(T) (R) 4.45 House Doctor (T) (R)
10.0 Blood and Gold: The Making
of Spain With Simon Sebag
Montefiore (T) (R)
11.0 A Very British Murder With
Lucy Worsley (T) (R)
12.0 She-Wolves: England’s Early
Queens (T) (R) 1.0 How to Be
Bohemian With Victoria Coren
Mitchell (T) (R) 2.0 Dangerous
Earth (T) (R) 3.0 The Normans
(T) (R)
Surprise. 8pm Interval. A chance to hear some
of the music associated with the first Edinburgh
festival, but recorded by tonight’s soloists on disc.
8.20 Mendelssohn: Symphony No 2, Lobgesang.
Dorothea Röschmann (soprano), Emma Bell
(soprano), Werner Güra (tenor), Edinburgh Festival
Chorus, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Pablo HerasCasado. 10.0 Music Matters: Sound and Nature (R)
10.45 The Essay: Paradise Lost – Sean O’Brien.
Sean O’Brien discusses Milton’s adventurousness
in his epic poem. (1/5) 11.0 Jazz Now. Nerija in
concert at Pizza Express Jazz Club London. 12.30
Through the Night: Kristjan Järvi conducts the
Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic
worse in education than those born in autumn or
winter. (1/5) 2.0 The Archers (R) 2.15 Drama:
Crime Down Under – Prime Cut, by Alan Carter,
adapted by Adrian Bean. Starring Andrew Leung.
(1/2) 3.0 Counterpoint: Semi-Final Two (11/13)
3.30 The Food Programme: Zero Compromise – A
Natural Wine Story (R) 4.0 Printing a Nation:
Nationhood (R) (2/2) Anindita Ghosh explores
how the printing press made modern India. 4.30
Beyond Belief: Khadijah. Ernie Rea and guests
Fatima Barkatulla, Rania Hafaz, Asad Zaman and
Mona Saddiqui discuss the life of Khadijah, the first
wife of the prophet Muhammad. (5/7) 5.0 PM
5.57 Weather 6.0 News 6.30 Just a Minute (6/8)
(LW joins at 6.45) 7.0 The Archers. Tony needs to
let go, and it may be a case of better the devil you
know for Joe. 7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup. 7.45
The Pursuits of Darleen Fyles (R) (1/5) 8.0 The
DUP Deal. Chris Page examines the deal between
the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionists.
8.30 Crossing Continents: Bulgaria on a Cliff Edge
(R) 9.0 Natural Histories: Snail (R) 9.30 The
English Fix: George Orwell (R) 9.59 Weather 10.0
The World Tonight 10.45 Book at Bedtime: Crime
Down Under – The Dry, by Jane Harper. (6/10) 11.0
Blast: Embarrassing Bodies. Daljit Nagra talks to
poets writing about shame, embarrassment, stage
fright and teenage self-consciousness. (4) 11.30
Today in Parliament 12.0 News 12.30 Book of
the Week South and West (R) 12.48 Shipping
Forecast 1.0 As World Service 5.20 Shipping
Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for the Day
5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of the Day:
Tara Robinson on the Barn Owl
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
11.0am Santos v Corinthians 12.30 Premier
League Review 1.30 Cricket: Hero CPL 2.30 Uefa
Europa League Magazine 3.30 Uefa Champions
League Magazine 4.0 Ligue 1 Review 5.0 Premier
League Review 6.0 The Irrelevant Giant 6.15
Extreme Sailing Series Highlights 6.45 SPFL
Highlights 7.15 MotoGP Catch-up Show 7.30
Live Speedway: Poole v Swindon. The first leg of
SGB Premiership play-off semi-finals. 9.30 Goals
Reload 10.0 Premier League Reload 10.15 WTA
Tennis: Japan Women’s Open 12.15 The Prince of
Pennsylvania 1.15 MotoGP Catch-Up Show 1.30
Vanarama National League Highlights 2.0 Cricket:
Hero CPL 3.0 Live WTA Tennis: Women’s Open.
Day two in Tokyo.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 7.0
Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 8.0 Storm City 9.0
The Guest Wing 10.0 The West Wing 11.0 The West
Wing 12.0 Without a Trace 1.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 2.0 Blue Bloods 3.0 The British 4.0
The West Wing 5.0 The West Wing 6.0 Without
a Trace 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 8.0
Blue Bloods 9.0 Big Little Lies 10.05 Last Week
Tonight with John Oliver 10.40 Real Time With Bill
Maher 11.50 The Immortal Life Of Henrietta
Lacks (2017) 1.40 Looking 2.15 Without a Trace
3.10 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 4.05 The
West Wing 5.0 The West Wing
E4
All programmes from 8am to 7pm are double
bills. 6.0am Hollyoaks 6.30 Coach Trip: Road
to Zante 7.0 Made in Chelsea 8.0 Melissa & Joey
9.0 2 Broke Girls 10.0 Baby Daddy 11.0 How I
Met Your Mother 12.0 The Goldbergs 1.0 The Big
Bang Theory 2.0 Melissa & Joey 3.0 Baby Daddy
4.0 2 Broke Girls 5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0 The
Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach Trip:
Road to Zante – Final Week 8.0 Home Alone
(1990) 10.0 Celebs Go Dating 11.05 The Big Bang
40
VARIATIONS
Theory 11.35 The Big Bang Theory 12.05 The IT
Crowd 12.40 The IT Crowd 1.10 Celebs Go Dating
2.15 First Dates Hotel 3.15 Tattoo Fixers 4.05
Rude(ish) Tube 4.30 Rude(ish) Tube 4.55 How I
Met Your Mother 5.20 How I Met Your Mother
Film4
11.0am Jubal (1956) 1.05 Apache
Territory (1958) 2.30 Shane (1953) 4.50
Guns at Batasi (1964) 6.55 Field of
Dreams (1989) 9.0 Prometheus (2012)
11.25 The Negotiator (1998) 2.10 Gone Too Far! (2013)
Sky1
6.0am Road Wars 7.0 Hawaii Five-0 8.0
Monkey Life 8.30 Monkey Life 9.0 The Dog
Whisperer 10.0 Modern Family 10.30 Modern
Family 11.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 12.0 Hawaii Five-0
1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 3.0
Supergirl 4.0 Stargate SG-1 5.0 Futurama 5.30
Modern Family 6.0 Modern Family 6.30 The
Simpsons 7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons
8.0 The Simpsons 8.30 The Simpsons 9.0
Green Zone (2010) 11.15 Karl Pilkington:
The Moaning of Life 12.15 A League of Their Own
1.15 The Force: Manchester 2.15 Hawaii Five-0
3.05 Motorway Patrol 3.30 Motorway Patrol
4.0 Animal 999 4.30 Animal 999 5.0 The Dog
Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am-10.0 Good Morning Sports Fans
10.0 Premier League Daily 10.30 Live Test
Cricket: England v West Indies. Coverage of the
fifth and final day of the series-concluding third
Test at Lord’s. 6.0 Test Cricket: The Verdict
6.30 Sky Sports News at 6 7.0 Live MNF:
West Ham Utd v Huddersfield Town (kick-off
8pm). 11.0 Through the Night 12.0 Live NFL:
Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints (kickoff 12.10am) 4.0 Live NFL: Denver Broncos
v Los Angeles Chargers (kick-off TBA)
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
The People’s History Show (T) 10.30 Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 The Jonathan Ross Show (T)
(R) 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05 After Midnight
2.35-5.05 ITV Nightscreen
ITV WALES As ITV except 8.0-8.30
Homeless: Stories From The Street (T) 10.40
Sharp End (T) 11.10-11.40 Wales on TV (T)
SCOTTISH As STV North
ULSTER As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30 Lesser
Spotted Journeys (T) 12.40 Teleshopping 1.403.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC1 NORTH 12.15am-1.0 The Super
League Show (T)
BBC1 NORTH EAST 12.15am-1.0 The
Super League Show (T)
BBC1 NORTH WEST 12.15am-1.0 The
Super League Show (T)
BBC1 SCOTLAND 7.30pm-8.0 Grand
Tours of Scotland’s Lochs (T)
BBC1 WALES 7.30pm-8.0 X-Ray: Back
to Class (T)
BBC1 N IRELAND 7.30pm-8.0 Home
Ground (T) 10.40 Peacemakers (T) 11.40
Imagine (T) 1.10-1.55 Live at the Apollo (T) (R)
BBC2 SCOTLAND 7.0pm-8.0 This
Farming Life (T)
BBC2 WALES 11.15pm It’s My Shout (T)
11.30 Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?
(T) (R) 12.30-1.15 Coast (T) (R)
9.0
Police Interceptors (T)
New series. The return of the
documentary following the
work of elite crime-fighting
units. Includes news update.
Paddington Station 24/7 (T)
New series. The return of the
programme that goes behind
the scenes at London’s transport
hubs, this time at Paddington.
8.0
Dangerous Earth (T) (R)
DrHelen Czerski presents this
documentary revealing the inner
workings of natural wonders,
beginning with an avalanche.
8.30 Dangerous Earth (T) (R)
All about volcanoes.
9.0 The Normans (T) (R) The
expansion toward southern
Europe. Last in the series.
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.33 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw 10.0
Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Scott Mills 4.0
Greg James 5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Greg James 7.0
Annie Mac 9.0 Specialist Chart With Phil Taggart
10.0 Huw Stephens 1.0 Friction 4.0 Adele Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon Mayo 7.0
Paul Jones 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0 Ricky Ross’s New
Tradition (4) 11.0 David Rodigan 12.0 Johnnie
Walker Meets Elkie Brooks (R) 1.0 Johnnie Walker
Meets Alice Cooper (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists:
Jazz, Great British Songbook & Hidden Treasures
5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Suzy Klein explores potential
companion pieces for Rimsky-Korsakov’s
Scheherazade, and Simon Rattle talks about the
ideas and influences that are important to him.
12.0 Composer of the Week: Alexander Goehr.
Donald Macleod talks to the composer about his
life and career. (1/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert. Soprano Sophie Bevan is accompanied by
pianist Sebastian Wybrew for an all-English recital,
including songs by Britten, Gurney and Vaughan
Williams. Live from the Wigmore Hall. 2.0
Afternoon Concert: Celebrating Simon Rattle. The
first of week of concerts featuring Simon Rattle
and the Berlin Philharmonic. Boulez: Éclat. Mahler:
Symphony No 7. Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra.
4.30 In Tune. Music and arts news. 6.30
Composer of the Week (R) (1/5) 7.30 In Concert:
Edinburgh 70 – Usher Hall Opening Concert. Jamie
MacDougall presents the opening concert of the
Edinburgh international festival, recorded at the
Usher Hall on 5 August. Haydn: Symphony No 94,
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. Presented by John Humphrys and Sarah
Montague. 7.48 Thought for the Day, with the Rt
Rev James Jones, former bishop of Liverpool. 9.0
The English Fix: George Orwell. Patrick Wright
returns with the programme in which he examines
perceived threats to English identity. He begins by
looking at George Orwell’s essay The Lion and the
Unicorn. (1/4) 9.30 Oliver Burkeman Is Busy: In
Praise of Idleness (R) LW: 9.45 Daily Service 10.0
Woman’s Hour 10.30 Test Match Special: England
v West Indies – Third Test, Day Five. 12.01;5.54
Shipping Forecast. 9.45 Book of the Week: South
and West, by Joan Didion, abridged by Eileen Horne.
Read by Laurel Lefkow. (1/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour.
Presented by Jane Garvey. Includes at 10.45 Drama:
The Pursuits of Darleen Fyles, by Esther Wilson and
Pauline Harris. The drama returns for a ninth series.
11.0 The Race to Fingerprint the Human Voice (R)
11.30 Fags, Mags and Bags: Cumulus Nimbus (3/4)
12.0 News 12.04 Home Front: 11 September
1917 – Howard Argent, by Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
(31/40) 12.15 You and Yours 12.57 Weather 1.0
The World at One 1.45 Whodunnit: The Calendar
Conspiracy. Michael Blastland returns to examine
the reasons for certain trends in society, this time
asking why summer-born children generally do
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Adrian Chiles
1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live Drive 7.0 5 Live
Sport 8.0 Premier League Football: West Ham
United v Huddersfield Town (kick-off 8pm) 10.0 5
Live Football Social 10.30 Sam Walker 1.0 Up All
Night 5.0 Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
Tuesday 12
PICKS OF
THE DAY
removed or he will die. Trouble is: he won’t
agree to pain relief or surgery. Elsewhere,
lonely widower John falls head over
heels in love. Very funny.
psychological inner space. It’s based on the
novel by Carl Sagan, and although a certain
self-help-manual sentimentalism creeps
in, the visual invention makes for genuine
emotional resonance. Jonathan Romney
DOCUMENTARY
RADIO
Stacey Dooley Investigates:
Young Sex for Sale in Japan
BBC1, 10.45pm
The Tim Vine Chat Show
Radio 4, 6.30pm
In Tokyo Dooley finds out what effect the
law banning child pornography has had.
She visits a cafe where teenage girls are
paid to provide company to older men and
discovers a disturbing legal grey area where
young children are filmed or photographed
in erotic clothing. Shocking. Mike Bradley
DRAMA
FILM
Doctor Foster
BBC1, 9pm
Contact
Syfy, 9pm
Gemma worries now that her son Tom
has moved in with his dad Simon, lured by
his showy modern mansion and a litany
of hollow promises. For his part, Simon
interrogates old friend Neil about his tryst
with Gemma, in creepy, obscene detail. He’s
clearly after revenge, but what’s his plan
and could it involve placing a mole in the
surgery? Bonkers but irresistible.
(Robert Zemeckis, 1997)
One of the true experimenters in modern
Hollywood – although he’s currently deep
into his ho-hum phase – Robert Zemeckis
is the man who took Michael J Fox back to
the future three times, cast Bob Hoskins
opposite Jessica Rabbit, and walked Forrest
Gump through modern American history
(but no one’s perfect). This was one of
the first mainstream attempts to use
CGI for something subtler than the usual.
A speculative, serious-minded drama
about the attempt to contact alien life,
it starts Jodie Foster as a Seti scientist
who discovers that the truth is out there
– and in here, as this is as much about
COMEDY
Quacks
BBC2, 10pm
The Bishop’s Appendix. Robert encounters
a serious problem this week: the Bishop
of Lambeth needs to have his appendix
TV CHOICE
Horizon: Mars –
A Traveller’s Guide
BBC2, 9pm
The world’s leading Mars experts
answer questions such as: where would
you go on Mars if you had the chance
and what would you need to survive
there? Real images and data combine
with jaw-dropping vistas to bring to life
the dry, desolate Martian world, from
vast plains and towering volcanoes to
deep valleys and hidden underground
caverns. A seven-month spaceship
ride away, the Red Planet is revealed
to be a place of extremes, where the
average surface temperature is -62C.
The programme assumes that it is only
a matter of time before the first manned
missions will leave Earth for Mars, so
it takes the form of a guide to advise
viewers on where to land, where to
live… and even where to hunt for traces
of extraterrestrial life on the Martian salt
plains. Eye-opening. Mike Bradley
Comedian Tim Vine returns with a new
series of his enjoyable chat show featuring
members of the Great British public.
From an audience in London he plucks a
Salvation Army minister once mistaken
for a stripper while collecting money in
a pub, and a bank executive who rushed
out in his boxer shorts to chase a fox at
Christmas. A cheery half-hour of songs
and audience interaction also includes a
cheeky interview with the Queen – or
that is who she says she is – plus classic
one-liners, as in: “I went to the doctor and
he said: ‘You’ve got hypochondria.’ I said:
‘Not that as well…’” Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
BT Sport 2, 7pm
Manchester United v Basel: Champions
League. José Mourinho’s side landed a
favourable draw in the group stage and will
be hoping to get off to a good start at Old
Trafford. The Swiss champions have had a
mixed start to their season, unlike United,
who won their first three games, scoring
10 goals without reply. Jack Kinnersley
TELEVISION
BBC2
ITV
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Council House
Crackdown (T) 10.0 Homes Under
the Hammer (T) 11.0 Dom on
the Spot (T) 11.45 Thief Trackers
(T) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (T) (R)
1.0 News and Weather (T) 1.30
Regional News and Weather (T)
1.45 Doctors (T) 2.15 The Boss
(T) 3.0 Escape to the Country
(T) 3.45 Garden Rescue (T) 4.30
Celebrity Money for Nothing (T)
5.15 Pointless (T) 6.0 News and
Weather (T) 6.30 Regional News
and Weather (T) 7.0 The One
Show (T) 7.30 EastEnders (T)
6.0
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Council House Crackdown (R)
7.15 Garden Rescue (R) 8.0 Fake
or Fortune? (R) 9.0 Victoria
Derbyshire 11.0 BBC Newsroom
Live 12.0 Daily Politics 1.0 The
Super League Show 1.45 Coast
(R) 2.0 Glorious Gardens from
Above (R) 2.45 Who Do You Think
You Are? (R) 3.45 Great British
Railway Journeys (R) 4.15 Planet
Earth II (T) (R) 5.15 Flog It! (T)
(R) 6.0 Richard Osman’s House
of Games (T) 6.30 Eggheads
(T) 7.0 Antiques Road Trip (T)
6.0
Holby City (T) Guy’s behaviour
becomes increasingly erratic.
Doctor Foster (T) Reeling from
the repercussions of Simon’s
return, Gemma scrambles to
uncover his secrets and find
out what is going on with Tom.
Drama starring Suranne Jones.
8.0
Saving Lives at Sea (T) In southwest Wales, the Tenby lifeboat
crew race to a kayaker with
suspected back and neck injuries.
Horizon: Mars – A Traveller’s
Guide (T) The world’s leading
experts discuss where they
would go on Mars, if they got the
chance. Narrated by Mark Gatiss.
8.0
BBC1
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.45 Stacey Dooley Investigates:
Young Sex for Sale in Japan (T)
The presenter looks into what
effect the law in Japan banning
child pornography has had.
11.45 Ambulance (T) (R)
12.45 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.50 BBC News (T)
9.0
10.0 Quacks (T) John falls in love with
Nicola Bell from the apothecary.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 NFL This Week (T) Dallas
Cowboys v NY Giants, the
Redskins v the Eagles and
Chicago Bears v Atlanta Falcons.
12.05 World’s Busiest Cities:
Mexico City (T) (R) 1.05 Sign
Zone: Diana, 7 Days (T) (R)
2.40 The Pacemakers (T) (R)
3.40 This Is BBC2 (T)
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
11.0am Speedway: Poole v Swindon 1.0 Irish
Rally Review 1.30 Vanarama National League
Highlights 2.0 Uefa Champions League Magazine
2.30 Ligue 1 Review 3.30 Bundesliga Review
4.30 Serie A Review 5.0 Live: Celtic U19 v
PSG U19 (kick-off 5pm) 7.0 Uefa Champions
League Magazine 7.30 Uefa Champions League
Goals Show 10.0 WTA Tennis: Japan Women’s
Open 12.0 Bundesliga Review 1.0 MotoGP: San
Marino 2.0 MotoGP Chequered Flag 3.0 Live
WTA Tennis: Women’s Open. Day three in Tokyo.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 7.0
Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 8.0 The Guest
Wing 9.0 The Guest Wing 10.0 The West Wing
11.0 The West Wing 12.0 Without a Trace 1.0
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2.0 Blue Bloods
3.0 The British 4.0 The West Wing 5.0 The West
Wing 6.0 Without a Trace 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0 The
Wizard of Lies (2017) 11.30 Bright Lights:
Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds 1.15
Ray Donovan 2.15 I’m Dying Up Here 3.20
Looking 4.0 The West Wing 5.0 The West Wing
E4
6.0am Hollyoaks 6.30 Coach Trip: Road to Zante
– Final Week 7.0 Made in Chelsea 8.0 Melissa &
Joey 8.30 Melissa & Joey 9.0 2 Broke Girls 9.30
2 Broke Girls 10.0 Baby Daddy 10.30 Baby Daddy
11.0 How I Met Your Mother 11.30 How I Met Your
Mother 12.0 The Goldbergs 12.30 The Goldbergs
1.0 The Big Bang Theory 1.30 The Big Bang Theory
2.0 Melissa & Joey 2.30 Melissa & Joey 3.0
Baby Daddy 3.30 Baby Daddy 4.0 2 Broke Girls
4.30 2 Broke Girls 5.0 The Goldbergs 5.30 The
Goldbergs 6.0 The Big Bang Theory 6.30 The
Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach Trip:
Road to Zante 8.0 The Big Bang Theory 8.35
The Big Bang Theory 9.0 Tattoo Fixers on Holiday
10.0 Celebs Go Dating 11.05 The Big Bang Theory
9.0
Channel 4
Channel 5
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy Kyle
Show (T) 10.30 This Morning (T)
12.30 Loose Women (T) 1.30
News (T) 1.55 Local News (T) 2.0
Judge Rinder (T) 3.0 Dickinson’s
Real Deal (T) (R) 3.59 Local News
and Weather (T) 4.0 Tipping
Point (T) 5.0 The Chase (T) 6.0
Local News (T) 6.30 News (T) 7.0
Emmerdale (T) 7.30 Save Money:
Good Health (T) New series. Sian
Williams and Dr Ranj Singh look at
the cost of some of the nation’s
biggest health spends.
6.0
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45 The King
of Queens (T) (R) 8.0 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T) (R) 9.0
Frasier (T) (R) 9.35 Frasier (T)
(R) 10.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R) 11.0
Coast vs Country (T) (R) 12.0
News (T) 12.05 Couples Come
Dine with Me (T) (R) 1.05 French
Collection (T) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 Cheap Cheap Cheap (T)
4.0 A Place in the Sun: Home or
Away (T) 5.0 Come Dine with
Me (T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) (R)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
6.0
Robson Green’s Coastal Lives
(T) New series. The presenter
meets people who live on
Britain’s coasts.
The 100 Year Old Driving School
(T) New series. Some of Britain’s
oldest drivers take mature
driving tests to determine
whether they should still be
on the road, beginning in rural
Wiltshire with 102-year-old John.
8.0
The Great British Bake Off (T)
Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding
introduce the contestants to
bread week.
9.15 Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls
(T) After two weeks on the island,
ravaged by hunger, mosquitoes
and sandflies, tensions are
building in the camp, with Jordan
in particular attracting ire.
8.0
10.20 Married to a Celebrity:
The Survival Guide (T)
11.25 Naked Attraction (T) (R)
12.20 Music on 4: Best Before (T)
12.50 Lego Masters (T) (R) 1.45
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 2.35 Location,
Location, Location (T) (R) 3.30
Selling Houses (T) 4.25 Building
the Dream (T) (R) 5.20 Jamie’s
Comfort Food Bites (T) (R)
10.0 The Hotel Inspector: Checking
In, Checking Out (T) Back to a
hotel in Bude.
11.05 Cruising With Jane McDonald
(T) (R) The presenter goes
back to Naples.
12.05 Royal Pets: One’s Best Friend
(T) (R) 1.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10
Celeb Trolls: We’re Coming to Get
You (T) (R) 4.0 Criminals: Caught
on Camera (T) (R) 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R)
10.0 Inspector Montalbano (R)
A woman’s body is found
in a foyer.
11.55 The Brain With David Eagleman
(T) (R)
12.50 How to Be Bohemian With
Victoria Coren Mitchell (T) (R)
1.50 India’s Frontier Railways
(T) (R) 2.50 The Golden Age
of Steam Railways (T) (R)
6.30 Composer of the Week (R) (2/5) 7.30 In
World at One 1.45 Whodunnit: The Calendar
Conspiracy (2/5) 2.0 The Archers 2.15 Drama:
Crime Down Under – Prime Cut, by Alan Carter,
adapted by Adrian Bean. (2/2) 3.0 Short Cuts: In
Motion (5/7) 3.30 Costing the Earth. Tom Heap
is in Cornwall to explore the new developments
in battery technology that are changing the way
we power Britain. 4.0 Word of Mouth: Eat My
Words – Describing Flavour and Taste. Michael
Rosen and Laura Wright talk to Andi Oliver and Niki
Segnit. (1/7) 4.30 Great Lives: Nicholas Stern on
Muhammad Ali (7/9) 5.0 PM 5.54 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 5.57 Weather 6.0 News 6.30 The Tim
Vine Chat Show: London (1/6) 7.0 The Archers.
Adam and Ian have a memorable encounter, and
Tony has important news. 7.15 Front Row 7.45
The Pursuits of Darleen Fyles (R) (2/5) 8.0 File on
4: The Secrets of Smyllum Park. Michael Buchanan
investigates allegations of abuse at Smyllum Park in
Lanark, uncovering new evidence and raising serious
questions about child deaths at the orphanage
before its closure in 1981. (1/10) 8.40 In Touch
9.0 In Sickness and in Social Care. Dr Kevin Fong
explores ways that health and social care might work
more closely. (2/2) 9.30 The English Fix: John
Betjeman (R) 10.0 The World Tonight 10.45 Book
at Bedtime: Crime Down Under – The Dry, by Jane
Harper. (7/10) 11.0 The Stanley Baxter Playhouse:
Meg’s Tale (R) 11.30 Today in Parliament 12.0
News 12.30 Book of the Week (R) 12.48 Shipping
Forecast 1.0 As World Service 5.20 Shipping
Forecast 5.30 News Briefing 5.43 Prayer for
the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: Tara Robinson on the Oystercatcher
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 Safe House (T) (R) A woman’s
abduction convinces Tom that
a killer he once investigated has
returned.
11.40 Lethal Weapon (T) (R)
12.30 Jackpot247 3.0 Loose Women
(R) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
VARIATIONS
11.35 The Big Bang Theory 12.05 The IT Crowd
12.40 The IT Crowd 1.10 Celebs Go Dating 2.10
First Dates Hotel 3.05 Tattoo Fixers on Holiday
3.55 The IT Crowd 4.25 Rude(ish) Tube 4.50
How I Met Your Mother 5.10 How I Met Your Mother
Film4
11.0am Anzio (1968) 1.20 The
Nebraskan (1953) 2.40 Santa Fe (1951)
4.25 Sink the Bismarck! (1960) 6.25
Battleship (2012) 9.0 2 Guns
(2013) 11.10 Police Story: Lockdown
(2013) 1.25 48 Hrs (1982)
Sky1
6.0am Hawaii Five-0 7.0 Hawaii Five-0 8.0
Monkey Life 8.30 Monkey Life 9.0 The Dog
Whisperer 10.0 Nothing to Declare 10.30
Border Security: America’s Front Line 11.0
NCIS: Los Angeles 12.0 Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Hawaii
Five-0 2.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 3.0 Supergirl
4.0 Stargate SG-1 5.0 Futurama 5.30 Modern
Family 6.0 Modern Family 6.30 The Simpsons
7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons 8.0
Carpool Karaoke Special 9.0 Micky Flanagan’s
Detour de France 10.0 A League of Their Own
US Road Trip 11.0 The Last Ship 12.0 A League
of Their Own 1.0 The Force: Manchester 2.0
Colony 3.0 Motorway Patrol 3.30 Motorway
Patrol 4.0 Animal 999 4.30 Animal 999 5.0
The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Live NFL: Denver Broncos v Los Angeles
Chargers (kick-off TBA) 7.30-10.0 Good
Morning Sports Fans 10.0 Premier League Daily
11.0 Sky Sports Now 11.30 Sportswomen
12.0-5.0 Sky Sports Today 5.0 Sky Sports
News at 5 6.0 Sky Sports News at 6 7.0 Gillette
Soccer Special Pre-Match 7.30 Gillette Soccer
Special 10.0 The Debate 11.0-1.0 Through
the Night 1.0 Live WWE Late Night Smackdown
3.0-5.0 Through the Night
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.30pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.05 Safe House
(T) (R) 12.05 Teleshopping 1.05 After
Midnight 2.35-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
ITV WALES As ITV West except 10.40pm
Wales on TV (T) 11.10-11.40 Countrywise:
Guide to Britain (T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.30am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland Tonight (T) 11.05 Safe House (T) (R)
12.05 Teleshopping 1.05 After Midnight
2.35-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
ULSTER As ITV except 10.40pm Teach
My Pet to Do That (T) 11.10-11.40 Countrywise: Guide to Britain (T) (R) 12.30 Teleshopping 1.30-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC1 SCOTLAND 8.0pm-9.0 River
City (T) 10.45 Holby City (T) 11.45 Stacey
Dooley Investigates: Young Sex for Sale in
Japan (T) 12.40-1.40 Ambulance (T) (R)
BBC1 N IRELAND 10.40pm Spotlight (T)
11.10 Stacey Dooley Investigates: Young Sex for
Sale in Japan (T) 12.10-1.05 Ambulance (T) (R)
BBC2 SCOTLAND 7.0pm-8.0 The
Adventure Show (T) The team take to the white
water of the Tay at Grandtully.
BBC2 WALES 11.15pm It’s My Shout: Short
Films from Wales (T) 11.30 NFL This Week (T)
12.20 Live at the Apollo (T) (R) 12.50-1.05
Coast (T) (R)
9.0
BBC4
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
(T) 11.15 Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It
Away (T) (R) 12.10 News (T) 12.15
The Hotel Inspector (T) (R) 1.10
Access (T) 1.15 Home and Away
(T) 1.45 Neighbours (T) 2.15 The
Mentalist (T) (R) 3.15 A
Wife’s Nightmare (2014) (T) 5.0
News (T) 5.30 Neighbours (T) (R)
6.0 Home and Away (T) (R) 6.30
News (T) 7.0 MotoGP Highlights:
The San Marino Grand Prix (T)
Action from the feature race at
the 13th round of the season.
The Dog Rescuers With Alan
Davies (T) In Merseyside,
inspector Anthony rescues
two collie crosses who are both
suffering from terrible skin
conditions. Includes news update.
Inside Balmoral (T) Examining life
at the Highland estate between
1992 and 2017. Last in the series.
7.0
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Brushing Up On: British Tunnels
(T) (R) Danny Baker shares
fun and interesting facts
about subterranean realms,
revealing how a man makes
badger holes in his garden
via sewers and championing
1990s tunneller Swampy.
8.0
India’s Frontier Railways (T)
(R) Documentary charting the
Samjhauta Express as it crosses
the border from India to Pakistan.
Last in the series.
The Golden Age of Steam
Railways (T) (R) (2/2) The story
of the volunteers who restored
some of Britain’s standard
gauge railways continues.
9.0
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.33 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw
10.0 Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Scott Mills
4.0 Greg James 5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Greg James
7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra’s Stories:
Love With Annie Nightingale 10.02 Huw Stephens
1.0 Annie Nightingale 4.0 Adele Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon Mayo 7.0
Jamie Cullum 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0 CMA Music
Festival 2017 (1/2) 11.0 Nigel Ogden 11.30
Listen to the Band 12.0 Sounds of the 80s (R)
2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Folk, 90s Hits & Wednesday
Workout 5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Suzy Klein’s guest for the week
is Simon Rattle. 12.0 Composer of the Week:
Alexander Goehr (2/5) 1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime
Concert: West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2017
(1/4) John Toal presents highlights from the 22nd
West Cork chamber music festival. Haydn: Quartet in
F, Op 50 No 5, The Dream. Quatuor Zaïde – Charlotte
Juillard & Leslie Boulin-Raulet (violins), Sarah
Chenaf (viola), Juliette Salmona (cello). Debussy:
Violin Sonata in G minor. Viviane Hagner (violin),
Huw Watkins (piano). Mozart: Serenade in E flat for
wind octet, K375. Olivier Doise and Armel Descottes
(oboes), Christopher Sundqvist & Mathias Kjøller
(clarinets), Hervé Joulain and Susanne Schmid
(horns), Peter Whelan and Amy Harman (bassoons).
2.0 Afternoon Concert: Rattle on Radio 3. Genia
Kuhmeier (soprano), Mark Padmore (tenor),
Florian Boesch (baritone), Berlin Radio Choir, Berlin
Philharmonic, Simon Rattle. Georg Friedrich Haas:
ein kleines symphonisches Gedicht (first Swiss
performance). Haydn: The Creation.4.30 In Tune
Concert: Edinburgh 70. Presented by Kate Molleson,
recorded on 8 August. Sergei Babayan (piano), BBC
SSO, Thomas Dausgaard. Schubert: Symphony No
8 (Unfinished). Schumann: Piano Concerto. 8.25
Interval. In a nod to the BBC SSO’s first appearance
at the Edinburgh festival in 1947, we hear Purcell’s
Chacony in G, plus a selection of Strauss Lieder as
recorded by Jonas Kaufmann. 8.45 Strauss: Also
sprach Zarathustra.10.0 Free Thinking: Washing
in Public. Matthew Sweet and guests discuss the
concept of washing in public. 10.45 The Essay:
Paradise Lost – Adam Nicolson (2/5) 11.0 Late
Junction. Highlights from the End of the Road
festival, from Laraaji and Housewives. 12.30
Through the Night. Jonathan Swain presents a
concert of brass band music from Barcelona.
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. With John Humphrys and Sarah
Montague. 7.48 Thought for the Day, with
Vishvapani. 8.30 (LW) Yesterday in Parliament
9.0 The English Fix: John Betjeman. Patrick Wright
travels through Betjeman’s London to explore
the poet’s contempt for the town planners or
“plansters” he accused of wrecking the England
he loved. (2/4) 9.30 The Ideas That Make Us:
Chaos (R) 9.45 (LW) Daily Service 9.45 (FM)
Book of the Week: South and West, by Joan Didion.
(2/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented by Jane
Garvey. Includes at 10.45 Drama: The Pursuits of
Darleen Fyles, by Esther Wilson. (2/5) 11.0 Natural
Histories: Nightingale. Brett Westwood hears how
the nightingale’s song continues to inspire human
creativity. (15/25) 11.30 Tick Box Art. Rosemary
Laryea asks whether it is possible to measure the
quality of an artwork, assessing the question of
taste, judgment and money with artists, audiences
and philosophers. 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 12 September 1917 –
Alice Macknade, by Sebastian Baczkiewicz. (32/40)
12.15 Call You and Yours 12.57 Weather 1.0 The
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 5 Live Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With
Adrian Chiles 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live
Drive 6.30 5 Live Sport 7.45 Champions League
Football 10.0 5 Live Football Social 10.30 Sam
Walker 1.0 Up All Night 5.0 Morning Reports
5.15 Wake Up to Money
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
41
Wednesday 13
PICKS OF
THE DAY
Tuesdays and Thursdays was really all
about,” thinks widow Tess, while her rival,
Marilyn, mourns “that sexual shire horse
of a man”. The sisters couldn’t be more
different. Laugh as you watch them bond.
way that a straight documentary wouldn’t
have done. Great watching, whether you’re
a fan or not. Jonathan Romney
COMEDY
The Documentary: The
Flying Colombians
RADIO
Back
Channel 4, 10pm
World Service, 11.30am
A shocked Stephen discovers that
Andrew has been left a 5% share of
the John Barleycorn pub in Laurie’s will,
meaning the pair will have to join forces
to make some extra cash. Mike Bradley
FILM
ARCHITECTURE
20,000 Days on Earth
Film4, 2am
Grand Designs
Channel 4, 9pm
(Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard, 2014)
A tale of two neurologists: Penny Talelli has
a passion for cutting-edge contemporary
architecture, while husband Mark Edwards
loves period buildings. They want to build
a family home that chimes with both their
tastes. See what happens when they buy
a dilapidated Victorian gatehouse on a very
steep hill in north London.
The Nick Cave documentary you absolutely
have to see (although last year’s One More
Time With Feeling was pretty good too).
Rock’s laureate of literary-tinged angst
bares his soul, or at least a chunk of it, in
this cleverly constructed portrait by British
artists Forsyth and Pollard. Set over a
fictional 24-hour stretch, the film features
him in conversation with psychoanalyst
Darian Leader, mulling over his art with
Bad Seeds mainstay Warren Ellis, and
having in-car conversations with Ray
Winstone, Kylie Minogue and old colleague
Blixa Bargeld. The performance content is
top notch, Cave’s wit and caustic selfknowledge emerge winningly, and the
film’s clever fakery proves revealing in a
COMEDY DRAMA
The Other One
BBC2, 10pm
Two sisters born five days apart, both
called Catherine, have no idea of each
other’s existence until their lothario father
dies. “So that’s what ‘golf practice’ on
TV CHOICE
Mountain: Life at the Extreme
BBC2, 9pm
Andes. The dazzling natural history series
finishes on a high with a look at life in the
various climactic regions found along the
world’s longest continental mountain
range – the 5,000-mile spine of South
America which runs north from Cape
Horn to Colombia. The programme guides
us through salt flats, cloud forests and
ice fields, explaining the local geology
and introducing us to wildlife along the
way. In the southern Andes we meet a
puma mother (above) struggling to feed
her cubs and watch her silently stalk a
guanaco; in Bolivia we witness a hypnotic
slo-mo ballet as salt flat lizards battle for
territory; and further north cameras spot
the elusive, largely vegetarian spectacled
bear. Plus, we meet the world’s bravest
bus-driver and a climber who scales
an almost vertical peak, plus we spy a
recently discovered shape-shifting rain
frog. Endlessly interesting. Mike Bradley
Matt Rendell, who has been following
Colombian cycling for 20 years, joins
competitors for the famous Vuelta a
Colombia, which with its precipitous drops,
high altitude climbs and searing heat is
revered as one of the most challenging
cycling races in the world. The first Tour in
1951 helped bring the country together at
a time of violent conflict. Today cycling is
valued nationwide for its environmental
and social benefits, and if professional
riders complain that they are not paid
enough, Rendell feels that there is
something about the “absence of colossal
budgets and overblown marketing” that
allows cycling to stay close to ordinary
Colombians’ hearts. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
BT Sport 2, 7pm
Liverpool v Sevilla: Champions League.
Champions League nights at Anfield have
returned after missing out in the last
three years and the Reds will be hoping for
revenge against an on-form Sevilla side
after they lost to the Spanish club in the
2016 Europa League final. Jack Kinnersley
TELEVISION
BBC2
ITV
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Council House
Crackdown (T) 10.0 Homes Under
the Hammer (T) (R) 11.0 Dom on
the Spot (T) 11.45 Thief Trackers
(T) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (T) (R) 1.0
News and Weather (T) 1.30 News
and Weather (T) 1.45 Doctors
(T) 2.15 The Boss (T) 3.0 Escape
to the Country (T) 3.45 Garden
Rescue (T) 4.30 Celebrity Money
for Nothing (T) 5.15 Pointless (T)
6.0 News and Weather (T) 6.30
Regional News and Weather (T)
7.0 The One Show (T) 7.30 Rip
Off Britain (T) (R)
6.0
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Council House Crackdown (R)
7.15 Garden Rescue (R) 8.0
World’s Busiest Cities: Hong
Kong (R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire
11.0 Newsroom Live 11.30 Daily
Politics 1.0 For What It’s Worth
(R) 1.45 Coast (R) 2.0 Glorious
Gardens from Above (R) 2.45
WDYTYA? (T) (R) 3.45 Great
British Railway Journeys (T)
(R) 4.15 Human Planet (T) (R)
5.15 Flog It! (T) (R) 6.0 House
of Games (T) 6.30 Eggheads
(T) 7.0 This Farming Life (T)
6.0
Celebrity MasterChef (T) The
contestants take part in the first
of the semi-finals, and have to
cook for 120 staff and volunteers
at the Royal National Lifeboat
Institute.
How to Stay Young (T) New
series. Volunteers face a series
of experiments in an attempt
to reverse the ageing process.
8.0
World’s Busiest Cities:
Moscow (T) Dan Snow, Anita
Rani and Ade Adepitan reveal the
systems and people that keep
the city of Moscow running.
Mountain: Life at the Extreme
(T) Life on the longest mountain
range in the world, the Andes.
Last in the series.
8.0
BBC1
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.45 A Question of Sport (T)
11.15 Live from the BBC (T) Ivo Graham
takes to the stage with charming,
self-aware standup.
11.45 Who Do You Think You Are?
(T) (R) With EastEnders actor
Lisa Hammond.
12.45 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.50 BBC News (T)
9.0
10.0 The Other One (T) A one-off
comedy about two sisters
who share the same name.
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Horizon: Mars – A Traveller’s
Guide (T) (R)
12.15 Sign Zone Panorama: Plane
Drunk (T) (R) 12.45 Who Do
You Think You Are? (T) (R) 1.45
Astronauts: Do You Have What
It Takes? (T) (R) 2.45 This Is
BBC2 (T)
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
9.0am Game of the Week 9.30 Red Bull
MotoGP Rookies Cup 10.30 Live: Sydney FC
v Melbourne City (kick-off 10.30am) 12.30
Toyota AFL Highlights Show 1.0 Game of the Week
1.30 Stoke City v Manchester United 3.0 Live:
Tottenham U19 v Dortmund U19 (kick-off 3pm)
5.0 Live: Liverpool U19 v Sevilla U19 (kick-off
5pm) 7.0 Uefa Champions League 7.30 Uefa
Champions League Goals Show 10.0 Rugby
Tonight Extra 10.30 WTA Tennis: Japan Women’s
Open 12.30 WTA All Access 1.0 MotoGP
Rewind 1.15 BT Sport Reload 1.30 Broke 3.0
Live WTA Tennis: Japan Open. Day four in Tokyo.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 7.0
Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 8.0 The Guest
Wing 9.0 The Guest Wing 10.0 The West Wing
11.0 The West Wing 12.0 Without a Trace 1.0 CSI:
Crime Scene Investigation 2.0 Blue Bloods 3.0 Fish
Town 4.0 The West Wing 5.0 The West Wing 6.0
Without a Trace 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
8.0 Blue Bloods 9.0 Ray Donovan 10.10 I’m Dying
Up Here 11.20 The Sopranos 12.35 The Sopranos
2.10 Ray Donovan 3.20 Without a Trace 4.15
The West Wing 5.10 The West Wing
E4
6.0am Hollyoaks 6.30 Coach Trip: Road to
Zante 7.0 Made in Chelsea: Ibiza 8.0 Melissa &
Joey 8.30 Melissa & Joey 9.0 2 Broke Girls 9.30
2 Broke Girls 10.0 Baby Daddy 10.30 Baby Daddy
11.0 How I Met Your Mother 11.30 How I Met Your
Mother 12.0 The Goldbergs 12.30 The Goldbergs
1.0 The Big Bang Theory 1.30 The Big Bang
Theory 2.0 Melissa & Joey 2.30 Melissa & Joey
3.0 Baby Daddy 3.30 Baby Daddy 4.0 2 Broke
Girls 4.30 2 Broke Girls 5.0 The Goldbergs 5.30
The Goldbergs 6.0 The Big Bang Theory 6.30
The Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach
Trip: Road to Zante 8.0 My Hotter Half 8.35 My
Hotter Half 9.0 Don’t Tell the Bride 10.0 Celebs
42
9.0
Channel 4
Channel 5
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy
Kyle Show (T) 10.30 This Morning
(T) 12.30 Loose Women (T)
1.30 News (T) 1.55 Local News
(T) 2.0 Judge Rinder (T) 3.0
Dickinson’s Real Deal (T) (R)
3.59 Local News and Weather
(T) 4.0 Tipping Point (T) 5.0 The
Chase (T) 6.0 Local News (T)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) Vanessa struggles with
a secret, and Kerry spots an
opportunity. 7.30 Coronation
Street (T) Gary shares his woes.
6.0
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45 The King
of Queens (T) (R) 8.0 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T) (R) 9.0
Frasier (T) (R) 9.35 Frasier (T)
(R) 10.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R) 11.0
Coast vs Country (T) (R) 12.0
News (T) 12.05 Couples Come
Dine with Me (T) (R) 1.05 French
Collection (T) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 Cheap Cheap Cheap (T)
4.0 A Place in the Sun: Home or
Away (T) 5.0 Come Dine with
Me (T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) (R)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
6.0
Love Your Home and Garden (T)
Alan Titchmarsh and his team
transform a home and garden in
Chester for retired couple Richard
and Ann Price. Last in the series.
Long Lost Family (T) (R) Inge Dart,
66, hopes to be reunited with her
long-lost daughter, from whom
she was separated just days
after giving birth.
8.0
Location, Location, Location (T)
Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer
are house-hunting in Croydon.
Grand Designs (T) Kevin
McCloud meets Penny Talelli
and Mark Edwards, who plan
to combine their love of old and
contemporary architecture
as they transform a derelict
Victorian gatehouse.
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 Uefa Champions League
Highlights (T) Includes
Liverpool v Sevilla, Feyenoord v
Manchester City, and Tottenham
Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund.
12.10 Play to the Whistle (T) (R) 12.40
Jackpot247 3.0 May the Best
House Win (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
Nightscreen
VARIATIONS
Go Dating 11.05 The Big Bang Theory 11.35 The
Big Bang Theory 12.0 The IT Crowd 12.35 The
IT Crowd 1.05 Celebs Go Dating 2.10 First Dates
Hotel 3.05 Don’t Tell the Bride 3.55 My Hotter
Half 4.20 My Hotter Half 4.50 How I Met Your
Mother 5.10 How I Met Your Mother
Film4
11.0am The Ladykillers (1955) 12.55
Yangtse Incident (1957) 2.45 The
Comancheros (1961) 4.55 The Cockleshell
Heroes (1955) 7.05 Unstoppable (2010)
9.0 The Bourne Legacy (2012) 11.35 3:10 to Yuma (2007) 2.0 20,000 Days on
Earth (2014)
Sky1
6.0am Hawaii Five-0 7.0 Hawaii Five-0 8.0
Monkey Life 8.30 Monkey Life 9.0 The Dog
Whisperer 10.0 Nothing to Declare 10.30 Border
Security: America’s Front Line 11.0 NCIS: Los
Angeles 12.0 Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Hawaii Five-0
2.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 3.0 Supergirl 4.0 Stargate
SG-1 5.0 Futurama 5.30 Modern Family 6.0
Modern Family 6.30 The Simpsons 7.0 The
Simpsons 7.30 The Simpsons 8.0 Freddie Down
Under 9.0 Stella 10.0 Colony 11.0 Air Ambulance
ER 12.0 A League of Their Own 1.0 The Force:
Manchester 2.0 Zoo 3.0 Motorway Patrol 3.30
Motorway Patrol 4.0 Animal 999 4.30 Animal
999 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am-8.30 Total Goals 8.30 Live
International Netball: New Zealand v England
(centre-pass 8.45am) Coverage of the third and
final fixture in the Taini Jamison Trophy, which
takes place at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton.
10.30 Premier League Daily 11.0 Sky Sports
Now 12.0-5.0 Sky Sports Today 5.0 Sky
Sports News at 5 6.0 Sky Sports News at 6 7.0
Sky Sports Tonight 7.30 Gillette Soccer Special
10.0 The Debate 11.0-6.0 Through the Night
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 Uefa Champions League
Highlights (T) 12.25 Teleshopping 1.25 After
Midnight 3.0-3.50 Storage Hoarders (T) (R)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.40am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 Uefa Champions League
Highlights (T) 12.25 Teleshopping 1.25 After
Midnight 3.0-3.50 Storage Hoarders (T) (R)
ULSTER As ITV except 12.40am
Teleshopping 1.40-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC1 WALES 7.30pm-8.0 Extreme Wales
with Richard Parks (T)
BBC1 N IRELAND 9.0pm-10.0 Crash (T)
10.40 How to Stay Young (T) 11.40 A Question
of Sport (T) 12.10 Live from the BBC (T) 12.401.40 Who Do You Think You Are? (T) (R)
BBC2 SCOTLAND 2.0pm Great British
Railway Journeys (T) (R) 2.30 Politics Scotland
(T) 3.30-4.15 Glorious Gardens from Above
(T) (R)
BBC2 WALES 11.15pm It’s My Shout: Short
Films from Wales (T) 11.30 Horizon: Mars – A
Traveller’s Guide (T) (R) 12.30-12.45 Coast
(T) (R)
BBC2 N IRELAND 10.0pm-10.30
Spotlight (T) (R) 11.15-11.45 The Other One (T)
9.0
10.0 Back (T) The Nichols family
gather to hear about Laurie’s will.
10.35 The Secret Life of the Holiday
Resort (T) (R)
11.35 Educating Greater Manchester
(T) (R)
12.35 24 Hours Inside Your Body (T)
1.30 The Hole (Joe Dante,
2009) (T) Horror starring Chris
Massoglia. 3.0 Location, Location,
Location (T) (R) 3.55 Selling
Houses With Amanda Lamb (T)
9.0
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
(T) 11.15 Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It
Away (T) (R) 12.10 News (T) 12.15
The Hotel Inspector (T) (R) 1.10
Access (T) (R) 1.15 Home and
Away (T) 1.45 Neighbours (T)
2.20 The Mentalist (T) (R) 3.15
Wall of Silence (George
Erschbamer, 2016) (T) 5.0 News
(T) 5.30 Neighbours (T) (R) 6.0
Home and Away (T) (R) 6.30
News (T) 7.0 Starting Up, Starting
Over (T) A couple turn their backs
on life in London to open their
own brewery in the Malvern Hills.
GPs: Behind Closed Doors (T)
Doctors treat a man suffering
from agoraphobia, triggered by
a violent assault months before.
Includes news update.
Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away
(T) Agents try to recover almost
£2,000 owed by the owner of a
bridal shop in London.
BBC4
7.0
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
Brushing Up On: British Towers
(T) (R) Danny Baker on towers in
Britain that loom large in cities
and the countryside, but about
which little is often known.
8.0
Everyday Eden: A Potted History
of the Suburban Garden (T) (R)
Michael Collins examines what
the horticultural havens mean
to society.
Andrew Marr’s The Making of
Modern Britain (T) (R) Andrew
Marr examines Britain’s role in
the second world war, beginning
with the Battle of Dunkirk.
9.0
10.0 Most Shocking TV Moments
(T) (R) Memorable moments
from the small screen.
12.55 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 The Hotel
Inspector: Checking In, Checking
Out (T) (R) 4.0 Criminals: Caught
On Camera (T) (R) 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 Great Artists
(T) (R) 5.35 Nick’s Quest (T) (R)
10.0 Sound Waves: The Symphony
of Physics (R)
11.0 Britain in Focus: A Photographic
History (R)
12.0 Hidden Histories: Britain’s
Oldest Family Businesses (T)
(R) 1.0 How to Be Bohemian with
Victoria Coren Mitchell (T) (R) 2.0
Everyday Eden: A Potted History
of the Suburban Garden (T) (R)
by Jamie MacDougall. Mariinsky Orchestra, Royal
Scottish National Orchestra, Valery Gergiev.
Prokofiev: Symphony No 1 in D, Op 25, Classical.
Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. 8.15
Interval. Daniil Trifonov performs Rachmaninov’s
Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op 42. 8.35
Shostakovich: Symphony No 4 in C minor, Op 43.
10.0 Free Thinking. Philip Dodd looks at the prints
of Kathe Kollwitz. 10.45 The Essay: Paradise Lost
– Alice Goodman (3/5) 11.0 Late Junction. Live
highlights from the Late Junction stage at the End
of the Road festival. 12.30 Through the Night (R)
by Ryan Craig. A school on a council estate has been
devastated by a gas explosion. The announcement
that retired judge Sir Stephen Colefax is to chair the
ensuing public inquiry is greeted with anger and
dismay. Can a man from his privileged background
have any true understanding of the community so
tragically affected? 3.0 Money Box Live. With Paul
Lewis and guests. 3.30 In Sickness and in Social
Care (R) Dr Kevin Fong explores ways to improve
health and social care provision for the elderly. 4.0
Thinking Allowed. Human behaviour examined.
4.30 The Media Show. 5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair.
6.0 News 6.30 Ankle Tag. In the final episode
of the comedy sitcom series, Bob gets a job as a
bingo caller. (4/4) 7.0 The Archers. Jennifer hears
more than she bargained for, and Harrison shares
some intelligence. 7.15 Front Row 7.45 The
Pursuits of Darleen Fyles (R) (3/5) 8.0 Unreliable
Evidence: Housing Law. Clive Anderson asks if our
legal system strikes the right balance between
tenants and landlords. (1/4) 8.45 David Baddiel
Tries to Understand: Fracking (2/6) 9.0 Costing
the Earth: Battery Powered Britain (R) 9.30 The
English Fix: Barbara Castle (R) 9.59 Weather 10.0
The World Tonight 10.45 Book at Bedtime: Crime
Down Under – The Dry, by Jane Harper. (8/10)
11.0 The John Moloney Show: A Visit to the Doctor
(4/4) 11.15 Before They Were Famous (R) 11.30
Today in Parliament 12.0 News 12.30 Book of
the Week (3/5) 12.45 Sailing By 12.48 Shipping
Forecast 1.0 As World Service 5.20 Shipping
Forecast 5.30 News Briefing 5.43 Prayer for
the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of the
Day: Hugh Thomson on the Woodpigeon
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.33 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw
10.0 Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Scott
Mills 4.0 Greg James 5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Greg
James 7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 The Surgery 10.02
Huw Stephens 1.0 Benji B 4.0 Adele Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0
Jeremy Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon
Mayo 7.0 The Folk Show With Mark Radcliffe
8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0 CMA Music Festival 2017
(2/2) 11.0 The Great American Songbook (R)
12.0 Pick of the Pops (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists:
Country, Easy & Radio 2 Rocks 5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Suzy Klein explores potential
companion pieces for Maurice Ravel’s Boléro.
Her guest for the week is Simon Rattle. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Alexander Goehr (3/5)
1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert: West Cork
Chamber Music Festival 2017 Highlights (2/4)
2.0 Afternoon Concert: Rattle on Radio 3. A
performance which took place last New Year’s Eve
at the Berlin Philharmonie. Daniil Trifonov (piano),
Berlin Philharmonic, Simon Rattle. Kabalevsky:
Overture – Colas Breugnon. Rachmaninov: Piano
Concerto No 3 in D minor, Op 30. William Walton
arr Simon Rattle: Orchestral Pieces (Façade).
Dvořák: Slavonic Dances, Op 72 (excerpts). 3.30
Choral Evensong. Recorded in St Alban’s Church,
Holborn, London by Genesis Sixteen. 4.30 In
Tune. Sean Rafferty’s guests include Beatrice Rana
and Ute Lemper. 6.30 Composer of the Week (R)
(3/5) 7.30 In Concert. Two of the world’s finest
orchestras combine in this concert from the Usher
Hall in Edinburgh, recorded last month during
the Edinburgh international festival. Presented
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. News headlines and sport with Sarah
Montague and Nick Robinson. 7.48 Thought for the
Day, with Prof Mona Siddiqui. 8.30 (LW) Yesterday
in Parliament 9.0 The English Fix: Barbara Castle.
Patrick Wright turns his attention to Barbara Castle,
the “Englishness” of her socialism and her fierce
resistance to English culture being subsumed by the
American Vulgar. (3/4) 9.30 Owning Colour: Red
(R) (1/5) Wayne Hemingway looks at five colours
that have been at the centre of ownership and
trademark battles. 9.45 (LW) Daily Service 9.45
(FM) Book of the Week: South and West, by Joan
Didion. (3/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented by
Jane Garvey. Includes at 10.41 Drama: The Pursuits
of Darleen Fyles, by Esther Wilson. (3/5) 10.56
The Listening Project: Dave and Amy – Feeling Lucky
11.0 Taken To The Cleaners. An illuminating look
into the lives of Britain’s army of cleaners, as they
meet some of the people they clean for for the first
time. 11.30 Relativity. Richard Herring’s comedy
series about four generations of a family continues.
(2/4) 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping Forecast
12.04 Home Front: 13 September 1917 – Albert
Wilson, by Sebastian Baczkiewicz. (33/40) 12.15
You and Yours. Consumer and public interest
reports. 1.0 The World at One 1.45 Whodunnit: The
Calendar Conspiracy (3/5) 1.56 Weather 2.0 The
Archers (R) 2.15 Drama: A Question of Judgement,
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Adrian
Chiles 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live Drive
6.30 5 Live Sport 7.45 Champions League
Football 2017-18 10.0 5 Live Football Social
10.30 Sam Walker 1.0 Up All Night 5.0
Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
Thursday 14
PICKS OF
THE DAY
be chosen from 12 shortlisted acts: Alt-J,
Blossoms, Dinosaur, Glass Animals, J Hus,
Kate Tempest, Loyle Carner, Sampha,
Stormzy, the Big Moon, the xx and the
inescapable Ed Sheeran.
editor Tania Nehme cut Tanna – then this
acclaimed rainforest romance could be very
much your thing. Jonathan Romney
DRAMA
Death Masks: The Undying Face
RADIO
Radio 4, 11.30am
Safe House
ITV, 9pm
Did John have something to do with Julie’s
disappearance? His host, former detective
Tom, has a nose for these things and in this
episode the evidence begins to mount,
damningly. Mike Bradley
FILM
TRAVELOGUE
Tanna
Sky Premiere, 1.20am
Without Limits: Vietnam
BBC1, 8pm
(Martin Butler, Bentley Dean, 2015)
Six spirited Brits with various disabilities
embark on a 900-mile journey through
Vietnam, a country still suffering the legacy
of war with high levels of disability from
unexploded ordnance. Of course they are
supported by a safety crew, but the group
are the ones in charge of this ambitious
adventure in a country ill-equipped for
disability. The first of two programmes.
The occasional piece of art-house
ethnographic drama (eg 2015’s Embrace
of the Serpent) connects with wider
audiences; Tanna, however, slipped the net.
The first feature shot entirely in the South
Pacific nation of Vanuatu, it originated in the
Australian directors’ time spent with the
Yakel tribe, who passed on this traditional
story set on a volcanic island. With dialogue
in the Nauvhal, or Nivhaal, tongue, it’s
about young lovers who decide to marry
for love rather than obey families locked
in a bitter dispute. Mundau Dain and Marie
Wawa are among the non-professional
Yakel cast. If you’ve enjoyed Embrace or
indeed, Rolf de Heer’s work with Indigenous
Australian narratives and casts – his
AWARDS
Best Album of the Year:
Mercury Prize Live 2017
BBC4, 9pm
Coverage of the gongfest at the
Hammersmith Apollo, where a winner will
TV CHOICE
Tribes, Predators and Me:
Eagle People of Mongolia
BBC2, 9pm
There have been plenty of
documentaries broadcast about the
eagle hunters of Mongolia but none
have been so intimate or so personal as
wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan’s
account of the time he spent on the
steppe living in gers with the Kazakh
men who use golden eagles to hunt for
food to enable them to survive the cruel
Mongolian winter. They welcome him into
their spring camp, educate him in their
nomadic ways and give him a young eagle
to train – something much easier said
than done. The birds are not pets. They
are working animals, say their owners, so
they do not give them names. That said,
they treat them with affection: “If you
love her [they only hunt with females] like
you love your wife, she will love you back.”
A wonderful film with a heartwarming
surprise at the end. Mike Bradley
In a fascinating programme, sculptor and
Alabama 3 musician Nick Reynolds, also
the son of Great Train Robbery mastermind
Bruce Reynolds, shares his enthusiasm
for creating death masks. His house is
adorned with masks of famous figures from
Napoleon to Ned Kelly, the latter cast even
showing the bulge on Kelly’s neck where
the rope hanged him. Reynolds himself
has made masks of Peter O’Toole, Malcolm
McLaren and many others. An anecdoterich programme features MP Jacob ReesMogg, Kate O’Toole (Peter’s daughter) and
art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston. Dr Ian
Dungavell from Highgate Cemetery Trust
joins him to discuss the strange power of
the “undying face”. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Football
BT Sport 2, 8pm
Arsenal v FC Cologne: Europa League.
For the first time in 20 years the Gunners
enter Europe’s second-tier competition,
one not to be underestimated since the
winner earns a Champions League spot
in next year’s campaign. This could be
Arsenal’s best chance of qualifying for
Europe’s elite competition. Jack Kinnersley
TELEVISION
BBC2
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Council House
Crackdown (T) 10.0 Homes Under
the Hammer (T) 11.0 Dom on
the Spot (T) 11.45 Thief Trackers
(T) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (T) (R) 1.0
News; Weather (T) 1.30 Regional
News and Weather (T) 1.45
Doctors (T) 2.15 The Boss (T)
3.0 Escape to the Country (T)
(R) 3.45 Garden Rescue (T) 4.30
Celebrity Money for Nothing (T)
5.15 Pointless (T) 6.0 News at Six;
Weather (T) 6.30 Regional News
and Weather (T) 7.0 The One
Show (T) 7.30 EastEnders (T)
6.0
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Council House Crackdown (R)
7.15 Garden Rescue (R) 8.0
Nadiya’s British Food Adventure
(R) 8.30 Great British Menu
(R) 9.0 Victoria Derbyshire
11.0 Newsroom Live 12.0 Daily
Politics 1.0 For What It’s Worth
(R) 1.45 Coast (R) 2.0 Glorious
Gardens from Above (R) 2.45
WDYTYA? (R) 3.45 Great British
Railway Journeys (R) 4.15 Human
Planet (R) 5.15 Flog It! (R) 6.0
House of Games 6.30 Eggheads
7.0 This Farming Life (T)
6.0
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy
Kyle Show (T) 10.30 This Morning
(T) 12.30 Loose Women (T)
1.30 News (T) 1.55 Local News
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(T) 7.30 Tonight: Fat – The
Healthy Option? (T) Catherine
Tyldesley looks at the pros and
cons of the fats we consume.
6.0
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45 The King
of Queens (T) (R) 8.0 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T) (R) 9.0
Frasier (T) (R) 9.35 Frasier (T)
(R) 10.05 Ramsay’s Kitchen
Nightmares USA (T) (R) 11.0
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Collection (T) 2.10 Countdown
(T) 3.0 Cheap Cheap Cheap (T)
4.0 A Place in the Sun: Home or
Away (T) 5.0 Come Dine with
Me (T) 6.0 The Simpsons (T) (R)
6.30 Hollyoaks (T) 7.0 News (T)
6.0
Without Limits: Vietnam
(T) The first of a two-part
documentary in which six
people with different physical
disabilities embark on a 900mile journey through Vietnam.
Ambulance (T) The weekend
starts with a nasty car accident,
and a woman has her finger
bitten off during an argument.
8.0
The Big Family Cooking
Showdown (T) Zoë Ball and
Nadiya Hussain host another
round of the culinary competition.
Tribes, Predators & Me (T) A
family of nomads teach Gordon
Buchanan how they hunt with
golden eagles in the Mongolian
mountains. But first he must
gain the trust of his eagle.
8.0
Emmerdale (T) Debbie feels
the pressure, and Daz faces
the consequences.
8.30 James Martin’s French Adventure
(T) The chef arrives in the riverside
town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
9.0 Safe House (T) As the search
for Julie intensifies, John’s
erratic behaviour in the safe
house causes Tom to become
suspicious.
8.0
Lego Masters (T) The teams
bring a child’s story to life using
Lego bricks. Last in the series.
Educating Greater Manchester
(T) The mock exams prove
disappointing, so the senior
staff do everything in their
power to bring the school’s
children up to scratch.
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.40 Uefa Europa League Highlights
(T) Including Atalanta v Everton
and Arsenal v FC Cologne.
11.55 Bear Grylls: Mission Survive
(T) (R)
12.45 Jackpot247 3.0 Tonight: Fat –
The Healthy Option? (T) (R)
3.25 Nightscreen 5.05 The
Jeremy Kyle Show (R)
10.0 The Great British Bake Off:
An Extra Slice (T)
10.50 The Undateables (T) (R)
11.55 Gogglebox (T) (R)
1.0 Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls
(T) (R) 1.55 From Russia to Iran:
Crossing the Wild Frontier (T)
(R) 2.50 One Born Every Minute
(T) (R) 3.45 Location, Location,
Location (T) (R) 4.40 Building
the Dream (T) (R)
BBC1
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Regional News and Weather (T)
10.45 Question Time (T) New series.
11.45 MND and 22-Year-Old Me
(T) Cameras follow Scotland’s
youngest person with motor
neurone disease.
12.45 Weather for the Week Ahead
(T) 12.50 News (T)
9.0
10.0 MOTD: The Premier League
Show (T)
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.15 Mountain: Life at the Extreme
(T) (R) The final episode focuses
on life in the Andes.
12.15 Sign Zone Celebrity MasterChef
(T) (R) 1.45 Sweet Sixteen:
A Transgender Story (T) (R)
2.25 This Is BBC2 (T)
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
9.0am WTA All Access 9.30 Goals Reload 9.45
Premier League Reload 10.0 The Football Archives:
1978/79 10.30 The Football Archives: 1979/80
11.0 MotoGP Rewind 11.15 Rugby Tonight Extra
11.45 Game of the Week 12.15 Premier League
World 12.45-2.45 Chelsea Classics 2.45-4.45
Arsenal Classics 4.45 Premier League World
5.15 Champions League Catch-Up Show 5.30
DTM Review 6.30 WTA Tennis: Japan Women’s
Open 8.30 Live MLB: Colorado Rockies v Arizona
Diamondbacks (start-time 8.40pm) 11.30 The
Birth of Big Air 12.30 WTA All Access 1.0 WTA
Tennis: Japan Women’s Open 3.0 Live WTA Tennis:
Japan Open, Quarter-Finals
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Hotel Secrets 7.0 Hotel Secrets 8.0
The Guest Wing 9.0 The British 10.0-12.0 The
West Wing 12.0 Without a Trace 1.0 CSI: Crime
Scene Investigation 2.0 Blue Bloods 3.0 Fish
Town 4.0-6.0 The West Wing 6.0 Without a
Trace 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 8.0
Blue Bloods 9.0 Tin Star 10.0 Ballers 10.35
Insecure 11.10 Last Week Tonight 11.45 Tin
Star 12.45 Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing
3.0 The Wire 4.15-6.0 The West Wing
E4
All programmes from 8am to 7pm are double
bills. 6.0am Hollyoaks 6.30 Coach Trip: Road
to Zante 7.0 Made in Chelsea: Ibiza 8.0 Melissa
& Joey 9.0 2 Broke Girls 10.0 Baby Daddy 11.0
How I Met Your Mother 12.0 The Goldbergs 1.0
The Big Bang Theory 2.0 Melissa & Joey 3.0 Baby
Daddy 4.0 2 Broke Girls 5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0
The Big Bang Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach
Trip: Road to Zante 8.0 The Big Bang Theory
8.30 Kevin Can Wait 9.0 Body Fixers 10.0
Celebs Go Dating 11.05 The Big Bang Theory
11.35 The Big Bang Theory 12.0 The IT Crowd
12.35 The IT Crowd 1.05 Celebs Go Dating 2.10
First Dates Hotel 3.0 Body Fixers 3.55 Kevin Can
VARIATIONS
Wait 4.15 Rude(ish) Tube 4.40 How I Met Your
Mother 5.05 How I Met Your Mother
Film4
11.0am Broken Arrow (1950) 12.50 The Black Dakotas (1954) 2.10 Oh! What
a Lovely War (1969) 5.0 The Hound of the
Baskervilles (1959) 6.50 The Secret Life of
Bees (2008) 9.0 Legend (2015) 11.35 Starred Up (2013) 1.40 The Fighter (2010)
Sky1
6.0am Road Wars 7.0 Hawaii Five-0 8.0
Monkey Life 8.30 Monkey Life 9.0 The Dog
Whisperer 10.0 Nothing to Declare 10.30 Border
Security: America’s Front Line 11.0 NCIS: LA 12.0
Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Hawaii Five-0 2.0 NCIS: LA
3.0 Supergirl 4.0 Stargate SG-1 5.0 Futurama
5.30 Modern Family 6.0 Modern Family 6.308.0 The Simpsons 8.0 Duck Quacks Don’t Echo
9.0 A League of Their Own 10.0 Football’s
Funniest Moments 11.0 Freddie Down Under 12.0
A League of Their Own 1.0 The Force: Manchester
2.0 Hawaii Five-0 3.0-4.0 Motorway Patrol
4.0-5.0 Animal 999 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am-10.0 Good Morning Sports Fans
10.0 Live Ladies European Tour Golf: The Evian
Championship. Coverage of day one at the Evian
Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France.
1.0-2.30 Sky Sports Today 2.30 Live Ladies
European Tour Golf. Further coverage. 5.30
Sky Sports News at 5 6.0 Sky Sports News
at 6 7.0 Sky Sports Tonight 7.30 Live Super
League Super 8s: Hull FC v Wakefield Trinity
(kick-off 8pm) 10.30 Live PGA Tour Golf:
The BMW Championship. Day one of the third
FedEx Cup play-off at Conway Farms Golf Club
in Lake Forest, Illinois. 12.0 Premier League
Match Pack 12.30 Live NFL: Cincinnati Bengals
v Houston Texans (kick-off 1.25am) 4.45
Super League Super 8s 5.0 Through the Night
STV NORTH As ITV except 10.30pm
Scotland Tonight (T) 11.05 Uefa Europa League
Highlights (T) 12.15 Teleshopping 1.15 After
Midnight 2.45 Tonight: Fat – The Healthy Option?
(T) (R) 3.10-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.45am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 10.30pm Scotland
Tonight (T) 11.05 Uefa Europa League Highlights
(T) 12.15 Teleshopping 1.15 After Midnight
2.45 Tonight: Fat – The Healthy Option? (T)
(R) 3.10-5.05 ITV Nightscreen (T)
ULSTER As ITV except 8.30pm-9.0 Made
in Holywood (T) 12.45 Teleshopping 1.45-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
BBC1 N IRELAND 10.40pm The View (T)
11.15 Question Time (T) 12.15-1.15 MND and
22-Year-Old Me (T)
BBC2 SCOTLAND 12noon-1.0 First
Minister’s Questions (T) 7.0 The Beechgrove
Garden (T) The team present a roadshow from
Cupar, Fife. 7.30-8.0 Timeline (T) 11.1512.15 Fallout (T) (R) Documentary about people
exonerated after lengthy prison sentences.
BBC2 WALES 11.15pm It’s My Shout: Short
Films from Wales (T) 11.30 Mountain: Life at the
Extreme (T) (R) 12.30 World’s Busiest Cities:
Mexico City (T) (R) 1.30-1.45 Coast (T) (R)
9.0
9.0
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright Stuff
11.15 Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away
(T) (R) 12.10 News (T) 12.15 The
Hotel Inspector (T) (R) 1.15 Home
and Away (T) 1.45 Neighbours
(T) 2.15 The Mentalist (T) (R)
3.15 Boyfriend Killer (Alyn
Darnay, 2017) (T) 5.0 News (T)
5.30 Neighbours (T) (R) 6.0 Home
and Away (T) (R) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Police Interceptors (T) (R)
Nightmare Tenants, Slum
Landlords (T) A young mum
is locked out of her home by
the young couple she allowed
to stay there for free. Includes
news update.
Gypsy Kids: Our Secret World
(T) Ellie-May dons fake tan and
a sequinned dress for a beauty
contest. Last in the series.
BBC4
7.0
Beyond 100 Days (T) 7.30
The Sky at Night (T) (R) Chris
Lintott and Maggie AderinPocock mark the end of the
Cassini space probe’s mission
by examining how the future
of space exploration has been
shaped by the craft’s discoveries.
8.0
Britain’s Outlaws: Highwaymen,
Pirates and Rogues (T) (R) Sam
Willis concludes his exploration
of the criminal underworld of
the 17th and 18th centuries.
Last in the series.
Best Album of the Year:
Mercury Prize Live 2017 (T)
Lauren Laverne hosts the
annual ceremony to decide
the album of the year.
9.0
10.0 My Extreme OCD Life (T) (2/2)
Cameras follow more obsessivecompulsive disorder sufferers,
including 23-year-old Nikita, who
spends hours each day tapping
items in her home.
11.05 My Secret Sex Fantasy (T)
12.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 The Dog
Rescuers with Alan Davies
(T) (R) 4.0 Criminals: Caught
on Camera (T) (R) 4.45 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.10 Great Artists
(T) (R) 5.35 Nick’s Quest (T) (R)
10.15 Indie Classics at the BBC
(T) (R) Archive performances
from the 80s and early 90s.
11.15 The Kate Bush Story: Running
Up That Hill (T) (R)
12.15 Music Moguls: Masters of
Pop (T) (R) 1.15 I’m Not In Love:
The Story of 10cc (T) (R) 2.15
Britain’s Outlaws: Highwaymen,
Pirates and Rogues (T) (R)
premiere). Thomas Adès: Asyla. Harrison Birtwistle:
Violin Concerto. Christian Tetzlaff (violin). 8.40
Interval. Performances by artists taking part in
the associated concerts this week at LSO St Luke’s
and Milton Court. Oliver Knussen: Symphony No
3. Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme, Enigma.
LSO, Simon Rattle.10.0 Free Thinking: Russian
Nationalism 10.45 The Essay: Paradise Lost –
Colin Burrow (4/5) 11.0 Late Junction. A mixtape
by Deerhoof. 12.30 Through the Night
Weather 1.0 The World at One. Presented by
Martha Kearney. 1.45 Whodunnit: The Calendar
Conspiracy (4/5) 2.0 The Archers 2.15 Drama:
The Beard, by Timothy X Atack. 3.0 Ramblings:
Listeners’ Walks – Cornwall (1/6) 3.27 Radio
4 Appeal: Maytree Respite Centre 3.30 Open
Book: Daryl Gregory (R) 4.0 The Film Programme
4.30 Inside Science. Adam Rutherford and
guests explore the latest scientific research. 5.0
PM 5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather
6.0 News 6.30 Women Talking About Cars:
Jo Brand. The comedian talks to Victoria Coren
Mitchell about her life through the perspective of
the cars she has known and owned. With readings
by Morwenna Banks. (2/4) 7.0 The Archers. Kate
offers her maternal wisdom, and Toby takes the
initiative. 7.15 Front Row 7.45 The Pursuits of
Darleen Fyles (R) (4/5) 8.0 The Briefing Room.
Current affairs documentary. 8.30 In Business:
Crossing the Line. Matthew Gwyther explores the
point at which investors in foreign markets decide
enough is enough. (7/9) 9.0 Inside Science (R)
9.30 The English Fix (R) 10.0 The World Tonight
10.45 Book at Bedtime: Crime Down Under – The
Dry, by Jane Harper. (9/10) 11.0 Bunk Bed. Peter
Curran and Patrick Marber share a bunk bed while
grappling with various topics. (4/6) 11.15 Elvis
McGonagall Takes a Look on the Bright Side: The
Winner Takes it All (R) 11.30 Today in Parliament
12.0 News 12.30 Book of the Week (R) (4/5)
12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News Briefing
5.43 Prayer for the Day 5.45 Farming Today
5.58 Tweet of the Day: Chris Jones on the Swift
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.33 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw
10.0 Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Scott Mills
4.0 Greg James 5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Greg James
7.0 Annie Mac 9.0 Artist Takeover With… High
Contrast 10.02 Residency: Kolsch 12.0 Residency:
Helena Hauff 1.0 Toddla T 4.0 Adele Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon Mayo 7.0 Bob
Harris Country 8.0 Jo Whiley 10.0 The Radio 2 Arts
Show 12.0 Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park Highlights
2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Tracks of My Years, Have a
Great Weekend & Feelgood Friday 5.0 Vanessa Feltz
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast 9.0 Essential Classics. Potential
companion pieces for Debussy’s Prélude à
l’après-midi d’un faune. Suzy Klein’s guest for
the week is Simon Rattle. 12.0 Composer of the
Week: Alexander Goehr (4/5) 1.0 News 1.02
Lunchtime Concert: West Cork Chamber Music
Festival Highlights 2017 (3/4) 2.0 Afternoon
Concert: Celebrating Simon Rattle. Penny Gore
presents. Berlin Philharmonic, Simon Rattle. Rihm:
Gruß-Moment 2. Ligeti: Violin Concerto. Patricia
Kopatchinskaja (violin). Mahler: Symphony No 4
in G. Camilla Tilling (soprano). Dvořák: Violin
Concerto. Lisa Batiashvili (violin). 4.30 In Tune:
This Is Rattle – Live from the Barbican. Sean
Rafferty is joined by guests at the Barbican Centre,
as the London Symphony Orchestra launch their
first season under new music director Simon Rattle.
6.30 Composer of the Week (R) (4/5) 7.30 In
Concert: Rattle on Radio 3. Simon Rattle’s inaugural
concert as music director of the London Symphony
Orchestra. Presented by Martin Handley in the
Barbican Hall and Georgia Mann in the Barbican’s
Sculpture Court. Helen Grime: Fanfare (world
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. News headlines and analysis with Mishal
Husain and Justin Webb. 7.48 Thought for the
Day, with Prof Tina Beattie. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday
in Parliament. Susan Hulme presents. 9.0 The
English Fix. Patrick Wright meets philosopher Roger
Scruton, who argues that the European Union has
affected those fundamentals of Englishness, the
landscape and the common law. Martha Spurrier,
director of Liberty, also gives her thoughts on the
matter. (4/4) 9.30 The Ideas That Make Us: Hubris
(R) With Bettany Hughes. 9.45 (LW) Daily Service
9.45 (FM) Book of the Week: South and West, by
Joan Didion. (4/5) 10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented
by Jenni Murray. Includes at 10.45 Drama: The
Pursuits of Darleen Fyles, by Esther Wilson. (4/5)
11.0 Crossing Continents: Dawn to Dusk in Bidi Bidi.
Bidi Bidi is a refugee camp in northwestern Uganda
which hosts upwards of 270,000 refugees who
have fled civil war in neighbouring South Sudan.
Ruth Alexander reports on how the Sudanese have
managed to transform the African Bush into a new
home and discovers the harsh reality of starting a
new life from scratch. (8/9) 11.30 Death Masks:
The Undying Face. Sculptor Nick Reynolds has
revived the art of making death masks. He discusses
the famous images he has made and explains why
he finds them so fascinating. 12.0 News 12.01
(LW) Shipping Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 14
September 1917 – Jessie Moore, by Sebastian
Baczkiewicz. (34/40) 12.15 You and Yours 12.57
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With Chris
Warburton 1.0 Afternoon Edition 4.0 5 Live
Drive 7.0 5 Live Sport 8.0 5 Live Boxing With
Costello & Bunce 9.0 5 Live F1 10.0 Question
Time Extra Time 1.0 Up All Night 5.0 Morning
Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
43
Friday 15
PICKS OF
THE DAY
his parents in their south London family
home, only to discover that they’ve sold the
house and moved to a static caravan park
in Margate. With a cast featuring Phil Davis
and Alison Steadman, this lively experiment
is well worth a look. Very funny.
Black co-stars in one of the quintessential
movies of 70s American “dirty realism”.
Jonathan Romney
DOCUMENTARY
Radio 4, 11am
RADIO
My Secret Wig
Brian Kernohan, who is acutely aware of his
own thinning hair, investigates the world
of wigs, asking why there is a tendency to
view them as ridiculous or shameful. As
he prepares to be fitted for one himself,
he hears positive stories from a wig shop
owner who regularly shocks customers
by revealing that she too is wearing a
hairpiece, and an opera singer who says
wigs help her become a different person
on stage. He also talks to a cancer patient
keen to sport his favourite hairstyle at his
brother’s wedding and a historian who
reminds us how Louis XIV once made
wigs highly fashionable. Stephanie Billen
Lore
Amazon Prime
A combination of documentary and film
footage that explains the origins of some
of the most popular myths of the horror
genre, such as vampires, changelings and
werewolves. Mike Bradley
ANIMATION
FILM
Legends of Chamberlain Heights
Comedy Central, 10pm
Five Easy Pieces
Sky Greats, 4.10am
Instead of just spooling out banter about
their classmates the first episode of
season two sees Milk, Grover and Jamal
react to – shock, horror – an actual
subject. In this case it’s what the PR people
handing out the free iPads (“the way the
early colonialists gave blankets to the
Indians”) call “neighbourhood revitalisation”.
Is the hood really ready for gentrification?
(Bob Rafelson, 1970)
He’d been around some – not least in a few
Roger Corman movies and in Easy Rider –
but this gave Jack Nicholson the star billing
that made him one of the defining male
leads of 70s Hollywood. Here, as classical
pianist turned oil worker Bobby Dupea,
Nicholson becomes a sort of cerebral
revision of James Dean, with a shorter fuse
and a more abrasive kind of angst. Written
by director Rafelson and Adrien Joyce
(AKA Carole Eastman), this is a somewhat
Kerouacian move about escape, the search
for self, the fact that you can’t not never
go home again, and – in a celebrated
scene – the difficulty of getting a side
order of toast in a diner. The great Karen
COMEDY
Comedy Playhouse
BBC1, 10.35pm
Static. Twentysomething Rob (turns out
co-writer Rob Beckett is a fine actor too)
leaves a job in London to move back in with
TV CHOICE
Cold Feet
ITV, 9pm
How many crises and neuroses can you
fit into one hour of comedy drama? Quite
a few, if Cold Feet is anything to go by,
and the clever thing is that at no point
does it get maudlin, no matter how many
disasters and blind alleys rear their heads.
In tonight’s episode the focus is primarily
on the subject of children. Responding to
Adam’s (James Nesbitt) suggestion that
“with our genes we’d make great babies”
Tina (Leanne Best) unthinkingly remarks
that he would make a better grandad than
dad. Cue: soul-searching, discussions
with David (Robert Bathurst) and Pete
(John Thomson, above) in the pub,
followed by a positive solution. Elsewhere,
Karen’s star author has a wake-up call;
Jenny’s promotion yields unforeseen
consequences; Pete ropes in the boys to
help him entertain the old folks; and David
receives an offer he dare not refuse.
Unmissably funny. Mike Bradley
SPORT
Football
Sky Sports Main Event, 7pm
Bournemouth v Brighton & Hove Albion:
Premier League. Both sides are yet to win a
league game this season and the Seagulls
haven’t scored since being promoted (they
did earn a solitary point against Watford,
but were unable to break down the Hornets
despite having a man advantage). An
important game as neither of these clubs
will want to be left behind in the race for
top-flight security. Jack Kinnersley
TELEVISION
BBC1
6.0
Breakfast (T) 9.15 Council House
Crackdown (T) 10.0 Homes Under
the Hammer (T) (R) 11.0 Dom on
the Spot (T) 11.45 Thief Trackers
(T) 12.15 Bargain Hunt (T) 1.0
News (T) 1.30 Regional News (T)
1.45 Doctors (T) 2.15 The Boss
(T) 3.0 Escape to the Country
(T) 3.45 Garden Rescue (T) 4.30
Celebrity Money for Nothing (T)
5.15 Pointless (T) 6.0 News (T)
6.30 Regional News (T) 7.0 The
One Show (T) 7.30 A Question
of Sport (T) (R)
BBC2
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.0
6.0
6.0
Countdown (T) (R) 6.45 The King
of Queens (T) (R) 8.0 Everybody
Loves Raymond (T) (R) 8.55
Frasier (T) (R) 9.25 F1 Singapore
Grand Prix, Practice One Live (T)
11.05 Coast vs Country (T) (R)
12.05 News (T) 12.10 A Place in
the Sun (T) (R) 12.40 Countdown
(T) 1.25 F1 Singapore Grand Prix,
Practice Two Live (T) 3.05 Cheap
Cheap Cheap (T) 4.0 A Place in
the Sun: Home or Away (T) 5.0
Come Dine with Me (T) 6.0 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 6.30 Hollyoaks
(T) 7.0 News (T)
6.0
The Crystal Maze (T) Richard
Ayoade guides a cosplay team
through the Aztec, Medieval,
Industrial and Future zones
of the Maze, tackling a range
of skill, mystery, physical and
mental challenges.
Gogglebox (T) Fly-on-the-wall
series capturing households’
instant reactions to the week’s TV.
8.0
Flog It! Trade Secrets (R) 6.30
Council House Crackdown (R)
7.15 Garden Rescue (R) 8.0
Gardeners’ World (R) 9.0 Victoria
Derbyshire 11.0 Newsroom Live
12.0 Daily Politics 1.0 For What
It’s Worth (R) 1.45 Coast (R) 2.0
Glorious Gardens from Above
(T) (R) 2.45 Who Do You Think
You Are? (T) (R) 3.45 Great
British Railway Journeys (T)
(R) 4.15 Human Planet (T) (R)
5.15 Flog It! (T) (R) 6.0 House of
Games (T) 6.30 Eggheads (T)
7.0 This Farming Life (T)
Good Morning Britain (T) 8.30
Lorraine (T) 9.25 The Jeremy
Kyle Show (T) 10.30 This
Morning (T) 12.30 Loose Women
(T) 1.30 News (T) 1.55 Local
News (T) 2.0 Judge Rinder (T)
3.0 Dickinson’s Real Deal (T) (R)
3.59 Local News and Weather
(T) 4.0 Tipping Point (T) 5.0 The
Chase (T) 6.0 Local News (T)
6.30 News (T) 7.0 Emmerdale
(T) Debbie and Charity get a
surprise. 7.30 Coronation Street
(T) Eva uses her hen party to
take aim at Maria and Jenny.
EastEnders (T) The residents are
unimpressed when the mayor
turns up at Fi’s champagne
reception.
8.30 Celebrity MasterChef (T) The
last of the semi-finals sees the
cooks preparing a high tea to
celebrate the life and works of
landscape gardener Lancelot
“Capability” Brown.
8.0 Mastermind (T)
8.30 Only Connect (T) Victoria
Coren Mitchell presents the
quizshow based on patience
and lateral thinking.
9.0 Gardeners’ World (T) Monty
Don prunes summer-fruiting
raspberries and gives his
recommendations for bulbs to
plant now that will thrive in pots
next year.
8.0
Teach My Pet to Do That (T)
Alexander Armstrong tests
German shepherd cross Declan
and domesticated ferret Biscuit.
8.30 Coronation Street (T) Eva
pushes Maria too far.
9.0 Cold Feet (T) Baby-making
miscommunication drives a
wedge between Adam and
Tina. Pete begins to wonder
just what he has unleashed.
8.0
10.0 News (T)
10.25 Regional News and Weather (T)
Includes national lottery update.
10.35 Comedy Playhouse: Static (T)
11.05 Room 101 (T) (R)
11.35 The NFL Show (T)
12.05 Rogue (Greg McLean,
2007) (T) Outback croc-shock
thriller starring Radha Mitchell.
1.40 Weather for the Week
Ahead (T) 1.45 BBC News
10.0 Mock the Week (T)
10.30 Newsnight (T) Weather
11.05 Dragons’ Den (T) (R)
12.05 Sign Zone Panorama: Why Mum
Died – Britain’s Sepsis Crisis (T)
(R) 12.35 Dangerous Borders: A
Journey Across India & Pakistan
(T) (R) 1.35 Normal for Norfolk
(T) (R) 2.05 This Is BBC2 (T)
10.0 News (T)
10.30 Local News (T)
10.45 Tonight at the London Palladium
(T) (R) With James Blunt, Louisa
Johnson, Jennifer Hudson and
Samurai Hayashi.
11.45 Tipping Point (T) (R)
Ben Shephard hosts.
12.40 Jackpot247 3.0 Storage
Hoarders (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
Nightscreen
10.0 8 Out of 10 Cats Does
Countdown (T)
11.05 Married to a Celebrity: The
Survival Guide (T) (R)
12.05 Back (T) (R) 12.35 The Great
British Bake Off: An Extra Slice
(T) (R) 1.20 The French
Connection (1971) (T) 3.05 The
State (T) (R) 4.0 Selling Houses
with Amanda Lamb (T) 4.55
Building the Dream (T) (R)
8.0
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
11.0am WTA All Access 11.30 Premier League
Match Pack 12.0 Total Italian Football 12.30
Chelsea Classics 1.30 Chelsea Classics 2.30
Arsenal Classics 3.30 Arsenal Classics 4.30
Premier League Match Pack 5.0 Reload 5.15
FIA F3 European Championship Highlights
6.15 Premier League Preview 6.45 Live
Scottish Football Extra 7.15 Live: Partick
Thistle v Rangers (kick-off 7.45pm) Coverage
of the Scottish Premiership clash from Firhill.
10.0 No Filter Boxing 10.30 AFL 12.30
Northampton Saints v Bath 2.0 Uefa Champions
League Review 3.0 FIA F3 European Championship
Highlights 4.0 WTA Tennis: Japan Women’s Open.
Highlights from the quarter-finals in Tokyo.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 7.0
Richard E Grant’s Hotel Secrets 8.0 The British
9.0 The British 10.0 The West Wing 11.0 The West
Wing 12.0 Without a Trace 1.0 CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation 2.0 Blue Bloods 3.0 Fish Town 4.0
The West Wing 5.0 The West Wing 6.0 Without
a Trace 7.0 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 8.0
Blue Bloods 9.0 Game of Thrones 10.10 Game of
Thrones 11.20 Dexter 12.25 Looking: The
Movie (2016) 2.10 The Wire 3.25 Vice Principals
4.0 The West Wing 5.0 The West Wing
E4
All programmes from 8am to 7pm are double bills.
6.0am Hollyoaks 6.30 Coach Trip: Road to Zante
7.0 Made in Chelsea: Ibiza 8.0 Melissa & Joey 9.0
2 Broke Girls 10.0 Baby Daddy 11.0 How I Met
Your Mother 12.0 The Goldbergs 1.0 The Big Bang
Theory 2.0 Melissa & Joey 3.0 Baby Daddy 4.0 2
Broke Girls 5.0 The Goldbergs 6.0 The Big Bang
Theory 7.0 Hollyoaks 7.30 Coach Trip: Road to
Zante 8.0 Mirror Mirror (2012) 10.0 Celebs
Go Dating 11.05 The Big Bang Theory 11.35 The
Big Bang Theory 12.0 The IT Crowd 12.35 The
IT Crowd 1.05 Celebs Go Dating 2.10 First Dates
44
VARIATIONS
Hotel 3.05 Tattoo Fixers on Holiday 4.0 The IT
Crowd 4.25 Rude(ish) Tube 4.50 How I Met
Your Mother 5.10 How I Met Your Mother
Film4
11.0am Anastasia (1956) 1.15 The Best of Benny Hill (1974) 2.55 Billion Dollar Brain (1967) 5.05 Carry
On Cabby (1963) 6.55 The Perks of
Being a Wallflower (2012) 9.0 Pitch
Perfect (2012) 11.15 Prometheus (2012)
1.40 Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Sky1
6.0am Hawaii Five-0 7.0 Hawaii Five-0 8.0
Monkey Life 8.30 Monkey Life 9.0 The Dog
Whisperer 10.0 Nothing to Declare 10.30
Border Security: America’s Front Line 11.0 NCIS:
Los Angeles 12.0 Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Hawaii
Five-0 2.0 NCIS: LA 3.0 Supergirl 4.0 Stargate
SG-1 5.0 Futurama 5.30 Modern Family 6.0
Modern Family 6.30-8.0 The Simpsons 8.0
Modern Family 8.30 Modern Family 9.0 Zoo
10.0 The Force: North East 11.0 Ross Kemp on
Gangs 12.0 A League of Their Own 1.0 The Force:
Manchester 2.0 Hawaii Five-0 3.0 Motorway
Patrol 3.30 Motorway Patrol 4.0 Animal 999
4.30 Animal 999 5.0 The Dog Whisperer
Sky Sports 1
6.0am-10.0 Good Morning Sports Fans
10.0 Live Ladies European Tour Golf: The Evian
Championship. Coverage of the second day in
France. 1.0-2.30 Sky Sports Today 2.30 Live
Ladies European Tour Golf. Further coverage.
5.30 Sky Sports News at 5 6.0 Sky Sports News
at 6 7.0 Live FNF: Bournemouth v Brighton & Hove
Albion (kick-off 8pm) Coverage of the Premier
League encounter at the Vitality Stadium. 10.15
Live PGA Tour Golf: The BMW Championship.
Further coverage of day two of the third FedEx
Cup play-off at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake
Forest, Illinois. 12.0-6.0 Through the Night
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Animal 999 (T) Officers Karen and Amanda
try to capture two roosters and a hen. 12.40
Teleshopping 1.40 After Midnight 3.10-6.0
ITV Nightscreen
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.40am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30
Animal 999 (T) Officers Karen and Amanda
try to capture two roosters and a hen. 12.40
Teleshopping 1.40 After Midnight 3.10-6.0
ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 8.0pm-8.30 UTV
Life (T) 12.40 Teleshopping 1.40-3.0 ITV
Nightscreen
BBC2 WALES 7.0pm Mastermind (T)
7.30 Scrum V Live (T) Ulster v Scarlets (kick-off
7.35pm) Ross Harries introduces coverage of the
Pro14 encounter at the Kingspan Stadium. 9.3010.0 Only Connect (T) 11.05 It’s My Shout: Short
Films from Wales (T) Rory Romantic, by Eleonora
Mignoli. Following an accident that ruined his
career, an author and fitness coach is visited by
his No 1 fan. 11.20 Dragons’ Den (T) (R) 12.2012.35 Coast (T) (R)
BBC2 N IRELAND 7.0pm Coast (T) (R)
7.30 Ulster Rugby Live (T) Ulster v Scarlets (kickoff 7.35pm) Stephen Watson introduces coverage
of the Pro14 encounter at the Kingspan Stadium.
9.30-10.0 Only Connect (T)
9.0
9.0
Milkshake! 9.15 The Wright
Stuff 11.15 Can’t Pay? We’ll Take
It Away (T) (R) 12.10 News (T)
12.15 The Hotel Inspector (T) (R)
1.15 Home and Away (T) 1.45
Neighbours (T) 2.15 The Mentalist
(T) (R) 3.15 Jesse Stone:
Innocents Lost (Dick Lowry,
2011) (T) 5.0 News (T) 5.30
Neighbours (T) (R) 6.0 Home
and Away (T) (R) 6.30 News (T)
7.0 Secrets of the National Trust
With Alan Titchmarsh (T) (R)
Celebrity 5 Go Motorhoming
(T) The stars tackle the dramatic
terrain of Scotland. Includes
news update.
Cruising With Jane McDonald
(T) The presenter returns to
Naples, from where takes a
ferry to Capri hoping to fulfil
an ambition she has had all her
life – to follow in the footsteps
of entertainer Gracie Fields.
BBC4
7.0
World News Today (T) 7.30 Top
of the Pops: 1984 (T) John Peel
and Tommy Vance introduce
performances by Shakatak,
Tina Turner, Alison Moyet, Phil
Fearon and Galaxy, Echo and
the Bunnymen, the Bluebells
and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
First shown on 12 July 1984.
8.0
The Live Lounge Show Clara
Amfo peeks behind the scenes
of Radio 1’s Live Lounge.
Marc Bolan: Cosmic Dancer (T)
Intimate biography, narrated
in the pop singer’s own words,
marking the 70th anniversary
of his birth and the 40th of
his death.
9.0
10.0 Maurice Gibb: In Life and
Death (T) Dr Jason PayneJames re-examines the facts
surrounding the death of the
Bee Gees’ Maurice Gibb.
11.05 The Greatest Ever Pop Families
(T) Classic hits from across the
decades by bands featuring
family members.
12.0 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Ring of Fire
(T) 4.25 Access (T) 4.40 House
Doctor (T) (R) 5.05 Great Artists
(T) (R) 5.30 Nick’s Quest (T) (R)
10.0 Glam Rock at the BBC (T)
11.0 Madness Live at Eden (T) A
performance by the Nutty Boys
at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
11.55 Elton John at the BBC (T) (R)
A selection of interviews and
news clips.
12.50 Top of the Pops: 1984 (T) (R)
1.25 Marc Bolan: Cosmic Dancer
(T) (R) 2.25 Glam Rock at the
BBC (T) (R)
(bass: M Javelinot), Neil Gillespie (tenor: Thierry),
ROH, Simon Rattle. 4.45 In Tune 6.30 Composer
of the Week (R) (5/5) 7.30 In Concert. From the
Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Filarmonica della Scala,
Riccardo Chailly, Julian Rachlin (viola). Enescu:
Romanian Rhapsody in D, Op 11, No 2. Bartók:
Viola Concerto. 8.10 Interval. Jamie MacDougall
introduces selections from Bach’s Goldberg
Variations, arranged for string trio, and performed
by Julian Rachlin, Nobuko Imai and Mischa Maisky.
8.30 Shostakovich: Symphony No 12, The Year
1917. 10.0 The Verb at the Edinburgh Festivals.
Ian McMillan’s guest include Colm Tóibín and Aditi
Mittal. 10.45 The Essay: Paradise Lost – Patrick
McGuinness (5/5) 11.0 World on 3. Kathryn Tickell
presents a live session by Black String. 1.0 Through
the Night: Organ Concertos by Bach and Handel. A
concert by the organist Juan de la Rubia.
2.15 Drama: A Book by Lester Tricklebank, by
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.33 The Breakfast Show With Nick Grimshaw
10.0 Clara Amfo 12.45 Newsbeat 1.0 Scott
Mills 4.0 The Official Chart With Greg James
5.45 Newsbeat 6.0 Dance Anthems With
Greg James 7.0 Annie Mac 10.0 Pete Tong
1.0 B.Traits 4.0 Essential Mix
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.30 Chris Evans 9.30 Ken Bruce 12.0 Jeremy
Vine 2.0 Steve Wright 5.0 Simon Mayo 7.0 Tony
Blackburn’s Golden Hour 8.0 Friday Night Is Music
Night 10.0 Sounds of the 80s 12.0 Anneka Rice:
The Happening (19) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Funky
Soul, New to 2 & 21st-Century Songs 5.0 Huey
on Saturday
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. With Petroc Trelawny. 9.0
Essential Classics. Suzy Klein presents, joined by her
guest for the week, Simon Rattle, at 10am. 12.0
Composer of the Week: Alexander Goehr (5/5)
1.0 News 1.02 Lunchtime Concert: West Cork
Chamber Music Festival Highlights 2017 (4/4) 2.0
Afternoon Concert: Celebrating Simon Rattle. Penny
Gore presents Simon Rattle conducting Poulenc’s
Dialogues des Carmélites, which was recorded at
the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 2014.
Sally Matthews (soprano: Blanche), Anna Prohaska
(soprano: Constance), Emma Bell (soprano: Madame
Lidoine), Marie Sophie Koch (mezzo: Mother),
Deborah Polaski (soprano: Madame de Croissy),
Thomas Allen (baritone: Marquis de la Force), Yann
Beuron (tenor: Chevalier de la Force), Elizabeth
Sikora (mezzo: Mother Jeanne), Catherine Carby
(mezzo: Sister Mathilde), Alan Oke (tenor: Father
Confessor), David Butt Philip (baritone: First
Commissary), Michel de Souza (baritone: Second
Commissary), Ashley Riches (baritone: First Officer),
Craig Smith (conductor: Gaoler), John Bernays
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. Presented by Mishal Husain and Justin
Webb. 7.48 Thought for the Day, with Rhidian
Brook. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday in Parliament. Sean
Curran presents. 9.0 The Reunion: Northern Rock
(R) 9.45 (LW) Daily Service 9.45 (FM) Book of
the Week: South and West, by Joan Didion. (5/5)
10.0 Woman’s Hour. Presented by Jenni Murray.
Includes at 10.45 Drama: The Pursuits of Darleen
Fyles, Esther Harris. (5/5) 11.0 My Secret Wig.
Brian Kernohan investigates the world of wigs,
with the help of alopecia sufferer Geraldine, who
runs a wig shop that ensures discretion for all her
customers. 11.30 The Cold Swedish Winter: The
Latte Papas. Geoff negotiates the generous Swedish
parental benefits system. Comedy by Danny Robins,
starring Adam Riches and Sissela Benn. Last in the
series. (4/4) 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Home Front: 15 September 1917
– Ivy Layton, by Sebastian Baczkiewicz. (35/40)
12.15 You and Yours. Consumer and public interest
reports. 1.0 The World at One 1.45 Whodunnit:
The Calendar Conspiracy (5/5) 2.0 The Archers
Richard Lumsden (R) Lester carries a secret from
his childhood that has scarred his life, so decides to
write a tell-all book. Verse drama starring Stephen
Tompkinson. 3.0 Gardeners’ Question Time:
Tresco Abbey Garden – Correspondence Edition
3.45 Short Works: The Unknown, by Dermot
Bolger. Read by Ruth McCabe. 4.0 Last Word 4.30
More or Less (4/6) 4.55 The Listening Project:
Nancy and Nick – The Caring Profession 5.0 PM
5.54 (LW) Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather
6.0 News 6.30 The News Quiz. Miles Jupp hosts
the topical comedy panel game. (2/8) 7.0 The
Archers. Ian has a new resolve, and what’s cooking
with Lexi? 7.15 Front Row. Arts roundup. 7.45
The Pursuits of Darleen Fyles (R) (5/5) 8.0 Any
Questions? Jonathan Dimbleby presents political
debate from Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester,
Dorset. The panellists include the leader of the
Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable, and the chairman
of the Conservative party, Patrick McLoughlin.
8.50 A Point of View 9.0 Home Front Omnibus:
11-15 September 1917, by Sebastian Baczkiewicz.
(6/8) 10.0 The World Tonight 10.45 Book at
Bedtime: Crime Down Under – The Dry, by Jane
Harper. (10/10) 11.0 Great Lives: Nicholas Stern
on Muhammad Ali (R) 11.30 Today in Parliament
11.55 The Listening Project: John and Stella –
An All-Consuming Notion (R) 12.0 News 12.30
Book of the Week (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast
1.0 As World Service 5.20 Shipping Forecast
5.30 News 5.43 Prayer for the Day 5.45 iPM
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 5 Live Breakfast 10.0 5 Live Daily With
Chris Warburton 1.0 The Friday Sports Panel 2.0
Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review 4.0 5 Live Drive
7.0 5 Live Sport 8.0 Premier League Football:
Bournemouth v Brighton & Hove Albion (kick-off
8pm) 10.0 Stephen Nolan 1.0 Up All Night 5.0
5 Live Boxing With Costello & Bunce 5.30 Eye of
the Storm
Saturday 16
PICKS OF
THE DAY
Black Lake that has been neglected for
years. However, when he and his friends
head out to the site on a recce, they set in
motion a chain of disturbing events, which
provides a clue as to why the resort was
abandoned in the first place.
best known of the parents. Contemporary
Hollywood spectacle at its sharpest, and
sweetest. Jonathan Romney
CHATSHOW
Radio 3, 6.30pm
RADIO
Opera on 3: Puccini’s Turandot
The Jonathan Ross Show
ITV, 9.15pm
Ross entertains The Great British Bake
Off odd couple Paul Hollywood and Noel
Fielding, plus actors Jeff Bridges, Julianne
Moore, Taron Egerton and Halle Berry.
Music is by Craig David. Mike Bradley
DRAMA
FILM
Casualty
BBC1, 8.45pm
Super 8
Channel 4, 9pm
No Place to Hide. Dylan’s campaign to find
Sonosi’s missing uncle finally bears fruit,
but not in the way he expected. “No more
booze, no more men” Alicia’s attempt
to learn to drive yields some surprising
results. And Lily decides to go public with
an announcement about her and Iain, in
typically formal Lily fashion. Plus, Connie
takes Ethan under her wing. Great drama.
(JJ Abrams, 2011)
There’s something incredibly bizarre about
the idea of Steven Spielberg producing a
film that’s essentially a tribute to Steven
Spielberg. It’s written and directed by
JJ Abrams who, as creator of Lost and the
presiding spirit of the reanimated Star
Trek is essentially the Spielberg de nos
jours – so weirder still. Oddest of all is
that this piece of sci-fi nostalgia actually
comes across as thoroughly sincere, as
well as vividly entertaining. Set in 1979,
it’s about a group of kids trying to film
their own Super 8 monster movie when a
derailed train unleashes a series of bizarre
incidents. Elle Fanning is among the kids,
Kyle Chandler (of Friday Night Lights) the
DRAMA
Black Lake
BBC4, 9pm & 9.40pm
This new Swedish thriller kicks off with
a double bill in which a budding young
hotelier plans to reopen remote ski resort
TV CHOICE
The A-Z of Later… With Jools
Holland: From Adele to ZZ Top
BBC2, 10.15pm
This is a celebratory 90-minute journey
through Later…’s history, filled with
stories, excerpts and performances
by a select few of the stars who have
graced the show during the past 25
years. No preview tapes were available,
but we are promised “a rollercoaster ride
through the archives in an alphabetical
kinda way”, starting with a look back
at the editions in which Adele and Amy
Winehouse (above) made their TV
debuts, moving through boogie woogie
and on to grime, jazz, the oldest artists
who have been on, PJ Harvey and pop,
reggae, the unplanned and unpredictable,
the youngest and even the hairiest: ZZ
Top, naturally. Contributors include Norah
Jones, Dizzee Rascal, Slaves, Gregory
Porter, Kings of Leon, Sting, Chrissie
Hynde, carrot-topped looper Ed Sheeran,
Rag’n’Bone Man and more. Mike Bradley
Recorded at Covent Garden earlier this
summer, this exhilarating production stars
American soprano Christine Goerke as the
ice princess Turandot and Latvian tenor
Aleksandrs Antonenko as the unknown
prince willing to take part in her savage
games. Opera historian Sarah Lenton
tells presenter James Naughtie that it
is “ultimately a simple fairy story but a
ferocious one”, while conductor Dan Ettinger
talks about the huge tension sustained
by the music throughout. Nessun dorma
has never sounded more magnificent and
the satisfying, if unadventurous, ending by
Franco Alfano (who completed the work
after Puccini’s death) brings the house
down. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Rugby Union
Sky Sports Main Event, 8am
New Zealand v South Africa: Rugby
Championship. The All Blacks did the double
over Australia in their first two fixtures with
relative ease, while the Springboks cruised
past Argentina. South Africa haven’t won
the competition in the past seven years,
during which time Steve Hansen’s side
have won it five times. Jack Kinnersley
TELEVISION
BBC2
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
6.0
The NFL Show (T) (R) 6.30 How
We Won the War (T) (R) 7.0 My Favorite Wife (1940) (T) 8.25
James Mason: Talking Pictures
(T) (R) 9.05 Hotel Reserve
(1944) (T) 10.30 Railways of the
Great War with Michael Portillo (T)
(R) 11.0 Coast (T) (R) 12.0 Len and
Ainsley’s Big Food Adventure (T)
(R) 12.45 Triathlon: World Grand
Final (T) Ore Oduba introduces
coverage of the season finale in
Rotterdam. 5.15 The Big Family
Cooking Showdown (T) (R) 6.15
Dad’s Army (T) (R)
6.0
6.10 Motor Sport: Volkswagen Racing
Cup 6.40 Triathlon: VitoriaGasteiz 7.05 Everybody Loves
Raymond (R) 8.0 Frasier (R) 9.30
The Big Bang Theory (R) 10.55
F1: Singapore Grand Prix, Practice
Three Live (T) 12.25 F1 Meets
Jackie Stewart (T) 12.55 F1:
Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying
Live (T) 3.45 World’s Most
Expensive Cars (T) 4.45 A Place
in the Sun: Winter Sun (T) (R)
5.35 Location, Location, Location
(T) (R) 6.30 News (T) 7.0 Dunkirk:
The New Evidence (T) (R)
6.0
Who Dares Wins (T)
Nick Knowles hosts the
gameshow. Last in the series.
8.45 Casualty (T) Dylan’s attempt
to reunite Sanosi with his uncle
does not go according to plan.
9.35 Mrs Brown’s Boys (T) (R)
Agnes ends up at the wrong
venue after trying to gatecrash
Maria’s hen party.
6.45 PDC Champions League of Darts
(T) Coverage of four further
group-stage matches from
Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff,
as the second staging of the
competition featuring the world’s
top eight players continues.
8.0
The X Factor (T) Dermot
O’Leary presents the fourth
round of auditions.
9.15 The Jonathan Ross Show
(T) The host is joined by Paul
Hollywood, Noel Fielding, Jeff
Bridges, Julianne Moore, Taron
Egerton and Halle Berry. Plus,
Craig David will be performing.
8.0
8.0
The Great Fire: Death and
Destruction (T) (R) The worst
day of the inferno, revealing how
St Paul’s Cathedral burned so
fiercely its stones exploded.
8.55 News (T)
9.0 Football on 5: The Championship
(T) Including Barnsley v Aston
Villa, Hull City v Sunderland,
and Millwall v Leeds United.
8.0
10.05 News and Weather (T) Includes
national lottery update.
10.25 Match of the Day (T) Featuring
Watford v Man City and
Tottenham v Swansea.
11.55 People Just Do Nothing (T)
Grindah goes on his stag.
12.25 The Uninvited (2009) (T)
Thriller starring Emily Browning.
1.45 Weather (T) 1.50 News (T)
10.15 The A-Z of Later… With Jools
Holland: From Adele to ZZ Top
(T) Highlights from the past 25
years.
11.45 The White Countess
(James Ivory, 2005) (T) Period
romantic drama with Ralph
Fiennes and Natasha Richardson.
1.50 Renoir (2012) The elderly
painter finds fresh inspiration in a
model, but his son falls in love with
her. Drama with Michel Bouquet,
Christa Théret and Vincent
Rottiers. 3.35 This Is BBC2 (T)
10.20 News and Weather (T)
10.35 The Nutty Professor
(Tom Shadyac, 1996) (T) A shy,
overweight professor invents
a potion that transforms him
into a slim, loud-mouthed
charmer. Comedy remake
starring Eddie Murphy.
12.20 Jackpot247 3.0 The Hungry
Sailors (T) (R) 3.50 ITV
Nightscreen
11.20 The Mortal Instruments:
City of Bones (Harald Zwart,
2013) (T) Fantasy adventure
with Lily Collins and Jamie
Campbell Bower.
1.35 Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
USA (T) (R) 2.30 Hollyoaks (T)
4.35 Location, Location, Location
(T) (R) 5.30 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
5.55 Last Man Standing (T)
10.0 Football on 5: Goal Rush (T)
Including Blackburn v Wimbledon
and Lincoln v Mansfield.
10.30 The NCIS Movie: Legend (T)
(R) Feature-length episode.
The agents travel to LA to
work with another NCIS team.
12.05 Cricket on 5 (T) 1.05 SuperCasino
(T) 3.10 Ring of Fire (T) 4.40
Divine Designs (T) (R) 5.10
Wildlife SOS (T) (R) 5.30 Chinese
Food in Minutes (T)
10.25 Easter Island: Mysteries of a
Lost World (T) (R)
11.55 Top of the Pops: 1984 (T) (R)
12.30 Timeshift: The People’s Liners –
Britain’s Lost Pleasure Fleets (T)
(R) 1.30 A Very British Map: The
Ordnance Survey Story (T) (R)
2.30 Swarm: Nature’s Incredible
Invasions (T) (R)
Hibla Gerzmava (soprano: Liu), Insung Sim (bass:
Timur), Michel De Souza (baritone: Ping), Aled Hall
(tenor: Pang), Pavel Petrov (tenor: Pong), Robin
Leggate (tenor: Emperor Altoum), Yuriy Yurchuk
(baritone: Mandarin), ROH, Dan Ettinger. 9.30
Between the Ears: Bee Journal (R) 10.0 Hear and
Now: Musica Viva. Kate Molleson presents two
world premieres from the Bavarian RSO’s Musica
Viva season. Plus Sound of the Week: a new weekly
feature in which a composer talks about a sound
that has caught their ear and informed their music.
To launch the series tonight, Irish composer/
performer/conceptual artist Jennifer Walshe. Milica
Djordjevic: Quicksilver. Bavarian RSO, Peter Rundel.
Wolfgang Rihm: Requiem Verses. Mojca Erdmann
(soprano), Anna Prohaska (soprano), Hanno MüllerBrachmann (bass-baritone), Bavarian Radio Chorus
and SO, Mariss Jansons. 12.0 Geoffrey Smith’s
Jazz: Armstrong’s Singers. Louis Armstrong’s work
as an accompanist. 1.0 Through the Night (R)
week’s big issues. 2.30 Drama: Trial by Laughter,
by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman (R) . The Private
Eye satirists make use of real trial transcripts
to explore the life of Regency-era bookseller
and publisher William Hone, who stood trial in
1817 for impious blasphemy and seditious libel
after lampooning religious texts, and producing
inflammatory portrayals of a despotic British
government and a libidinous monarchy. Comedy
drama starring Robert Wilfort and Arthur Bostrum.
3.30 Tick Box Art (R) 4.0 Weekend Woman’s
Hour. Highlights from the weekday programmes.
5.0 Saturday PM 5.30 iPM (R) 5.54 Shipping
Forecast 5.57 Weather 6.0 News 6.15 Loose
Ends. Clive Anderson and Phil Gayle are joined
by guests PP Arnold, Camille O’Sullivan, Michael
Frayn and Adam Kay. With music from Amadou
& Mariam and Micah P Hinson. 7.0 Profile 7.15
Saturday Review. Tom Sutcliffe and guests examine
highlights of the week’s cultural events. 8.0 As the
Statues Fall. Lawrence Pollard examines the history
of tearing down public statues, and discusses the
social and moral issues raised by such activities with
a panel of historians. 9.0 Drama: Reading Europe.
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, by Elena
Ferrante. (R) (1/3) 10.0 News 10.15 Unreliable
Evidence: Housing Law (R) 11.0 Counterpoint:
Semi-Final Two (R) 11.30 Ian Sansom Is Falling
(R) 12.0 News 12.30 Short Works: The Unknown
(R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Bells
on Sunday: St Dunstan, Stepney 5.45 Profile (R)
BBC1
6.0
Breakfast (T) 10.0 Saturday
Kitchen Live (T) 11.30 The Hairy
Bikers’ Comfort Food (T) (R) 12.0
Football Focus (T) 1.0 BBC News;
Weather (T) 1.15 Live PDC Darts
Champions League (T) Coverage
of four group-stage matches
from Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
Coverage continues on BBC2 at
6.45pm. 4.30 Final Score (T) 5.25
News (T) 5.35 Regional News and
Weather (T) 5.40 Len Goodman’s
Partners in Rhyme (T) 6.10 Pointless Celebrities (T) (R) 7.0 Even
Better Than the Real Thing (T)
8.0
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
6.0am Live WTA Tennis: Japan. The semifinals of the Japan Women’s Open tournament
in Tokyo. 10.0 Scottish Professional Football
League 11.30 Premier League Preview 12.0
Live Vanarama National League: Leyton Orient v
Hartlepool United (kick-off 12.30pm) 2.45 BT
Sport Score 5.0 Live Premier League: Tottenham
Hotspur v Swansea City (kick-off 5.30pm) 8.0
Premier League Tonight 8.30 BT Sport Fight
Night Live: Billy Joe Saunders v Willie Monroe Jr
11.0 ESPN Classic Boxing 12.0 Live CFL: Calgary
Stampeders v BC Lions (kick-off 12midnight)
3.0 Uefa Europa League Highlights Show 4.0
WTA Tennis: Japan Women’s Open Highlights
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets 7.0 Urban Secrets 8.0
Urban Secrets 9.0 Fish Town 10.0 Fish Town 11.0
Dinosaur 13 (2014) 1.0 House 2.0 House
3.0 House 4.0 Without a Trace 5.0 Without a
Trace 6.0 Without a Trace 7.0 Without a Trace
8.0 Without a Trace 9.0 Game of Thrones 10.15
Game of Thrones 11.35 Ballers 12.10 Last Week
Tonight with John Oliver 12.45 Real Time with Bill
Maher 1.55 The Wire 3.15 Vice Principals 4.0
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 5.0 Urban Secrets
E4
6.0am Couples CDWM 6.50 Couples CDWM
7.50-10.30 Coach Trip: Road to Zante –
Final Week 10.30 Robots (2005) 12.15
Rude(ish) Tube Shorts 12.30 The Goldbergs
1.0 The Goldbergs 1.30 The Goldbergs 2.0
Streetmate 2.30 Streetmate 3.0 Don’t Tell the
Bride 4.0 The Great British Bake Off 5.15 The
Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice 6.05-9.0
The Big Bang Theory 9.0 Bad Teacher
(2011) 10.50 Naked Attraction 11.55 Celebs
Go Dating 1.0 Celebs Go Dating 2.05 Celebs Go
Dating 3.0 Tattoo Fixers on Holiday 3.55 How
I Met Your Mother 4.15 How I Met Your Mother
4.40 Rude(ish) Tube 5.0 Rude(ish) Tube
CITV 9.25 Saturday Morning
with James Martin (T) 11.20 The
Hungry Sailors (T) (R) 12.20 News
and Weather (T) 12.25 The X
Factor (T) (R) 1.30 ITV Racing: Live
at Doncaster (T) Ed Chamberlin
and Francesca Cumani present
coverage of today’s races,
including day three of the St
Leger meeting in Doncaster. 4.0
Bean (Mel Smith, 1997) (T)
5.35 Local News (T) 5.45 News
and Weather (T) 6.0 The Family
Chase (T) 7.0 Cannonball (T)
VARIATIONS
Film4
11.0am Marmaduke (2010) 1.0 The Rugrats Movie (1999) 2.35 The Three
Musketeers (1973) 4.45 Field of Dreams
(1989) 6.55 Dante’s Peak (1997) 9.0
2 Guns (2013) 11.10 Nina Forever
(2015) 1.15 Black Swan (2010)
Sky1
6.0am Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew 7.0
Modern Family 7.30 Modern Family 8.0 The
F1 Show 8.30 Soccer AM: The Best Bits 9.0 PL
Prediction Show 9.30 Premier League Preview
10.0 Soccer AM 11.30 The Next Jamie Vardy
12.30 What’s Up TV 1.0 Golf’s Funniest Moments
2.0 Gillette Soccer Saturday 3.15 Gillette Soccer
Saturday 5.15 PL Greatest Games 5.30 Modern
Family 6.0 Modern Family 6.30 Modern Family
7.0 Modern Family 7.30 Modern Family 8.0 A
League of Their Own 9.0 Stella 10.0 Green
Zone (2010) 12.15 Hawaii Five-0 1.10 Brit Cops:
War on Crime 2.05 Brit Cops: War on Crime 3.0
Brit Cops: War on Crime 4.0 Stargate Atlantis 5.0
Stargate Atlantis
Sky Sports 1
6.0am Through the Night 7.0 Good Morning
Sports Fans 8.0 Live Rugby Championship: New
Zealand v South Africa (kick-off 8.35am) 10.45
Live Rugby Championship: Australia v Argentina
(kick-off 11am) 11.30 Live Premier League:
Crystal Palace v Southampton (kick-off 12.30pm)
3.15 Live Super 8s Qualifiers: Widnes Vikings v
London Broncos (kick-off TBA) 5.15 Live EFL:
Barnsley v Aston Villa (kick-off 5.30pm) 7.40
Live International T20 Cricket: England v West
Indies. Coverage of the one-off encounter at
the Emirates Riverside, which is a repeat of the
2016 World T20 final. 10.0 Live PGA Tour Golf:
The BMW Championship. Coverage of day three of
the third FedEx Cup play-off at Conway Farms Golf
Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. 11.0-6.0 Through
the Night
STV NORTH As ITV except 1.30pm-4.0
Racing on STV: Live from Doncaster (T) 12.20
Teleshopping 1.20 After Midnight 2.50-6.0
ITV Nightscreen
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.20am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen (T)
SCOTTISH As ITV except 1.30pm-4.0
Racing on STV: Live from Doncaster (T) 12.20
Teleshopping 1.20 After Midnight 2.50-6.0
ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 12.20am
Teleshopping 1.20-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC1 SCOTLAND 4.30pm-5.25
Sportscene (T)
BBC1 N IRELAND 5.0pm-5.25 Final
Score from Northern Ireland (T)
BBC2 SCOTLAND 5.15pm The
Beechgrove Garden (T) (R) 5.45-6.15
Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs (T) (R)
BBC2 WALES 5.15pm-6.15 This
Farming Life (T)
BBC2 N IRELAND 11.0am Len and
Ainsley’s Big Food Adventure (T) (R) 11.4512.45 Gardeners’ World (T) Monty Don prunes
summer-fruiting raspberries and gives his
recommendations for bulbs to plant. 5.15
Mastermind (T) 5.45-6.15 Home Ground
(T) (R) Jo Scott relies on horsepower to clear
a forest, while reporter Ruth Sanderson helps
to restore peatland on the Mourne Mountains.
Rural magazine.
9.0
WWII’s Great Escapes: The
Freedom Trails (T) New series.
Monty Halls reveals stories of
allied soldiers who escaped
from Nazi territory during the
second world war.
Super 8 (JJ Abrams, 2011)
(T) 80s-set sci-fi thriller starring
Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning.
Milkshake! 10.20 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles (T) (R) 10.55
Animals Make You Laugh Out
Loud 2 (T) (R) 11.20 Columbo:
Grand Deceptions (T) The first
of two instalments from 1989.
1.15 Columbo: Murder, Smoke
and Shadows (T) 3.10 Nightmare
Tenants, Slum Landlords (T) (R)
4.10 The Nightmare Neighbour
Next Door (T) (R) 5.10 The
Nightmare Neighbour Next Door
(T) (R) 6.05 Can’t Pay? We’ll
Take It Away (T) (R) 7.0 Can’t Pay
Special: Big Family Bust Up (T) (R)
BBC4
7.0
The Brain with David Eagleman
(T) (R) A journey into the
future, asking what is next
for the human brain and how
technological advances are
poised to change individuals and
society. Last in the series.
Swarm: Nature’s Incredible
Invasions (T) (R) Concluding
part of the documentary
narrated by David Tennant.
9.0 Black Lake New series. A budding
young hotelier and his friends
visit a long-neglected ski resort.
9.40 Black Lake Hanne tries to
uncover the truth about what
happened at the ski resort.
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 10.0 Greatest Hits With Katie Thistleton
1.0 Alice Levine 4.0 Dance Anthems With Danny
Howard 7.0 MistaJam 10.0 The Rap Show With
Charlie Sloth 1.0 DJ Target 4.0 Diplo and Friends
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.0 Sounds of the 60s 8.0 Saturday Breakfast
with Melanie C 10.0 Graham Norton (1) 1.0 Pick
of the Pops 3.0 The Zoë Ball Show 6.0 Liza Tarbuck
8.0 Trevor Nelson’s Rhythm Nation 10.0 The
Craig Charles House Party 12.0 Ana Matronic’s
Disco Devotion 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Showtunes,
Love Songs & Easy 5.0 Huey on Sunday
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
7.0 Breakfast. With Elizabeth Alker. 9.0 News
9.03 Record Review. Andrew McGregor introduces
a look at recordings of Mozart’s Horn Quintet with
Sarah Walker. Plus, Gillian Moore and Anna Picard
assess Simon Rattle’s 40-year recording career.
12.15 Music Matters. Tom Service talks to the
pianist András Schiff, discovers the artist Tom
Philip’s opera Irma, and celebrates 30 years of the
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.1.0 News
1.02 Saturday Classics: Joyce DiDonato – American
Road Trip (R) 3.0 Sound of Cinema: Victoria. Films
about Queen Victoria. 4.0 Jazz Record Requests.
Tracks featuring saxophonists Gerry Mulligan
and Stan Getz. 5.0 Jazz Line-Up. Julian Joseph
selects previously unheard recordings from the
archives including music from the percussionist
Manu Delago, the pianist Tord Gustavsen and
the composer Greg Foat and his group. 6.30
Opera on 3: Puccini’s Turandot. Puccini’s great
final work from the Royal Opera House, Covent
Garden. James Naughtie presents this recording
made earlier in the summer, and his guest in the
box is Sarah Lenton. Christine Goerke (soprano:
Turandot), Aleksandrs Antoņenko (tenor: Calaf),
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 News and Papers 6.07 Ramblings: Listeners’
Walks – Cornwall (R) 6.30 Farming Today This
Week 6.57 Weather 7.0 Today. 7.48 Thought for
the Day, with Catherine Pepinster. 9.0 Saturday
Live. Extraordinary stories and remarkable
people. 10.30 Punt PI: Missing Priest. Steve Punt
investigates the case of a Polish priest living in
Bradford who was famous for his condemnation of
the Soviet Union, and who vanished without trace
in 1953. (3/4) 11.0 The Week in Westminster.
Sam Coates of the Times presents a roundup of
the week’s political proceedings in the run-up to
party conference season. 11.30 From Our Own
Correspondent 12.0 News 12.01 (LW) Shipping
Forecast 12.04 Money Box. Paul Lewis examines
the latest financial developments and offers
impartial advice to those aiming to make the most
of their money. 12.30 The News Quiz (R) 12.57
Weather 1.0 News 1.10 Any Questions? (R) 2.0
Any Answers? Listeners have their say on the
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Saturday Breakfast 9.0 Danny Baker 11.0
Fighting Talk 12.0 5 Live Sport 12.30 Premier
League Football: Crystal Palace v Southampton
(kick-off 12.30pm) 2.30 5 Live Sport 3.0
Premier League Football 5.0 Sports Report
6.0 6-0-6 8.0 Puttin’ on the Glitz: The Strictly
Story 9.0 Stephen Nolan 12.0 In Short (R)
1.0 Up All Night 5.0 5 Live Science
The Observer | 10.09.17 | THE NEW REVIEW
45
FULL TV AND
RADIO LISTINGS
Today’s television
PICKS OF
THE DAY
The week’s listings
start on page 40
programmed is taken up with recaps, but
sandwiched in between is an interesting
hike through Armenia and the Republic of
Iran as he heads for the Caspian Sea (again).
That’s enough now thanks, Levison.
including The Lobster’s Angeliki Papoulia, one
of European art cinema’s absolute forces of
nature. Jonathan Romney
DRAMA
The Listening Service:
Codes, Ciphers, Enigmas
RADIO
Victoria
ITV, 9pm
Radio 3, 5pm
Warp and Weft. Victoria’s plan to help the
silkweavers of Spitalfields with a grand ball
intended to display the products of their
hard work backfires when the public voice
their disapproval. Mike Bradley
FILM
DOCUMENTARY
Dogtooth
Film4, 12am
Countryfile
BBC1, 7pm
(Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009)
Today sees the launch of the Countryfile
Ramble for BBC Children in Need, which
will take place in five different locations
across the UK on 14 and 15 October: Brecon
Beacons in Wales, Castlewellan Park in
Northern Ireland, Dartmoor National Park,
Scotland’s west coast and Bristol. Watch
tonight and find out how to take part in the
presenter-led walks.
The film that brought Greece’s new “Weird
Wave” to international attention and
launched cult auteur Lanthimos, whose
second feature this is. He has since pursued
his dark surrealism and fascination with
language and power with English-speaking
casts, in surprise hit The Lobster and the
forthcoming, super-sombre The Killing of a
Sacred Deer. But this Greek film gives you
Lanthimos in his purest, most inspired form.
It’s about a couple who keep their children,
now adult, enclosed in the family home
where they undergo a bizarre ritualised
education. Something like a conceptual-art
hybrid of Ionesco, Buñuel and Ian McEwan’s
The Cement Garden, it’s also beautifully shot,
extremely funny and features a fine cast
TRAVELOGUE
From Russia to Iran:
Crossing the Wild Frontier
Channel 4, 8pm
Levison Wood embarks on the last leg of
his trans-Caucasian trek. As usual, half the
TV CHOICE
Strike: The Silkworm
BBC1, 9pm
An intriguing new two-part murder
investigation begins tonight for Cormoran
Strike (Tom Burke, above), the only TV
detective named after a mythological
Cornish giant, and his assistant Robin
Ellacott (Holliday Grainger, above). When
dishevelled author’s wife Leonora Quine
(Monica Dolan) asks him to find her
missing husband Owen Quine (a bad
novelist renowned for his “sphincterclenchingly awful” prose), Strike takes on
the case. He begins by talking to Quine’s
former agent Liz Tassel (Lia Williams),
who fired him because his latest book,
a “nasty little allegory” entitled Bombyx
mori (“silkworm of the mulberry tree”),
libelled so many people. But when Strike
discovers that Quine has been murdered
in a macabre way described in his book,
he realises he must plumb the depths of
the literary world to find the monster that
lurks beneath. Excellent. Mike Bradley
Back in its regular slot now that the Proms
are over, this enlightening series returns with
Tom Service today tracking down classical
music’s hidden messages. Elgar’s Enigma
Variations take up most of the programme
as he runs through a host of theories
attempting to explain the “dark saying” or
source tune that the composer suggests
is at the heart of the work. Plausiblesounding ideas range from an Auld Lang
Syne motif to the mathematical number
Pi as ways to unlock the mystery. Service
is also joined by mathematician Professor
Marcus du Sautoy, who explores how both
Bach and Mozart played with numbers in
their clever compositions. Stephanie Billen
SPORT
Rugby Union
BT Sport 1, 2.30pm
Worcester Warriors v Wasps: Premiership.
Live coverage from Sixways Stadium,
where you’d expect recently drubbed
hosts Worcester to be quaking in their
boots at the prospect of a visit from
Dai Young’s quicksilver Wasps, who started
the season with a wallop, thrashing Sale
50-35 at the Ricoh. MB
TELEVISION
BBC2
ITV
Channel 4
Channel 5
Breakfast (T) 7.05 Match of the
Day (T) (R) 8.30 The Andrew
Marr Show (T) 9.30 Great North
Run (T) 1.30 News (T) 1.45 Fake
or Fortune? (T) (R) 2.45 Money
for Nothing (T) (R) 3.30 Escape
to the Country (T) (R) 4.15 Points
of View (T) 4.30 Songs of Praise
(T) 5.05 Shrek 2 (Andrew
Adamson, 2004) (T) The ogre
meets his in-laws. 6.30 News
(T) 6.50 Regional News and
Weather (T) 7.0 Countryfile (T)
Ellie Harrison presents the show
from Cornwall’s Rame Peninsula.
6.0
The Instant Gardener (T) (R)
6.45 Garden Rescue (T) (R) 7.30
Gardeners’ World (T) (R) 8.30
The Beechgrove Garden (T) 9.0
Countryfile (T) (R) 10.0 The Hairy
Bikers’ Northern Exposure (T)
(R) 11.0 My Life on a Plate (T) (R)
11.45 Lorraine’s Fast, Fresh and
Easy Food (T) (R) 12.15 MOTD2
Extra (T) 1.0 Bargain Hunt (T)
(R) 1.45 Grand Prix (John
Frankenheimer, 1966) (T) 4.30
Coast (T) (R) 5.0 Flog It! (T) (R) 6.0
Great North Run Highlights (T) 7.0
Tribes, Predators & Me (T) (R)
6.0
CITV 9.05 Adventure Time (T)
9.25 ITV News (T) 9.30 Judge
Rinder (T) (R) 10.25 The Chase
(T) (R) 11.25 Long Lost Family (T)
(R) 12.20 News and Weather (T)
12.30 Bear Grylls Survival School
(T) (R) 1.0 You’ve Got Mail
(Nora Ephron, 1998) (T) Romantic
comedy starring Tom Hanks
and Meg Ryan. 3.15 The X Factor
(T) (R) 4.30 Victoria (T) (R) 5.30
Local News (T) 5.40 News and
Weather (T) 6.0 Tipping Point:
Lucky Stars (T) 7.0 Coronation
Street (T)
6.0
Last Man Standing (T) 6.25
Last Man Standing (T) 6.45
Everybody Loves Raymond
(T) (R) 7.10 Everybody Loves
Raymond (T) (R) 8.0 Frasier (T)
(R) 8.30 Frasier (T) (R) 9.0 Frasier
(T) (R) 9.30 Sunday Brunch (T)
12.30 The Simpsons (T) (R) 12.55
The Simpsons (T) (R) 1.25 The
Simpsons (T) (R) 1.50 The
Core (Jon Amiel, 2003) (T) 4.20
The Crystal Maze (T) (R) 5.25
The Great British Bake Off (T)
(R) 6.40 News (T) 7.0 Amazing
Spaces Shed of the Year (T)
6.0
Fake or Fortune? (T) Fiona
Bruce and Philip Mould
investigate the history of two
pictures, both of which are
believed to be by Paul Gauguin.
Strike: The Silkworm (T) Part
one of a two-part adaptation
of JK Rowling’s detective novel.
Cormoran Strike is hired by the
wife of a notorious author.
8.0
Astronauts: Do You Have
What It Takes? (T) The remaining
candidates head to a secret
facility in Sweden.
Dragons’ Den (T) The panel
assess the profit-making
potential of business plans
involving beach towels, a range of
novelty plush goods and a form
of packaging based around air.
8.0
The X Factor (T) Dermot
O’Leary presents the fourth
rounds of auditions.
Victoria (T) The Queen is moved
by the plight of a silkweaver in
Spitalfields, and decides to throw
a lavish medieval ball – which
is greeted with outrage by the
discontented public.
8.0
From Russia to Iran: Crossing the
Wild Frontier (T) Levison Wood
travels through Armenia and the
Republic of Iran. Last in the series.
Kingsman: The Secret
Service (Matthew Vaughn,
2015) (T) A teenager is given the
opportunity to work with a spy
organisation. Action comedy
based on a comic book, starring
Colin Firth and Taron Egerton.
8.0
BBC1
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0 News (T)
10.20 Regional News (T) Weather
10.30 Match of the Day 2 (T) Swansea
v Newcastle and Burnley v
Crystal Palace.
11.30 People Just Do Nothing (T)
12.0 The Rebound (Bart
Freundlich, 2009) (T) Romantic
comedy with Catherine ZetaJones. 1.30 Weather (T) 1.35
News (T)
9.0
10.0 Best Album 2017: Meet the
Mercury Prize Nominees (T)
10.30 Broken (Rufus Norris, 2012)
(T) Drama with Eloise Laurence,
Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy.
11.55 False Trail (Kjell Sundvall,
2011) Mystery with Rolf Lassgård.
2.0 Sign Zone Countryfile (T) (R)
2.55 Holby City (T) (R) 3.55
This Is BBC2 (T)
OTHER CHANNELS
BT Sport 1
6.0am Arminia Bielefeld v MSV Duisburg 7.0
Stoke City v Manchester United 8.30 Premier
League Tonight 9.30 Juventus v Chievo 10.30
Sampdoria v Roma 11.30 Live: Inter Milan v SPAL
(kick-off 11.30am) Coverage of the Italian topflight clash at the San Siro. 1.30 Arminia Bielefeld
v MSV Duisburg 2.30 Live: Worcester Warriors
v Wasps (kick-off 3pm) Coverage of the match,
which takes place at Sixways Stadium. 5.15 Live:
Benevento v Torino. Coverage of the Italian topflight clash at Stadio Ciro Vigorito, joining the match
15 minutes after kick-off. 7.0 BT Sport Reload
7.30 Live: Bologna v Napoli (Kick-off 7.45pm).
Coverage of the Italian top-flight encounter at
Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. 9.45 Vanarama National
League Highlights 10.15 Inter v Spal 11.15 Lyon v
Guingamp 12.15 Marseille v Rennes 1.15 Cricket:
Hero CPL 2.15 BT Sport Reload 2.30 Mobil 1: The
Grid 3.0 Live WTA Tennis: Women’s Open. Day one
of the Japan Women’s Open tournament in Tokyo.
Sky Atlantic
6.0am Urban Secrets 7.0 Urban Secrets 8.0
Urban Secrets 9.0 Fish Town 10.0 Fish Town
11.0 House 12.0 House 1.0 House 2.0 Regarding
Susan Sontag 4.0 Blue Bloods 5.0 Blue Bloods
6.0 Blue Bloods 7.0 Blue Bloods 8.0 Blue
Bloods 9.0 Tin Star 10.0 Real Time with Bill
Maher 11.10 Ballers 11.50 Rock and a Hard Place
1.30 1993 2.50 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
3.55 Urban Secrets 5.0 Urban Secrets
E4
6.0am Kevin Can Wait 6.25 Couples Come Dine
with Me 7.25 Couples Come Dine with Me 8.25
Hollyoaks 11.0 Made in Chelsea: Ibiza 12.0 Don’t
Tell the Bride 1.0 Streetmate 1.35 Streetmate
2.05 Robots (2005) 3.55 Toy Story Toons:
Partysaurus Rex 4.05 The Goldbergs 4.35 The
Goldbergs 5.05 The Big Bang Theory 5.30 The Big
Bang Theory 6.0 The Big Bang Theory 6.30 The
Big Bang Theory 7.0 The Big Bang Theory 7.30
46
9.0
10.05 News and Weather (T)
10.20 Judge Rinder’s Crime Stories
(T) (R)
11.20 5 Gold Rings (T) (R) Gameshow
hosted by Phillip Schofield.
12.20 Jackpot247 3.0 Motorsport UK
(T) 3.50 ITV Nightscreen 5.05
The Jeremy Kyle Show (T) (R)
VARIATIONS
The Big Bang Theory 8.0 The Big Bang Theory
8.30 The Big Bang Theory 9.0 Bad Teacher
(2011) 10.50 Naked Attraction 11.50 Gogglebox
12.55 Celebs Go Dating 1.55 Celebs Go Dating
2.55 Don’t Tell the Bride 3.45 Hollyoaks
Film4
11.0am The Day the Earth Stood Still
(1951) 1.0 Just Wright (2010) 3.0 Carry On Cabby (1963) 4.45 Bridge to
Terabithia (2007) 6.35 Snow White & the
Huntsman (2012) 9.0 Gladiator (2000) 12.0
Dogtooth (2009) 1.50 Cyrus (2010)
Sky1
6.0am Hour of Power 7.0 Modern Family 7.30
Modern Family 8.0 Modern Family 8.30 Modern
Family 9.0 Modern Family 9.30 Modern Family
10.0 WWE Raw Hlts 11.0 NCIS: Los Angeles 12.0
NCIS: Los Angeles 1.0 The Dog Whisperer 2.0
The Dog Whisperer 3.0 The Dog Whisperer 4.0
Modern Family 4.30 Modern Family 5.0 Modern
Family 5.30 Modern Family 6.0 Modern Family
6.30 The Simpsons 7.0 The Simpsons 7.30 The
Simpsons 8.0 David Attenborough’s Conquest
of the Skies 9.0 The Last Ship 10.0 The Force:
North East 11.0 Zoo 12.0 Hawaii Five-0 1.0 Brit
Cops: Frontline Crime UK 2.0 Brit Cops: Frontline
Crime UK 3.0 Brit Cops: Frontline Crime UK 4.0
Stargate Atlantis 5.0 Stargate Atlantis
Sky Sports Main Event
6.0am Through the Night 7.0 Total Goals 8.0
Total Goals 9.0 Total Goals 10.0 Live Test Cricket:
England v West Indies. Coverage of day four of the
series-concluding third Test at Lord’s. 3.30 Live
Nissan Super Sunday: Swansea City v Newcastle
United (kick-off 4pm) 6.0 Live NFL: Cleveland
Brown v Pittsburgh Steelers (kick-off 6pm) 9.0
Live NFL: Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks
(kick-off 9.25pm) 1.0 Live NFL: Dallas Cowboys v
New York Giants (kick-off 1.30am) 4.30 Premier
League Highlights 5.0 Through the Night
THE NEW REVIEW | 10.09.17 | The Observer
STV NORTH As ITV except 12.20am
Teleshopping 1.20 After Midnight 2.50 May
the Best House Win (T) (R) 3.40-5.05 ITV
Nightscreen
ITV WALES As ITV except 12.30pm-1.0
Newsweek Wales
CHANNEL As ITV except 12.20am-3.0
ITV Nightscreen
SCOTTISH As ITV except 12.20am
Teleshopping 1.20 After Midnight 2.50
May the Best House Win (T) (R) 3.40-5.05
ITV Nightscreen
ULSTER As ITV except 12.20am
Teleshopping 1.20-3.0 ITV Nightscreen
BBC1 SCOTLAND 11.30pm Sportscene
(T) 12.30 People Just Do Nothing (T) 1.0-2.30
The Rebound (Bart Freundlich, 2009) (T)
Romantic comedy with Catherine Zeta-Jones and
Justin Bartha.
BBC2 SCOTLAND 5.0pm River City (T)
(R) 6.0 Sportscene (T) 7.0-8.0 Great North
Run Highlights (T) 10.0 Fallout (T) 11.0 Best
Album 2017: Meet the Mercury Prize Nominees
(T) 11.30 Broken (Rufus Norris, 2012) (T)
Drama starring Eloise Laurence and Tim Roth.
12.55-2.0 This Is BBC2 (T)
BBC2 WALES 6.0pm Scrum V Sunday (T)
6.45 The Hairy Bakers (T) (R) 7.0-8.0 Proms
in the Park 2017 (T) 10.30 Great North Run
Highlights (T) 11.30 Broken (Rufus Norris,
2012) (T) 12.55-2.0 Tribes, Predators & Me
(T) (R)
BBC2 N IRELAND 4.30pm-5.0 Home
Ground (T) (R) 5.0-6.0 The Big Family Cooking
Showdown (T) (R)
9.0
11.35 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
(Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez,
2014) (T) Crime thriller starring
Eva Green.
1.25 Bruce Springsteen: In His Words
(T) (R) 2.50 Gillette World Sport
(T) 3.15 KOTV Boxing Weekly
(T) 3.45 Mobil 1 The Grid (T) (R)
4.10 Location, Location, Location
(T) (R) 5.05 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
5.30 Four in a Bed (T) (R)
Milkshake! 10.0 Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles (T) (R) 10.35 Football
on 5: The Championship & Goal
Rush (T) (R) 12.0 All New Traffic
Cops (T) (R) 1.0 All New Traffic
Cops (T) (R) 2.0 All New Traffic
Cops (T) (R) 3.05 All New Traffic
Cops (T) (R) 4.05 All New Traffic
Cops (T) (R) 5.05 All New Traffic
Cops (T) (R) 6.05 All New Traffic
Cops (T) (R) 7.0 Cricket on 5 (T)
England v West Indies. Mark
Nicholas presents highlights of
the fourth day of the third Test,
which took place at Lord’s.
BBC4
7.0
The Making of King Arthur (T)
(R) Simon Armitage questions
the role of Arthurian legends in
Britain’s national consciousness,
looking at how they developed
in response to the Norman
invasion.
Aviva Premiership Rugby
Highlights (T) Including
Northampton Saints v
Leicester Tigers.
8.55 News (T)
9.0 All New Most Shocking
Moments in Pop (T) A countdown of outrageous events and
scandals from the pop world,
including Grace Jones hitting
Russell Harty on his chatshow.
8.0
The Joy of Train Sets: The
Model Railway Story (T) (R)
Documentary exploring the
popularity of train replicas.
Horizon: Asteroids – The Good,
the Bad and the Ugly (T) (R)
Scientists and researchers
analyse recent discoveries about
asteroids, including the possibility
of one being responsible for
starting life on Earth.
11.55 The Last Hours of Elvis Presley
(T) (R) The death of the American
singer, who passed away in
August 1977 at the age of 42.
12.55 SuperCasino (T) 3.10 Liberace:
In Life and Death (T) (R) 4.0 Now
That’s Funny! (T) (R) 4.50 Divine
Designs (T) (R) 5.20 Nick’s Quest
(T) (R) 5.45 Chinese Food in
Minutes (T) (R)
10.0 The Sky at Night (T)
10.30 The 21st Century Race for
Space (T) (R) Brian Cox explores
privately financed space flight.
11.30 Horizon: Can We Make a Star
on Earth? (T) (R)
12.30 Precision: The Measure of All
Things (T) (R) 1.30 Horizon:
Asteroids – The Good, the Bad
and the Ugly (T) (R) 2.30 The
Joy of Train Sets: The Model
Railway Story (T) (R)
by the choir Blossom Street. 5.0 The Listening
Service: Codes, Ciphers, Enigmas 5.30 Words and
Music: The Great Escape 6.45 Sunday Feature:
The Battle for Henry David Thoreau. Susan Marling
travels to Concord in Massachusetts, where the
200th birthday of Henry David Thoreau raises
new questions about his legacy. 7.30 Radio 3 in
Concert. Ian Skelly presents highlights from recent
events around Europe, featuring performances
from the summer festivals in Orkney, Tallinn and
Stockholm. Prokofiev: Symphony No.1 in D major,
Op 25, Classical. Norwegian Radio Orchestra;
Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Mozart: Piano Concerto No
23 in A major, K488. Kall Randalu (piano), Estonian
National Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi. Biber:
Battalia. Swedish RSO, Malin Broman. Stravinsky:
Pulcinella Suite. Avanti! Chamber Orchestra,
Dima Slobodeniouk. Tveitt: A Hundred Hardanger
Tunes, Op 151 (from Suite No 1). Norwegian Radio
Orchestra, Miguel Harth-Bedoya. 9.0 Drama on 3:
Three Sisters (R) 11.10 Early Music Late. Claudio
Monteverdi’s Madrigals of War and Love, performed
by Cappella Marina. 12.30 Through the Night (R)
A Natural Wine Story 12.57 Weather 1.0 The World
This Weekend 1.30 Tough Love: Boys, Books and
Romance (R) 2.0 Gardeners’ Question Time (R)
2.45 The Listening Project: Omnibus – Together
and Apart 3.0 News 3.02 Drama: Midnight’s
Children – How Saleem Achieved Purity. Ayeesha
Menon’s dramatisation of Salman Rushdie’s novel.
The Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 changes Saleem’s
life forever. (4/5) 4.0 News 4.02 Open Book.
Mariella Frostrup talks to sci-fi author Daryl Gregory
about his new book Spoonbenders. 4.30 Ian
Sansom Is Falling. The concept of falling in dreams,
literature and music. 5.0 Macquarie: The Tale
of the River Bank (R) 5.40 Profile: Nikki Haley
(R) 5.54 Shipping Forecast 5.57 Weather 6.0
News 6.15 Pick of the Week. With Peter Curran.
(LW joins at 6.45) 7.0 The Archers. Ian seeks out
advice, and Tracy will not let Pip hide. 7.15 Dave
Podmore’s Toughest Test (R) 7.45 Hiding Out.
Natalie is stunned when Vic unveils his master plan.
(13/15) 8.0 More or Less (R) 8.30 Last Word (R)
9.0 Money Box (R) 9.26 Radio 4 Appeal 9.30 In
Business: Forecasting: How to Map the Future (R)
10.0 The Westminster Hour. With Carolyn Quinn.
11.0 The Film Programme (R) 11.30 Something
Understood: Signs of Life (R) 12.0 News 12.15
A Good Read: Adam Hills & Steven Pinker (R)
12.45 Bells on Sunday: St Austell, Cornwall (R)
12.48 Shipping Forecast 1.0 As World Service
5.20 Shipping Forecast 5.30 News 5.43 Prayer
for the Day 5.45 Farming Today 5.58 Tweet of
the Day: Tara Robinson on the Common Tern
9.0
RADIO
Radio 1
97.6-99.8 MHz
6.0 Dev 1.0 Alice Levine 4.0 Cel Spellman 6.0
Radio 1’s Most Played 7.0 Rock Show With Daniel
P Carter 10.0 Phil Taggart 1.0 Monki 4.0 Adele
Roberts
Radio 2
88-91 MHz
6.0 The Sunday Hour 7.0 Good Morning
Sunday With Clare Balding 9.0 Steve Wright’s
Sunday Love Songs 11.0 The Michael Ball Show
1.15 Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. Welsh rockers
Stereophonics begin this year’s festival-in-a-day.
2.05 Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. A performance
by singer-songwriter Seth Lakeman and all-girl
trio Wildwood Kin. 2.55 Radio 2 Live in Hyde
Park. Rick Astley takes to the stage. 3.45 Radio
2 Live in Hyde Park: Emeli Sandé 4.40 Radio 2
Live in Hyde Park: James Blunt 5.35 Radio 2 Live
in Hyde Park: Shania Twain 6.45 Radio 2 Live in
Hyde Park. Blondie entertain the masses. 8.15
Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park. Gary Barlow, Howard
Donald and Mark Owen take to the stage together.
9.30 Clare Teal 11.0 Don Black (13) 12.0 Sounds
of the 60s (R) 2.0 Radio 2 Playlists: Blues, Pop
Ballads & Monday Motivation 5.0 Nicki Chapman
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
7.0 Breakfast. With Elizabeth Alker. 9.0 News
9.03 Sunday Morning. James Jolly’s selection
of music this Sunday includes Elgar’s Coronation
Ode, Mozart’s second violin concerto and the
oboe sonata by Poulenc. 12.0 Private Passions.
Michael Berkeley’s guest is the prizewinning Irish
writer Sebastian Barry. 1.0 News 1.02 Proms at
Cadogan Hall: Proms Chamber Music 8. The Elias
Quartet and Alice Neary perform Schubert’s String
Quintet. (R) 2.0 The Early Music Show: Nicholas
Lanier – A Drop of Amber Varnish (R) 3.0 Choral
Evensong (R) 4.0 The Choir: The Choir at Proms
Extra. Sara Mohr-Pietch introduces a performance
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 News 6.05 Something Understood: Signs of
Life. With Malcolm Doney. 6.35 On Your Farm:
Future Food – Growing Underground (9/10) 6.57
Weather 7.0 News 7.0 Sunday Papers 7.10
Sunday. Edward Stourton with the week’s religious
and ethical headlines. 7.55 Radio 4 Appeal:
Maytree Respite Centre. With Trevor McDonald.
7.57 Weather 8.0 News 8.0 Sunday Papers 8.10
Sunday Worship: Deiniol – A Radical Man 8.48 A
Point of View (R) 8.58 Tweet of the Day: Samuel
West on the Nightingale (R) 9.0 Broadcasting
House. With Paddy O’Connell. 10.0 The Archers
(R) LW: 10.30 Test Match Special: England v West
Indies – Third Test, Day Four. 12.01; 5.54 Shipping
Forecast. FM: 11.15 The Reunion: Northern
Rock (5/5) 12.0 News 12.04 Just a Minute (R)
12.30 The Food Programme: Zero Compromise –
5 Live
693, 909 kHz
6.0 Breakfast 9.0 SportsWeek 10.0 Pienaar’s
Politics 11.0 5 Live Investigates 12.0 5 Live
Sport 12.15 MOTD2 Extra 1.0 5 Live Sport
3.30 5 Live Sport 4.0 Premier League Football: Swansea City v Newcastle United (kick-off
4pm) 6.0 6-0-6 7.30 Jane Garvey & Peter
Allen 9.0 5 Live Sport 1.0 Up All Night 5.0
Morning Reports 5.15 Wake Up to Money
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