The seaside town of Broadchurch always looks so pretty. There are those glowing cliffs of course, and then there’s the surrounding countryside, the lilting cornfields lit by a buttery sun, the melting greens of the meadows.
But all of this beauty hides bad deeds, and in another immersive episode of Chris Chibnall’s fabulous thriller, the investigation into the attack on Trish Winterman widens dramatically and hits a whole new level of seriousness.
It’s a small community so everyone knows what happened to Trish, and some of her friends and acquaintances are taking it personally, including her boss at the farm shop Ed (Lenny Henry). But Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) must shift her attention to an uncomfortable conversation with her best friend Cath (Sarah Parish, who’s terrific).
And detective Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) is growing restless: “I feel [the inquiry] is slipping out of our hands.”
It’s London in 1763, where a woman’s only opportunity for economic advancement is to marry well or be a prostitute. The city’s bawdy houses are teeming with shrieking harlots and run by canny, cruel businesswomen such as Margaret Wells and Mrs Quigley (Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville).
Mrs Wells plans to auction her youngest daughter’s virginity to the highest bidder, just as she did with her oldest daughter (Downton’s Jessica Brown Findlay with a “cor blimey” accent).
But there’s a new morality in the air as religious crusaders demand the closure of brothels and the constables are only too happy to launch brutal raids.
It all adds up to a noisy, very colourful (the clothes and production design are magnificent) and of course a very bawdy boobs-and-bums romp that feels a bit like Desperate Romantics, though with women and without the paintings.
You know how occasionally on Antiques Roadshow they get the kind of heirloom that has taken some knocks over the years and looks the worse for wear? Well, this is a charming new series that lets people take treasures like that to be restored by craftsmen who like a challenge.
It’s on at the same time all this week and I defy you not to be drawn in by its tales of cherished possessions brought back to life. We begin with a beautiful old accordion that 94-year-old Iris played in bomb shelters during the Blitz, but which needs some TLC from expert Roger. And clock repairer Steve puts on two pairs of glasses to peer at a treasured timepiece that has stopped chiming.
Sequels are usually a case of diminishing returns, but this conclusion to the original Star Wars trilogy is still essential viewing. Director Richard Marquand jumps straight in where The Empire Strikes Back finished off with a stunning sequence involving the monstrous Jabba the Hutt, and the pace rarely falters from then on, even if the plot is a bit stop-start at times.
Mark Hamill still looks more like an enthusiastic schoolboy than an intergalactic hero, yet his climactic scenes with Darth Vader work a treat, and, while adults will probably cringe at the cutesy Ewoks, their presence makes this a particular favourite with younger viewers.
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