The Stage


TV Today

Square Eyes, 3-6 November

  • Pinky and Perky CBBC Channel, Monday-Friday 5.45pm

    The BBC’s latest plundering of old children’s TV shows (cf. Bill and Ben, Andy Pandy, Muffin the Mule) is an all-CGI reimagination of the porcine brothers. According to the blurb, “Their show is loud, messy, funny and frequently out of control, which makes it very unpopular with the old guard of the TV station. One way or another, they’re going to get those pesky pigs off the air!” Maybe a campaign by the Daily Mail might help?

  • Spooks BBC1, Monday 9pm

    The seventh series of the spy show continues apace, with Lucas North (Richard Armitage) back on the grid, and Ben (Alex Lanipekun) working undercover as part of an al-Qaeda cell. But really, what propels each episode each week is the superb performance of Hermione Norris as Ros Myers, fast becoming the twisted moral centre of the show. Both she and Peter Firth’s Harry Pearce get some great dialogue every week, so it’s a shame that the rest of the cast aren’t afforded the same luxury. This week also sees the return of Robert Glenister as the Home Secretary — although there’s no sign of actress (and TV Today reader) Lisa Bowerman as his secretary. Shame.

  • Mister President Sky Arts 1, Tuesday 6pm

    On the day when US citizens determine who will be their President for the next four years, Sky Arts takes a look at fictional depictions of the Americans’ Commander-in-Chief. From TV shows The West Wing, 24 and Commander in Chief to Independence Day, Air Force One and West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin’s first stab at the Oval Office, The American President, the role is one that is often portrayed as a triumph of wish fulfilment over accuracy.

  • Little Dorrit BBC1, Wednesday & Thursday 8.00pm

    I ahve to admit that the BBC’s current Dickens adaptation hasn’t quite gripped me as quickly and as comprehensively as Bleak House did — but we’re only on episode 3 of 14, so there’s still time.

  • The Bill Made Me Famous ITV1, Wednesday 9pm
    The Bill ITV1, Thursday 8pm

    This programme doesn’t exactly do what it says on the tin — many of the cop show’s guest stars featured were famous before they ever graced the Jasmine Allen estate in Sun Hill. But otherwise, this promises to be a fun look back at the long-running police series through the eyes of its cast, both regulars and guests. Celebrating a quarter century this year, The Bill has joined Doctor Who and Casualty as “show most likely to appear in an actor’s CV”.

    Thursday’s episode of the drama guest stars Elize du Toit (Hollyoaks, Doctor Who) in a storyline which leads into next week’s ground-breaking crossover with German police procedural series SOKO Leipzig.

  • Beautiful People BBC2, Thursday 9pm

    Jonathan Harvey’s sitcom bows out with a guest appearance from Frances Barber as a new teacher at school, while young Simon and Kylie attempt to leave Reading behind to join the beautiful people in London. While each episode of this series has had bad patches, at its best it’s been beautifully observed and frequently uproarious. Let’s hope life in 1997 Reading isn’t over quite yet, as a second series would be most welcome. View a YouTube playlist of Beautiful People’s best bits

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