Radiation by Fiona Rae


July 5 Views: Murders, Devils and Kinks


Washington (History, Sky 073, 7.30pm). The brilliant Doris Kearns Goodwin is the executive producer of this six-part series about America's first president. It combines interviews with live action and is narrated by Jeff Daniels. It's engaging, said Salon.


The ABC Murders (Prime, 8.30pm). Sarah Phelps has done incredible things with Agatha Christie since the BBC commissioned And Then There Were None in 2015 to mark the 125th anniversary of the author's birth. It was such a hit in the UK, that six more were commissioned, although five were enough for Phelps (she is planning a second season of Dublin Murders as well as working on a second season of A Very English Scandal, about another, er, very English scandal). The ABC Murders is amazing; so bleak and weird. There's Shirley Henderson's creepy landlady; Eamon Farren as the tortured travelling salesman Alexander Cust; and not least, John Malkovich as an ageing Hercule Poirot, trying to persuade Rupert Grint (!) that a series of murders are connected.

Devils (SoHo, Sky 010, 9.30pm). Shady dealings in the houses of finance: Patrick Dempsey plays the CEO of the London branch of an American bank who mentors Italian trader Alessandro Borghi (Suburra and Suburra: Blood on Rome). It's a French-Italian co-pro with a suitably international cast, including Danish actor Lars Mikkelson; Spanish actress Laia Costa; Polish actress Kasia Smutniak; and Brit Paul Chowdhry. (The TV series Suburra: Blood on Rome is available on Netflix.) Dempsey, formerly of Grey's Anatomy, told Deadline that he fancied a challenge. (On Neon from July 15).


The Kinks: Echoes of a World (Prime, 8.30pm). A documentary film that looks at the band's 1968 album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. It features the three surviving original members of the band, brothers Ray and Dave Davies and Mick Avory, as well as Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher, Blur’s Graham Coxon, XTC’s Andy Partridge, Natalie Merchant and producer Greg Kurstin.


Bulletproof (SoHo, Sky 010, 9.30pm). Shows featuring cops running around with guns seem pretty tone deaf right now – to be fair, this one was first broadcast in 2018 on the UK's Sky One channel and is said to be in the style of Bad Boys and Lethal Weapon, if that's any recommendation. Noel Clarke out of Doctor Who and Ashley Walters are detectives at the National Crime Agency (a real thing in the UK) working on organised crime. British gun culture has come a long way. (On Neon from July 21.)


The Mallorca Files (TVNZ 1, 8.30pm). The light-hearted crime drama timeslot welcomes this Death in Paradise-style series that was daytime viewing in the UK. Elen Rhys is an "uptight British cop" and Julian Looman is a "laid-back German policeman" and together they solve crimes on the sunny Spanish island of Mallorca! Creator Dan Sefton says it's all in good fun and told the Radio Times and that everybody's in on the gag.


Guilt (TVNZ OnDemand, Thursday). So much crime, so little time. Is this BBC Scotland four-parter worth our while? It certainly got the big tick from UK critics – the Telegraph described it as “like Fargo relocated to Leith” – and it holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives play brothers who try to cover up their hit-and-run. Author Neil Forsyth says he wanted to write about siblings, “the most dramatically interesting familial relationship” and he wanted the brothers’ story “to feel like quicksand. The more they struggle, the worse it gets”.

Vida (Neon). The cool and clever comedy drama is in its third and final season on SoHo2 – the story of two Mexican-American sisters who move home to Boyle Heights in LA has many themes, including second-generation struggles, gentrification and identity politics. You may find yourself fast-forwarding through the eye-popping sex scenes in case your family thinks you are watching porn, however. Just the second and third seasons are available on Neon. Gentefied, on Netflix, has a similar theme of the struggle to hold onto tradition, in this case via a family-run taco shop. 


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