Film & TV

On TV This Week…(April 20th)

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Sure, the sun has been out this week but who knows how long that will last? The temperamental British weather means it’s probably best to chuck a few things in the planner, just to be on the safe side.

As per usual, we’re here to help you sift through the fluff and get straight to the good stuff. On the menu this week we’ve got lashings of comedy, a dollop of drama and just a dash of Jimmy Bond…

Silicon Valley (Season 2 *Premiere*)
Monday, 20 April – Sky Atlantic, 10pm

From Mike Judge, creator of the sardonic metal-heads Beavis and Butthead, comes this slightly less offensive satire of the software development industry.

Following the various misadventures of a group of misfits who stumble on to the next big app, this sitcom takes a swipe at Apple culture, programming nerds and other typically geeky stuff. Think The Big Bang Theory without all the gimmicky comic book jokes.

The success of this one rests squarely on the shoulders of a deluded Steve Jobs wannabe played by T.J. Miller. While it is a bit of a one-man show, it’s anything but short on laughs!

Safe House (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Monday, 20 April – ITV, 9pm

Christopher Eccleston stars in this four-part thriller as an ex-detective settling down with his wife (Marsha Thomason) in the Lake District.

When an old colleague asks them to convert their idyllic guest house into a safe house for a family targeted by a mysterious assailant, Eccleston is pulled back into a life that he thought he had left behind.

This one could easily end up being the talk of the office, so it’s probably best to get stuck in from the start!

Ballot Monkeys (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Tuesday, 21 April – C4, 10pm

From Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkins – creators of classic 90s newsroom satire Drop the Dead Donkey – comes an equally scathing look at the upcoming General Election.

This show will follow the campaign buses of the four main parties, filled with spin doctors, PR consultants, interns and press officers as they frantically try to crisis-manage the latest publicity fiasco their dear leaders have got mixed up in!

Starring the hilarious Hugh Dennis and Ben Miller among others, this will mirror the real election perfectly as each episode will be written and shot within days of transmission and draw on real-life issues and events. Clever stuff!

W1A (Season 2 *Premiere*)
Thursday, 23 April – BBC Two, 9pm

Satire seems to be the buzzword of the week! Speaking of buzzwords, tonight sees the return of Hugh Bonneville’s longsuffering “Head of Values” as he wades through the endless barrage of jumped-up jargon, trumped-up job titles and crippling bureaucracy that runs rife at Broadcasting House.

Fans of The Thick of It should enjoy this blasé and delightfully self-deprecating look at the inner workings of the BBC. Just as with its predecessor, Twenty Twelve (following the same characters as they prepared for the London 2012 Olympics), W1A strikes deftly at the bumbling incompetence we as a nation seem to find so endearing.

Dr No (1962)
Saturday, 25 April – ITV4, 8pm

What’s a Saturday afternoon without a bit of James Bond? Catch 007 in his first ever cinematic outing as he faces off against the insidious Dr No.

This one has classic Bond moments including Ursula Andress’ iconic entrance as she emerges from the sea in that unforgettable white bikini. Connery of course, effortlessly oozes suave as the legendary MI6 agent.

With Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as the martini-drinking spy on the horizon this November, now is a great time to get in the mood with arguably one of the best in a long series of great films.

Poldark (Season 1 *Finale*)
Sunday, 26 April – BBC One, 9pm

Some of you out there may recognise this period drama based on the novels by Winston Graham from its successful 1970s adaptation. So far, the remake starring Aidan Turner (Being Human), has stood up pretty well.

Having fought in the American War of Independence, British soldier (and smuggler) Ross Poldark returns home to 18th-century Cornwall to find his father dead, his sweetheart engaged to another man and his estate in need of some serious DIY. Having lost everything, Poldark attempts to get his life back on track, making a few friends (and enemies!) along the way.