“Eddie Redmayne made a virtue of Morgan’s lacunae and played on his inarticulacy.” Read on for the verdict on the weekend’s TV.


Birdsong, BBC1

“It could so easily have been awful, over-aesthetic and self-conscious. At times it veered in that direction, but then it sucked me in and I no longer cared or noticed, because here was also something intense and moving, a love story and an extraordinary portrait of war that felt loyal in sentiment to Sebastian Faulks’s novel.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“It was only near the conclusion when Wraysford encountered his daughter, ran from her and tunnelled his way back to the world of relationships and light that he became someone we believed in and understood.”
Matt Baylis, The Express

“Stephen’s emotional progress convinced, not least because Eddie Redmayne made a virtue of Morgan’s lacunae and played on his inarticulacy.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

The Hotel, Channel 4

“The Hotel trades partly on the social comedy of a fraught workplace and partly on the subterranean currents of feeling that emerge when people are at leisure. And though it is to a degree dependent on the accident of who comes through the doors in any given week, it also finds ways to shape the raw footage around distinct themes.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“Also working on the public tear ducts this week was Roy Hudd, as a Boer war veteran. “His ulcers became gangrenous and both legs had to be amputated at the knee,” someone helpfully explained – a perfect example of Call the Midwife’s distinctive combination of clinical grot and pathos. It seems to be a very popular cocktail.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

Earthflight, BBC1

“Earthflight has been an amazing series, but I’m not sure I’ve learned anything from it. It’s all about the picture – bird porn, basically. This final one has something else: it has a story.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

Toughest Place to be a Binman, BBC2

“In a show of this kind we might expect the tough Westerner to come a cropper pretty early on. SO it was with a burly charismatic Wilbur, who came close to collapse after a session helping Imam.”
Matt Baylis, The Express