“The most incredible thing about it is that a world so saturated in death can feel this wonderfully alive.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders, BBC2

“Writer Steven Knight and director Otto Bathurst took our expectations and confounded them… It all added up to a compelling grand guignol spectacle, which looked wonderful – all grimy browns, smoky blacks and ash falling like snow – and was acted with mesmeric conviction… It was a bit unbelievable, of course, but people like me are always complaining that there is nothing original on British TV. Well, this is original, and intriguing enough to make you want to keep watching.”
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph

“There were moments of weird beauty… It didn’t help that almost no one could do a Birmingham accent… Even more distracting was the soundtrack… Birmingham has a great tradition of bruising rock songs - by bands like Black Sabbath, Traffic and The Move. That music could have conveyed something of the city’s tough history.”
Christopher Stevens - Daily Mail

‘It was one of the most enjoyable thing I’ve seen in some time. From the moment Cillian Murphey’s First World War veteran-turned-bookmaker, Tommy Shelby, appeared on a horse, silhouetted against the gloomy skyline of the doom rideen strains of Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand”, it was obvious that this wasn’t a straightforward historical drama. It’s not perfect… the most incredible thing about Peaky Blinders is that a world so saturated in death can feel this wonderfully alive.’
Sarah Hughes - Independent

‘It was, however, undeniably entertaining, though more as a soap than a drama. The problem wasn’t with the script or the acting, so much as the production - when every detail is stylised to within an inch of its life, the drama loses much of its credibility and menace.’
John Grace- The Guardian

‘Accuse the period gangster drama Peaky Blinders of glamorising violence, stylisation and implausibility, but let’s not press charges when it comes to sentimentalising the early 20th century British working classes.’
Andrew Billen - The Times

Educating Yorkshire, C4

‘It was sickening to watch. The head teacher, Jonny Mitchell, seemed desperate for the children’s approval… If that’s what Britain’s head teachers are like these days, heaven help Michael Gove.’
Christopher Stevens - Daily Mail

‘Educating Yorkshire seems partly about headmaster ‘Mr’ Mitchell’s determination that his charges do not graduate from Thornhill Academy as Thomases and Pollys.’
Andrew Billen - The Times

The Guilty, ITV

‘The first episode was quite enjoyable… But halfway through the second episode, I began to feel it was me who had been clubbed to death. Some dramas can get away with being relentlessly claustrophobic, but The Guilty can’t because it’s too busy making sure nobody misses the point.’ Every long meaningful look - which, come to think of it, applies to almost every look - is held for just that bit too long.’
John Grace - The Guardian

Bates Motel, Universal Channel

‘It’s the sort of show that really shouldn’t have worked. Somehow, against all odds, it did.’
Sarah Hughes - Independent