“A tale that is jaw-dropping enough to ensure nobody will forget what the Arctic 30 did or why they did it”

On Thin Ice: Putin v Greenpeace

“For the opening double bill, On Thin Ice: Putin v Greenpeace is a chaotic thriller, an exciting, enraging and inspiring cross between Captain Phillips and Total Wipeout. We’ve not seen a Russian prison yet, but it’s already a tale that is jaw-dropping enough to ensure nobody will forget what the Arctic 30 did or why they did it.”
Jack Seale, The Guardian

“The contributors gave such a close-up account of all hell breaking loose — of Russians in balaclavas storming their ship, waving guns — that you could see why two of them separately suggest that it was ‘like finding yourself in the middle of a James Bond movie’. The vivid, edge-of-sofa details here for once made you feel that a movie version would be superfluous.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“There’s an absorbing trove of footage, some of it furtively captured on a hidden GoPro that has its own thrilling subplot. Film is also sourced from the Russian coastguard, supplemented by the odd discreet reconstruction. It’s a messy parable involving two vast threats to global security – Russian aggression and melting ice caps – and no amount of efficient editing can tidy it all up.”
Jasper Rees, The Telegraph

“On Thin Ice: Putin vs Greenpeace is a first-hand account of what happens when eco-warriors provoke the Kremlin. It also emphasises why, instead of despising Western democracy, Left-wing professional protestors should be profoundly grateful for the freedoms they abuse — because the alternative is ugly.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

The Piano, Channel 4

“If the blub-inducing reality series The Piano has started to feel as much a contest of ‘most emotional backstory’ as piano ability, last night’s final threatened to become the world’s first weeping competition.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“The final of The Piano was a conveyor belt of pointedly heart-warming moments. But despite its best efforts to get viewers weeping, it left me cold. Even ever-twinkly host Claudia Winkleman couldn’t redeem this schmaltz-fest, which ultimately managed to patronise both its musicians and audience.”
Emily Watkins, The i