“The camerawork throughout was respectful, mostly telling the story through quiet fury and despair.”


Panorama: The Forgotten Frontline, BBC1 

“This was a distressing and enraging film that followed staff, residents and families at two homes, EachStep Blackley in Manchester and Pelham House in Folkestone. Many of these residents had dementia. As the virus began to spread through the country, care homes looked to the Government for help. Yet until March 13, despite a steady rise in the number of cases, Public Health England was saying: “It remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected.” The programme showed us what staff were up against.”

Anita Singh, The Telegraph

“The camerawork throughout was respectful, mostly telling the story through the quiet fury and despair of the relatives and managers, and the helplessness of dementia patients such as Ellen, totally unable to understand what was happening. The tears of the nurse Herbert Mumbamarwo also said everything. He described looking after an 85-year-old man called Bryan McHugh in his final hours with scant medical support and limited pain relief available.”

Ben Dowell, The Times


Katie Prince: Every Move She Makes, BBC1 


“The programme followed choreographer Kate Prince and her latest street dance show, Message in a Bottle, which uses the music of Sting to tell the story of the refugee crisis. Where this film worked best was in those brief insights into Prince’s home life, staying up all night working out dance moves in the mirror or feeding her young daughter croissant and jam with her husband, Leo. Living with such a driven person did not appear easy. When she is immersed in a show she is “not present for those eight weeks, not physically or emotionally, but that’s all right”, Leo said.”

Ben Dowell, The Times


Escape to the Chateau: Make Do and Mend, Channel 4 

“Since Dick and his wife Angel bought the tumbledown Chateau de la Motte-Husson in Martigne-sur-Mayenne in 2015, they’ve filmed six series that chart the renovations. Lockdown has put a dent in their business. The weddings they host are postponed and the roving visits to antique markets and ‘bricantes’ or junk shops across France have been put on hold. But with typical adaptability, they’ve devised another show — offering tips on decoration and restoration to viewers who want to improve their own abodes. An Englishman’s home is his chateau, after all.”

Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail


The Gene: An Intimate History, PBS America 

“This was Ken Burns’ latest documentary. This was a sturdy documentary, the first half spread over a hefty two-and-a-half hours (the concluding half airs tonight). It was a lot to take in. But Burns broke up the history with moving personal stories. He followed the work of Dr Wendy Chung, who runs a Columbia University research centre helping children with genetic disorders, such as Susannah Rosen, whose rare degenerative condition is, in Dr Chung’s words, “a one-way street”. It showed us exactly what’s at stake here.”

Anita Singh, The Telegraph


The Umbrella Academy, Netflix 

 “The premise of this adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s comic book is shaky. If the kids from the Umbrella Academy are, as we learned, followed through space-time by apocalyptic scenarios, surely the right thing to do would be for them to kill themselves for the greater good, rather than repeatedly recreate circumstances in which they have to thwart apocalypses that imperil humanity. There are economic reasons for ignoring this modest proposal. The Umbrella Academy was the third biggest hit on Netflix last year, following Stranger Things and The Witcher, so giving the punters more of the same makes business sense. But why is this risible guff so popular?”


Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian