“This is a strong start to what could turn out to be a successful franchise operation”


Rebus, BBC1/BBC Scotland

“The nimble plot, all fat deftly excised, grips through to the final frames. No character goes to waste and there’s a generous side order of mordant comedy too. Richard Rankin [as Rebus] has lashings of charisma. Requiring no previous knowledge of the character, it is a most welcome revival.”
Jasper Rees, The Telegraph 

“You don’t need to have read any of Rankin’s series or watched the previous TV adaptations to enjoy this new version – it’s all clearly laid out for Rebus newbies. And in a genre that has grown stale and unimaginative over recent years, with seemingly endless permutations of Broadchurch, it’s good to see the BBC putting so much thought into the genre without trying to reinvent the wheel.”
Gerard Gilbert, The i

“There’s serious competition in the crime world now, and Rebus will have to work hard to get ahead, but this is a strong start to what could turn out to be a successful franchise operation.”
Chris Harvey, The Independent

The Big Cigar, Apple TV+

“Annoyingly, it’s the navel-gazing examination of self-identified ‘good white people’ (altruism? narcissism? guilt?) that provides this mini-series’ most compelling thematic threads. Annoying, because by giving Schneider co-lead billing in what should have been the Huey P Newton story, The Big Cigar has supplied a dispiriting answer to its own still pertinent question: no, Hollywood can’t be trusted to authentically tell the stories of Black radicals; the compulsion to centre whiteness is just too strong.”
Ellen E Jones, The Guardian

“While The Big Cigar pays lip service to the issues that dominated Newton’s life, they serve as a smokescreen for what it really wants to be most of the time… a Shaft-era Blaxploitation caper movie in six episodes. Which gives André Holland as Newton a lot to chew on as the shift in gear between competing genres, one minute it’s an action chase epic, the next a stab at incisive social history, can make for a very bumpy journey. And while Holland shines in the sections that dig into Newton’s beliefs and his troubled relationships, he feels like a fish out of water when it comes to action sequences that border on farce.”
Keith Watson, The Telegraph