“The endless excitement Prof Hannah finds in testing the theories is infectious, and this whole series has been fun”


“The endless excitement Prof Hannah finds in testing the theories is infectious, and this whole series has been fun. This time, she showed us how counterweights worked, not only in lifts but also in massive medieval catapults called trebuchets. With the help of Lego models, she demonstrated what happened when a lift cable does snap. And she ended with a glimpse of the future, operating an elevator suspended solely by electromagnets and able to travel sideways as well as up and down. What happens if there’s a power cut, she didn’t say. But I think we can guess.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

Stacey Solomon’s Crafty Christmas, BBC1

“Television natural, X Factor survivor and truth-teller on the otherwise wretched Loose Women, Stacey Solomon has found a fruitful outlet for her public-spirited effervescence in BBC One’s Sort Your Life Out. Stacey Solomon’s Crafty Christmas – back after last year’s successful one-off – confirmed that she’s just as comfortable making stuff as chucking it out, offering a more achievable version of the sort of festive gewgaws Kirstie Allsopp rustles up on Channel 4’s Handmade Christmas.”

Gabriel Tate, Telegraph

“The fun she’s having is unfeigned, but it’s ironic that during the rest of the year, Stacey is urging us to clear junk from our homes on Sort Your Life Out. Come Christmas, she’s showing us how to refill them with Nutcracker soldiers made from toilet rolls, wreaths that look like plum duff puddings, and three-tier chandeliers that look like nothing on earth. Half an hour of this would be more than enough. After 60 minutes, I was muttering, ‘Bah! Humbug!’”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Beth is more complex than she looks and, it seems, not averse to a bit of kink herself. Having grown up poverty-stricken in a motorhome with her mother, could she be turning a blind eye to certain things because she likes her lavish lifestyle? A bit daft yet entertaining, there are twists here right until the end. I haven’t read the Alice Hunter novel on which it is based, but the adaptation is tasty.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

Dynamo Is Dead, Sky Max

“I don’t doubt Dynamo’s intentions were sincere. It was often movingly heartfelt and sharing his vulnerabilities so candidly took courage. Yet this ponderous, padded-out programme took itself far too seriously. He intoned gnomic lines such as: “To do something I’ve never done, I need to become someone I’ve never been: myself.” Which sounds deep and meaningful until you realise it isn’t.”
Michael Hogan, Telegraph

Reacher, Amazon Prime Video

“Season one was released in one binge-worthy chunk which seemed in keeping with the annual ritual of tearing through Child’s latest novel in one or two sittings. Season two has pivoted to three episodes at launch, then new instalments weekly. (A third season has also been confirmed.) But that enforced wait for the season finale in early 2024 will probably do even more for Reacher’s aura of badass invincibility. Practically every episode ends with Ritchson delivering a stone-cold one-liner about the vengeance he is about to unleash. It will be left echoing round the audience’s head until the next episode. A little corny, sure, but big fun.”
Graeme Virtue, The Guardian