“It is a riot: darkly funny and quirky, with great characterisation and unexpected twists”

The Tourist

The Tourist, BBC1

“It is a riot: darkly funny and quirky, with great characterisation and unexpected twists. Though, as with Boat Story, I could do without the violence.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“The twists come thick and fast: some funny, some cruel, almost all ludicrous. The Tourist is tautly plotted and performed with such flourish that it’s always engaging, even in its most implausible flights of fancy. Its no-holds-barred enthusiasm is hugely infectious.”
Leila Latif, The Guardian

“After a sluggish Christmas schedule, The Tourist gets 2024 off to a vigorous start. It’s just the tonic we need. Series one was the BBC’s most-watched drama of the year. Series two might not reach the same ratings because it lacks the thrill of the new. Jamie Dornan is still an amnesiac, and still on the run from various people without knowing why. But it’s just as much fun.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph

“The brilliance of action sequences in The Tourist is that, however improbable the overall set-up, each individual element makes perfect sense. Each moment has its own logic. Whether we will ever get explanations for everything, it’s too soon to say.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“I still don’t particularly care about who wants Elliot dead or why. But already I like this second outing better. The storytelling is more propulsive and it’s beautifully shot, making the most of the dramatic Irish scenery. It helps that many of the characters are already established, too.”
Gerard Gilbert, The i

“The Tourist is undoubtedly one of the best British thrillers of recent years. The combination of a very sexy protagonist, a slow-burning but believable romance (the chemistry between Jamie Dornan and Danielle Macdonald is, again, excellent), and stakes that get cranked higher and higher, make this a worthwhile second run.”
Nick Hilton, The Independent

“The writer, Gwyneth Hughes, had a hard job distilling such a complicated, knotty atrocity into four ITV hours — and sometimes that showed in the expositional dialogue. But Toby Jones, Monica Dolan and Will Mellor were brilliantly cast as three victims of the scandal, all excellent at portraying the ordinary person, here glued like flies in a nightmarish spider’s web of ‘computer says no’ obstinacy and becoming increasingly stuck until they were wrongly accused of owing ruinous amounts of money. It is a drama that gets better and better.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“If the drama can be a little broad-brushstrokes at times, with significant moments delivered as if in bold capital letters, you can’t really blame it. The moments of triumph are so hard-earned that it seems only fair to drench them in swelling strings. The Post Office scandal has been so long-running that it can feel as if the staggering injustice at the heart of it all has been lost in the dense forest of the details. This makes it human again, and simplifies the case for outrage that this was done to so many innocent people.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“It’s never subtle. While illness and depression, self-harm and suicide, plus a violent robbery, afflict the sub-postmasters, the Post Office’s glassy head office is basically the Death Star. Bates fights the good fight from a white house in a north Wales valley that shimmers like Eden. But fuelled by righteous rage and sheer incredulity at a corporate malfeasance that can never be fully explained, it’s undeniably powerful and finally redemptive.”
Jasper Rees, The Telegraph

“This screenplay by Gwyneth Hughes conveys the overwhelming fear of facing a bureaucratic juggernaut that refuses to acknowledge the possibility it might be wrong about anything. But the drama also captures the decency of Britain’s sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses, the quintessential shopkeepers once at the core of so many communities.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“What’s been called the most widespread miscarriage of justice in British history unfolded in such slow motion that there’s a chance that many of us might only intermittently have registered the Post Office scandal. There’s absolutely no chance of any such inattention after watching Gwyneth Hughes’s damning four-part drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office. In fact, if your blood wasn’t boiling by the end of this opening episode, then you may have needed to check your pulse.”
Gerard Gilbert, The i

“The danger with a show like this is succumbing to the expository urge and allowing the detail of a story that has previously been told via a series of Panorama exposés (not to mention books and podcasts) to swamp the storytelling. In its earnest and well-intentioned desire to vindicate the sub-postmasters, Mr Bates vs the Post Office focuses too much on the story and too little on the telling.”
Nick Hilton, The Independent

Taskmaster’s New Year Treat, Channel 4

“A singular edition of Taskmaster is too short to establish the quasi-sitcom rat-a-tat of a proper season, where seven comedians bounce off each other as tasks are reviewed and points awarded. But if the show’s best comedian lineups create some sort of family unit as they develop, this special instantly has the feel of a clan getting together to play parlour games. Taskmaster always strikes a miraculous balance, managing to be sharp and rude without straying into mean-spiritedness, and that’s in abundance here.”
Jack Seale, The Guardian