Catch up TV review: Berlin Station, Celebrity Gogglebox, Trevor McDonald and the Killer Nurse
Ivan Radford | On 28, Oct 2018
Berlin Station (All 4)
The words “CIA” and “leaks” may well have you sighing with exasperation at the current state of affairs in the White House, but this espionage thriller unfolds on refreshingly foreign soil: that of Berlin, where the agency’s station has become the target of a mysterious whistle-blower. Daniel Miller is sent in to identify the culprit, placing him in a lion’s den of spies, secret signals and dramatic conversations about moles. Richard Armitage, thankfully, is a veteran at this stuff, with several seasons of Spooks under his belt, and he’s got enough confidence to sell the slightly silly scenarios and speeches that unfold – and supported by the equally excellent Rhys Ifans as his mentor, Hector, who has grown a little too acclimatised to life in the German capital. It’s no The Little Drummer Girl, currently airing on BBC One, but this is slick, entertaining telly that doesn’t demand too much.
Celebrity Gogglebox (All 4)
Ever since Love Island, it’s only a matter of time until Danny Dyer and Dani Dyer got their own TV show. For now, this special episode of Celebrity Gogglebox will do. The homophonous relatives join a star-studded line-up for a one-off version of the popular people-watch-telly show – all part of a Stand Up to Cancer charity evening on Channel 4. The celebrities on couches include Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne, but it’s the Dyers who are the reason to tune in, and they’re absolutely priceless every second they’re on screen, delivering their verdict on the week’s small screen entertainment. Everything is wonderfully relatable, even as it’s filtered through the idiosyncratic lens of the Dyer lifestyle, such as Danny’s delight at getting a question right on University Challenge, or Dani’s musing that it’d be nice to go to university or date one of the series’ contestants. At one point, they go off on a tangential discussion about different forms of ham. “Breaded,” notes Danny, with gruff conviction. What a national treasure these two are – sometimes, watching Danny Dyer and Dani Dyer debate University Challenge and the merits of supermarket-bought, pork-based products is exactly what you need.
Trevor McDonald and the Killer Nurse (ITV Hub)
ITV risks becoming Channel 5 when it comes to naming its documentaries, which have titles pitched somewhere between a sensationalist tabloid and a Harry Potter sequel. But Sir Trevor McDonald is a class act, and he brings gravitas and sensitivity to this case. It’s one he’s familiar with, after reporting on it back in 1991, and it’s one that’s no less shocking today: 22-year-old nurse Beverly Allitt murdered four children in her care, and attacked a further nine, at Grantham Hospital in Lincolnshire. Trevor sheds new light on the case here, after being given access to the police interviews with Allitt and succeeding in tracking down some of her surviving victims. They speak candidly and movingly about the trauma of going through these horrors at a young age – a striking contrast to the police tapes, on which Allitt speaks and jokes with officers. “She’s trying to get away with it any way she can. To me that screams out almost psychotic,” notes McDonald.