Catch up TV review: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Maigret’s Dead Man, The Arrivals, A Big LEGO Christmas, Cooke & Moore’s Missing Sketches
James R | On 01, Jan 2017
Peter Cook & Dudley Moore: The Missing Sketches (All 4)
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore made 22 episodes of Not Only… But Also. Eight of them survived the TV industry’s house-keeping procedures of the time, which saw most tapes re-used to save on costs and resources. What a treat, then, to discover that someone has found several tapes that haven’t been wiped after all. Buried in Australia’s ABC TV archives, they contain several clips – nine sketches in total – that were once thought lost altogether. Here, we get to see them (or bits of them) for the first time since they were broadcast in the UK. Complete with observations from comedians such as Richard Ayoade and actor/director/writer Will Sharpe (Flowers), you get everything from an insight into the struggle of directing the duo – the cameras would be kept wide with both in frame, because they were so unpredictable to film – to the joy of seeing two comedy legends back in action. If you’re a fan of their work, or of comedy in general, this is essential viewing – fascinating, fun and informative.
We’re Going On A Bear Hunt (All 4)
“There’s nothing wrong with being sad. It’s just a way of remembering the happy times.” Who doesn’t have fond memories of being read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, or reading it to your own kids? Michael Rosen, a veritable national treasure of poetry and children’s literature, crafted something brilliantly simple in his picture book, which celebrated adventure and revelled in onomatopoeia. Turning that simplicity into a 30-minute story is a challenge, but this Channel 4 animation (from the people who adapted Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman and The Snowman and The Snowdog) does a brilliantly graceful job.
The Arrivals (All 4)
If you’re a fan of Love Actually’s opening sequence, which sees Hugh Grant waffle on about people reuniting at Heathrow Airport, Channel 4’s one-off programme is for you. Essentially stretching out the introduction of Love Actually to 60 minutes, the result is a predictably slushy montage of friends hugging, new couples seeing if they can manage a long-distance relationship and families greeting relatives. The soundtrack makes it clear you’re meant to shed a tear. If you’ve been at the leftover mulled wine while catching up on festive telly, you might well do. If not, this mindlessly sentimental piece of filmmaking borders a little too much on the manipulative side.
A Big LEGO Christmas (All 4)
LEGO opened its biggest ever store in London this Christmas and Channel 4 was there to follow the build-up. The result has some interesting behind-the-scenes glimpses of LEGO designers in action – professional brick master Duncan is crafting a gigantic replica of Tower Bridge, while another has produced a machine that can turn any photo into a build-it-yourself LEGO mosaic kit. But attempts at human interest, from the people applying to work there to the minor hiccups that beset the grand unveiling to queues of fans, can’t turn this hour-long programme into anything more than an advert for LEGO’s new shop. A missed opportunity.
Maigret’s Dead Man (ITV Hub)
After a lacklustre debut outing at Easter 2016, ITV brings back its new incarnation of Maigret for another case. Read our full review
Photo: TX TV LIMITED FOR ITV