Catch Up TV reviews: How to Lose Seven Billion Pounds, Inside Alton Towers, Court of Appeal, Manhunting with My Mum
James R | On 27, Aug 2018
Dispatches: How to Lose Seven Billion Pounds (All 4)
At what point does capitalism stop working and start failing? This year gave us an apparent answer with the collapse of Carillion, a British construction company that took on countless public service contracts not only for the building of facilities but the provision of services to maintain them. With privatisation leading to companies trying to under-quote each other, Carillion ended up faking its own finances to claim its debt-ridden projects were in profit – a chain of lies that led to implosion in January, while bosses walked away with their bonuses unchallenged. New laws are now being introduced to make CEOs of big companies accountable for their high pay, but this important, in-depth documentary is a timely, vital reminder that any such measures may well be too late.
Court of Appeal (ITV Hub)
Our justice system is a vital part of UK society, but also something that remains distanced and hard to fathom for many – not least of all the appeals process, part of the legal system that is easily overshadowed by the more familiar hearings and trials. This one-off documentary by ITV is a rewarding window onto what goes on in the Court of Appeal. We see one man trying to overturn a verdict for his role in a gang killing, another appeal a dangerous driving conviction and another seek a tougher sentence on a different dangerous driver. Each one is a moving account of the kind of human stories that go through the appeals process every day.
Manhunting With My Mum (All 4)
AJ Odudu was born in Blackpool, but her mum was born in Nigeria. And so, as she turns to her mother for help with her unsuccessful dating life, the solution is simple: head to Nigeria on a tour of potential suitors. The result is both an intriguing insight into cultural traditions and a reminder of relationship etiquette from decades gone by, but also a delightful romp through one woman’s quest for romance, which manages to offer up everything from Scrabble to pint-sized princes. A joyous one-off led by two charismatic women who clearly care for each other.
Inside Alton Towers (All 4)
In 2015, Alton Towers saw the unthinkable happen, as 16 people were injured on a ride. Now, a £5 million fine later, and some serious scrutiny of the company’s safety protocols, the theme park is preparing to launch its new rollercoaster. Based on The Wicker Man, it’s a coaster built using traditional, wooden materials, and revolves around the illusion of it catching fire – an idea that sounds as dangerous as they come. This Channel 4 documentary offers a surprisingly detailed study of a rarely considered industry, striking just the right balance between dramatically wondering whether the ride will actually burst into flames and fluffily promoting Alton Towers’ new product and trustworthy safety checks – a balance achieved by the avuncular narration of national treasure Toby Jones.