Previews | TV


STRICTLY COME DANCING BBC One, Sat 5 Sep, 7.15pm Get ready for another round of glitz, glamour and sequins with the biggest TV talent show in the UK. Professional boxer Anthony Ogogo, granny’s favourite Daniel O’Donnell, Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine and celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott are amongst this year’s contestants. Well it’s better than X-Factor.


Sky Atlantic, Tue 8 Sep, 10pm New comedy about American football stars created by Stephen Levinson (In Treatment, Entourage, Boardwalk Empire) and starring The Rock! Awesome!

DOCTOR WHO BBC One, Sat 19 Sep, time tbc Expect more hard sci-fi mixed with thrills, chills and a cheeky wink as Peter Capaldi returns. Guest stars include Maisie Williams, Reece Shearsmith, Rufus Hound, Rebecca Front and Michelle Gomez. See preview, page 92.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD DVD, Mon 5 Oct Perhaps the greatest action movie of the last ten years. Cars collide with a crunching visceral impact in this post- apocalyptic road movie starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.

THE WALKING DEAD FOX, Mon 12 Oct, 9pm Have Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of survivors really found a safe haven in Alexandria? With the Wolves and zombies biting at their heels we somehow doubt it.

THE LEFTOVERS DVD, Thu 15 Oct Bleak sci-fi-ish drama The Leftovers passed many people by so catch up here before season two starts on Sky Atlantic. Justin Theroux is fantastic as troubled cop Kevin Garvey in a world where 2% of the population has mysteriously vanished.

THIS IS ENGLAND ’90 Channel 4, Sun 13 Sep, times tbc The final chapter in Shane Meadows’ drama as Lol, Woody, Shaun and the gang go clubbing. See preview, left.

HALO 5: GUARDIANS Xbox One, Tue 27 Oct The fifth instalment in the world-conquering first-person shooter has Spartan Locke on the hunt for Master Chief.

3 Sep–5 Nov 2015 THE LIST 93

DRAMA PREVIEW THIS IS ENGLAND ’90 Channel 4, Sun 13 Sep, time tbc

Shane Meadows’ 2006 i lm This is England followed the lives and loves of a group of young skinheads in 1983 with the gang returning for TV spin-offs This is England ’86 and This is England ’88. ‘A 90-minute i lm sounds like a lot of time,’ notes writer / director Meadows. ‘But weirdly, when you’ve got all these incredible characters, you can’t follow ten lives. Whereas a series is a beautiful thing, in so much as you can look at a lot of different people. One person can have an arc through one episode; it’s like their own feature i lm.’ The follow-up, This is England ’90, was originally slated for 2012 but delayed by three years while Meadows got side-tracked. He had taken the opportunity to indulge in one of his musical passions, making Made of Stone, his feature-length documentary charting the Stone Roses’ reunion. ‘There’s a blessing and a curse to the gap,’ says Meadows. ‘The curse could be that people might not be interested any more, but it feels like the opposite has happened. The blessing is that we’ve had a bit of rel ection time, to look at all the stories and i gure out how to do justice to the last series. If this is the last one, it needs to fuli l its promise. That brings with it a certain pressure.’

This is England always felt like a project very close to Meadows’ heart. There are elements that

mirror his own life growing up in the West Midlands while ‘90 continues to chart British youth culture. A new decade is dawning and the characters have embraced the baggy sounds of the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and early 90s club culture.

Meadows specialises in capturing the drama and comedy of everyday life as showcased in early features A Room for Romeo Brass (1999) and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002). At its core, This is England is about friendship and Meadows has created an incredibly realistic and likeable ensemble cast (headed by Joseph Gilgun, Vicky McClure, Thomas Turgoose and Michael Socha), many of whom hadn’t acted before the original i lm.

Meadows is renowned for his relaxed directorial style, coaxing naturalist performances from his performers. ‘I’d never been to i lm school,’ says Meadows. ‘When I was i rst directing, and I didn’t have any money, I was directing people who I’d been with at college, or people who lived near me. They weren’t actors. I gained a massive amount of coni dence from getting them to act. They didn’t have any preconceived ideas, so I then felt that working with people who didn’t really know how to do it was actually a kind of benei t to me, because I don’t really have a recognised technique.’ Even though Meadows has stated this will be the i nal This is England series, he’s i nding it hard to close the door completely. ‘Well, if it i nished here, I’d have absolutely no regrets. But I can’t say never. It’s impossible to say never . . . but this feels like an end. It has a full stop, even if it’s only in pencil.’ (Henry Northmore)