Television choices: Inbetweeners reunited in comedy and cowardice

 

TV pick of the week: Chickens

Thursday 9.30pm Sky 1

"The world has no room for cowards," Robert Louis Stevenson maintained. Sky's new comedy does, though, as it follows three loathed (their house is emblazoned with "Just Die" and "Coward Cottage") draft-dodging chickens who have, quite wisely, ducked out of the carnage of the First World War. The trio of cowards, played by Inbetweeners stars Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, who also, jointly, wrote this, and Jonny Sweet, gel nicely together in this undemanding satire. "If you were really keen to help, you would have killed yourself to raise moral," yells a crone at Simon Bird's flat-footed Cecil, who is knitting for the war effort. Bird, Sweet and Thomas are all adept comic actors, and the wonderful Emma Fryer cameos, too.

Top of the Lake

Saturday 9.10pm BBC2

The final episode of Jane Campion's crime drama has Matt wanting to "confess" to Robin. Is it a trap? Johnno thinks so. The first "twist" is beautifully handled. However, the unveiling of the main culprit is a little less convincing. Elisabeth Moss and Peter Mullan have been terrific in this bleak examination of grief and abuse.

Southcliffe

Sunday 9pm Channel 4

Channel 4 has taken a beating recently, but Tony Grisoni's fiercely intelligent Southcliffe is the best drama it has shown in a fair while. The last instalment moves forward a year and focuses on Rory Kinnear's damaged reporter, who has received a threatening letter, and Eddie Marsan and Shirley Henderson's grief-stricken couple. Haunting television.

Dreaming the Impossible: Unbuilt Britain

Monday 9pm & 2.30am BBC4

"Behind nearly every one of these triumphs is an untold drama," pronounces Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner, who charts structures and buildings that didn't quite cut it. "This is where the story begins," she booms five minutes in. Didn't the story before? Anyway, she explores plans for a channel tunnel in the 19th century.

King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons

Tuesday 9pm & 2.30am BBC4

We've reached 924, and the historian Michael Wood is enthusing about King Aethelstan, "the most powerful ruler Britain has seen since the Romans". Information is scarce – it's the Dark Ages, after all – but Wood makes the most of the faded scrolls and manuscripts at his disposal. An interesting look at a little-known period.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Wednesday 9pm BBC1

This week it's England's second greatest goalscorer, Gary Lineker, and he proves an uncomplicated soul from an average family, which isn't ideal for a genealogy show. Lineker, the son of a market trader, knows little about his roots, but he soon discovers there's a "law writer" on his mother's side and a chicken thief. Prepare yourself for a "fowl play" pun.

King of Hollywood: Inventing David Geffen

Friday 9pm PBS America

"One way or another he would outsmart-you, or out-yell you…" claims Cher about Geffen in this documentary, charting the music mogul's progress from his modest childhood to conquering the music industry. Tom Hanks and Elton John pay homage to this huge ego who freely admits to faking his university career. Chutzpah...

Arts and Entertainment
Will there ever be a Friends reunion?
TV
News
Harry Hill plays the Professor in the show and hopes it will help boost interest in science among young people
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A Van Gogh sold at Sotheby’s earlier this month
art
Arts and Entertainment

MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word

Arts and Entertainment
'Africa' will be Angelina Jolie's fifth film as a director

Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Len Goodman appeared to mutter the F-word after Simon Webbe's Strictly performance

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T makes his long-awaited return to the London stage
musicReview: Alexandra Palace, London
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 back in 2001 when they also supported 'Children in Need'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth rejoins Tess Daly to host the Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan plays Christian Grey getting ready for work

Film More romcom than S&M

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Review: The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
The comedian Daniel O'Reilly appeared contrite on BBC Newsnight last night

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
The American stand-up Tig Notaro, who performed topless this week

Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars

Arts and Entertainment

TVNetflix gets cryptic

Arts and Entertainment
Claudia Winkleman is having another week off Strictly to care for her daughter
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Children in Need is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK

TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his winning novel

Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination

Arts and Entertainment
Bryan Cranston will play federal agent Robert Mazur in The Infiltrator

Books
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

    Immigration: Obama's final frontier

    The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

    Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

    You know that headache you’ve got?

    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

    Scoot commute

    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
    Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

    The Paul Robeson story

    How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
    10 best satellite navigation systems

    Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

    Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
    Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

    Paul Scholes column

    England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

    Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
    Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

    Frank Warren column

    Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
    Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

    Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

    Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
    Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

    'How do you carry on? You have to...'

    The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

    'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

    Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
    Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

    Sir John Major hits out at theatres

    Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
    Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

    Kicking Barbie's butt

    How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines