Television choices: Return of the living dead, this time with added brains

 

TV pick of the week: The Returned

Sunday 9pm Channel 4

Shaun of the Dead aside, I tend to give a wider berth to zombie dramas than I probably would to actual zombies – even I could outrun the undead. This haunting new French drama is something else. Channel 4's first subtitled series in 20 years begins with a bus carrying schoolchildren inexplicably swerving off an Alpine road, killing all on board. Then, four years later, with the town still grieving, the mainly teenage victims start turning up at their old homes, un-aged and oblivious of their fate. Excellent performances, an atmospheric soundtrack (by the rock band Mogwai), and a well-paced narrative that favours the realistic over the fantastical, means this is a zombie drama you can watch with your intelligence and emotions switched on.

Arne Dahl: Europa Blues – Part Two

Saturday 9pm BBC4

The Fall has been criticised for its glamorisation of violence against women, and it's instructive to compare it to this Swedish drama. In the second half of the last episode, we discover what links the Ukrainian sex-workers and the murdered neurosurgeon, as Soderstedt (Niklas Akerfelt) visits Italy to quiz a crime boss.

Dates

Monday 10pm Channel 4

Will Mellor and Oona Chaplin play the opening couple in Bryan Elsley's new series of loosely inter-linked short dramas that follows online dates and their aftermath. It's not the most appealing first episode of a series that really hits its stride tomorrow with Sheridan Smith and Neil Maskell, but the two-hander drama is a refreshing rarity on television.

Agnetha: Abba & After

Tuesday 10.35pm BBC1

Agnetha Fältskog – aka "the blonde one" – has tended to be seen as backing-singer eye-candy to Björn and Benny's masterful compositions. But Fältskog was writing hit songs as a 15-year-old, and was already a pop star long before Abba ruled the world. This profile nails a few other myths as well, including the one that Fältskog had become a Garbo-like recluse.

The Iraq War

Wednesday 9pm BBC2

With sectarian violence now reaching the levels of 2006-07, the final part of this series revisits those bloody years when Shia death squads roamed the streets. The Americans vested their hopes in new prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, and the sobering conclusion here is that, after 170,000 deaths, the US has merely managed to replace one tyrant with another.

Compare Your Life

Thursday 8pm Channel 4

"It's never too late to lead the life you want," is the not-strictly true slogan of a new reality show in which people buy businesses instead of properties – the aim being to lift themselves out of a rut and into profitable self-employment. Carlton Hood, ex-CEO of confused.com, is the mentor, as Ann Marie and Martin ponder a future as restaurateurs/shopkeepers.

Charles Bradley: Soul of America

Friday 10pm & 1.55am BBC4

The extraordinary story of a singer (and professional James Brown impersonator) who didn't find success until retirement age, after a hardship-filled life in a Brooklyn housing project. Bradley's big break came courtesy of his magnificent voice, and Daptone Records, the soul revival label best known for working with Amy Winehouse.

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
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.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee