What to watch tonight, 21 November
Ellen E Jones recommends new BBC drama about the first Doctor Who
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Thursday 21 November 2013
An Adventure in Time and Space- 9pm, BBC2
Every major sci-fi franchise needs an origins story and you might like to think of this 50th anniversary tribute to Doctor Who as a something of the kind. The difference is that An Adventure in Space and Time, a drama about the early days of the BBC series, takes place not in the fictional universe of the show, but in the real world. Mostly.
It’s part a 60s-set workplace drama, like Mad Men or The Hour, in which ambitious young women bang their perfectly coiffed beehives against the era’s glass ceiling, and part a fascinating making-of doc. Did you know that producer Verity Lambert, was at that time the only female producer at the BBC? And that director Waris Hussein was the first Indian-born director?
This story really belongs to the First Doctor, however. William Hartnell can be cantankerous old codger, but he's played with pathos and empathy by David Bradley. How will he cope when old age and ill health forces him to give up the role he loves? Luckily, in Doctor Who an end is always a beginning, and so it is with Mark Gatiss’ cleverly resonant script.
Daleks going over Westminster Bridge, London in 'Adventure in Space and Time'
Also on TV tonight
Animal Odd Couples - 8pm, BBC1
A long-held belief that animals stick to their own appears not to necessarily hold true. In a film that goes beyond the mere cutesy, the biologist Liz Bonnin asks why a cat would adopt some ducklings and whether an orangutan could keep a dog as a pet. But then why not? They make very good pets.
Britain’s Secret Terror Force - 9pm, BBC1
In the early 1970s, the British Army ran an undercover squad that was designed to combat the IRA. Now, for the first time, some of its former members talk about their role.
A Young Doctor’s Notebook & Other Stories - 9pm & 12.10am, Sky Arts 1
Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm reprise their roles as the younger and older versions of Mikhail Bulgakov’s Russian medic. It is both 1918 and 1935.
Him & Her: the Wedding - 10pm, 12.30am & 3.30am, BBC3
The sitcom begins its final series, each episode charting a different stage in the awful Paul and Laura’s wedding day.
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
- 5 Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
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The 9 rules every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon had to follow are wonderfully pedantic
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Seth Rogan's pot fumes delay hacked Sony boss’s office move
India's Daughter: BBC Four documentary provokes outrage on Twitter
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests