New to View: August 16 – 22

A weekly guide to what’s new of note on air and online


➢ Lovecraft Country Neon (SoHo2 from 8.30 Wednesdays)

Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams are behind this HBO take on monsters and racism in 1950s America. “It bypasses the high-cult pretensions that, for some of us, made the Watchmen adaptation a bit of a drag. Lovecraft fully integrates a noxious real-life history into its fantastical narrative — and reminds us how little some things have changed in the six decades since the story’s setting.” — New York Times.

The Singapore Grip BBC UKTV, 9.30

Christopher Hampton (Atonement, Dangerous Liaisons) has adapted J.G. Farrell’s satirical novel about a British merchant family in Japanse-occupied Singapore into a six-part series starring Luke Treadaway, David Morrissey and Charles Dance. “Even with its social commentary, the series has an easy vibe, akin to period programmes such as Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries or Mr Selfridge, and it’s a very digestible experience, especially when you also factor in the lush production design and costuming.” —

Motherland: Fort Salem TVNZ 2, 11.25

“The new supernatural alt-America drama Motherland: Fort Salem, in which witches revealed their existence to the world 300 years ago and have since served as the nation’s soldiers, offers the kind of sprawling world-building for which television is an ideal medium. (Also see: Watchmen, Game of Thrones.) … Beautiful, but hard to get lost in.” — The Hollywood Reporter.


The Pale Horse Prime, 8.30

Sarah Phelps’ latest Agatha Christie update stars Rufus Sewell as a widower who investigates why his name is among those found on a death list with witchcraft links. “This whodunnit with trappings of British folk horror is spellbinding – no pun intended.” — Radio Times.


Made in a Day National Geographic, 7.30

How some of today’s biggest brands, from Tesla Cars to Gibson Guitars, from Tabasco Sauce to Space Rockets, are making product on a massive scale in record time.

DeMarcus Family Rules Netflix

Reality newcomer about country-pop star Jay DeMarcus, of Rascal Flatts, and his family as they “write their own rules for juggling music, family and a whole lot of fun in between”.


7 Days Three, 8.30

The gang returns for a crowdpleasing 12-week run just in time for the election. The producers promise a new set but the same timeless format.

The Stand Up Sketch Show Three, 9.00 

“ITV has snapped up some of comedy’s top rising stars and a few established ones to act out their jokes in sketches as well as tell them onstage … With comedians of this calibre doing fast-paced, tightly edited routines you’d be hard-pushed not to find something you like. The only trouble is you might wish you were watching them doing straight stand-up instead.” — Beyond the Joke.

Biohackers Netflix

Premiere of a German six-part sci-fi thriller that was postponed because of the global pandemic. “Tells a story about friendship, love, and revenge that is overshadowed by a revolutionary biohacking technology and its ethical implications.” — The EuroTVPlace.


➢ Hoops Netflix

“Dry, sweaty and animated US sitcom about a deluded school basketballl coach (New Girl’sJake Johnson). Reminiscent of Family Guy.” — Daily Mail.

Lucifer Netflix

The supernatural procedural returns for the first half of its fifth season. Watch for episode four, which is shot in the style of a black-and-white 1940s film noir and shows the characters literally in a different light.


Survivor: Island of the Idols Three, 2.25

“Most everything Island of the Idols threw out to hook in viewers served to be nothing more than a red herring, contradicting and undermining the potential for a much better season. Worse off, the triumphant moments that happen sporadically are either undercut by tragic injustices that were permitted to happen for far too long, or those who benefitted from heroism or triumph quickly met their demise.” — Surviving Tribal.

Civilisations Prime, 6.00

Belated free-to-air debut of the 2018 highbrow sensation in a primetime slot where it can do least ratings harm. “Civilisations proves to be a worthy reboot of Kenneth Clark’s 1960s series, whisking viewers across the globe for an engaging tour through the varied art forms that humanity has crafted over millennia.” — Rotten Tomatoes.

➢ XY Chelsea Sky Arts, 8.00

Follows Chelsea Manning as she leaves prison after seven years inside, and begins a new life, whilst at the same time having to deal with the far-reaching consequences of her past. “This documentary about the transgender whistleblower and former army intelligence analyst officer … is intriguing but lacks wider context.” — The Guardian.

➢ Unforgotten Prime, 9.40

Another memorable three-part instalment of the odd-couple detective drama starring Nicola Walker (Last Tango in Halifax) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars). “Unforgotten is – once again – superb. Clever, without being clever-clever; big-on character without trying to be all bleak and Scandi. It is beautifully crafted and performed; tight, gripping, but also moving and so very human.” — The Guardian.

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