TV pre­view How to suc­ceed, or not, when suc­ces­sion is at stake

The Herald - The Herald Magazine - - Arts - Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs (STV, Wed­nes­day), The Other One (BBC1, Fri­day, 9pm)

cap­i­tal of the world, and the only place in China that it is le­gal to gam­ble.

It’s the usual drill: the duo in­ter­view the staff, man­age­ment and ar­chi­tects, and try their hands at various jobs, with Galetti at home in the kitchen and Coren not so at home with flower ar­rang­ing. While the ho­tels in this show al­ways live up to their billing in the ti­tle, often the most fas­ci­nat­ing part is see­ing be­hind the scenes. Such is the size of the MGM, staff have ac­cess to what is more or less a small town un­der­ground, com­plete with a McDonald’s.

But then ev­ery­thing about this place is vast, from a lobby that is the size of a foot­ball pitch to the pent­house suites (£340 a night, a rel­a­tive bar­gain) set over two floors. See for your­self whether you would feel at home there. I’m still dream­ing of Ar­ran.

Paul O’Grady is at once the best and worst host of any show in­volv­ing dogs. In al­most ev­ery episode of

he swings like a trapeze artist be­tween high and low, cry­ing and laugh­ing in equal mea­sure.

Many view­ers do the same, though I have also been known to come out with some shock­ing lan­guage if a tale of cru­elty and aban­don­ment is told.

Sub­ti­tled “back in busi­ness” this hour-long episode re­vis­its Bat­tersea Dogs & Cats Home when it was all hands and paws on deck. Coro­n­avirus has struck, the lock­down is com­ing, and homes have to be found pronto. Will O’Grady self­lessly put his icy dis­dain for dogs aside and take a lit­tle some­one home him­self? If you have watched him be­ing caught with ca­nine con­tra­band ev­ery week you will know that’s a joke. Who will be the lucky dog, though?

comes to the end of its first run. A com­edy about about the two fam­i­lies of one man, nei­ther of whom knew about the other till the day he died, has been one of the sleeper hits of a strange sum­mer – funny, sur­pris­ing, and re­ally rather mov­ing, as the best com­edy should be.

The premise may not have been all that orig­i­nal, but the writ­ing by Holly Walsh and Pippa Brown has been top drawer, and the per­for­mances from the mainly fe­male cast have been more than a match. Early in the year as it is, let’s ask Santa for a sec­ond se­ries.

The Rise of the Mur­doch Dy­nasty (BBC2, Tues­day, 9pm); Amaz­ing Ho­tels: Life Be­yond the Lobby

(BBC2, Tues­day, 8pm); Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs (STV, Wed­nes­day, 8pm); The Other One (BBC1, Fri­day, 9pm)

Amadeus (Na­tional The­atre Live/YouTube, from Thu)

If there has been a pos­i­tive about lock­down, it’s the fact many the­atre-lovers who don’t get a chance to visit Lon­don can en­joy some of its great­est dra­matic pro­duc­tions on­line. For more than 40 years, Peter Shaf­fer’s Amadeus has wowed mil­lions, not least in that Os­car-win­ning movie ver­sion with Tom Hulce. Now there’s a chance to see the 2016 Na­tional The­atre pro­duc­tion. For new­com­ers it fol­lows rowdy young mu­si­cal prodigy Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart (Adam Gillen). Amazed by Mozart’s ge­nius, Court Com­poser An­to­nio Salieri (Lu­cian Msamati) has the Cow­ell-like power to pro­mote his tal­ent or de­stroy it. Con­sumed by jeal­ousy, he be­gins a war with Mozart, with mu­sic and, ul­ti­mately, with God.

Doom Patrol (StarzPlay, from Thu)

Some of DC’s big screen out­put may have been hit and miss lately, but they’ve cer­tainly given Mar­vel a run for their money, with ex­cel­lent small screen of­fer­ings like Pennny­worth and sub­lime an­i­mated saga Har­ley Quinn. Given the fact Doom Patrol have been around in comic form since 1963, it’s about time they got their chance to shine in the me­dia spotlight. And sea­son one cer­tainly did that. Fol­low­ing the de­feat of Mr No­body at the end of that run, the mem­bers of Doom Patrol now find them­selves mini-sized and stranded on Cliff’s toy race car track. There, they will deal with their full-sized feel­ings of be­trayal by Niles Caul­der (the ever won­der­ful Ti­mothy Dal­ton). Se­ries new­comer Dorothy Spin­ner (Abi­gail Shapiro) helps in­ject new life into this slice of es­capism.

Se­cret So­ci­ety of Sec­ond Born Roy­als (Dis­ney+, from Fri)

Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Sky­lar Astin and Home and Away vet­eran Olivia Dee­ble star in this slick of­fer­ing from the house of Mouse. It fol­lows

Sam, a re­bel­lious teenage royal who de­vel­ops su­per­pow­ers from a ge­netic trait at­trib­uted only to sec­ond-borns of royal lin­eage. (Not a thing; we checked). Sec­ond-in-line to the throne of the king­dom of Il­lyria, Sam con­tin­u­ally ques­tions what it means to be royal and wants to cre­ate her own legacy. Yes, it all sounds rather like The (Su­per) Princess Diaries, which is no bad thing given how fun those films were. Teen lead Peyton Lee has al­ready spent five years ap­pear­ing in shows like Scan­dal and Shame­less, so lit­tle won­der she seems so at home on screen.

Un­rav­el­ing Athena (Ama­zon Prime Video, from Mon)

Di­rec­tor Fran­cis Amat spent four years work­ing on this project which ex­plores the lives and ex­pe­ri­ences of some of the world’s most ex­tra­or­di­nary fe­male ath­letes. An ar­ray of num­ber one ranked ten­nis play­ers, such as Bil­lie Jean King, Martina Hingis, Tracy Austin, Evonne Goolagong, Kim Cli­jsters, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilov­a, share their ex­pe­ri­ences. Theres is an up­lift­ing story of de­ter­mi­na­tion, tri­als and tribu­la­tions and in­cred­i­ble achieve­ments, with mem­o­ries of start­ing at an age when they were barely big enough to pick up a racket; Chris Evert, at five years old, felt “very re­sent­ful” of her sud­den vo­ca­tion. “I hated los­ing, so win­ning was the only op­tion,” adds for­mer num­ber one Kim Cli­jsters.

BARRY DID­COCK’S FAVOURITE POD­CAST

What’s it called?

The Ev­i­dence Locker

What’s it about?

It’s a true crime pod­cast but with a dif­fer­ence, that dif­fer­ence be­ing that where most pod­casts of the type look at sin­gle events (see Se­rial) or fo­cus nar­rowly on one coun­try – there’s a pre­pon­der­ance of Amer­i­can ex­am­ples – this one scours the globe for sto­ries. What it doesn’t do is in­de­pen­dently in­ves­ti­gate the cases: ev­ery­thing pre­sented comes from pub­licly avail­able and ar­chive ma­te­rial so it’s more of an ex­pert re-telling than a foren­sic ex­am­i­na­tion.

Who’s in it?

The nar­ra­tor and host is Noel Vin­son (also a rap­per) and the show is pro­duced by cre­ator Sonya Lowe, who has a back­ground in Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion.

What’s so good about it?

Its global reach. There are sev­eral Bri­tish cases, among them the ‘doorstep mur­der’ of Alis­tair Wilson in Nairn in 2004 and the death of Swedish na­tional Annie Bor­jes­son, who lived in Ed­in­burgh and whose body was found washed up on Prest­wick Beach in 2005. The of­fi­cial ver­dict there was sui­cide but her fam­ily sus­pect foul play and the Swedish govern­ment has de­clared that files re­lat­ing to her death are se­cret and that re­veal­ing them would be against the na­tional interest. Be­yond the UK there are episodes deal­ing with mur­ders from all over the world, with Rus­sia, Ukraine and South Amer­ica pro­vid­ing some of the weird­est and most gruesome.

Where can I find it?

It’s avail­able to down­load for free on iTunes, or from the pod­cast’s ded­i­cated web­site.

For fans of …

Se­rial, S-Town, Teacher’s Pet

BARRY DID­COCK

MAC­BETH

Mon­day Film 4, 11.10pm

IT may not be the most shock­ing or vis­ceral of Shake­speare’s tragedies but Mac­beth is prob­a­bly the most mar­tial, and while Ro­man Polan­ski’s cel­e­brated 1971 ver­sion favours the psy­cho­log­i­cal as­pects over the blood­thirsti­ness this 2015 adap­ta­tion by Aus­tralian di­rec­tor Justin Kurzel glo­ries in the pos­si­bil­i­ties for gore and war­fare that the play of­fers. From the su­per slow­mo­tion open­ing scenes of a bat­tle – think Game Of Thrones­meets-Gla­di­a­tor – to its ex­tended af­ter­math as Mac­beth (Michael Fass­ben­der) and Ban­quo (Paddy Con­si­dine) bury their dead and en­counter the dou­ble-deal­ing witches on a win­try hill­side, this is a film that un­spools with its sword drawn and its teeth bared. Or, as Shake­speare would have it, with har­ness on its back. It’s also de­fi­antly out­doorsy and el­e­men­tal, with sig­nif­i­cant events tak­ing place in wind­whipped tents and glo­ri­fied barns rather than in­doors within bat­tle­mented cas­tle walls. Dun­can’s mur­der, for in­stance, oc­curs not in a cham­ber but in a can­vas pavilion set up in a muddy yard.

The cast­ing is pre­cise and all the more in­ter­est­ing for it. Fass­ben­der, as hand­some and bor­der­line psy­chotic as al­ways, plays Mac­beth as a schemer who doesn’t spend too long an­guish­ing over a course of ac­tion which will see him mur­der his way to the throne. David Thewlis gives King Dun­can an im­pos­ing phys­i­cal pres­ence and a snarky twist: this is a man who rules by fear and vi­o­lence, you sense, and through care­fully judged dis­plays of favour. He’s a Mafia don in a rough wool robe, and far from the saintly fig­ure pre­sented in some pro­duc­tions of ‘the Scot­tish play’.

In a more cu­ri­ous piece of cast­ing the role of Lady Mac­beth is handed to Mar­ion Cotil­lard. She has clearly de­cided that spout­ing Shake­speare and

Adam Gillen as Amadeus

Above: Mar­ion Cotil­lard as Lady Mac­beth and Michael Fass­ben­der as Mac­beth in Mac­beth; Anya Tay­lor-Joy as Emma in Emma

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