The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - Front Page -

Cre­ated by House Of Cards’s Beau Wil­limon, it’s hard to tell from the open­ing episode whether this pumpedup drama about the first manned mis­sion to Mars will be worth stay­ing with, be­cause not much hap­pens, and the only thing that does is very pre­dictable. Sean Penn gives an in­tense per­for­mance as vet­eran as­tro­naut Tom Hagerty, the for­mer mis­sion com­man­der, who has been re­moved at the last minute, and watches the count­down to launch from afar, while do­ing manly things like run­ning around with no shirt on and fix­ing a tap. While the top-billed movie star sits at home, a crew of ac­tors you’ve never seen be­fore pre­pare for take off. Might some­thing pos­si­bly go wrong? Natascha McEl­hone co-stars as the project’s ul­tra-cor­po­rate boss. The French se­ries about go­ing to Mars, Mis­sions, had in­fin­itely more pep. Early days yet. his “…And Be­yond” strand that BBC Four has slipped qui­etly into its Fri­day mu­sic zone has be­come a de­pend­able date. Essen­tially MTV’s old 120 Min­utes mor­ph­ing into a muso Gog­gle­box, two pals of cer­tain age gather on a sofa to flick through a cu­rated video playlist while mut­ter­ing stuff about the clips, like lots of other peo­ple sit­ting at home flick­ing through YouTube at the week­end. Tonight, a pre­dictably en­ter­tain­ing hour with the for­mer Cre­ation boss and the head Happy Mon­day, fea­tur­ing a fine se­lec­tion of tunes run­ning from Bolan and Bowie to Ju­nior Murvin and The Spe­cials. There’s spe­cial love for Or­ange Juice and the tune McGee calls “Scot­land’s al­ter­na­tive na­tional an­them.” “They should’ve taken over the world,” nods Ryder, who also shares mem­o­ries of Glas­gow’s Bar­row­land. ost who fell in love with this sly, stylish and devious thriller­com­edy thing when it first landed two months back will have prob­a­bly al­ready long gob­bled up the en­tire se­ries, which has been avail­able via iPlayer since the first episode went out. So it’s strange to re­alise the fi­nal episode is only ar­riv­ing on proper TV tonight, as the mu­tual ob­ses­sion be­tween knack­ered MI6 agent Eve (San­dra Oh) and un­pre­dictable as­sas­sin Vil­lanelle (Jodie Comer) comes to a strange, con­fused, ex­hausted and bloody head. One of the great shows of 2018: the good news is a sec­ond se­ries is al­ready film­ing, due to ar­rive here next year. For a more tra­di­tional crime fix tonight, there’s a new film in Swe­den’s long-run­ning Martin Beck se­ries, Flesh And Blood, on BBC Four at 9pm.

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