JUST when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the Nazis are back. Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels (Sky Atlantic, Wednesday) is a horror fantasy, woven this time into a fascist nightmare, with one of the bad guys, our very own superb Rory Kinnear.
He plays a Nazi-fanatic German doctor in 1938 in Los Angeles who yearns for a Third Reich to flourish stateside. During lunch breaks, he swathes himself in the swastika and parades the streets of LA with his fellow believers, pleading for the locals to allow his vigilantes to help keep the city safe for their children. Most of them greeted this bizarre offer with a chuckle or two, wondering where the lunchtime Punch & Judy show had gone.
Elsewhere, motorways were being built, destroying Mexican communities. The local Nazis also wanted some of the construction action. They blackmailed a local councillor – who to be honest, didn’t need much persuasion.
“Have you heard of the SS?” asked his blackmailer, referring to his Gestapo chauffeur. Our local official was more than pleased to oblige.the nice chap from Berlin also had plans for the US after a Nazi triumph in the predicted forthcoming war: “Hitler wants a victory parade down Wilshire Boulevard.”
If this wasn’t enough to give you nightmares, there appeared to be a turf war among the local Mexican demons. One was played incredibly convincingly by Game Of Thrones’s Natalie Dormer. She had a wealth of party tricks, including the power to absorb a whole other person while standing in a lift, and/ or to walk through a field incinerating a crop along with anyone working there.
She must have been a tricky child to leave at playgroup.
Whatever its grounding in the truth – which at best must be tenuous – this drama feels timely.the final scene of the episode featured slow-mo footage of police taking batons to Mexicans who were poised to lose their homes. It’s Trump’s new negotiating tactic.then shots were fired and mayhem ensued after demi-god Dormer started whispering horrible thoughts into the ears of police officers and one protester. Based on recent events, that’s probably not even necessary. Although you could argue watching the news can have the same impact. Americans will find this a difficult watch as City Of Angels promises another nightmarish 10 hours of drama. There haven’t been many joys during TV lockdown, but (BBC Two, Sunday) with the late David Bowie, right, was one.this was a very different Glasto, a sort of “best of...” album on the television. The dross, we imagine, was left in the Green Room keeping Jowhiley awake.yes, the BBC still managed to send presenters to Worthy Farm to introduce it.
Apparently we hadn’t actually
HERE’S a new way for the BBC to waste your money. Have a live film unit at Wimbledon tennis when it’s not even on. Maybe it was the lack of a queue that decided it. So there they were, Sue Barker, Tim Henman and Heather Watson, on their lonesome in Wimbledon: Best Of The Championships chatting about lockdown (yawn) and how Heather was “losing focus”. losing it? Think of the audience. Maybe they’d booked the cars to SW19 and didn’t want to let down the drivers. seen Bowie’s full, two-hour set before. He did smoke a cigarette – as only he could – with a rock ’n’ roller flourish, so perhaps that was deemed too risqué for the broadcaster. But here was a singer at the top of his talent, entertaining 200,000 devoted fans in 2000 with his rich, often flighty tones and a whole wardrobe of frock coats to call upon. Unmissable.
But you can get fed up with audiences. My other highlight was country star
Kenny Rogers. Midway through his hit
The Gambler he politely told the throng: “Stop swaying!” It didn’t work.you have to pass the time.
I was mysteriously drawn to Secrets Of The Mega Landfill (C5, Thursday). Was it the jaunty narration of John Thompson from Cold Feet or the fancy robotic claw used to up-end wheelie bins into the rubbish trucks? Both, really.
Surprisingly they brought some humanity to a film about trash. Most drivers “loved” their work, even the guy directing the dump trucks into position who had PPE before we’d even heard about it. Said another invitingly: “It’s like a cake – layer of dirt, layer of trash.” I won’t, thank you, I’m watching my waist.
Repeat of the week was Remarkable Places To Eat (BBC Two, Monday). Series one is going out again with series two. In the opener, maitre d’ extraordinaire Fred Sirieix took top chef Angela Hartnett on a short break to Venice.yes, nice work if you can get it, but it was actually a fascinating piece of telly as they went to Hartnett’s favourite diners in and around the city of the gondolas. I was taking notes – if we’re ever allowed back.
Finally, Jodie Comer’s Talking Heads (BBC One, Monday) didn’t disappoint in a tale of a struggling thesp having to take on less savoury roles. Comer, as in Killing Eve, has a knowingness in front of camera, with almost a nod to the audience. Just the thing to deploy for lines such as, “Gunther wants to see your knockers…” Did I just wake up in 1974? Ooh, I say!