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“This Time” is not the best of British TV or Alan Partridge—and it undermines both to claim otherwise

Let’s not pretend Steve Coogan is at his peak just because the apocalypse is nigh

By Lucinda Smyth  

Photo: Photograph: BBC Studios/Andy Seymour

The man on the screen is wearing a yellow puffa jacket, a blood-chestnut toupee, and a bared-teeth grimacey-smile that cranks sideways as he talks. It’s the sort of smile that can only be explained by his state of perpetual embarrassment. “A simple stream in North Gresham, Norfolk,” the man says, in a reverent nasal monotone. “But six centuries ago, this stream would have flowed with the blood and entrails of fallen men.” He pauses, huffs. “I was hoping to illustrate it by pouring in…

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