Helen Mirren turns 18th-century Russian empress in a new HBO seriesby Chris Harvey / September 6, 2019 / Leave a comment
Catherine the Great
Sky Atlantic, 3rd October
Helen Mirren stars as the 18th-century Russian empress, who presided over the country’s rise to becoming a great European power (and was famously promiscuous). This HBO series is written by novelist Nigel Williams, who won an Emmy for his screenplay for Elizabeth I, in which Mirren played another singular monarch. Director Philip Martin won a Bafta for The Crown and has directed Mirren before, in Prime Suspect. The lavish production was shot on location in Russia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Channel 4, 16th September
This documentary series examines the justice system in Britain, from courts to prisons, exploring how it grapples with crime and seeks to deliver justice to victims, offenders and society at large. Channel 4 has worked closely with the Ministry of Justice to gain what it describes as “unprecedented access.” With a close-up approach that promises to be hard-hitting, the series focuses on pressing dilemmas—from mental health and overcrowding to sentencing, parole and probation.
Arena: Nomad—In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin
BBC Two, late September
Film director Werner Herzog embarks on a series of adventures inspired by his friend Bruce Chatwin in this strange, compelling feature-length documentary. Chatwin revitalised the art of travel writing in the 1970s and 80s before dying of Aids in 1989. Herzog saw him as a kindred spirit, a writer like no other, who created “voyages of the mind.” His journey takes him from Patagonia and the Australian bush to Silbury Hill in Wiltshire, in search of a fellow restless wanderer.