TV reviews: The Village | Touch | Imagine: David Bowie, Cracked Actor

Emma Cowing reviews her pick of this week’s TV

The Village 
BBC1, tonight, 9pm

“All of life was in our village,” intones Bert Middleton, the elderly narrator of this ee-bah-gum Northern period drama that spans a century in the life of, well, a village. Starting out in 1914, this is a different Edwardian world to Downton Abbey land, a grim working-class existence where children are locked in cupboards, fathers have violent drinking problems and every man over the age of 18 is in possession of some deeply suspect facial hair. Following the fortunes of the Middleton family (no, not that one), we meet characters such as John Simm’s angry farmer and Charlie Murphy’s pushy vicar’s daughter, and while it’s all a bit obvious – a dish of tripe and onions is declared a treat merely, one suspects, to churn viewers’ stomachs – it’s also charming and touching, a refreshing change from the “big house” period dramas so ubiquitous of late.


Sky One, Tuesday, 8pm

24 star Kiefer Sutherland has been doing what he does best in this US drama, whose first season garnered rave reviews, namely furrowing his brow and speaking as though permanently out of breath. The second series of Touch, about a gifted and mute child and his father (Sutherland) kicks off with the pair on the run while investigating a child’s disappearance. No wonder he’s out of breath.

Imagine: David Bowie, Cracked Actor

BBC1, Thursday, 10.35pm

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It’s almost impossible to escape David Bowie these days thanks to the excitement over his new album. This documentary looks back at his Diamond Dogs tour in 1974, revealing a quirky and at times intensely funny artist. When one interviewer asks if he would describe himself as “ordinary,” Bowie looks at him as though he were mad. “I’m David Bowie,” he says. Indeed.