This latest in SBS’ series of documentaries charting the histories of some of the world’s most enduring commercial enterprises goes behind the counter at London’s famous department store. There are some fascinating tidbits about the structure of the building and the store’s connection with historical events such as Scott’s expedition to the South Pole. The rest is a recap of more familiar material, such as the Egyptian takeover and the controversy that ensued.
Series premiere ****½
The position of the whistleblower is always an uneasy one, and that of Jodie Whittaker’s casualty nurse is especially complicated. Britain’s public health system comes under fire in this story driven by desperate measures. The hook is just how long our resourceful heroine can get away with a tremendous lie. It’s also startling watching the power struggle between battle-hardened nurses and newly minted doctors play out while their patients’ lives are on the line.
MISS FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES
It’s a minor quibble, but not everyone’s accent here aligns with that of the 1960s Australian, who tended to retain more of an English influence than we do today. Usually, the costumes and cars more than make up for it, but tonight’s storyline, set in a television studio, highlights the shortcoming. Most of the leads, including Geraldine Hakewill as the bewitching sleuth, are spot on. This is an absorbing whodunit that weaves in some of Melbourne’s cultural history.
Bridget McManus is a television writer and critic for Green Guide. She was deputy editor of Green Guide from 2006 to 2010 and now also writes features and interviews for Life & Style in The Saturday Age and M magazine in The Sunday Age.