Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 612

11 AUGUST 202 2 38 WEEKENDING Events Photography: Fishers Gin, David Tipling/ RSPB Images, Courtesy of The Contemporary Austin, Lauren B Photography, BBC/Silverprint Pictures/Mark Mainz THINGS TODO THIS WEEK WATCH IT NOW Paul Kirkley A round-up of the week’s TV Book a seaside break with gin tasting, get back in the saddle with a new bike and discover forgotten art in Fran Quinn’s weekly round-up SHETLAND BBC ONE/IPLAYER Somehow, Shetland – the BBC’s most northerly detective drama – has managed to rack up seven series without anyone really noticing. Or perhaps that’s just English arrogance. Maybe in Scotland, it’s bigger than Line of Duty. It certainly gets respectable viewing figures, so I can only conclude that, like Shetland itself, the show is simply too far o the grid for the London chatterati to bother paying it any attention. Quick catch-up, then – the early stories were adapted from the novels by Ann Cleeves, who also created Vera (the Ann Cleeves Cinematic Universe, anyone?), but that well ran dry some time ago, so now they’re written for television by David Kane. Douglas Henshall stars as DI Jimmy Pérez, and Alison O’Donnell is his DS, Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh. Together, they solve crimes on the Shetland Islands – which, for somewhere with a population roughly the same as Barnstaple, turns out to be quite themurder hotspot. The latest run (the last with the outgoing Henshall) began with Pérez facing amisconduct charge, but that was dismissed within the first 10 minutes, after which it was down to business as usual – in this case, the disappearance of a young graphic novelist on the night of his book launch. The novel in question, TheWulver, was billed as ‘a story steeped in Shetlandmyths and legends’, inspired by a half-man, half-wolf creature that looms large in island folklore. Which I couldn’t help thinking sounded like amuchmore exciting story than the rather plodding police procedural we got instead. The series seems to bemissing a trick by not leaning into this WickerMan folk-horror vibe (as Cleeves’ novels did) – or at least makingmore of the remoteness of a location that’s closer to the Arctic Circle than to London. Instead, it’s basically Bergerac with bigger jumpers. Shetland isn’t bad telly – it’s less lurid and cynical than some shlockier crime dramas, and the down-to-earth Pérez and Tosh are refreshingly free of maverick cop clichés. It’s more that it’s just a bit… dull. Which is probably the reason no one ever talks about it. THE SANDMAN NETFLIX After years in development hell, Neil Gaiman’s cherished graphic novel has finallymade it to the screen – withmixed results. A high-concept gothic fantasy about a godlike being (TomSturridge) who governs our dreams, it looks ravishing, while the stellar cast includes Jenna Coleman, Charles Dance, Stephen Fry, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Gwendoline Christie. But it’s a scrappy, schizophrenic tale in which Gaiman’s vivid imagination never quite coheres into a compelling story. TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES BRITBOX There have beenmany screen versions of Thomas Hardy’sWessex tragedy over the years, but arguably none as good as the BBC’s 2008 adaptation, now on BritBox. Written by David Nicholls (One Day), the cast includes a young Eddie Redmayne as Angel Clare, HansMatheson as the predatory Alec D’Urberville, and a star-making turn fromGemma Arterton, who’s simply heartbreaking as Hardy’s wronged heroine. island beat Douglas Henshall, Steven Robertson and Alison O’Donnell SEE BIRDS IN FLIGHT Visit the RSPB SnettishamNature Reserve inNorfolk for themagical sight of countless wading birds swirling through the sky. Known as the SnettishamSpectaculars, this natural wonder only happens on a handful of dates, when the highest tide occurs in daylight, pushing the birds from their feeding grounds on themudflats onto the reserve’s lagoons. With eight dates, August is a great time to see them. Free to visit, car park £3. rspsb.org.uk ENJOY A G&T BY THE SEA Head to the Su olk coast for a stay at the Brudenell Hotel on Aldeburgh’s seafront, and pop in to the Fishers Gin distillery (above) next door for in flight The spectacular Snettisham Spectaculars over The Wash in Norfolk art in the outdoors Roger Hiorns: A Retrospective View of the Pathway at Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Summer of Love exhibition