TV Comeback of the Year

In the words of Eminem, guess who’s back, back again?

Excellent, eh? Next Monday at 9pm on BBC Two, All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, the new series from Adam Curtis, the best documentary maker in the world whose name isn’t an anagram of “Nojh Gepril”. While it might be possible to sometimes have doubts over what he’s saying, the programmes he puts together are so finely crafted it’s near impossible not to find them utterly compelling.

One of the reasons we find his work so compelling is his mastery of the archive, eschewing straightforward news clips in favour of rushes taking in unguarded moments from major figures in modern history. Another is his expert use of pop music that we like throughout his work – when watching one of his short films made for Newswipe, we actually had to stop and rewind thirty seconds of it as we’d been too wowed by his use of Stereo Total’s “C’est la Mort” to actually listen to what was being said. Our favourite Franco-German garage rock/ electropop duo also get an outing in the trailer for his new series too, with the use of their track “Aua”.

To top all this, the trailer for the series also features a return appearance for someone we thought might never return to our screens. That’s right:

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Not seen since the mid-1980s, it’s the long-awaited return of The BBC-2 Hyphen. Long since shoved off Britain’s television sets to make way for the slightly more arty “TWO”, which in turn made way for the bouncing, frolicking “2”, and latterly for it’s more sober older brother “BBC Two”, the Hyphen is back for a limited time only.

ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE Featuring* THE BBC-2 HYPHEN, Monday 9pm, on BBC Two.

(*Though, of course, the actual trailers shown on TV have the standard aqua-coloured BBC Two branding slapped over the end of it, so the BBC-2 Hyphen won’t actually appear on telly after all. Pity. It was a nice idea while it lasted.)

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Sorry for getting your hopes up, Hyphen.

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