Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Daleks, Daleks everywhere as the BBC raids its vaults to go back in time

(Credit: BBC America)
(Credit: BBC America)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, November 18, and Saturday, November 19. All times are Eastern.


Top picks

Doctor Who: The Power Of The Daleks (BBC America, 8:25 p.m., Friday): Fun fact! The BBC routinely used to tape over shows to save money. They completely erased from history entire seasons of shows by Spike Milligan, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, and the pre-Diana Rigg The Avengers, among many others. Plus, Terry Jones says that the whole first season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus was almost lost forever—he even broke in to surreptitiously make a single fragile copy before the group’s success forced the Beeb to reconsider. Oh, and 97 episodes of Doctor Who from the tenures of the First and Second Doctors, William Hartnell and Patrick Houghton. Luckily, audio recordings of these seminal episodes still exist, and, perhaps in penance, the network has produced this six-part animated “reimagining” of this classic 1966 serial. It’s got the first regeneration, Troughton’s first appearance as the Doctor, and the Daleks get up to all manner of mischief while screaming “Exterminate!” a lot. The current Doctor doesn’t return until April (not counting the annual Christmas stopgap episode), so this ought to hold you for a while.

Divines (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): After winning the Caméra D’or at Cannes this year, writer-director Houda Benyamina’s vibrant, wrenching coming-of-age tale comes to Netflix. The story of an indomitable teenage girl (Oulaya Amamra) in the French slums whose ambitions of escape by any means necessary get confused by a chance meeting with a handsome dancer, the defiantly feminist film is the gritty, “feel good but most of the time feel really anxious and heartbroken” film we all need right now.

Colin Quinn: The New York Story (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): For the last few years, former SNL Weekend Update anchor Quinn’s been plying his signature brand of irascible standup comedy in a series of history-specific one-man shows. Here, Quinn’s all in on his home, New York City, or, more specifically how each successive wave of immigrants to NYC helped add another not-altogether-desirable element to the unique New York character. If you think that means Quinn makes a lot of broad ethnic generalizations, then you’re right. But reviewer Dennis Perkins says that Quinn has such an obvious love for his city and the people in it, that it’s an affectionately glib, and entertaining, assessment.

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): Everyone’s favorite Scottish actor and songster brings his acclaimed, Broadway-flavored cabaret show right to your TV.

Premieres and finales

The Grand Tour (Amazon, 3:01 a.m., Friday): The Top Gear guys get another show about them driving souped-up cars, this time taking their blokey triple act all over the world. So join Richard Hammond, James May, and that sort-of racist jerk that everyone likes to watch drive automobiles, Jeremy Clarkson.


Paranoid (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., Friday): In this British-German copper co-production, a horrible but seemingly random crime sees police from two countries teaming up to trace the shadowy global conspiracy that may or may not be behind it. (It probably is. Just a guess there.) Starring Game Of Thrones’ Indira Varma, Robert Glenister, Michael Maloney, and Lesley Sharpe.

Wolf Creek (POP, 10 p.m., Friday): It’s the first season finale of this TV expansion of the film series about seemingly unkillable outback serial killer (serial everything, really) Mick Taylor, indicating that every backpacker in Australia has finally been killed. Sorry, Mick—see you next tourist season.


Regular coverage

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m., Friday)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday)

The Exorcist (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday)

Z Nation (Syfy, 9 p.m., Friday)

Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 & 11:30 p.m., Friday)

Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD, 8:30 p.m., Saturday)

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday)

Streaming pick

Saturday Night Live: “Peter Cook & Dudley Moore/Neil Sedaka—Season 1, episode 11” (Hulu): One classic Cook and Moore performance we haven’t lost is their co-hosting appearance in SNL’s first season. Dusting off some of their most British bits (“The One-Legged Tarzan Audition,” “The Frog And Peach”), it’s a fine showcase for the show in its infancy. And, hey, Neil Sedaka, kids!