Best TV 2008

House of Saddam
House of Saddam – BBC/HBO
Spectacular four parter charting the rise and fall of Saddam. Central performances were epic and all episodes, in particular the very bold third, were excellent.

Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad – AMC

Mad Men
Mad Men – AMC
Best new character on TV in quite some time. Single-handedly makes tie pins hip again.

The Wire
The Wire Season V – HBO

Beijing Olympics
Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing – CCTV / BBC

Damages – FX

John From Cincinatti
John From Cincinatti – HBO
OK, OK. so not many people understood, this, hell I’m not even sure I understood it. Still thoroughly enjoyed it tho’.

After Rome
After Rome – BBC
Hello, what’s this? Our bumbling, prat-falling mayor of London presenting an incredibly impressive and sympathetic tour of the post-Roman Mediterranean littoral? Boris not only turns on the charm to everyone he meets but speaks in French, Spanish, Turkish and even some Arabic. What a revelation.

The Genius of Charles Darwin
The Genius of Charles Darwin – Channel 4
Dawkins once again effortlessly disarms the nutters who believe in talking snakes and recently rised dead by soft-spoken common sense.

David Reynolds Summits
Summits – BBC
Wow, what a find the Beeb made with David Reynolds. This is exactly what high brow political documentary should be: an eloquent boffin dropping facts to camera.

Hitler's Favourite Royal
Hitler’s Favourite Royal – Channel 4
Not the easiest thing to do make one feel sympathy for a nazi but this piece managed to pull it off. A figure erased from history – not least by a thoroughly ashamed royal family – and rightfully brought back into the spotlight.