TV Highlights

What's on Wednesday 26th November

The Legacy

Sky Arts 1 - 10pm

Who's in it?

Danish stars Trina Dyrholm and Marie Bach Hansen are among the ensemble cast of this plush, possibly profound new telly saga.

In a nutshell

This is a new TV show called The Legacy, which makes it sound like yet another high concept JJ Abrams sci-fi sort of deal. However, it's also Danish with subtitles, which makes it sound like the latest Nordic noir thriller. Happily, it's neither of the above. The Legacy is that rarest of things: a drama that doesn't rely on any count of body count, or procedural-style formula, or contrived succession of increasingly irritating plot twists to keep us interested.

What it IS, is a family drama. A good old fashioned family drama, about a fearsome matriarch – who also happens to be an acclaimed artist – and her disparate children. They include a son whose cut off ties with mummy dearest, and a daughter who was given up for adoption and has only recently realised the truth of her parentage. Now that the old lady is dying, secrets are about to come spilling out. If this family thought they were dysfunctional before, they ain't seen nothing yet.

What's the verdict?

A poised, exquisitely atmospheric story of a peculiar family and its hidden enigmas, The Legacy may well be one of the must-watch shows of the season. Fans of Festen and Ingmar Bergman movies will want to get cosy on the sofa.

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07-07-2011