What TV’s on at the BFI in August? Including Queer as Folk, This Life, The Word, Dark Crystal and Sanditon

This Life
This Life

It’s August at the BFI, and as happens every year, the schedule thins out to take account of everyone – audience and staff – being on their holibobs.

But there are a few things to look forward to. Following on from July’s 90s season, there are events dedicated to Queer as Folk, This Life and The Word, featuring both cast and crew. And there are previews of ITV’s forthcoming Jane Austen adaptation Sanditon and Netflix’s Dark Crystal prequel, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

Full details after the jump.


Thursday 1 August

18:15 NFT1
TV Gamechanger: This Life + Q&A with creator and writer Amy Jenkins and exec producer Tony Garnett

BBC 1996/1997. Dir various.
With Jack Davenport, Amita Dhiri, Andrew Lincoln, Daniela Nardini, Jason Hughes. TRT 90min (includes 50min episode). 18

This Life was one of the great British shows of the 1990s. Focusing on the dysfunctional house-share between a group of twenty-something law graduates, its depiction of casual sex and drug taking smashed taboos, but it was the smart, witty, insightful dialogue, the multi-layered characters and the ensemble of young, talented actors that really made it must-see TV week after week. With only two seasons under its belt, it left its audience wanting more.

Thursday 8 August

18:15 NFT1
TV Gamechanger: Queer as Folk + Q&A with Russell T Davies and actors Craig Kelly and Denise Black

Red Production Company-Ch4 1999. Dir Charles McDougall (4 eps).
With Aidan Gillen, Craig Kelly, Charlie Hunnam, Denise Black. TRT 135min (includes Eps 1 & 2). 18

As we mark Queer as Folk’s 20th anniversary it now seems impossible to imagine the sense of shock and awe that accompanied its first transmission in 1999. From its uncompromising title to the unflinching and provocative celebration of three gay men’s lives in Manchester, the series felt totally new and intoxicating – both building on the advances of an exhilarating decade and ushering in a new, unapologetic and more diverse world for the millennium. Join writer Russell T Davies and cast members as we celebrate this true TV game-changer.

Check bfi.org.uk for updates on guests

Tuesday 13 August

TV Gamechanger: The Word + Q&A with presenters Terry Christian and Katie Puckrik

TRT 90min

Going on air in 1990, The Word both revolutionised youth TV and pre-dated reality TV by many years. Deliberately aiming to achieve something new and exciting, the show pushed the boundaries of broadcasting to court controversy and outrage the Establishment. It combined a unique mix of cutting-edge bands, irreverent and anarchic interviews of A-listers, stories from the margins of society, and downright bizarre and outrageous studio stunts, and soon became loved by its target audience and loathed by the press in equal measure.

In this special discussion, chaired by Samira Ahmed, with plenty of amazing clips, hear from the show’s main presenters and celebrate this iconic and quintessentially 90s TV show.

Thursday 22 August

TV Preview: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance + Q&A

USA-UK 2019. Dir Louis Leterrier.
With the voices of Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Helena Bonham-Carter. RT and cert tbc

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance returns to the world of Jim Henson’s beloved 1982 movie with a brand new, epic adventure set before the events of the iconic movie. This world premiere public screening of the brand new Netflix series, alongside an exhibition of puppets and props from the film, will be followed by a Q&A with the creators.

Champions and Members can apply to the ballot for up to two free tickets before midnight on Sun 7 Jul at bfi.org.uk/members

Wednesday 27 August

18:15 NFT1
TV Preview: Sanditon + Q&A with screenwriter Andrew Davies, exec producer Belinda Campbell and cast TBC

Red Planet Pictures-ITV-MASTERPIECE 2019. Dirs Olly Blackburn, Lisa Clarke, Charles Sturridge.
With Rose Williams, Theo James, Anne Reid, Kris Marshall. Ep1 46min

Emmy and BAFTA-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies adapts Jane Austen’s incomplete 11-chapter novel, written in 1817, for this sumptuous, eight-part series. Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the charming and mercurial Sidney Parker. When an accident transports Charlotte from her rural hometown to the up-and-coming coastal resort of Sanditon, it exposes her to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success. The series also includes Kate Ashfield, Jack Fox, Charlotte Spencer, Crystal Clarke, Lily Sacofsky, Leo Suter and Adrian Scarborough among the talented cast.

Booking times

Patrons and champions’ priority booking: Monday 1 July from 11.30am
Members’ priority booking opens: Tuesday 2 July from 11.30am
Public booking opens: Tuesday 9 July from 11.30am


Members: £10.50
Member concs: £8.20
Non-members: £12.50
Non-member concs: £10.20
Under 16s: £6

Reduced prices for weekday matinees. Concessionary prices are available to senior citizens, students, unwaged and disability visitors. Proof of eligibility may be required.

As always, visit the BFI web site for more details.