ITV1: Saturday 18 July, 7pm
The Dark Lord rises… Ralph Fiennes’ scary Voldemort holds centre screen even before the Warner Bros logo appears. So we’re well prepared for plenty more solemnity on the way to Harry’s happy ending. If it is to be a happy ending. Voldemort, after all, has the Elder wand and he’s using it to inflict plagues of Biblical proportions. But before the cinematic tricks of Cecil B. DeMille and The Ten Commandments are invoked (Spielberg’s ET, too, is directly quoted), the final chapter kicks off with a couple of conversations: “I need to talk to the goblin…” “You buried the elf?” Never mind the Latin incantations, dialogue like that tends to break the spell. Alan Rickman’s Snape has turned Hogwarts into Colditz which, in scenes reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch, is under siege from Voldemort’s army of Neds, Death Eaters and Dementors. Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry and his pals are on their way. First they must escape an underground bank vault modelled on the mineshafts Indiana Jones careened around in The Temple of Doom. Although this one’s guarded by a fire-breathing dragon, true. The wand-waving trio are looking for Horcruxes to destroy, like the Ravenclaw diadem (which sounds like a form of birth control but is in fact a type of tiara) and the serpent Nagini. Eye of newt, fang of basilisk, a clinch for Grint and Miss Watson. And, despite the digital dangers, a cinch for Harry, really, in the end. Which isn’t so much happy as a wee bit twee.