The week in TV: Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd; Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story and more – review

<span>‘A fully fledged rock myth’: Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd.</span><span>Photograph: © Aubrey Powell - Hipgnosis.</span>
‘A fully fledged rock myth’: Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd.Photograph: © Aubrey Powell - Hipgnosis.

Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd (Sky Arts)
Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story (Disney+)
Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile (ITV1)
The Jinx: Part Two (Sky Documentaries)
Ibiza: Secrets of the Party Island (BBC Three) | iPlayer

It’s now 40 years since the rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap was released. By rights, it should have destroyed the rock documentary as a genre, so devastating was its spoofing of rock stars’ bottomless self-absorption. But four decades on, the schedules are filled with rockumentaries, and nowhere more than on Sky Arts.

Its latest is Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, which has been 12 years in the making. One of its co-directors, Storm Thorgerson, who conducts many of the interviews, died in 2013, so you’re never quite sure at what point in history the contributors are speaking, which lends the proceedings a time-freezing quality, as if the hippies of the late 1960s reached a certain point and simply stopped ageing.

Barrett, who died in 2006, has become a fully fledged rock myth. He was the young, charismatic leader of early Pink Floyd who struggled with fame, sought refuge in hallucinogens, lost his sanity and retreated from public view. Ever since, he’s been the subject of creative speculation and drama. Pink Floyd wrote Shine on You Crazy Diamond about him, and he features as a character in Tom Stoppard’s play Rock’n’Roll. Here, though, was an attempt to tell the story of what really happened to Barrett.

What makes Barrett’s tale a tragedy is that his family had to look after him, day in, day out, for 25 years

It turns out that it’s not a long way from what was previously known. There’s lots of early footage of him with Byronic curls and great cheekbones looking like the perfect angelic-demonic rock star. A series of still-glamorous former girlfriends testify to his discomfort with the demands of fame. And a lot of grey-haired blokes disagree about exactly who took acid where and with how many other people present. They talk as if these details are tremendously important to them, like war veterans disputing who got to the beachhead first.

But what keeps getting in the way is Barrett’s music. Although he’s hailed by some as a lyrical genius, the truth is that most of his output was grating psychedelic whimsy, and it’s hard to deny that Pink Floyd improved significantly with his departure.

What makes his tale a tragedy is not so much that Barrett stopped making music, but that his family, and in particular his sister, had to look after him, day in, day out, for 25 years. Against that monumental and uncelebrated effort, the earnest discussions about his brief period at the centre of London’s art-rock scene seem like a nostalgic exercise in missing the point.

One of the interesting aspects of Pink Floyd’s origins is the impeccably middle-class world from which they emerged in Cambridge. They were all far too sensitive and entitled to become just another rock band. By contrast, Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story (Disney+) traces the trajectory of the blue collar outfit from New Jersey who were so fixated on big hair and tight-trousered success that they probably didn’t notice that This Is Spinal Tap, which came out just after they formed, was a comedy.

Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi has never appeared self-conscious about saying things such as: “I was born with sunglasses and a guitar”. But as he turns 60 we see him taking singing lessons and doing exercises to preserve his vocal cords, and there’s a touching vulnerability to his showboating. The obvious problem with this four-part series is that, for all their admirable longevity, Bon Jovi are simply not compelling enough to warrant this kind of focus. The most notable thing about the other band members is the keyboard player’s perm, which seems to have been modelled on a drowned poodle.

That, however, is a significant improvement on Gary Glitter’s wig, an absurd pompadour that helped conceal his real identity as a serial abuser of children. It featured prominently in Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile (ITV1). After Jimmy Savile was posthumously exposed as a monster (we always knew he was a creep), everyone asked why the dark rumours about him were never pursued while he was alive. Glitter, or Paul Gadd, to use his real name, was careful not to generate the same kinds of rumours. He made sure to charm adults, the better to groom children.

This documentary was a solid attempt to track Gadd’s crimes, but while it spoke to some of those in the entertainment industry who had innocently happened across his path, it didn’t include the entourage who must have helped him get to children. After all, victims testified that assistants deliberately distracted their parents to enable him to be alone with them.

Nevertheless, the programme does succeed in reminding us that there is nothing as shocking as the recent past. In 1993, the News of the World ran a story about Gadd that mentioned a 14-year-old girl he’d “made love” to. Rather than confront child rape, the newspaper preferred to make a fuss about Glitter wearing a wig. The following year he was the subject of a Children in Need tribute. And three years after that he was back on TV singing a song with the lyrics: “What your mama don’t see your mama don’t know.” He was then 53.

Gadd eventually faced justice, many years after he should have done, rather like Robert Durst, the multimillionaire triple killer who was finally trapped by a fascinating TV documentary, the six-part The Jinx, broadcast nine years ago. Now there’s a second series on Sky updating viewers on the dastardly Durst.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the first episode of the new series is that one of the jurors who found Durst not guilty of murder, in a case in which he had admitted chopping up a body and disposing of it, later went on to help him hide evidence regarding another murder. Like everyone else in this show, the juror gave an unabashed TV interview about his friendship with Durst. While most criminals have learned to say nothing in police interviews, in the US at least the lure of the TV camera seems to loosen the tongues of even the most ruthless fiends and their helpers.

The British are different. Here, it’s holidaymakers who will tell TV interviewers anything. In Ibiza: Secrets of the Party Island (BBC Three), one young woman said that she’d taken to nude modelling to support her partying in the Balearics. “It wasn’t like legs spread, everything out, see what I had for dinner,” she explained. Good to know.

Star ratings (out of five)
Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd
Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story
Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile
The Jinx
: Part Two ★★★★
Ibiza: Secrets of the Party Island

What else I’m watching

Red Eye
Slightly bonkers drama in which a British doctor returns home from China and, before he’s allowed through immigration, is immediately sent back on a homicide charge. He’s accompanied by a Chinese-heritage detective who assumes he’s guilty of not just murder but, far worse, “white privilege”.

Babylon Berlin
(Sky Atlantic/Now)
It’s been going for seven years, but I’m just catching up with it. Fabulous invocation of Weimar-era Berlin, with a deliciously complex plot, stunning sets and camerawork, and even a moody singing performance by Bryan Ferry in English and German.

Match of the Day 2
(BBC One)
I tend to catch up the following day and fast-forward to the inevitable VAR controversies – there were some corkers last Sunday, all disfavouring Nottingham Forest. Arguments about refereeing decisions is where the true drama of football is now to be found.