Totally Doctor Who (Monday 5pm, BBC1)
This kiddie friendly magazine programme gives the little ‘uns an extra fix of Who fun, but I find the irritating presence of presenter Barney Harwood makes this largely unwatchable. However, this edition sees the first part of a new 13 episode animated adventure for the Doctor and Martha, voiced by David Tennant and Freema Agyeman, which makes things more than worthwhile, even for the adults.
Coronation Street (Monday 7.30/8.30pm ITV1)
A joyous pair of episodes that will be unbcorked as vintage Corrie in years to come. Tracy Barlow faces her fate as the jury complete their deliberations. Tracy is one of those soap characters that treads a fine line between pantomime camp and tragic realism, and it’s to the testament of Kate Ford that neither school wins. Two endings to this storyline have been filmed, and nobody knows whether the Barlow minx is going down or going away, but the aftermath for the family is going to be explosive. For now, revel in some top soap action and say goodbye to a Coronation Street original
Greg Dyke on Reith (Monday 10pm, BBC1)
One half serious examination of the life and work of Lord Reith, the architect of the BBC’s public service ideal, one half naval gazing self-obsessed guff on the part of Greg Dyke who brings his own four years at the Beeb into the mix. Frankly, I don’t care about that; I just want to hear about Reith (which when it happens is very, very good). At some point, Mr Dyke, you really are going to have to get over it.
Shrink Rap (Monday 11pm, More4)
Dr Pamela Connolly/Stephenson (I forget which name she goes by these days) interviews a different celebrity throughout the week, starting with Sharon Osbourne, who gets a bit teary. It’s interesting, but it smacks of the kind of show that Chris Morris would have parodied on The Day Today.
Life on Mars (Tuesday 9pm, BBC1)
The best episode (so far) of this second series that sees Gene Hunt on a murder charge and delves into the relationship between Sam and his DCI. Questions, questions, questions, mostly provided by the presence of acting DCI Morton (Ralph Brown) who seems to know about Sam’s plight. The sight of Gene dressed as Tufty the Squirrel is a nice comedy moment, but the final line of the episode will have you screaming with frustration. Don’t worry, there’ll only be seven days to go until the resolution. Marvellous stuff, and thankfully the ratings have picked up to healthier levels.
F* Off, I’m Ginger (Tuesday 9pm, BBC3)
Mmm, BBC3 at its highbrow best…
The Apprentice (Wednesday 9pm, BBC1)
After last week’s adventures in the coffee trade, Alan Sugar’s motley band of apprentices are charged with coming up with something really special to do with dogs (?!). Everybody is still jostling for position, but Jadine’s obsession with “the Eclipse experience” continues unabated, and Tre is rapidly becoming this year’s Syed.
City Lights (Wednesday 9pm, ITV1)
Robson Green and Mark Benton return for a new series of the rivalry comedy drama that sees a format tweak. Colin and Howard are forced into a witness protection scheme after witnessing a murder, causing them to up sticks and head to the big city. It has that lack lustre ITV drama feel to it, but is often worthwhile for Green and Benton’s engaging turns.
Get a Grip (Wednesday 10pm, ITV1)
Ben Elton teamed with Popworld’s Alexa Chung, stuck behind a desk and casting a satirical look at seemingly anything. Um… Sounds great. Oooh, ITV, you do confuse me, you really do. Just who are you appealing to here?
Deadline (Wednesday 10pm, ITV2)
As a sometime magazine hack myself, I’m quite intrigued by this show that dumps 10 celebrities into the deep end of putting together a weekly gossip magazine. The stroke that could very well be genius here? Appointing the formidable Janet Street-Porter as editor. This might just be a cult slow burner.
The Mark of Cain (Thursday 9pm, C4)
A stunningly brutal drama from the pen of Tony Marchant that sees Shameless actor Gerard Kearns break free of the Gallaghers to show his acting chops as a green soldier serving his first tour in Basra. Privates Tate and Gulliver come face to face with the harsh realities of the peace keeping exercise in Iraq, finding moral dilemmas aplenty, and things are not helped by their off-centre Lance Corporal. As the situation in Iraq continues, this brilliant piece has nothing less than a chilling resonance, and makes you weep for Channel 4’s cost-cutting measures that could make this level of quality a thing of the past.
Jim’ll Fix it Strikes Again (Thursday 9pm, UKTV Gold)
Jimmy Saville returns to preside over this retrospective show in the style of Wogan: Now and Then. Good fun in a cheap kind of way, but the best thing to come out of this was the soap on a roap ‘Jim Fixed it For Me’ medal we received in the post to publicise the show.
TV Now and Then (Thursday 9.30pm, UKTV Gold)
Les Dennis presides over this nostalgic quiz show based on classic television of days gone by. One for TV dafties like me…