Food Poker (Monday 4.30pm, BBC2)
Shudder, the lowest point in TV light entertainment has finally been reached. See here for my initial reaction to the press release of this new cookery show format.
The Sarah Jane Adventures (Monday 5pm, BBC1)
Wash away the foul taste of Food Poker with a bit of entertaining adventure drama courtesy of those nice people at BBC Wales.
Doc Martin (Monday 9pm, ITV1)
With the currently stellar ratings this ITV drama is pulling, Martin Clunes is certainly doing something right as the miserable medic, administering his bedside manner to the residents of a Cornish village. Perhaps it’s the central will they/won’t they relationship between Martin and Louisa (Caroline Katz)… Well, this is definitely a “will they” scenario now, so in the law of TV relationship averages of a Moonlighting/Lois and Clark variety, the ratings will have crashed to nothing about halfway through the next series. Still, there is a lot to like here, from great scenery to a great cast, so onwards and upwards. And while we’re here, I’m still waiting for the second series of Distant Shores, starring Peter Davison and Samantha Bond. Perhaps the concept is a touch too close to Doc Martin, but the second series was filmed and apparently shelved by ITV, and leaves one wondering why…
Fanny Hill (Monday 9pm, BBC4)
Ah, this is the stuff! An Andrew Davies bodice ripper from the top drawer of literary adaptations. This second part whips along at a fair old pace, and quite succinctly allows BBC4 to earn its keep in the face of BBC cuts. Fanny is left destitute by the departure of Charles, but soon finds herself mistress to a mysterious toff. It’ll all go horribly wrong, mark my words.
Spooks (Tuesday 9pm, BBC1)
It’s Tuesday, 9 o’clock on BBC1. I knew you’d be here. The first two episodes of the new series of Spooks has certainly set the bar high, and the third looks in no danger of letting up the tension and pace. With Zaf still out there somewhere (probably), Ros is put under torture by a rival government, which leads her to be tempted into turning double agent. Meanwhile, Harry and Adam do whatever it is they do, and the team are still being outfoxed by the mysterious Copenhagen. Me, I’m just agog with joy at the addition of Gemma Jones to the regular cast.
Property Ladder (Tuesday 8pm, C4)
I’m hoping the divine Ms Beeny has added some new expressions to her repertoire of despair when the (mostly) stupid people entering into some crazy property development wheeze do something monumentally stupid. Never has a presenter had such a fantastic relationship with the camera than Sarah, and never have so many idiotic people been hoist by their own petard. Whatever that means – it sounds vaguely property related.
Roger Cook’s Greatest Hits (Tuesday 9pm, ITV1)
He was something of a legend back in the day, and so it’s good to see Roger Cook returning to follow up some of his greatest stories and see just what has changed in the decade or so since he stopped door-stepping some nasty pieces of work.
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (Tuesday, C4, 9pm)
Much like Sarah Beeny, Gordon Ramsay has hit upon a tireless formula to showcase just how stupid people entering into huge financial commitments can be. Case in point here is a man who buys a seafood restaurant… and he hates fish. Tireless as this great TV format is, I hope Mr R has found a new shtick than just f-ing at the camera for want of anything better to say.
National Television Awards (Wednesday 8.30pm, ITV1)
Will it be three years on the trot for Doctor Who? Will Lee Mead be triumphant over Paul Potts? Will Lacey Turner get yet another award for being a gobby soap character (cos we’ve never had any of those). Will I have tea or coffee in the ad break? Does anybody actually care?
Heroes (Wednesday 9pm, BBC2)
Oh go on then.
The Screen Wipe Guide to TV (Wednesday 11.50pm, BBC2)
30 minutes in the company of Charlie Brooker? I’ll be there, will you join me?
Britz (Wednesday 9pm, C4)
A hard-hitting piece of drama that focuses on a British-Muslim brother and sister relationship. The brother, a law student, finds himself working for MI5, while his medical student sister becomes increasingly angered at the actions of the British government and its foreign policy. It’s a fascinating, compelling piece, and a brave piece of drama output from C4. Concludes tomorrow.
30 Rock (Thursday 10.40pm, Five)
Quite possibly my favourite thing on TV right now, and how often do you get to say that about Five, eh? In America, it’s forming part of the NBC’s Comedy Night Done Right strand, alongside The Office and My Name is Earl. Aw, bless NBC, it hasn’t quite got over the loss of its stellar line-up that made Thursdays Must-See TV, but the network seems to be taking steps in the right direction at the moment. 30 Rock has some great, frothy writing, fun background characters, and in Alec Baldwin, one of the great comedy finds of recent years.
Channel 4 at 25: Cheers (Thursday 11pm, More 4)
Cheers did the Friends thing for C4 long before Friends was but a glint in the writers’ eyes. A stable of the channel’s Friday night line-up from very early on, it was only the arrival of Frasier that helped ease the wounds of its passing. Any opportunity to see an episode of Cheers should be taken, and this is particular poignant, being the final episode.