Coronation Street (Monday 7.30/8.30pm)
If you’re still missing Vera Duckworth, then you’d better get your hanky out again tonight as it’s time for the final goodbye. It’s the funeral of one our favourite Corrie legends, and Jack is a shadow of his former self as the hearse pulls up on Coronation Street. This is likely to be an emotional pairing of episodes, and with a return for Terry Duckworth alongside, the sparks are sure to fly.
The Palace (Monday 9pm, ITV1)
Oh come on! You just have to, if only to point and laugh. It’s worth every second.
Damages (Monday 10.35pm, BBC1)
This excellent US drama continues in great style. There are more twists and turns in a script that teases the audience just enough with tantalising glimpses of the future to keep you hungry to see more. We know it finishes with murder, but just who did it? I can’t wait to find out! The performances of Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, not to mention a fine supporting cast, remain stunning.
Mistresses (Tuesday 9pm, BBC1)
Four episodes in and we know exactly where we are with Mistresses. And that’s never a bad thing with a character-based drama like this. Katie plunges headlong into an affair with the son of her dead lover, but will the truth come out between the sheets? Elsewhere in our delicious coven of lovelies, Trudi’s relationship with the somewhat passively sinister Richard takes an odd turn.
Clocking Off (Tuesday 9pm, ITV3)
With Shameless still doing the business on Channel 4, check out another fine Paul Abbot drama when ITV3 embarks on a repeat of the classic Clocking Off, first shown on BBC1. It’s a six-part trawl through the lives of the staff of a textiles factory where each story winds through all the others. Its closest contemporary cousin is Jimmy McGovern’s The Street and it’s just as good. With a cast that includes Sarah Lancashire, Phillip Glenister, John Simm and David Morrissey, can you really resist? I know I can’t!
Masterchef (Wednesday 8.30pm, BBC2)
It’s still going and I’m still loving every minute. John and Gregg’s boats are being floated and switches flicked by some of the food being cooked in this year’s competition, and I think we tune in as much for what they’re going to come out with as it is for the cooking. If not more so…
Torchwood (Wednesday 9pm, BBC2)
It’s Wednesday, it’s 9pm, it’s Torchwood! (no, you don’t have to shout it back…). And after my cautious comments on last week’s episode, thankfully this script from Who scribe Helen Raynor keeps the character elements in place all the way through. It’s a relief, and shows just how wonderful this show can be when it plays things with some subtlety. In 1918, Torchwood froze a patient from a mental hospital, and our modern take on the team are getting him out of the fridge for his annual breath of fresh air. And then Tosh falls for him. Oops! Good stuff, and for Helen Raynor I hope it’s a chance to forget last year’s New York Dalek story from the parent show (although I don’t think the weaknesses of that two-parter were down to the writer).
Wonderland (Wednesday 9.50pm, BBC2)
This wonderful and slightly leftfield documentary series continues with a film about Second Life, the virtual world where fortunes can be made, you can watch Jimmy Carr play a stand-up gig (!) and you can fall in love. It focuses on a bored American housewife who found love as a sexy babe with a muscle-packed warrior who turned out to be a bloke called Eliot who lived in Britain, all within this fascinating environment. It’s an affecting piece, but best not to think about it too hard. The PC is just in the corner of the room…
EastEnders (Thursday 7.30pm, BBC1)
As we say goodbye to one soap legend on Coronation Street, another soap legend continues to wow us over on t’other side tonight. This episode is an indicator of just how far EastEnders has come in the last year to possess the confidence to attempt this soap first – a one hander for Dot Cotton. Tony Jordan returns to Enders scripting duties and provides June Brown with a 30-minute monologue as Dot records an emotive message for her ailing husband Jim. June Brown is amazing here, making the whole thing look so effortless, and I don’t think there’s another soap actress out there who could carry this. Oooh, I say!
Trial & Retribution (Thursday 9pm, ITV1)
I have no idea if I actually like this show or not. I just tune in to watch Victoria Smurfit. A couple of weeks ago I described the look on DCI Roisin Connor’s face as something akin to being goosed. This week I’m going with “cat with a hairball”. Please, can somebody on that show give the poor woman a script where Roisin smiles or something? She looks like she needs it.
30 Rock (Thursday 11.05pm, Five)
It’s on at a crazy time, but hey, you’ve all heard of Sky Plus, haven’t you? As always there’s a cracking pair of episodes on tonight, made even more delicious as the first guest-stars Nathan Lane as Jack’s brother. Laugh out loud funny, sit-com’s rarely come funnier than 30 Rock.