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Square Eyes, 8-11 December

The Sarah Jane Adventures BBC1, Monday 4.35pm
An unashamed second week in a row for recommending SJA, as this second series embarks on its final two-part story. Phil Ford’s script for Return of the Bane reunites Sarah Jane not only with the woman who “created” Luke, Mrs Wormwood (Samantha Bond) and Sontaran Commander Kaagh, but a much older friend — one who will be recognisable to those who remember Sarah’s original days travelling with the Doctor. Yes, Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart (Retd) is back!

If the excitement is just too much and you can’t wait for the concluding episode, it’ll be on the CBBC Channel at 5.15pm.

Spooks BBC1, Monday 9pm
I have to say, this series of Spooks has been just about the best yet. The writing and pacing of each episode has been sharper, making each story feel justifiably strong enough in its own right, whilst retaining the sense of continuity that was trumpeted so much last year. And last week’s episode, which revealed Connie as the Sugar Horse mole (just before killing Alex in one of the most gruesome WTF? moments of recent times) was superb. The series comes to a conclusion tonight, as the team struggle to stop a group of disaffected former KGB agents from detonating a nuclear bomb in London.

Thankfully, both Spooks and Sarah Jane Adventures will be back for new series next year. Hurrah for the BBC!

Wallander: Mastermind BBC4, Monday 10pm
BBC4 continues its short season of the Swedish-produced version of the police novels. I sense a compare-and-contrast coming along…

EastEnders BBC1, Tuesday 7.30pm
The plotline concerning Tony’s grooming of poor Whitney reaches a high point, as Bianca learns the truth about what has been going on. If there’s one thing that has made this storyline work above all else, it’s young actress Shona McGarty as Whitney.

Survivors BBC1, Tuesday 9pm
Joseph Millsom (previously Maria’s dad in The Sarah Jane Adventures — did we mention we like that show?) guest stars as Jimmy Garland, an ex-Army officer who has an ancestral claim to an old mansion. Said mansion has been taken over a group of young boys, and Abby (Julie Graham) turns up to see if one of them is her son, Peter. I remain in two minds about Survivors — but neither of them scream “must watch”, I’m afraid.

Little Dorrit BBC1, Wednesday & Thursday 8pm
The Beeb’s Dickens adaptation draw to a close this week, as Mr Merdle’s bank goes bankrupt and the effects are felt throughout all strata of London life. A number of favourite characters head back to the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison, and the secret which Arthur’s mother kept hidden is finally revealed… In such a huge cast it’s hard to single out individuals — but, helped by Andrew Davies’ writing, Claire Foy has helped imbue some real charm to one of Dickens’ most sickly sweet characters.

Comedy Classics: On The Buses ITV1, Thursday 10.40pm
LWT made seventy-four episodes of this sitcom, which seems to have dated far quicker than many of its contemporaries. Still, the image of bus inspector Blakey remains one of the most iconic in TV comedy history. This tribute comprises a documentary narrated by Ronnie Ancona and a showing of episode Brew It Yourself.

3 Comments

Survivors hasn't grabbed me the way the 70's one did. Have you read Alsion Graham's bit about it in Radio Times - spot on.

SJA has been great this year - even improved on last year.

And Spooks has improved on a bit of a dip with last couple of series - Russian spies are so much more satifying thand arab terrorists. Best spy-murder since the fish-fryer. Full marks to Gemma Jones, just sorry she's gone.

Is there really any need to reveal important plot points from Little Dorrit in your write up?! I know it's based on a novel that many people would have read already but this is one of the few I haven't read and was looking forward to its conclusion. I was merrily reading Square Eyes as usual and before i could stop myself scrolling down I read the first couple of sentences!

Now I know that Merdle's bank is going to fail (huge concsequences for everyone) and as people are going "back to the Marchalsea" it's safe to assume that means the Dorrits. Great. They did it on BBC Breakfast this morning as well, and in the Radio Times listings >:-(

PS, apologies for spelling errors, forgot to proofread! :-)

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