Heroes (Monday 9pm, BBC2)
It’s Volume Four and make or break time for Heroes. In this series, the producers are attempting to go back to basics and make this once hot new thing about character and story again. If it’s done with economy and common sense, Heroes may yet be a contender… Otherwise this once-feted show could seriously face cancellation…
Law and Order: UK (Monday 9pm, ITV1)
Scott looked at this most-interesting of shows a few weeks back, but it’s worth mentioning here again as it’s a huge, high-profile launch for the resurgent ITV drama. Taking scripts from the US juggernaut, L&A: UK is an effective crime drama in its own right, and should develop more of a unique identity as it goes on. There’s a great cast here, with particularly effective performances from Bradley Walsh and Jamie Bamber as detectives Brooks and Devlin. With ratings healthy for this Monday night slot, the hopes are high for a hit with L&A:UK.
Mistresses (Tuesday 9pm, BBC1)
Hurrah for Mistresses in all its middle-class glory. Everybody is beautiful and lives in beautiful homes and they all do beautiful things. Last week’s opener set things up nicely, and tonight moves things along as Siobhan (what are you doing?!) is shocked when a new client is a recent one night stand. And he looks like he’s playing for keeps… Trudi meanwhile is moving in with Richard, which really can’t be a good idea…
Mad Men (Tuesday 10pm, BBC4)
It’s well made, well written and looks fantastic, but I do find Mad Men a bit of a chore. It’s so full of self-serving, arrogant character that the close of each episode leaves you feeling drained. And at the centre of it all is Don Draper, who is becoming crueller with each passing episode. Jon Hamm’s performance is quite stunning, but it doesn’t mean I want to watch it.
Nature’s Great Events (Wednesday 9pm, BBC1)
If there was a show that’s designed to show off why HD TV is great, it’s this. There are so many breathtaking moments brought alive here that watching on a HD set adds depth and colour to every frame. Even if you’re not watching in HD, it’s still a beautiful, required piece of viewing. Tonight, David Attenborough narrates the story of a pride of lions on the Serengeti plain, with some tragic scenes along the way.
The Rise of the Superchefs (Wednesday 9pm, BBC2)
The Money Programme goes behind the scenes on the culinary empires built up by the likes of Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and the legendary Delia Smith. It’s a fascinating look into a breed of TV superstars who used television to showcase their cookery genius and become rich in the process.
Masterchef (Thursday 8pm, BBC2)
There’ll be tears, tantrums and inappropriate hyperbole from Gregg Wallace before the end of this year’s Masterchef final. The three finalists (well I know who I want to win) will be sent to three of Europe’s finest restaurants to raise their game even further, and then it’s back to Masterchef HQ to cook one final meal for John and Gregg. It’s all very tense, and always entertaining - cooking doesn’t get tougher than this, apparently.
Margaret (Thursday 9pm, BBC2)
A brilliant piece of biopic drama from the pen of Richard Cottan, sketching out the events leading to Margaret Thatcher’s resignation. A super cast bring the various men in Thatcher’s orbit to life, from John Sessions as Geoffrey Howe and Oliver Cotton as Michael Heseltine, to the always-excellent Ian McDiarmid as the loyal Denis. But it’s Lindsay Duncan as the Iron Lady herself who owns this, proving herself yet again as one of our greatest talents.