Leonardo CBBC, Monday 5.15pm
As I write this, it’s still not clear whether the BBC has commissioned a second series of this, its finest children’s drama serial for many a year. Mind you, given the trailer for this episode it’s not clear how much of Florence would be left if they did. Piero de’Medici’s plans are developing apace. Armies are assembling and he has a master weapon at his disposal — a mechanical man constructed from one of the designs in Leonardo’s sketchbook.
Full credit must go to the four principal cast members, Jonathan Bailey, Colin Ryan, Akemnji Ndifornyen and Flora Spencer-Longhurst for producing some consitently good performances.
New Tricks BBC1, Monday 9pm
From one end of the acting age range to the other, as the old geezers of UCOS (and Amand Redman) gear up for an eighth series of the cop show that never takes itself too seriously. James Bolam, Alun Armstrong and Dennis Waterman investigate a ten-year-old death, initially deemed to have been accidental by a possibly incompetent pathologist — played by the late Trevor Bannister, who died earlier this year.
Lead Balloon BBC2, Tuesday 10pm
The last show of the series, and would anyone mind too much if it were the last ever? I love the series and characters, but at times in this run it has felt as if there’s nowhere else for it to go. Mind you, last week’s prison hostage episode was a welcome upturn, both in the series’ entertainment value and in Rick Spleen’s (Jack Dee) celebrity status. He now has the fame he’s been craving for four series, so his (inevitable) fall will be all the sweeter to watch…
The Killing Channel 4, Thursday 9pm
The US remake of the Danish crime thriller Forbrydelsen sees the murder and political intrigue relocated from Copenhagen to Seattle. For the benefit of those who didn’t catch the original on its recent BBC4 run (in which case, invest in the DVD box set now), the series follows the investigation into the murder of a teenage girl. As the threads of investigation are followed, a number of local city politicians seem to be involved, and all the while the girl’s parents are left struggling to cope with their grief.
The start of this series clings very closely to the Danish original, but we’re promised enough divergence as the investigation progresses to retain the interest of anybody who saw the whole Danish series. Even if it was exactly the same, though, I’d still recommend it for the sole reason of Michelle Forbes playing the deceased girl’s mother.
View a trailer below: