Scott & Bailey (S4 E7/8), Wednesday 22nd October, ITV

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[Here be spoilers…]

We knew it would happen; Rachel’s inexperience and propensity for rushing in where angels fear to tread (and usually without backup) causes her to make a terrible error, placing both Janet (Lesley Sharp) and DC Chris Cowley (Danny Webb) in grave danger in this first half of the two- part series finale. Continue reading

Review: Grantchester (S1 E3/6), Monday 20th October, ITV

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Grantchester-series-itvConsider 1950s Grantchester. A bucolic oasis of tranquility where strict social mores are observed, emotions are suppressed and the British stiff upper lip is in full effect. Which is part of the idea of course – a place so supine isn’t supposed to have to deal with murder or mayhem of any kind. And the local priest, Sidney Chambers, is in no way qualified to investigate any sort of murder. But there’s the paradox – Sidney is so bored with Grantchester any sort of excitement (up until now jazz records, a cider and a sausage at the pub and ciggie out of the window) he’ll gobble up anything that passes itself of as excitement. Continue reading

Review: Lewis (S8 E2/4), Friday 18th October, ITV

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Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whately) seems to have become a more laid-back character since his official retirement. We can thank lovely Laura (Clare Holman) for that; all our morose hero really needed was her wholly clear-sighted, phlegmatic outlook on life. After all, she has by far the grosser job to do, but somehow she has always had the useful knack of being able to leave the horrors at her surgery door. Why she hasn’t chewed him out about going back to work we can’t fathom – in his later years man’s inhumanity to man has only served to rile him, so she is right to have reservations about his consultancy work. Continue reading

Review: Scott & Bailey (S4 E6/8), Wednesday 16th October, ITV

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It seems unlikely but Rachel Bailey (Suranne Jones) can cook. We would have put money on her fridge being empty save for a pack of cheese rolls well past their sell-by date. From the chaotic way she lives we’d have thought her idea of haute cuisine was eating a cold tin of beans with a fork, washed down with a nice chianti – or a cheap rioja – or any rough red she can get her hands on. But no, she’s making the effort to be healthy now that she seems to be in a grown-up relationship with hot older cop boyfriend Det Supt Will Pemberton (Steve Toussaint). Although how long that is going to last is debatable because she’s faced with having to go to an awards ceremony at which he’s being presented with a long-service medal. Does she go and let all her colleagues know that she’s “shagging her way to the top”?

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Review: Grantchester (S1 E2/6), Monday 13th October, ITV

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Last week’s first episode of Grantchester – a series based on the novels by James Runcie, son of the former archbishop Robert Runcie – was a mildly diverting, nicely played and staged period amateur sleuther that introduced us to a crime-solving village priest, played by Happy Valley’s James Norton. Enjoyable that is once you got over the fact that there was a reverend. Who solved crimes in his spare time. While I sort of half enjoyed it, it didn’t stay with me for long. I was hoping for more this week. Continue reading

Review: Lewis (S8 E1/6), Friday 10th October, ITV

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In the opener for this valedictory run (well, it has a look of finality about it) of the dreaming spires police procedural the world has suddenly shifted on its axis; we have been flung into a topsy-turvy alternative universe where nothing makes sense anymore. It’s often said that little stands between Oxford and The Urals, but a chill wind certainly seems to be blowing through it. Gone are the chocolate-boxy, National Trust hues that used to bathe the city-scape and were so popular with foreign audiences – just feel that icy Nordic blast. Continue reading

In The Heat Of The Night TV Series Coming To US Cable Channel Showtime

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There seems to be a real trend in the US for channels – cable or otherwise – to delve into the ‘re-imagining’ market. Take FX’s Fargo – a superb series that managed to retain the tone and the look of the Coen brothers’ big-screen original while managing to construct an all-new story with new characters. We’ve also recently had Gracepoint – but that seems and feels like more of a straight-ahead remake of Broadchurch. So what are we to make of the news that cable channel Showtime (home of Homeland) is to make a TV series version of Oscar-winning 1967 film, In The Heat Of The Night? Continue reading