Dear old doddery Lord Sugar tweeted this week about the new cop drama Dublin Murders (BBC1, Monday/Tuesday, 9pm).
“Any one know what the Dublin Murders is about? Watched yesterday was confused, watching now not a clue. Plot too complicated. I am out,” he chuntered, probably via an Amstrad Emailer.
Well, he maybe a one-man HR department, but I think his Lordship must have caught idiocy from the latest batch of business berks on The Apprentice.
Dublin Murders was a dark, complex tale, certainly, but it wasn’t being deliberately obtuse. The script, by Sarah Phelps – who also wrote the recent Agatha Christie adaptations on the BBC – flipped back and forth in time, between countries and characters.
However, if you paid attention and put your phone down, it all slotted into place, and holding it all together at the centre of the drama was a pair of detectives who could go on to become as well known as Morse and Lewis.
Sarah Greene and Killian Scott are instantly brilliant as Detectives Cassie Maddox and Rob Reilly. Every little look, every casual intimacy speaks of years together as a team – like when Reilly finds a stool for Maddox to climb on to peer over a shop counter, holding her belt loop to steady her as he bends over.
And when Maddox tells Reilly “you know things about me no one else does”, you absolutely believe it.
There is a strong sense of the supernatural to the plot, with talk of “the old ones”, and even echoes of Picnic at Hanging Rock, with children disappearing at mystic sites and overtones of religious fervour.
It’s a heady old brew, but Greene and Scott keep it anchored in reality.
As for Lord Sugar, well as a telly reviewer, he’s fired.
The French ‘flics’ are back in Spiral (Saturdays, BBC4, 9pm) and it’s a reliably fast-paced, knotty, thriller. And Gilou Escoffier is one of the best TV tecs – flawed, rumpled and definitively French.
Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy (Gold, Mon-Weds, 9pm) was a clip show highlighting BAME comedy – it raised some excellent points, not least of which is that laughter is universal.