I take a look at this week’s not to be missed new TV. New dramas take the place of Masterchef which has been the forefront of BBC1’s 9pm slot for six unbearable and frying pan filled evenings and after a rather disappointing Christmas trip to India the Top Gear boys return of a new series.
As usual news on the 18th series is thin on the ground but shots of the Top Gear threesome jetting about mobility scooters in a miserable grey town centre have been seen online. I’m always amazed that the producers of this series can still come up with anything new for Clarkson and co to try but they manage it. Critics of the show may say its becoming a little more contrived each series which I suppose could be true but its still consistently funny and relevant and that can’t be said for many series that have been on as long as this.
TOP GEAR RETURNS SUNDAY 8PM ON BBC2
Monday night sees the return of Rupert Penry Jones and Phil Davies in the atmospheric crime drama Whitechapel. The series is now in it’s third run and to make this series work the writers have had to fiddle a bit with the original premise. Those who enjoyed the first two series will remember it dealt with copy cat killings but with infamous London based crimes now thin on the ground the series will use Steve Pemberton’s creepy character Bucken as a consultant. They had to fiddle with the premise really for it to be even remotely believable/enjoyable this year and from the previews I’ve seen I can reassure Whitechapel fans everything you’ve enjoyed in the first two runs returns with bells on. I can confirm it’s as gruesome and gory as ever and that the crimes are as interesting and ire as Whitechapel fans have come to expect. The only other yet quite huge change this series is that it comprises of three 2-part stories each airing on Monday Nights on ITV.
WHITECHAPEL RETURNS FOR THE FIRST IN A SIX EPISODE RUN MONDAY AT 9PM ON ITV
Along with Whitechapel we’ve got two other big new dramas starting this week. If you tune into BBC1 on Tuesday at 9pm you’ll be greeted with the first. Prisoner’s Wives is a brand new female led drama series about yes you guess it the wives/girlfriends of prisoners. I’ve not been able to preview this one but I do love a good drama and the cast gives me high hopes for this one. Each episode will focus on one prisoner’s wife but we’ll also see the other characters stories strewn in there too. The premise and the write-ups I’ve read lead me to believe this perhaps isn’t aimed at the same demographic as say Whitechapel but BBC drama has been so strong of late I’m looking forward to this too.
PRISONERS WIVES STARTS A SIX-PART RUN AT 9PM ON TUESDAY ON BBC1
I did say that this would feature not to be missed TV and in the case of the next new drama from BBC1 that couldn’t be more true. Inside Men about a group of men who set out to rob the money counting depot they work for is truly fantastic! Its fast paced, exciting, well written, empathetic and truly edge of your seat stuff. I was lucky enough I’ve seen the first of the episodes and was left screaming for more. It stars Stephen Mackintosh and Warren Brown who we last appeared together in the first series of BBC1’s Luther and Ashley Waters who was last seen Channel 4’s Top Boy. It’s a top cast and the script is virtually flawless. I can’t praise this one enough. I guarantee you’ll be hooked within 5 minuets.
DO NOT MISS INSIDE MEN THURSDAY AT 9PM
The final pick this week is BBC1’s Hustle. I realize this isn’t a new series but episode 3 this week marks the half way point for the final series. Drink in these last four cons as they will be last time we see the conmen and woman on screens. I’ll agree the first two episodes of this series have been far from classic Hustle but it is still one of the slickest and consistent dramas that the BBC produces and I’ll be sad to see it go.
HUSTLE RETURNS 9PM ON BBC1