TELEVISION / Critical Round-up

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The Independent Culture
Wycliffe (ITV Sat): 'Wycliffe is not the new Morse. Not even close. Saturday night's pilot story was cheaply made (bright interior lighting), poorly acted in the minor roles, too confusing and so uncertain in tone that you didn't know whether to laugh or cry.' Lynne Truss, Daily Telegraph.

'Detective Chief Inspector Wycliffe is not exactly charismatic; indeed, if one were dividing TV detectives into dull dogs and clever dicks, he would make an ideal captain of the dull dogs' XI.' Max Davidson, Times.

'At last we have a worthy successor to Inspector Morse.' Peter Paterson, Daily Mail.

'I cannot see this pilot programme heralding a new series: it's Bergerac without the glamour, even though the scenery is wonderful.' Daily Express.

'If anyone deserved to inherit John Thaw's crown as Britain's most popular detective, Inspector Morse, it's Jack Shepherd. He's one of our most underrated talents, but Cornish cop Wycliffe should be the role that turns him into a household name.' Pauline Wallin, Today.

'A 90-minute pilot moved with all the speed of a tortoise on downers.' Gary Lebogg, Sun.

Storm from the East (BBC2 Tue): 'I was a bit suspicious of the Beeb's attempts to recreate Genghis's reign of terror with hordes of Mongolian extras on horseback but, for once, high production values paid their way.' Max Davidson, Times.

'One of the better jokes of the series is the credit at the end to the Mongolian Peace and Friendship Association.' Nancy Banks-Smith, Guardian.

'Last night's first episode only limped along . . . Indeed, the programme never got better than the special effects achieved in the opening credits.' Peter Paterson, Daily Mail.

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