Television choices: Warring locals give prodigal cop a taste of Shetland life

  • @GerardVGilbert

TV pick of the week: Shetland

Sunday 9pm BBC1

We seem to have been awash with swanky whodunit series recently, what with BBC1's Mayday and ITV's ongoing Broadchurch. As the title of this more modest two-parter proclaims, the place is the thing here – it's an adaptation of an Ann Cleeves thriller featuring her Shetland policeman protagonist Jimmy Perez. Douglas Henshall, last seen thrashing children in The Secret of Crickley Hall, plays Perez, a prodigal islander returned home with his step-daughter, and investigating the murder of an elderly crofter. And what might easily have strayed into Hamish Macbeth territory instead remains pleasingly realistic in its account of the warring local families (united only in their disdain for incomers) set against the decline of the deep-sea fishing industry.

Blondie: One Way or Another

Saturday 10.50pm BBC4

Blondie purists outraged by One Direction purloining Debbie Harry's musical account of being stalked by an ex-boyfriend can take solace in this account of the Seventies New York new-wavers and their uber-sexy singer. Iggy Pop, the last surviving Ramone, Tommy, and Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth contribute.


Monday 9pm ITV

"You don't eat fish and chips? What kind of a Scot are you?" asks an exasperated DS Miller (Olivia Colman) having already had her offer of a coffee spurned by David Tennant's surly boss. The finger of suspicion points this week at the murdered boy's father, although if there's any fish being eaten around here, it's likely to be red herrings.


Tuesday 9pm BBC1

Yippee, it's back, and a social worker and a solicitor are among the 50 amateurs hoping to trade solid careers for 16-hour days of kitchen drudgery. An extended palette test is new, and a swooning Gregg Wallace looks on as John barks things like, "You either stand out or you're knocked out."

Comic Relief 2013

Friday 7pm & 11.05pm BBC1, 10.30pm, BBC2

Rowan Atkinson as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Ricky Gervais as David Brent, Jessie J shaving off her hair, Dame Edna judging MasterChef, Simon Cowell's "wedding video", John Bishop and Davina McCall in a Vicar of Dibley special, a lot of David Walliams and probably not enough (for some) of One Direction.

Horizon: The Creative Brain – How Insight Works

Thursday 9pm BBC2

What actually goes on inside a person's brain when they have a creative spark? Not exactly a lightbulb, but something not too dissimilar attest scientists as they attempt to visualise the birth of an idea. Plus, see if you can work out how to remove – without ripping it – a $100 bill that has the tip of a steel pyramid balancing on top of it.

The Mimic

Wednesday 10pm Channel 4

An impressionism show with a difference, as Terry Mynott – best-known for his mimicry with Morgana Robinson in Very Important People – channels his vocal talents into a low-key sitcom. He plays a site-maintenance drudge fed up with his lot, and pretending to be Al Pacino, Gok Wan and Ronnie Corbett stuck in a postbox.