TV pick of the week: Substitutes take spins while regulars go missing

 

TV pick of the week: The Thick of It

Saturday 9.45pm BBC2

Armando Iannucci finally tackles the Coalition – but how will his beloved sitcom fare without Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) and MP Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front), now in opposition? Worry not, Tucker and Murray feature – but not until next week – and tonight's opener doesn't exactly miss them. Vincent Franklin (Twenty Twelve) is a fine Tucker substitute as Number 10's director of communications, Roger Allam is splendidly crumpled as Peter Mannion MP, the senior Coalition partner at DoSac, there's dependable support from Joanna Scanlan and James Smith, and some juicy neologisms, such as "snuff politics" and "ear piss". The unnamed Coalition partners (the Lib Dems, we may assume) are "the inbetweeners".

The Scapegoat

Sunday 9pm ITV1

Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters) does well in the dual role of nice but penniless teacher John and nastily feckless head of a family business Johnny – doppelgangers whose paths cross in the pub one night. The setting is 1952, in the run up to the Queen's Coronation, in Charles Sturridge's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel – last filmed with Alec Guinness in 1958.

Leaving

Monday 9pm ITV1

ITV's run of new drama series continues with Helen McCrory as Julie, an unhappily married wedding caterer at a country house hotel. Given to mouthing the words of the matrimonial vows as she looks on from the wings – and envying anyone with a life still before them – it's only a matter of time before ripping the clothes off a handsome young colleague...

Lilyhammer

Tuesday 10pm BBC4

This unlikely, semi-subtitled fish-out-of-water comedy rests on the wonderfully fleshy, deadpan features of Steven Van Zandt. As befits an ex-Sopranos actor, Van Zandt plays New York mobster Frankie the Fixer, who, in need of FBI witness protection, chooses Lilyhammer in Norway because he liked the look of it from television coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Dead Good Job

Wednesday 9pm BBC2

A dead bad title for a series about undertakers, and featuring the usual varied cross-section, from a 120-year-old Manchester firm catering to traditionalists to a niche Leicester company that specialises in transporting dead bikers in motorcycle hearses. Meanwhile in Brick Lane, Muslim mourners are less worried by fancy trimmings than by a speedy interment.

The Audience

Thursday 9pm Channel 4

Individuals allow a group of 50 strangers to observe their lives for a week, following them around and invading their homes, as the crowd displays wisdom (or not) in helping them make potentially life-changing decisions. Somehow the format works, as 48-year-old dairy farmer Ian gets the ball rolling, deciding whether or not to sell up and start a new life.

Moone Boy

Friday 9.30pm & 10pm Sky1

The IT Crowd's Chris O'Dowd stars in his own self-penned semi-autobiographical comedy about growing up in the Ireland of the Eighties – and it's a cracker (actually it was developed from a short he made for Sky's Little Crackers). O'Dowd plays Martin, the grown-up invisible friend of his own 12-year-old self, and it's fresh, funny and very well acted.

Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen