Last Night's TV: Jackpots and Jinxes: Lottery Stories/Channel 4
Inside the Human Body/BBC1
The Shadow Line/BBC2
Psychoville 2/BBC2

"I took people to Barbados," said Mark. "Nobody came to me afterwards and said, 'This year, I'd really like to take you to Bognor.'" You can't really blame them. Mark's worth £11 million. He won it 16 years ago after entering the National Lottery. These days he's the proud owner of seven Aston Martins, a yacht, a beach house (in Barbados) and a swimming pool. He gives money to friends, he said, but it's not without its complications. "How much is enough? That's the question."

Seriously. Can you imagine winning the lottery? It's one of those ideas that everyone toys with. What would you buy? Would you quit your job? What would it mean in the long term? (A flat, don't know, relocating the weekly shop to Waitrose). What do you even do when you twig? Run down the high street, screaming? The answer, it seems, is ring up the Camelot call centre. "Some people are really calm, some excited and others just in shock," said one phone answerer. They confirm that you have, indeed, won and precisely how much – if you're extra-lucky, like Nigel and Sharon Mather, him a former hotel manager, her a council worker – you'll get the whole thing to yourself. In their case, all £12.4 million of it.

Then you get a visit from "the man with the chequebook". He tells you whether to go public or not which, oddly, doesn't sound quite the bonkers idea you might think; at least not according to Nigel and Sharon's logic. They agonised about how they were going to tell people, what they could do. In the end, they thought, squirting a bottle of fizz over the seats of their local football stadium was the easiest way to do it.

Still, not every tale's a happy one. For every Nigel and Sharon there's a Wayne who, after winning £1 million, had his car torched and spends his life watching security cameras. Or a Roy, who needed a bodyguard. Or – and this, really, was so limb-twistingly awful I almost had to watch through my fingers – a Martin. Six months after playing the lottery, he heard a news bulletin about Camelot officials hunting for a man in Watford who'd won an unclaimed jackpot. "My first thought was, 'Watford – it could be someone I know.'" Then, on hearing the numbers, he realised it was, in fact, him. He'd won. He just didn't know where the ticket was. Martin came within inches of securing the £3 million jackpot. Camelot confirmed that it was, without doubt, him who had bought the ticket, but, after months of limbo, decided that it couldn't break the rules. Martin split with his wife, moved to America, and joined a cult. Not sure I blame him.

Christopher Eccleston was on The One Show the other day, explaining his new drama, The Shadow Line. "Not all the good guys wear white hats," he posited, a little tea-time philosopher in a grey suit. "And not all the bad ones wear black ones." It's a suitably opaque explanation for what we got last night, which was, by turns, perplexing, frightening and rather good. I was gripped, throughout, by the conviction that I didn't understand what was going on (not the most useful quality in a television reviewer). By the end, though, everything had slotted into place without my really noticing it. No big ta-dah moment. No sudden gasp of realisation. Clever, that.

Eccleston is predictably excellent as soft-hard man Joseph (white hat); likewise, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Jonah, the ambiguously hatted detective inspector. But it's Rafe Spall – definite black hat – who steals the show. He positively pops as the manic, cold-blooded nephew Jay, bringing an almost surreal element to what would otherwise be a rather standard (though commendable) TV drama. One quibble: it's all a little blokey. There aren't really any women – well, except Lia, Jonah's tough-talking new assistant. That's not a problem per se, but it does render it all a little monotonous: drugs, dark rooms, tough-talking baddies behaving like overgrown schoolboys.

There's nothing new about what Michael Mosley's doing with Inside the Human Body. We all know that it's the Greatest Miracle on Earth. We all know about the sperm and the egg and the Wonderful Story of Life. The thing is, he just does it so well. It's partially his expertise – he's trained, after all, as a doctor – and partially his enthusiasm. The material's not bad either: how the face forms in the womb, the crucial few hours that determine whether our palate is cleft or not, the reasons we're not hatched inside an egg. My favourite bit, though, is the rugby team whose sperm samples are broadcast on big screens in Leicester Square. Poor old James: deformed, lazy, two-tailed creatures. Must try harder.

Finally: Psychoville is back! Actually, it's been so long since it was last on – and then it was only too brief – that I can't really remember where we left off. Biggins is still there. The dwarf – who last time he was here was on stage, I'm sure – has become the object of a love-spell. Mr Jelly's now doing pub gigs, Lomax is seeking vengeance for crimes long forgotten, and David and Maureen are still trying to kill people. This time, by feeding them food so unpalatable that death becomes the preferable option (Angel Delight with fish, anyone?) As before it's less laugh-out-loud, more try-not-to-vomit amusing. Which, of course, holds a certain charm.

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
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.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea