The Weekend's Television: Single-Handed, ITV1, Sun
Happy Birthday OU – Forty Years of the Open University, BBC4, Sat
Classic Goldie, BBC2 Fri

I do hope the Connemara tourist board didn't get their hopes up too high with regard to Single-Handed, ITV1's new Sunday-night rural-copper drama. Judging on previous form in this genre, they could be forgiven for having got a little excited at the prospect of a prime-time showcase for the glories of their particular patch of Ireland. After all, what would you have predicted for a Sunday-evening drama about a Dublin policemen returning to his childhood home? A bit of bucolic mischief from some lovable old rascal with a potcheen still, perhaps. Storylines about sheep rustling, and an extended will-they-won't-they plotline in which the hero romances the local barmaid. Sentiment and craic by the bucketful, interspersed with postcard shots of the hills and bays. You can almost imagine them sitting down for a joint viewing, notepad on their knees as they prepare to work out how to lever the tourists into paying a personal visit to Single-Handed country.

It will have been a glum occasion if they did – the first collective wince arriving when the unusually sepulchral barman in the local pub makes a crack about the rarity with which they see the sun and the mood then darkening steadily as it became clear that Barry Simner's script had started downbeat and only had further descent in mind. The fact that the drama opened with the death of a young woman needn't have been terminal as far as tourists prospects went. Every crime drama needs a crime, after all, and who knows what opportunities this sad event might have offered to demonstrate healing community togetherness. The problem was that there didn't seem to be a man present who hadn't played a part in the tragedy, or a woman who wouldn't have been happier if it couldn't have all been hushed up without a fuss. Jack Driscoll isn't a local hero, it seems, but an enemy of the people, endlessly advised not to lift too many stones for fear of what might wriggle out from under them

That wasn't the worst of it either, because as he stubbornly investigated the death of an Eastern European barmaid who had been providing a little extra on the side to the men of the town, his own father's implication in ancient crimes began to emerge. "It's a cesspit," Jack said bitterly about his native turf. "My father's the only one who can see into it and sometimes I think he's stirring it up because he enjoys the stink." Then, just to twist the knife, Simner took the one hopeful strand in the plot – the burgeoning relationship between Jack and a nurse down from Dublin – and looped it in a noose around Jack's neck, revealing that he'd inadvertently committed incest with his half-sister. Suddenly, a man committed to candour and the facing of painful truths had a powerful motive for his own cover-up, and was forced to appear, for the best of reasons, to be just as cruelly exploitative as the men he'd pursued. That faint gleam of light in the twilight of the final shot? A burning caravan, quite possibly torched by the men from the tourist board. The only slogan they can go with now, I think, is "Connemara... It's Really Not as Bad as It Looks". But the drama, unexpectedly, given the slot it's in, is worth a visit.

I got a bit teary a couple of times in Happy Birthday OU – Forty Years of the Open University, a celebratory documentary about the Open University fronted up by a recent graduate, Lenny Henry, who was prompted to apply after receiving an honorary degree from Warwick and realising, quite rightly, that it didn't mean as much as the kind you have to work for. The teariness came because of just how impressive most of these graduates were, and how moved they were by an opportunity many of them had thought would always be beyond them. An armed robber – now advising the government on prison's policy – recalled getting his first high mark for a piece of written work: "It was such a buzz," he said. "It was better than robbing banks." Other than the National Health Service, it's hard to think of a more altruistic or enriching bit of public policy or, to be frank, an institution that produced more comically wooden presentational performances, an aspect of its operations that was fully explored. There were lecturers here who delivered their material as if their children were being held at gunpoint just off camera. But what they delivered got through to the most highly motivated student body in recent history.

Classic Goldie is another exercise in outreach, in which the bling-fanged drum'n'bass DJ has been commissioned to compose a short orchestral piece for performance at the Proms. He's great but the compositional process – Goldie hums a handful of notes and various mentors look panic stricken as they wonder how they can get it to fill seven minutes – is sometimes unintentionally comic.

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished

TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies

Arts and Entertainment
Australia's Eurovision contestant and former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian

Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under

Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable