The Weekend's TV: Case Histories, Sun, BBC2
The Hotel, Sun, Channel 4

The ladies' number one detective

Ho-hum. Another weekend, another detective.

And, just in case you wanted a bit more choice when it comes to adult investigators driven on by the memory of a childhood abduction, another one of those as well. As DC Janet Scott pursues the ancient cold case that inspired her to join the police in Scott & Bailey on ITV, here comes Jackson Brodie in Case Histories, still haunted by memories of his sister's murder. Jackson runs a lot, pounding through the streets of Edinburgh in an attempt to outrun his demons, and allowing the director to do some tricksy intercutting between Jogging Jackson and Jackson Junior, racing through the colour-drained woods of a classic traumatic flashback. And this coincidence can't help but make you wonder. Why are we so fearful for our children these days? Time was when the default victim for a murder mystery was a starlet or a wealthy uncle, and anyone under the age of 13 could reasonably be assumed to be hors de combat. Not any more. It's open season on the young.

In fact, Jackson's got two missing girls to think about, not just one, having contingently bumped into another cold case while helping a batty old lady find her cat (I think this scene is meant to alert us to Jackson's kindness, rather than the hopeless state of his private-investigation agency). Hearing an odd noise over a garden wall Jackson is drawn into the orbit of Amelia and Julia, two young women who don't seem unduly perturbed by their father's death (they toss a coin to decide between burial and cremation), but do want to know what their missing sister's soft toy is doing, locked in his desk drawer alongside his porn stash. "I think fate brought you to us, Mr Brodie, don't you think," says Julie, which may be her way of defusing the implausible convenience of this coincidence. As if that isn't enough to be going on with, Jackson is also being badgered by a bereaved father – whose teenage daughter was bloodily murdered in broad daylight – and struggling to juggle his investigations with contact visits with his own daughter. "We went to where a dead girl was murdered... there was blood and everything!" the little girl tells Jackson's estranged wife, estranging her even further.

Case Histories will be watched with some vigilance I expect – a lot of people having already formed a strong attachment to the Kate Atkinson books on which it is based, and a lot of female readers having formed an attachment to her hero, Jackson. I can't really say whether Jason Isaacs is going to satisfactorily flesh out that literary infatuation, but, barring his wife, he certainly seems to hit the spot for the women within the drama. Both Julia and Amelia fancy him rotten, a former police colleague comes prowling for a dinner-date and at least one prospective client opens negotiations by giving him a vigorous knee-trembler up against his office desk. That was the only consummation you got though, since unlike Scott & Bailey there are no single episode storylines to accompany the long-form enigmas. Fortunately, enough of Atkinson's dry humour filters through into Ashley Pharoah's script to make the wait perfectly entertaining.

This week was our last opportunity to check in at the Damson Dene, the Lake District hotel whose staff and guests have been cheerfully oversharing in Channel 4's The Hotel. I'm still faintly dazed by the British public's lack of discretion, if the people who feature here can be taken as representative in their willingness to sign a release form. We've had couples getting paralytic and couples canoodling and couples valiantly trying to patch up their marriages, and none of them apparently dismayed by the fact that there are cameras attached to every vertical surface. The undisputed hero of the series, though, has been Wayne, the general manager, who lives in a caravan at the bottom of the hotel garden, right next to the pigs, but whose mood never appears to be adversely affected by this fact. Nothing appears to be too much trouble for Wayne. When a guest turned up and found it a little inconvenient to use the kitchen microwave to heat up her baby formula, Wayne raced off to his caravan to lend her his for the duration of her stay. And last week, very tenderly, he fussed around the place arranging a surprise anniversary dinner for Paul and Lavinia, a married Romanian couple who work at the hotel.

But there has been one weakness in Wayne's armour-plating of bonhomie and sunniness – Marta, the acting manager he effectively demoted when he arrived and a woman who, understandably perhaps, has not taken well to his presence. This week, matters came to a head and we saw a more implacable side of Wayne, who gave his employer a she-goes-or-I-go ultimatum. In the end, Marta went, but only a few miles down the road to Kendal, where there was a place for her at one of the Damson Dene's sister establishments. What's been best about The Hotel is just such human muddle, occasionally bad-tempered, or sorrowing or rueful (as when Wayne recalls his broken marriage), but mostly just human and full of a struggle to be slightly better than we can manage by instinct. Charming guests this week were a family from the Isle of Man, on a week's break to try and write songs together. Much intervened, including snoring and an abortive shopping trip to Edinburgh, but they left with a new number completed and a broad smile on their faces. Lovely.

Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?