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I think the copper did it

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I’m starting to warm to DCI Barraclough in Emmerdale as she tries to work out just who sent gravel voiced patriarch Tom King plummeting to his death. I’m convinced it’s that Chief Constable bloke who keeps meddling in her investigation in cahoots with wicked witch Rosemary. Oddly though he doesn’t appear on the list of suspects.

They let Bob out which was a pity because I’d hoped we’d get a couple of weeks respite from his larger than life persona.

Meanwhile I’d bang up Dopey Diane and Gruesome Grayson for the barmy illicit gambling storyline that is unfolding. I had Diane down as many things in the past but terminally stupid wasn’t one of them.

It says something about the morality of the village that more concern was shown over Tootsie’s disappearance than Tom’s demise.

Biggest shock was to find out that Jo’s mum was actually Guizin Osman out of EastEnders. I’d almost forgotten about her but as she hoved into view all those memories of Mehmet and Ali and some pretty ropey acting came flooding back.

Speaking of ex-EastEnders it seems that the bundle of acting talent that is Louisa Lytton is going into The Bill - as a wooden top, presumably.

Hit the road Jack

Torchwood bowed out with a double edition and what a load of hogwash it turned out to be. Entertaining hogwash I'll grant you but hogwash none the less.

Hard to credit that no-one challenged the Japanese Toshiko for any proof of idenity when she popped up inexplicably and behaving oddly in 1941 and even more unbelievable was the lack of reaction to Jack’s lingering kiss with the real Captain Harkness in the middle of a forties dance hall. It would have caused a reaction in 1991, let alone 1941.

All this temporal tomfoolery teed up the last episode with much agonising over opening up the rift and an opportunity for John Barrowman to get two, count them two, death scenes before leaping off his mortuary slab and heading off in what sounded like the Tardis having presumably been swiped by the “right kind of doctor”.

There have been some good ideas in this series and more genuine “sci-fi” than has been present in the show it spun off from but it’s certainly been patchy and I would hope that it may settle down in the second series and the cast can relax and play things a little less po-faced and angst ridden.

They need to chill.

Your next clue can be found in the exclusive DS blog of an upcoming boyband.

Bubble burst

It’s probably been a good thing that Doctor Who was revived in Cardiff because it has had much less of a “Home Counties” feel to it than it had in the old days. Sadly that Middle England atmosphere was back in The Sarah Jane Adventures where even Samantha Bond’s over the top pantomime alien baddie squid was unmistakably middle class.

I’d always thought of Sarah Jane as a but mumsy back in the day, though I suppose that was partly because she came in after Jo Grant and just before Leela and so probably suffered in comparison. Here though she initially came across as spiky and aloof. Sadly by the end of the pilot she’d acquired a son and a teenage entourage and was well on the way to being all nicey nicey again.

Despite these gripes it was an entertaining run-around with a plot that would not have looked out of place in the series proper and having K9 with his backside plugging a black hole was a nice touch.

It was infinitely better than K9 and Company, the last time they tried to give this spin off a try but I can’t help feeling that The Jackie Tyler Adventures would have been more grounded – if you can be grounded when dealing with the fantasy genre - and much funnier.

Sickening reality keeps gripping me in its guts

As well as the return of Celebrity Big Brother we’ve had Soapstar Superstar and Just The Two of Us to contend with, at times all at the same time.

I really fail to see who wins by scheduling two celebrity singing shows opposite each other and it must be really annoying for those who still only have the five channels and can’t stand the reality genre.

The soapy version seems to have suffered badly. A new host was definitely required but there’s something about Zoe Ball’s performance that’s making me think that she could be vaguely embarrassed to be there. Worse though is that our Cilla is no longer on the panel of the judges though the irritating Billy has made a return. Having four judges this time round makes it look even more like the show it’s been going out opposite.

The biggest problem though is that most of the contestants are pretty appalling, with the bloke out of Neighbours in particular assaulting the eardrums in quite a painful way. Corrie stalwarts Tupele and Jane were ousted almost straight away and this is probably a good thing for them as well as us. By night two though the great British public yet again made things very strange by placing the two contestants who could actually carry a tune in the bottom two.

Much better entertainment and even far better singing has been heard over on the BBC One effort though Tito Jackson has been a constant irritant as far as I’m concerned – he looks a complete tit in that hat – while Stewart Copeland can occasionally be constructive but only if it doesn’t get in the way of one of his smart arse comments.

I’m probably imagining it but there does seem to some underlying tension between husband and wife presenting team Vernon and Tess, who are rapidly becoming a poor man’s Richard and Judy. Perhaps it’s just as well that the overused format requires them to spend most of the show apart.

Where lack of ability is a drawback over on the ITV show, here it’s been a positive plus with John Bardon more than making up for his lack of vocal talent with the sheer energy and comedy of his performance and an ideal sparring partner in Jocelyn Brown, who cleverly was able to tone down her magnificent voice to blend in with her musically challenged celeb.

It’s a shame that it takes a show such as this to get the likes of Beverley Knight and Sarah Brightman on the box in prime time and it was marvellous to see Russell Watson making a cameo appearance.

With this format, you can actually notice the celebs getting better and even Watchdog’s Julia Bradbury showed significant signs of improvement before being ousted. I really enjoyed Hannah Waterman’s efforts too though I’m not entirely sure it was for the right reasons as the actress used her curves to good effect though at times, as she energetically threw herself into her songs and towards her singing partner, I actually feared for the health and safety of skinny looking Marty Pellow. I was sort of left with the feeling that had her hubby not been in the audience she’d have eaten him alive.

The only real irritant on this show has been that Brendan turned out to be rather good, which was intensely annoying. I was really hoping that he’d fall flat on his face but the boy can sing. Still gets on my nerves though.

Put an Old Des in, an old Des out

Countdown took on a new host and within seconds felt as comfy as an old pair slippers as Des O’Connor effortlessly took the reins and if anything made this slow paced show even more relaxed than it’s ever been.

He was no doubt helped by having game show veteran Tom O’Connor in Dictionary Corner and the combination of these two made the whole thing feel very pensioner safe. Maybe things would have been a bit livelier if they’d booked Sinead or Hazel O’Connor. Sadly it seems more like they’d book Andrew.

Dead Pauline Society

I was perplexed when Sonia claimed only to have given Pauline a little tap. I don’t remember any dancing. I suppose you can take the girl out of stage school but you can’t take stage school out of the girl.

Witnessing Sonia’s increasing desperation throughout the week hasn’t so much been harrowing but it has been putting me off my dinner. It’s been Dot’s serenity in the face of this crisis that has had me baffled, given that the character’s been a chain smoking bag of nerves for the last two decades.

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