Belfast Telegraph

I've lost the plot over so many TV dramas

By Frances Burscough

When it’s freezing cold and the nights are long and dark, I’m thankful for the vast variety of television channels we have nowadays to keep us entertained before bed. This last month in particular has been quite remarkable with so many different drama series to watch that you’d almost need a social secretary to plan your viewing diary.

In fact a couple of times recently I’ve had four programmes all clashing at the 9pm   watershed.

It’s just as well I don’t watch any of the soaps, or I’d probably never leave the house. Fortunately with a little bit of jiggery-pokery with the red button on the remote control, the invaluable “plus one” channels, iPlayer and Sky Plus it is possible to co-ordinate your catch-up recordings so that you have enough time to spread them out over the entire week and to make a cup of cocoa between episodes.

Consequently for the month of January I have been simultaneously following the


Silent Witness (the one about the forensic pathologists who always get way too involved in every investigation), Broadchurch (Series Two, which is as dull as series one was gripping, but I will persevere in case it improves), Suspects (the new fly-on-the-wall type Cockney cop series), The Legacy (a Danish drama about a family fighting for their inheritance), Spiral (the French cop series set in Paris with too-fast-to-read subtitles), Wolf Hall (a Tudor period drama about King v Church), Fortitude (the new murder mystery whodunnit set in the Arctic Circle) and (*embarrassed cough*) Celebrity Big Brother (just because I can’t resist a bit of trash to balance out all the culture). So it’s no wonder really that I sometimes get a bit confused and mixed up with the multiple story lines and multitude of characters, is it?

In case you haven’t seen them I’ll give you a brief idea of the various plots that are all running concurrently. Confused? You will be. Where shall I start...?

So Henry VIII wants a divorce so he sends Perez Hilton into a secret room in a remote outpost in Iceland to examine a bluebell that has been fast-tracked through forensics in the hope that it will prove conclusively that a polar bear did it.

Errr ... there’s a bloke who looks a bit like Benedict Cumberbatch who always stands on a hill in the distance spying on people and he has something to do with it but nobody knows what, although the murder of two sisters who were tied together and drowned in a canal in Paris remains a mystery but Dr Who is determined to get to the bottom of it before he has another heart attack in Nandos with his estranged wife and daughter.

Meanwhile, on his deathbed, Cardinal Wolsey writes a new will bequeathing his art gallery to Katie Price even though she nominated him for eviction for being two-faced and having sex with her best friend in a stable. Errr ...

Oh yes, Charlotte Rampling is persuaded to come out of retirement to represent Callum Best who is going blind after a hair transplant but she steals a banana and hides it under her bed so they decide to withdraw their case.

Meanwhile in Denmark an illegitimate half-sister who works as a florist has an affair with someone’s brother who secretly directs amateur porn videos and drives a Lamborghini even though he is claiming benefits so the cops are suspicious. His lawyer crashes her car into a tree after suffering a blackout so he buys her a Chinese takeaway and they end up having sex on the kitchen floor. Katie Hopkins notices that the judge in charge of the case keeps having nosebleeds and threatens to leave Big Brother unless they destroy the video that shows a Russian oligarch swallowing his own SIM card.

One lawyer gets shot dead and so all the housemates console themselves by having a spray tan and Anne Boleyn goes AWOL during a visit to Keith Chegwin’s favourite butchers.

Whoops, I forgot to say “Spoiler alert”!

Belfast Telegraph


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