One of the biggest hits for the BBC last year was Welsh-noir thriller Keeping Faith (BBC1, Tuesdays, 9pm), which showcased the brilliant Eve Myles, a beautiful corner of south Wales and bright yellow macs.
Back for a second series, Keeping Faith still makes the area around Carmarthen look stunning, by the yellow mac has been replaced by a cornflower blue trenchcoat.
But when the mac does return, towards the end of this week’s first episode, it’s like greeting an old friend.
While, the mac has taken a back seat in this second series, Myles –as Faith – is as terrific as ever. She makes smalltown solicitor Faith an incredibly sympathetic character, but no saint.
She acts the ‘together single parent’ around the breakfast table, getting her toddler son his cereal and chivvying along her teenage daughter, who is “halfway to Goth.”
But when she leaves for work, she bashes her head on the steering wheel in exhaustion, telling herself “just keep going.”
The plot, however, is not quite so sympathetic. It’s got the possibility to tie itself in knots, as there are loose ends to tie up from the first series, as well as new plot strands.
Then there’s Faith’s on-off relationship with burly trucker Steve Baldini, and her returned hubby – and jailbird – Evan.
Evan’s a bit of a problem, actually. He’s portrayed as such a loser that you wonder what Faith – strong, determined, clever Faith – ever saw in him.
It’s difficult getting everything straight in your head, especially as we have flashbacks and slightly odd cuts which make it difficult to locate where we are on a timeline, but this is a terrific, twisty-turny thriller that should prove just as big a hit for the Beeb as last year.
And expect sales of cornflower blue jackets to spike.
Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC1, Mondays, 9pm) has attracted some starry guests, including this week Daniel Radcliffe, but as usual the real attraction is the amazing story of their ‘ordinary’ ancestors.
I wasn’t so sure about Wild Bill (ITV, Wednesdays, 9pm) but as this slightly odd Rob Lowe-starrer has gone on, I’ve got very fond of it, even if it does have some rather unbelievable moments.