Death in Paradise
The writers have managed a smooth segue between leading men and Ardal O’Hanlon is settling in nicely. There’s just one problem. The much-missed Humphrey had a fine repertoire of loose linen jackets: he summed up the rumpled Englishman abroad – but cool with it, in his way.
Now though, his replacement Jack, while a genial fellow, has a dress sense that doesn’t reach beyond the deadly combination of tie with short-sleeved shirt. Against the gorgeous backdrop of Guadeloupe – which is to say, Saint Marie – he’s a stylistic blot on the landscape.
But as I say, Jack’s heart is in the right place, even if there’s a token attempt this week to raise a doubt over whether he has a future in Saint Marie. Meanwhile, there’s a case to solve at a polling station for the mayoral election, where one of the candidates is somehow – bafflingly – knifed in the back.
Madame Tussaud: A Legend in Wax
At some point in our youth, probably on a school trip to the big smoke, lots of us have taken a photo with the Queen’s waxy doppelganger. Or David Beckham’s. Though Madame Tussauds has become synonymous with “tourist trap” and bizarre glitzy, global unveilings of celebrity likenesses, there’s very little known about Marie, the woman herself, whose life and work spanned the French and Industrial Revolutions. So while few will have considered the real Madame, it’s that historical context that makes her story so interesting.
This surprisingly involving film – in both English and French with subtitles – is based on her memoirs and letters, and incorporates dramatic re-creations and analysis from historians to reveal the determination and grit of an ambitious single mother behind the now-global brand. Lovely costumes, too.
Has Political Correctness Gone Mad?
Channel 4, 9pm
The title is awful, but don’t let that put you off an insightful broadside from Trevor Phillips. He questions the trend of “no platforming” and “safe spaces” among left-wing activists who “decided the best way to protect diversity was to stifle debate”.
He has been on the left all his life but argues that Brexit and the election of Donald Trump came as a surprise to liberals because they have lost touch with how ordinary people talk – not helped by “bullying people into silence” if their views are old-fashioned.
A series of fascinating encounters includes a group of student leaders who agree cross-dressing for fun should be banned and a trans activist who wants to “shut these old bigots up”.
Drinking with strangers, grimy hostels and underwear shortages – anyone who says their gap year was the best time of their life is probably lying. This comedy drama, by Plebs writer Tom Basden, about two childhood friends who fly to China on an extended “lads’ holiday” shows the travelling experience in all its nightmarish, sometimes wonderful, glory as they meet a host of eccentric people along the way.
It’s a funny enough first episode littered with tender moments, thanks to comedian Tim Key, who plays a relentlessly chirpy Brit who wants to relive his 90s gap year and The Fall’s Aisling Bea who plays a hilariously bad-tempered honeymooner.
The Great Pottery Thrown Down
Last week’s departing potter reminds us in the re-cap that he was “pleased with what I did”. You shouldn’t be, mate, you really shouldn’t.
It’s outdoors week and the contestants must make a water feature. Efforts include one piece incorporating the ashes of a potter’s pet dog. Naturally this prompts floods of tears from the contestant, though not from judge Keith Brymer Jones, who remains, for once, dry-eyed.
There’s a formidable guest judge for the spot test – Paul Cummins, the Tower of London poppy artist – who asks the group to make 12 ceramic roses. He’s refreshingly unsentimental.