Evil nannies and sinful ladies – Downton's back
It's a good job that Downton Abbey has lots and lots of windows. There were plenty of opportunities for Lady Mary, draped in black, to stare wistfully out of them; monosyllabic in her grief after the loss of husband, Matthew.
Even baby George couldn't help lift the veil of gloom hanging over her. Yes, Downton Abbey (Sunday, ITV1) is back... and we are all in mourning. But, this being television, it's not long before the looks of longing and the quiet sighing give way to thrilling plot lines. And they come thick and fast.
After a gentle start, Downton Abbey, really got into its stride with evil nannies, Lady Edith contemplating "living in sin", a Valentine's Day card mystery, drunken maids, Carson getting slapped down for talking out of place and an attempt to find new work for Mr Moseley.
There's something irresistible about Downton, a charm all of its own. It has to move on, but everything stays deliciously the same.
A new Sunday night treat is the outrageously preposterous – I hope! – By Any Means (BBC One).
The excellent Warren Brown (Luther, Good Cop) plays Jack Quinn who runs a clandestine operation which may or may not be the police (they claim constantly to have left their warrant cards at home or in the car). Their mission is to catch crooks by beating them at their own game.
The unit is just three people: Jack, the sassy Jessica (Shelley Conn) and digital wizard "TomTom" (Andrew-Lee Potts) who take their orders from the mysterious Helen (Gina McKee).
Episode one of this new series began with TV's best maniacal villain Keith Allen (Bodies, Robin Hood). He played Nicholas "Teflon" Mason, a man linked to a number of series crimes who manages to escape without charge.
When he walks free from court for a murder he was obviously involved in, Jack and the team are called in to deliver justice.
Keith Allen does a wonderful job as the twitching Mason, struggling with his anger issues with the help of a psychiatrist (Martin Jarvis).
He has two policemen on his payroll and Jack uses them as a way to trap Mason.
Excellent performances all round in this series created by Tony Jordan who, having worked on EastEnders, created Hustle and co-created Life on Mars, certainly knows a thing or two about telling stories.
Warren Brown has a lot of charm and charisma and this role as a maverick law enforcer suited him down to the ground. Top-notch quality drama.
Which leads me neatly to The Wrong Mans (BBC One, Monday), created by and starring James Corden and Mathew Baynton as two social misfits. As Sam (Baynton) puts it to Phil: "I'm a town planning noise advisor for Berkshire County Council and you're a 31-year-old mail distribution assistant who lives with his mum."
We're only just two minutes into the drama when a spectacular car crash plunges Phil into a mystery. After being questioned by the police, suspicious at Phil's role in the fatal accident, he prepares to continue his walk into work.
But just as he's walking away, a mobile phone on the ground begins ringing.
He's told that unless he pays up, his wife will be killed. When he confides in colleague Phil, his friend is excited at the prospect of having a little drama in his life. "We sure as hell can't go to the police now," he says, excitedly.
And so it begins... a mystery caller making threats and two misfits out of their depth.
The Wrong Mans is fast and fun and, although James Corden is obviously the star here, he is generous enough not to hog all the limelight leaving plenty of space for Mathew Baynton.
At 30 minutes, it's a much-needed Monday night comedy injection.