That face looks familiar as Frank becomes Len
When an actor has been wedded to a part for a long time, it's sometimes difficult to associate them with a new role.
It is a particular problem when they are synonymous with a part that becomes iconic. For 11 series over nine years, David Threlfall was the job-shy, hard-drinking, feckless, chain-smoking Frank Gallagher – head of the clan on the Chatsworth Estate – in Channel 4's Shameless.
The long, lank hair and grubby denim jacket may have been replaced by a neat trim and a suit, but it's still Frank who looks out at you when you watch Det Insp Len Harper in BBC One's new Sunday night crime drama What Remains.
Len is nearing the end of his police career and is determined that his last investigation should be one that he can solve. He is called in when a young couple – pregnant Vidya (Amber Rose Revah) and Michael (Russell Tovey) – discover a body in the attic when moving into their flat in a large house.
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It turns out to be the occupant of flat five, a young woman who had inherited it from her mother and hadn't been seen for several years.
Len's colleagues are eager to wrap this up as an accidental death, but he's not so sure and there are plenty of nearby suspects – all living under the same roof.
There's gay designer Elaine (Indira Varma) and her anxious-looking girlfriend Peggy (Victoria Hamilton); there's secretive writer Kieron (the excellent Steven Mackintosh) a widower with a new girlfriend and a moody teenage son; and there's grumpy teacher Joe (David Bamber) who Michael remembers from his school days.
Joe is obviously up to something. Having told the police he lives alone, Michael spots a girl in his flat... could it be one of the girls he went to school with?
There's even a long-distance suspect – Richard (Michael Colgan) lived in the neighbouring flat and may have been the last to see her alive.
Len interviews him via Skype on the other side of the world.
Plenty of neighbours, but none of them seems to have had any contact with Melissa (Jessica Gunning) who lived an isolated life.
With Len leaving the force, will he have time to solve the mystery? I certainly hope so, because What Remains proved to be a gripping thriller. It's shot in a dark and atmospheric way, where the old house feels quite intimidating – almost another character in the story.
The script by Tony Basgallop (Inside Men, also with Steven Mackintosh, Hotel Babylon and Vera) is sharp and well-written, establishing characters as well-rounded and complex.
And by the end I had forgotten that Frank Gallagher had ever existed.
On Wednesday, BBC Two marked the 50th anniversary of a landmark event in Martin Luther King and the March on Washington.
With a beautifully measured commentary voiced by actor Denzel Washington, it recalled the build-up to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
The rally was the biggest civil protest ever in American history and feature the famous I Have a Dream speech.
It still delivered an emotionally charged punch and there was first-hand testimony from contributors who included Harry Belafonte, Dia-hann Carroll, Sidney Poitier and Joan Baez. But it was the ordinary men and women who stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago who made the most impact. Half a century later they are still proud to say they were there.
The rest of the week was uneventful in TV terms, just the twin pleasures of The Great British Bake Off (BBC Two, Tuesday) and Celebrity MasterChef (BBC One, Wednesday- Friday). It has the same ingredients every week – competitive cooking – but we are still served up something fresh and tasty.