Brian Donaldson finds a bunch of dramas telling us that avoiding death and destruction is often harder than it looks
It’s the end of the world as we know it and not even Hamish Macbeth or Hercule Poirot can save us. Or rather, Robert Carlyle doing a dodgy cockney accent as a hotshot engineer or David Suchet coming over all governmental as the beleaguered deputy PM in the two-part Flood (ITV1, Sun 4 & Mon 5 May, 9pm ••). If a Scottish Nat gets hold of this, they’ll no doubt be outraged at the image of Wick being submerged with emergency meetings only getting into full swing when central London comes under threat. Coming on like a UK 24 as waves rather than weapons threaten national security, panic sets in with the country wholly unprepared to cope with tidal devastation. But then that’s what you get when you put Neil from The Young Ones in charge of the Met Office.
Whoever put the person in charge for bringing us Pushing Daisies (ITV1, Sat 26 Apr, 9.05pm •) should be in hot water. Though Anna Friel pulls off a better accent shift than oor Bob with her transatlantic drawl, that’s barely enough of a reason to keep watching this mince. The quirky voiceover thing should have been put to seed by now and the fact that hardly a second goes by without the irritating soundtrack jauntying along in the background doesn’t help matters. The basic premise, should you be bothered, is so convolutedly daft that the pilot episode took about ten minutes to try and explain its twists and turns. Essentially, a guy has the power to bring back people from the dead for one minute or until he touches them again. Though he can trade lives by having someone in the vicinity die instead. It’s neither clever nor funny. And it thinks it’s both.
Fortunately, there is some humour to be had with The Inbetweeners (E4, Thu 1 May, 10pm •••), in which a young cast who were probably not good looking enough to get through the Skins audition door utilise some neat natural wit and a flash script to show what it’s like to be part of the teenage awkward squad. Soundtrack-wise, there’s a predictable mix of Arctic Monkeys and Kate Nash, which will probably make this horribly dated in about three months, but for now you should let The Inbetweeners sneak into your lives.
Edging towards the grave is partly what The Invisibles (BBC1, Thu 1 May, 9pm ••) is about as Anthony Head and Warren Clarke play a couple of veteran crooks who are back in a sleepy part of Blighty having sunned themselves and their ill-gotten gains in Spain. They may be seeking a quiet life, but you just know what happens next, don’t you? You do, don’t you? Yes, the pair are lured back into a life of larceny partly against their will and mainly through the hell of boredom.
The return of Heroes (BBC2, Thu 24 Apr, 9pm •••) will either be a source of transcendental joy or unreserved contempt depending on how you viewed the first season. So, ‘previously on Heroes’, the Petrelli brothers were jet-propelled into the stratosphere while Hiro Nakamura (which could well have been a headline after the last Old Firm game) had time-travelled into 17th century Japan. The cheerleader (and by extension the world) had been saved while nasty, evil Sylar was wormfood. The arch voiceover from Mohinder Suresh does little to make any of the story less bamboozling, but if you go along for the ride, it’ll give you the supernatural ability to wipe Pushing Daisies from the mind.