Peter McKenzie Brown

I hope you are enjoying the RTE1 programme Rescue 117 featuring the Waterford based Irish helicopter rescue service. It is well filmed and edited with a fine sense of urgency and excitement. Once again the pilot Peter McKenzie Brown comes across as cool as a cucumber and confident in his ability to keep calm and focused. The episode featuring a rescue off the Wexford coast had a great sense of urgency and danger. But, it was surprising that the helicopter couldn’t land at Waterford Regional Hospital but had to set down in a nearby sports field.

Posh Tosh

I believe, we are getting a remake of Upstairs Downstairs; must be part of the UK fawning attitude to posh actors doing posh eating in posh dramas about not a lot but doing it lovingly like good luvvies do, dahling.

Heartbeat has stopped and now we get Downton Abbey written by Julian Fellowes who used to play Kidwilly in Monarch of the Glen. Presiding over the posh tosh is Maggie Smith as a Dowager Countess of Grantham and she sneers down her nose like it is an Olympic ski-slope.

Then it has the actor who used to be Liam Connor in Corrie doing a posh gay tonsil tickle on some post upstart with money.

Imagine these gentlemen who did in dinner jackets, undress to get dressed to go to bed and the valet removes their slippers before a gay kiss.

Hard to know what it is all about as there were too many characters to grasp in episode one and it is terribly upper crust and frightfully slow.

There was a scene at a meal that went on and on and got us nowhere and a servant who was getting the elbow was invited back and the Earl said – we’ll say no more about it.

Rough Gently

BBC1 goes head to head with the Dowager with the return of Inspector George Gently and this time out it’s all rough and beat a confession out of the blighter stuff. Set in 1966 Northumberland, Martin Shaw must think he is back in The Professionals. Sadly, the opening episode turned into another time of a child killing other children and I can’t see how this is Sunday night fare. Boys From The Black Stuff over on BBC4 was a far more entertaining repeat.

Nice Cop

Suddenly we have cop shows coming out of the screen with unusual performer playing against type. Who would have decided that nice guy Stephen Tompkinson would have to grimace and gurn so much and be troubled copper in UTV’s DCI Banks:Aftermath. Why Aftermath? He doesn’t suit this role and I cannot see this going into a long term series if he isn’t different enough. This Banks is troubled and edgy and at his wits end in a grim and tasteless story of a teenager abduction and abuse. He doesn’t even seem at ease with his nemesis an ambitious female sent to investigate irregularities in his cases.

Dead Spooks

Imagine BBC1 have brought back Spooks for a ninth series and by the second episode there are four or five dead bodies in a lift. The cast turnover and body count is impressive in the fast paced spies and impossible plots, more far-fetched than usual with Nigerian oil coups assassins and Beth as a double agent. Harry is heading for retirement and Ruth is a survivor but it is now the time of action-man Lucas played with such James Bond suavity and menace by Richard Armitage. Not sure what this plot was about but it was the usual mix of technical hokum – the house has 60 camera Hawkeye computer-controlled whatevers – and there is a lot of computer images and running hither and elsewhere. But it passed an hour pleasantly.

Chef White

BBC2 have Alan Davies in a comedy well they advertise it as a comedy, called Whites but it’s sort of dry undercooked humour on slow cook. Trouble is that the real chefs in other programmes are funnier but I do chuckle as he dictated his memoir to become a book about meat – Chapter 2 – The Black Pudding. Oops nearly laughed a little there. But what is Katherine Parkinson from the IT crowd doing there doing her bewildered faces?

Harry and Paul

Same night, same channel you get a new series of Harry and Paul with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse are in vintage form especially a sketch that keeps asking if UK Prime Minister David Cameron is queer and they keep asking the question which is so funny when you consider RTE Radio caused, refusing to repeat a remark that an Irish politician was a “drunken moron”. In fact Joe Duffy – the fearless defender – had to tell Live Line phone-in listeners not to use these words. Funny?