So many suspects and witnesses, in so many smart, tidy, sun-bright suburban kitchens, the backdrops to Broadchurch’s crumbling marriages.
Like that of brisk, brittle Cath Atwood (Sarah Parish), who busies herself organising a beach football match-cum-picnic to bring the torn community together. Though you can tell by the arrangement of detective Ellie Miller’s features that she thinks it’s a tasteless idea. And Cath’s reaction to a question about her relationship with husband Jim rocks both Ellie and Alec Hardy.
As Chris Chibnall’s story builds remorselessly, pulling at the tension, he throws in a new suspect, a devious creep called Aaron Mayford (Horrible Histories’ Jim Howick). As for rape survivor Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh), she visits the crime scene with Ellie and Alec.
When threads of memory return and she remembers her pre-attack self, Trish utters a sentence filled with a cargo of sadness: “I was so happy that night…”
While the culinary world bangs on about the importance of healthy, low-fat, sugar-free food, Mary Berry cheerily bucks the trend. Everything she demonstrates tonight is a “little bit naughty”, but still – altogether now – scrumptious.
It’s hardly surprising that she can’t resist having a sneaky taste or two when she makes a pasta dish that oozes with full-fat crème fraîche and parmesan cheese, while her rich sticky toffee pudding is wickedly sweet and she butters both sides of her fillet steaks before searing them and serving with an indulgent peppercorn and brandy sauce.
“I don’t do any of that flambé lark,” she confides as she reaches for the bottle of brandy, “because I’ve been known on a Saturday night to catch the kitchen on fire as I usually have a glass of wine in my hand!” Oh, you are naughty, Mary.
Thirteen series and six years in, you probably know by now whether or not observing the ostentatious travails of the decorative residents of London SW3 is your bag. And there are more trials to come, alas! In a Made in Chelsea first, two of its stars, Binky and JP (who are, in spite of their names, people and not CBeebies puppets), find themselves awaiting the arrival of an unexpected bundle of joy.
A pregnancy storyline is sure to shake things up for the gang – but my educated guess is that it will have little impact on their ribald exploits, which as ever, revolve around secrets, snogging and Sloane Square.
Cutting-edge photography, and a narration by Bernard Cribbins that has a bit of poetic grit to it, set this documentary apart by lending it a strong sense of people – and animals – thriving by respecting the rhythms and caprices of the elements.
Director Irvin Kershner’s imaginative supervision of George Lucas’s brainchild gives this second part of the first Star Wars trilogy a truly epic dimension, adding a mature, philosophical aspect to the nonstop barrage of brilliant special effects. Events take place all over the universe – Darth Vader sends Imperial troops to crush the rebels on the ice planet Hoth, while Luke Skywalker searches out Jedi master Yoda for further instruction in the mysterious ways of “the Force” – and the much-loved characters are developed in intriguing ways. Kershner darkens the imagery of Lucas’s vibrant, futuristic fairy tale and deepens its narrative with provocative plot strands, giving this sequel a cynical, harder edge that lifts it above the serial roots of its predecessor.