Arne Dahl, Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea and Mad Men – 3 Shows to Watch This Week

A brand new Scandi crime drama, an exploration of the humble cuppa and the return of Jon Hamm's Don Draper

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Arne Dahl – The Blinded Man

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When is it on? Saturday 6 April, 9:00pm, BBC4

What is it? The latest in Scandi crime thrillers comes from the pen of Swedish novelist Arne Dahl, following CID Jenny Hutlin and her team of detectives as they attempt to solve a series of murders amongst top financiers. Dahl has admitted Hutlin’s character was inspired by Helen Mirren’s Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect but says the pace of The Blinded Man is much faster than its predecessor, The Killing.

What Radio Times has to say…

BBC4’s Saturday-night Scandi slot has been vacant for a while, and it’s nicely filled tonight by a hearty chunk of Swedish crime. Arne Dahl is the pen-name of the novelist, rather than a cop, but this self-contained two-part story should delight anyone who misses Wallander. 

Not that this has any of Wallander’s quiet subtlety; it’s much more a straight-down-the-line serial-killer drama with lots of violence and gunplay. Someone is killing financiers, picking each one off with a well-aimed bullet to the head. But who could possibly have it in for a load of bankers?

Briskly capable detective Jenny Hultin pulls together a team of detectives to catch the culprit. Hultin is great, in her good trousers and extravagant scarves. She’s not young and, unlike most Scandi heroines, has no emotional problems. She smiles, too. Concludes next week. Alison Graham


Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea

When is it on? Wednesday 10 April, 9:00pm, BBC1

What is it? One of the nation’s favourite comedians Victoria Wood immerses herself in a fascinating world of chai wallahs, opium smokers, Assam tea-pickers and grumpy elephants as she travels the world to explore Britain’s love affair with tea, revealing how this strange exotic leaf became so central to our lives.

What Radio Times has to say…

Victoria Wood loves a cuppa. As a nation we drink 60 billion cups of tea a year, apparently, and tea has, says Wood, “become the answer to everything”. In the first of a cheerful two-part odyssey (which concludes on Thursday), Wood traces the origins of our national devotion. 

She begins in Shanghai where, in a huge crowd, she calls herself “the only person with highlights”, before visiting a restaurant where all the food is cooked in tea and arrives in intriguing pagoda shapes. In China tea is treated with reverence: the national tea museum is filled with exquisite tea-related objects. Alison Graham


Mad Men series six

When is it on? Wednesday 10 April, 10:00pm, Sky Atlantic

What is it? The slick US drama following the lives of the 1960s advertising executives of Madison Avenue – think plenty of booze, cigarettes and, of course, Jon Hamm’s enigmatic creative genius Don Draper. 

What Radio Times has to say…

The last season of Mad Men felt disjointed because its heart, Don Draper, had become a happy man. Fans who had spent the previous four seasons ensnared by Draper’s twisted, dark, unknowable personality felt cast adrift.

Until the last episode, which was one of the most masterly and subtle 42 minutes of television ever. In particular its final unforgettable sequence as Draper (Jon Hamm) walked away from his silly wife Megan as You Only Live Twice played on the soundtrack. In the final frame there was the ghost of a wolfish smile and we thought, “Ah yes, the old Don is back.”

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But is he? As series six begins, we simply don’t know because creator Matthew Weiner, typically, is playing his cards close to his chest. But Megan still seems to be around in this feature-length opener in which Don leads a new campaign. Alison Graham