DEBORAH ROSS: The storyline of Strike left me completely cold


Sunday & Monday, BBC1


All creatures big and small

Tuesday, channel 5


J.K. Rowling's private detective, Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) is back and he's a great detective, though he's not great enough to find out that his assistant Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) is in love with him. She's also a great detective as we believe, but also not great enough to tell that he's in love with her. One wonders if in reality either of them could solve a riddle to save their lives, since neither can see what is clearly right in front of them. It's like moonlight again.

Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger on strike. Fortunately, they have actual sexual chemistry

Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger on strike. Fortunately, they have actual sexual chemistry

This is the fourth series of strike and it opened on Robin's wedding day. Hell, she's about to marry her boyfriend from the previous three series, Awful Matthew (Kerr Logan), even though she can't tell he's awful – he blocked your phone, you know that! – is another puzzle. Cormoran stumbles at the wedding and says to her, “I want you back. Come back … to work. "Fool.

She's on a (terrible) honeymoon with Awful Matthew, and then we fast forward a year and go back to Soho. Strike limps around somberly in that dark, heavy coat – I think if he went for a lighter wool it would really be a weight off his shoulders. But he has a new girlfriend, Lorelei (Natalie Gumede), who seems great, but he can't tell her he loves her and I think we know why. If Strike and Robin could do math every time they exchanged a wistful look, they'd probably be rich enough to pack up and retire.

But now they're back … at work. And most of the time it's adultery until a guy named Billy (Joseph Quinn) who is in pretty good shape comes over to her office and claims that when he was six, 20 years ago he saw a young girl on The chalk-white horse was strangled in Uffington, and then she was buried behind his father's hut. The cottage is on the estate of a Conservative Minister, Jasper Chiswell, played by Robert Glenister in a wig that is almost a character in its own right – played by The Wig – and he (and The Wig) also want Strike's services as he is blackmailed by Billy's brother Jimmy (Nick Blood) and Geraint Winn (Robert Pugh), husband of a Labor MP, though he won't say what he's being blackmailed about. Or something like that.

Then Winn's daughter comes in and Chiswell's son, Awful Freddie … it's exhaustively involved. And hard to believe. I don't want to give too much away, but I ask you: if you buried human bones in the bottom of your garden, wouldn't you make sure you buried them pretty deep? Why would a Conservative minister have his parliamentary office from a left MP along the corridor? Wouldn't he have it in his service?

The plot left me completely cold, but there is certainly a certain joy in the supporting characters like Lorelei, even though it's currently signed – more Lorelei! – and Chiswell's terrible wife, played with gusto by Sophie Winkleman (Big Sooooooooze from Peep Show!). But what keeps you going as you move on is Burke and Grainger, who at least, and thankfully, have actual sex chemistry. Just like Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd before them.

Since Channel 5's most popular shows are two watch series, The Yorkshire Vet (Hello Peter, Hello Julian) and Our Yorkshire Farm (Oh my god, all of these kids), it makes sense to combine Yorkshire and Vets and Farms with a reboot of All creatures big and small. Is not it? Some say what is it about? Just show the original series again. But come on, Poldark? That reboot was great and how many Jane Eyres were there on TV? How Much Pride & Prejudice? Plus, the show is irresistible. Always was, always will be.

Nicholas Ralph in all creatures big and small. Breathtaking places. Barmy local people. Nice oldtimer. Funny moments

Nicholas Ralph in all creatures big and small. Breathtaking places. Barmy local people. Nice oldtimer. Funny moments

It's based on the memories of veterinarian James Herriot, of course, who was played in the original adaptation by Christopher Timothy, but this time it's Nicholas Ralph who arrives in Darrowby in 1937, and he's from Glasgow with a soft Scottish accent enough to be able to to mark. (& # 39; Are you a stranger, boy? & # 39;) He's come in for an interview as the assistant to the town's established veterinarian, Siegfried Farnon, played by Samuel West, who you think will play the role after Robert Hardy can't make it his own, but he does. Farnon is eccentric and prefers first-hand observation to interviews, so they make a round of calls. Herriot drains the pus from a horse's hoof, only to be kicked into the mud (twice) for his problems.

Anyway, you know the exercise. Breathtaking places. Barmy local people. Nice oldtimer. Funny moments like this mistake with cats. And at the end of that first episode, the difficult birth of a calf – by the way, new welfare laws mean you can't put an old arm in a cow these days, so it was a prosthetic back – that was last seen making its first steps on its insecure ones small legs. Irresistible like I said before.

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