Tense drama in the Informer will grip you from the outset
Informer, the iconic 1992 hit single by Canadian reggae-rapper Snow, never made much sense to me. 'Informer, a-squiddly-diddly-diddly-diddly-dee, a-leaky bum bum now', he seemed to sing from inside a prison cell in the video.
Fortunately, the new drama Informer (BBC1, Tuesdays, 9pm) is much more comprehensible.
Young British-Asian man Raza (Nabhaan Rizwan) seems to be enjoying a fairly happy-go-lucky life, still living at home with mum, dad and younger brother, warehouse wages supplemented by the odd low-level drug deal, cutting the badge off a school blazer to turn it into a jacket for a trip up west.
Until one of those drug deals goes wrong, he finds himself in the cells and he comes to the attention of counter-terrorism officer Gabriel (Paddy Considine).
Informer occupies that same sort of territory as Spooks, with meetings in dingy London alleyways, terror suspects being tracked and underhand dealings being done.
Spooks sometimes lurched into ludicrousness though, but Informer looks well set to avoid the usual spy clichés.
Our hero, Raza, for a start, is a fresh-faced novice guided by forces beyond his control, and Rizwan makes him such a likeable presence that, by the end of this first episode, you genuinely fear for him.
Considine, meanwhile, often seen in gritty, independent dramas, lends a certain no-nonsense gravitas to Gabriel, and he’s got a promising, odd couple relationship brewing with new partner Holly (Bel Powley).
It’s a terrific opener and looks set to tighten its grip – now if only I can get Snow and his leaky bums out of my head.
Crikey, it’s a good time for TV drama. Following Bodyguard, Killing Eve, Vanity Fair and so on, Butterfly (ITV, Sundays, 9pm) arrived with a beautifully-played, timely, look at gender dysphoria. Lovely.
The pitch for this week’s The Apprentice (BBC1, Wednesdays, 9pm) was simple – “doughnuts selling doughnuts”. It’s ridiculous, compulsive viewing, but nothing to do with business.