Review: SAS Rogue Heroes and its tale of borderline psychotic derring-do at the front hasn't reached hero status yet
SAS Rogue Heroes (BBC1, Sun, 9pm) exploded on to our screens this week, all neatly-trimmed moustaches on stiff upper lips.
This new series comes from Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, and it shares some elements with the Brummie mobster drama.
There’s anachronistic rock music blasting across the soundtrack, a liberal way with the F-word and a bold way with the graphics machine.
Where Peaky Blinders earned that swagger over several series, starting in low-key fashion before accelerating pell-mell into a Solihull-based Greek tragedy, SAS Rogue Heroes starts off at a hundred miles an hour.
However, as it tells the tale of the formation of Britain’s elite special forces unit, the action slows to a snail’s pace in episode two as David Stirling (Connor Swindells) wades through Army bureaucracy and the tendency of his pals to land themselves in jail before they can head behind enemy lines.
Stirling and his fellow SAS pioneers Paddy Mayne (Jack O’Connell) and Jock Lewes (Alfie Allen) are supposed to be free-thinking, hard-bitten soldiers, motivated by hatred of hierarchy and distressed at seeing their fellow soldiers, besieged in the Libyan port Tobruk, let down by the top brass.
But they come across as recklessly irresponsible, borderline psychotic, and only allowed to get away with insubordination and theft because of who their fathers are and their upper class backgrounds.
It’s a Commando comic book brought to slight more sweary life and the pacing is all over the place. As a drama, it’s definitely gone rogue, but it’s not reached hero status just yet.
Masterchef The Professionals (BBC1, Weds/Thurs, 9pm) has returned, and with it a new judge. Don’t get your hopes up, gurning Gregg is still there, toothy grin all over his face, like some kind sentient pumpkin lantern. New judge Anna replaces Monica Galletti, but the format is exactly the same, and the food will still you leave you drooling.
Regular readers of this column will know that Taskmaster is a favourite here, and now there’s even more to delight in as ‘little’ Alex Horne has moved from assistant to centre stage with The Horne Section TV Show (All4). Slightly odd, very funny and there’s a song about peas that will have you howling.