On the telly

Ripper Street
Ripper Street

By Allan Crow

(Monday, BBC1, 9.00 p.m.)
It’s probably fair to say if Jack The Ripper hadn’t lived then television would have invented him -a serial killer who hid in the shadows of 19th century London, and whose identity was never fully revealed.

The story still fascinates to this day - last week I took a sail down the Thames to Greenwich, and the commentary came complete with blood-curdling screams and a voice-over which relished telling the gory details we know so well!

Ripper Street returns for a second series in the rather scary streets of Whitechapel and follows the police charged with maintaining law and order.

Joseph Mawle joins the cast as an inspector, but the real stars are the sets which ooze authenticity.

Perfect viewing ... if you like your drama on the grim side.

Dracula

(Thursday, Sky Living, 9.00 p.m.)
If, on the other hand, you prefer tales of vampires then get thee to Sky Living for this new drama series based on the old bloodsucker from Transylvania.

Just make sure you have some garlic handy ...

Jonathan Rhys-Myers stars as the count who arrives in London to pursue his vendetta against the Order of the Dragons - so expect lots of gore, death, and blood. All in the best possible taste.

The Escape Artist

(Tuesday, BBC1, 9.00 p.m.)
A promising new three-part drama with the ever busy David Tennant.

This time round he plays a junior barrister who wins every case he gets.

Then he gets handed a grim case involving a bloke with a penchant for torture ...

Pink Floyd Night

(Friday, BBC4, from 9.00 p.m.)
Now this, dear reader, is what I call music.

Grab the remote and hold it to ransom for the remainder of the night as Beeb4 goes into Floyd-ian overdrive.

As well as archive footage we get the television debut of ‘A Delicate Sound Of Thunder’ - the DVD of the band’s concert in New York in 1988.

True it is minus Roger Waters, but it is still packed with all the great Floyd numbers as well as high end production values.

Beeb4 also indulges us with John Etherington’s 2012 documentary on the making of the classic ‘Wish You Were Here’ which is almost 40 years old and still a truly outstanding album, and then we leap from the high diving board into the archives for a compilation of videos and live performances.

Sheer bliss. Do not disturb.

The Great British Bake-Off Masterclass

(Thursday, BBC2, 7.00 p.m.)
And so the spin-offs from GBBO begin as Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood take centre stage and show off their baking skills.

Muffins, gateaux, sandwich cakes, and goodness knows what else are baked to perfection every time, and a nation simply sits glued to the box watching their sponges rise.

I don’t get the fascination at all - food shows bore me into the middle of next week - so, this is for those of you who just can’t get enough of the GBBO phenomenon.

Anyway, whatever happened to the Galloping Gourmet?

Great Continental Railway Journeys

(Sunday, BBC2, 8.00 p.m.)
Mr P has carved out a niche with his documentaries on railway journeys. True, he has yet to film the rush hour trip from Kirkcaldy to Haymarket, but I guess it just lacks that certain glamour when compared with following the line from Madrid to Gilbraltar, just one of the journeys he undertakes in this new series.

Ah, I guess we Brits love our train journeys - or the sentiment behind them - as much as we love our chefs and cake bakers ...