“The plots, generally speaking, justify the amount of Sunday evening viewing time they take up.” Read on for the verdict on the weekend’s TV.


Vera, ITV1

“I can never quite make up my mind about Vera. The scenery is beautiful, each episode practically a 90-minute advert for the wild beauty of the northern coastline. The plots, generally speaking, justify the amount of Sunday evening viewing time they take up.”
Matt Baylis, The Express

“The body count was higher than last week’s, but the psychology of the killer was plausible and tragic; the resolution felt more satisfying than contrived.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

Silent Witness, BBC1

“If you were reliant on subtitles you would have missed the fact that while the rest of his family spoke Estuary English, their blinded teenage son (like I said, it’s a long story) talked as if he’d been to the same school as Cameron and Osborne. Maybe that was a clue being laid down for tonight’s second half, but I won’t be there to watch it because even dressed up in terse subtitles, the dialogue would have seemed lethargic.” 
Gerard Gilbert, The Independent

Braquo, FX

“The violence will be what attracts most viewers, while deterring others. But the quality of the characterisation distinguishes it.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“It all feels a bit, you know, icky. I know that charities aren’t allowed to say boo to a goose, but I don’t like what you end up with, which is lots of people trying to alleviate poverty, nobody asking out loud where the poverty comes from. It creates this hero narrative, where useless people struggle away being useless until Ewan McGregor arrives in his helicopter.” 
Zoe Williams, The Guardian

Indian Ocean with Simon Reeve, BBC2

“I expected a sort of 3D version of a tropical juice drink advert but what I saw instead was malaria, fearful poverty and unforgivable corruption. It’s paradise’s darker side that Reeve seeks here along with its ironies.”
Matt Baylis, The Express

The Bridge, BBC4

“Extremely focused. Single. Successful. Clearly defined targets. Good at planning.” He (and we) thought that Saga was talking about herself, when it transpired that she was quoting from a report that had just landed on her desk – a psychological profile of the killer. Brilliant, with or without subtitles.”
Gerard Gilbert, The Independent

The Voice, BBC1

“It starts where The X Factor ends: on The X Factor, they allow, nay, actively encourage people who are awful, to spice things up, whereas onThe Voice, standards are high from the start and no theatre of cruelty is intended.”
Zoe William, The Guardian