“Prepare for grim compromises and a really big lump in the throat.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

Protecting Our Children

Protecting Our Children, BBC2

Behind the Scenes [click here]

“”Angels at Work: Prepare for Random Miracles” read a jokey sticker on the office wall. No, just decent human beings doing their best. Prepare for grim compromises and a really big lump in the throat.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“It should be compulsory viewing for those who throw stones at social workers when a Baby P case hits the headlines and moan about the nanny state in the interim. If it was brave of Bristol social services to give access to its caseload, it was braver still of Tiffany and Mike to allow the resulting footage to be shown.”John Crace, The Guardian

“Most jobs involve carrot and stick. Here the carrot Susanne infernally pedalled after was already rotten: even the best outcome (the two kids were given up for adoption) could not exactly be called “positive”. And the stick behind her was more like a lightning rod, hypercharged with so much hatred, from Mike and so many others: we learnt that some people deny they’ve got a social worker in the family, due to the stigma.”
Alex Hardy, The Times

“By some distance the silliest police drama I’ve seen for years – a confection of penny-dreadful gothic, jittery aesthetics and an utterly ludicrous premise, which is that a London DI uses a researcher to help him solve contemporary cases by looking at similar historical ones.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“Whitechapel falls into the hinterland of television that isn’t quite bad enough to switch off, nor good enough to feel you’ve had an hour well spent. It’s best watched with only half the mind engaged; that way you won’t have to wonder what kind of police force would make space for an amateur historian on the off-chance there would be a few copycat killings from the previous century.”
John Crace, The Guardian

Spartacus: Vengeance, Sky1

“Liam McIntyre comes in as the new Spartacus– Andy Whitfield having died of cancer after making the first series – but otherwise it’s business as usual with amputations, slow-motion arterial sprays, men with glistening pecs and back, sack and crack waxes, and women with breast surgery sporting Brazilians and accents that vary from American and Australian to cut-glass English.”
John Crace, The Guardian

“Curiously, European nastiness  wasn’t the downfall of the Asante kingdom so much as European attempts to be a little bit nicer.”
Matt Baylis, The Express

Royal Marines: Mission Afghanistan, Channel 5

“There was something very workmanlike about watching these Marines spring into action. One minute they were lads on tour, ordinary, crop-headed blokes with regional accents, lounging around in the intense heat wearing lurid beachwear. Next minute, and with a very obvious sense of relief, they were donning body armour and picking up their guns.”
Matt Baylis, The Express