THE REPLACEMENT, BBC1, 9pm
WE last saw Vicky McClure in the brilliant Line Of Duty. Prior to that she’d been in the brilliant This Is England. Can her new drama be equally brilliant? They do say good things come in threes… On the surface, this new series is about maternity leave. You might sniff and turn away; could there be a more boring topic? But underneath, this new three-part drama is about competition, insecurity, jealousy and loss of identity.
Ellen (Morven Christie) is a successful architect in a respected Glasgow firm and when her career is at a dazzling peak when she goes on maternity leave. The firm hires Paula (McClure) as her temporary replacement but it soon becomes clear that Paula wants Ellen’s job, and the money and prestige it brings, and won’t be willing to let it go when exhausted Ellen finally wipes the baby sick off and tries to get her old life back.
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Despite equality laws, this must be a fear that haunts a lot of women when they go on maternity leave.
INSIDE NO 9, BBC2, 10pm
HOW I adore this weird, clever programme! So far I’ve watched five episodes of six and this one is by far the best.
An eminent professor, swanning around in a fancy smoking jacket, finds a young woman has broken into his rooms one night.
The lass is very nice and apologetic – and perhaps a bit dim. She explains her boyfriend is a clever student at the college and loves the weekly crossword in the student paper which is compiled by the prof. She’d like to impress him by knowing all the answers, so she broke in to have a sneak peek at the upcoming puzzle. Oh she’s so very sorry! Please don’t phone the police, Mr Professor!
The story begins like a comedy but then becomes dark – so very dark – and intricately clever. The best so far! Don’t miss it.