Public Service Announcement 13 of 2016: Colony, Undercover, Marcella

It’s entirely understandable that, even after the failure of Intelligence – cancelled after 13 episodes – TV producers would continue to look for a vehicle for Josh “Sawyer off of Lost” Holloway, given that he’s scorchingly hot and charismatic as all hell. This time he’s teamed up again with Carlton Cuse to make the USA Network’s Colony, set in a dystopian near-future following an alien invasion of Earth. Holloway plays a former FBI agent and Army Ranger who collaborates with the occupiers to give himself an opportunity to find his missing son. I think there might be an allegory or two going on. As it happens the reviews were reasonably good, and the show has been renewed for a second year. I have a feeling that this is worth watching, but I’m not sure – even at a nicely-manageable ten episodes – that I’ve got the time (Thursday 7 April, 9pm, Sky 1).

Two new British dramas started earlier this week. Undercover stars the seriously talented Sophie Okonedo as a British lawyer trying to overturn the death sentence of President David Palmer from 24 (Dennis Haysbert). But although she seems to have an ideal home life with her husband (Adrian Lester), there’s something she doesn’t know. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve read enough about it to know that the background is loosely based on a real life scandal (Sundays, 9pm, BBC1). And over on the commercial channel, meantime, the creator of The Bridge, Hans Rosenfeldt, has been tapped up to create Marcella, in which Anna Friel plays – who’d have thought it? – a damaged female detective (Mondays, 9pm, ITV 1).

Of the two, my guess is that Undercover – “thrilling, bold, troubling” (The Guardian); “intriguing” (Daily Telegraph); “gripping” (The Times) – is a better bet than Marcella. But at the moment I’m not planning to watch either, as I want to make sure I have the time to try out Harlan Coben’s The Five, of which more next week.

A few other shows getting under way: last night saw starts for season 4 of Bates Motel (10pm, Universal); season 3 of Rectify (9pm, AMC Global); and season 2 of The Mysteries Of Laura (9pm, 5USA). And critically-acclaimed dramedy You’re The Worst starts on 5star tomorrow at 10pm.


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