Pick of the week
The Frankenstein Chronicles Thursday, 8.30pm, BBC First (117) Foggy 19th-century London seems to be the popular backdrop for several new dramas. This nailbiting remake of the Frankenstein story is no exception. Sean Bean (above left, Game of Thrones) stars as Inspector John Marlott, recruited by home secretary Robert Peel (Tom Ward, above right, Silent Witness) to solve a series of truly gory murders. Like most detectives in police dramas, Marlott is a troubled man. He has not come to terms with the deaths of his wife and daughter, whom he unwittingly gave syphilis on returning from the Battle of Waterloo. He’s seen and suffered some pretty grim things, but more awaits him as a member of the Thames River squad. In the opening four minutes of A World Without God, the first of six episodes, there are two grisly deaths. A smuggler is sucked under bubbling mud and the body of a child — in fact a composite sewn together from seven children — is discovered on the bank of the river (which isn’t actually the Thames, as this was shot in Northern Ireland). I empathise with the cop in the background who is throwing up at the sight of the “abomination”. “A grotesque parody of surgical procedure?” wonders Peel, who is obsessed by the case and seems to have a hidden agenda. He puts Marlott in charge of the investigation. “More than you can imagine rests on your success,” he warns him.