Loosely inspired by the writings of GK Chesterton, this gentle, bucolic BBC mystery series returned last week for its fifth season, beginning with a Christmas special. It’s set in the 1950s in the sleepy Cotswold village of Kembleford, where Father Brown (Mark Williams) rides around on his bicycle, solving crimes. There is no knocking this series’ appeal: the BBC has sold it across 162 territories. Tonight’s episode is titled The Labyrinth of the Minotaur. Check out this terrific new series from Malaysian- born comic Ronny Chieng, skewering the modern multicultural campus and loosely based on his experiences as a foreign student in Melbourne. (The pilot and episode one are available on ABC iView.) This week, the international students become acquainted with AFL, and conversely the Australian students encounter Ronny, Elvin (Hoa Xuande) and Wei Jun (Shuang Hu, also starring in The Family Law, which returns on Thursday) playing an Asian game called chapteh. Plus, a subject to which all tertiary students can probably relate: the vexing experiences of group assignments. Chieng is best known for his work on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. This series is co-produced by the same channel — Comedy Central — which will air it later this year. Line of Duty Friday, 9.20pm, ABC Another British series of robust popularity, Line of Duty, returns for a third season. If your idea of British policing still resembles something from The Bill, with “peelers” holding their custodian helmets in one hand and shaking their batons at miscreants with the other, this thriller will transport you into the present day (though it Side Effects must be noted the events of last week could easily push this series into the “too close to reality“basket). Daniel Mays plays sergeant Danny Waldron, a highly proficient but ethically malleable leader of an armed response unit. In the opening scenes of this episode, what should have been the routine arrest of an gun-toting criminal goes to pot, and thereafter Waldron and his team have a hard time keeping their stories straight. Season four just finished screening in Britain, with very strong ratings. It is a veritable onslaught of Mummy-this and Pirates-that on free-to-air TV this week, all attempting to bask in the glow of their recently released cinematic counterparts (how long before they start showing repeats of Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter?). Two high-quality films that deal with far more grave matters — prescription drugs — air this week. Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects (Tonight, 9pm, GEM; SA 8.30pm) stars Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It tells the story of an experimental drug and its alarming adverse effects, which in turn reveal a web of base human behaviour. Dallas Buyers Club (Monday, 8.30pm, SBS Viceland) tells the story of the start of the HIV-AIDS crisis and the lengths sufferers — played here by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, roles for which they both won Oscars — had to go to for the lifesaving treatments taken for granted today. I was sorry the Hulk (Tonight, 10.30pm, 7Mate; NSW and QLD, 9.50pm, only) did not hang on to Australian actor Eric Bana in the lead role — he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for the Avengers films. Bana stars here with Jennifer Connelly in the 2003 version directed by Ang Lee.
Rooney Mara in