The Daily Telegraph

PROFESSOR T

ITV, 9pm

- Stephen Kelly

Series one of Professor T introduced us to one of the strangest, most tonally erratic detective dramas of recent years. Adapted from a Belgian series, it sees Ben Miller as the eponymous Jasper Tempest, an uptight professor of criminolog­y at Cambridge who is brought in to assist CID on tricky cases. He is also partial to surreal flights of fancy, which often meant that wacky scenes, such as imagining his students as chickens, would often sit alongside grim storylines about murder.

This opening episode of the second series suggests a slightly firmer handle on the tone. Tempest is called in to consult on the case of a deliberate fire set in a tiny student flat, which leads to a web of interperso­nal grudges, and a possible pyromaniac. Following the last series, Tempest is also struggling with unpleasant nightmares based around his own traumatic childhood memories and decides to seek help. So far, so serious, but we’ve left out the part where Tempest imagines a university meeting that gets interrupte­d by a brass band, or the barmy scene in which we see his overbearin­g, bohemian mother (the great Frances de la Tour) takes her pooch “doggy-dating”. Miller sells it all wonderfull­y – even if everything else unfortunat­ely seems to float listlessly by.

 ?? ?? Ben Miller returns as uptight Cambridge criminolog­y professor Jasper Tempest
Ben Miller returns as uptight Cambridge criminolog­y professor Jasper Tempest

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