This week, we watched an emotionally stunted man talk about killing people, and in Psychopath with Piers Morgan (ITV, Thursday, 9pm) we also saw a guy who stabbed his sister to death.
A cheap joke, I know, but this whole show seemed a little on the inexpensive side.
Good Morning Britain blowhard and the country’s ranter-in-chief Morgan journeyed to the dark heart of America to interview Paris Bennett, who stabbed his toddler sister to death when he was just 13. Since then, he has spent 12 years in jail, where he has been diagnosed as a psychopath.
Morgan – who interviewed shaven-headed Bennett from behind a reinforced glass panel, such is the danger authorities believe he poses – asked the questions you expect: Why did you do it? Are you sorry? Would you do it again?
But the impassive Bennett stonewalled any attempt at getting ‘behind the mask’.
Beyond saying he was lonely, there is no explanation for his crime – he says he wanted to punish his mother for some unexplained slight. “I found a way to take away both her children,” he tells Morgan, “one by murder and one by incarceration.”
His mother, who gave Bennett a comfortable, regular upbringing, still sees her son, and even allows him phone contact with her third child, Phoenix. But as he was convicted as a juvenile, he could be eligible for parole in as little as eight years.
Experts watching the interview have little to add beyond commenting that Bennett seems emotionless or detached, and by the end of the hour you have no real insight into his mind.
You’re left wondering why Morgan felt the need to give him airtime. But maybe it was more about Piers – posing as the fearless investigative journalist – and not his subject.
The Planets (BBC2, Tuesdays, 9pm) has been one of the best things on TV this year. With clear, easy-to-understand commentary from Prof Brian Cox, and stunning visuals, it was a TV feast.
It’s all a bit grim in Gilead, as the prophetic The Handmaid’s Tale (Channel 4, Sundays, 9pm) continues its third series, but the way things are heading in the US, it’s getting even grimmer in real life.