Marcella - It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world

Drums thrum menacingly, as a woman strides through a deserted office. She heads to the roof and steps up on to the parapet, the street far below. She hesitates, teeters on the edge...

Friday, 23rd February 2018, 1:25 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd February 2018, 2:30 pm
The cast of ITV's crime drama Marcella, with Anna Friel (centre)

And that’s pretty much where Marcella (ITV, Mondays, 9pm) stays, teetering on the edge of believability, of absurdity, of outright insanity.

The first series should have prepared us for this. A Scandi-noir police thriller starring Anna Friel, it threw serial killers, corruption, mental health issues and romantic subplots into a stew that somehow ended up being compelling nonsense.

This first episode of the second series carried on in a similar, bonkers vein.

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There are some loose ends from the first series, which we were referenced here, but you don’t need to have seen it to get taken in by Marcella’s insanity.

Again we have serial killers slaying people in inventive ways, missing kids discovered behind false walls, suspects including paedophiles and seedy ex-rockers and Friel playing Marcella like she’s had one too many double espressos.

TV Highlight AND TRAILER: Anna Friel returns as MarcellaEveryone seems angry. They bellow the dialogue at each other furiously, even the kids and the action flits between time frames, locations and points of view as if the director’s mislaid his ritalin.

The thing is, it’s done with such commitment, and bravura, and downright speed, that you can’t help getting swept along with it, laughing manically as you go.

At one point, Marcella says: “I’m not well, all right? I get these blackouts and I function as if everything’s normal, but it’s not. I get violent, and I just don’t remember any of it!”

Watching this, I know how she feels.

Working with Weinstein (Channel 4, Tuesday, 10pm), was disturbing. Revealing how film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s dubious behaviour was enabled by the industry, it both infuriated and appalled.

Star-studded it may have been, but Troy: Fall of a City (BBC1, Saturdays, 9.10pm) was a bit of a pudding. Coming over like a Dino de Laurentiis movie with added bosoms, it was stodgy and confusing.