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Chilling mystery holds the attention.

Zara Turner has the right degree of inner turmoil, tetchiness and paranoia as the undercover cop.

Spendthrift: Follow the rise and fall of Pools winner Viv Nicholson in Trouble at the Top (BBC2, 9.50pm).

Tips: Richard Sutton and Mike Brewer return for a new series of Deals on Wheels (C4, 8.30pm).

I hadn't realised that it was a two-parter, so just as I was feeling confident that, after all the red herrings and false-footings, I'd worked out the killer's likely identity, The Blind Date (Central) rolled its credits on what appeared a particularly tantalising giveaway but which, with another 90 minutes to go, clearly indicates a few more twists ahead yet.

It's fair to say this adaptation of Frances Fyfield's bestseller follows the familiar path of setting up a variety of obvious suspects to distract you from the character that's being kept in the background all along. That's no giveaway.

Anyone who watched last night's episode will doubtless have both sussed the connection of, but be totally confused by, the late introduction of the dating agency (and the owner's vital mystery son) and the new can of wormy suspicions and thematic threads it's opened up.

Implausible to a fault (if the dead woman's son was sent upstairs when the killer arrived, surely he'd have seen who it was), almost self-spoofing (an emotionally withdrawn female cop living in a church tower apartment, how gothic!), somewhat predictable (come on, we all know the missing diamonds are in the chandelier) and not really giving a hoot for back-story or exposition, but still remarkably compelling for all that.

Zara Turner has the right degree of inner turmoil, tetchiness and paranoia as the undercover cop whose sister was murdered and now believes the pervy prime suspect, who's killed himself, was innocent.

And, though primarily required to appear misleadingly creepy, comedian Ben Miller acquits himself with honours in his first dramatic outing.

Not as chilling as Cilla maybe, but I'll be tuning in to chew my nails next week. And I already know whodunnit.

By Mike Davies
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Author:Davies, Mike
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 14, 2000
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