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Steve Hendry.

Byline: Steve Hendry

Julian Fellowes' big budget Titanic drama set sail on TV screens last Sunday and seemed to leave many people with that sinking feeling.

The four-part drama, screened to coincide with the centenary of the luxury liner's tragic sinking in the icy North Atlantic, boasts lavish special effects and an all-star cast including Linus Roache, Celia Imrie, Brian McCardie, Geraldine Somerville and new Doctor Who companion Jenna-Louise Coleman.

The problem, however, is simple but unavoidable - you know what's going to happen in the end. What's more, it's going to happen again, and again, and again because we get to see it in every episode. Telling the same story from four different angles means any time you have to get to know the characters is soon submerged by disaster. Still, no need to man the lifeboats just yet. Julian Fellowes is an able captain and there's still some way to go before the ship goes down.

The great shame about the return of super-stylish Sixties advertising agency drama Mad Men is that nobody's watching it.

Despite all the hype and column inches, the show, which stars Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks, saw its debut on Sky Atlantic draw disappointing average overnight ratings of just 72,000. Compare that to its US ratings of 3.5million.

Of course, it was never watched by that many in the UK in the first place, regardless of the media love affair with Matthew Weiner's drama, but on BBC Four it managed to attract 355,000 viewers.

What will 21st Century advertising men say about that, I wonder? Personally, I've never been a fan of watching TV over my cornflakes. I'll happily make an exception for Deadly 60 (Monday - Friday, CBBC). Steve Backshall's latest series tracking down the world's deadliest predators saw him and his crew being chased by hungry Komodo dragons and our host getting up close and very uncomfortable with a pack of wild hyenas - definitely no laughing matter. At 7.45am, it's a hell of a way to start your day.

There's a natural tendency to look back at the early days of TV as if it was all wrapped up in more innocent times.

Watching Ourselves: 60 years of TV in Scotland (BBC1, Wednesday), hosted by Greg Hemphill, had its share of nostalgia, not least the black and white images of broadcaster Fyfe Robertson, reporting on grouse shooting from the back of his trusty steed.

But footage of the reports on the Bible John murders from 1970 and a Current Account investigation into glue sniffing from 1977, showed there was always plenty of grit too.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 1, 2012
Words:435
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