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Byline: nathan bevan casts a critical eye over the week's tv

THERE'S nothing worse than looking forward to a much-hyped new telly series, only to find it crushingly disappointing. Admittedly, the non-TV critics among you might disagree, claiming there are PLENTY of less favourable situations to find oneself in - being trapped in a hot car alongside someone with trimethylaminuria (fish odour syndrome), for example.

Or not having an Instagrammable cat... or just never looking cool in skinny jeans.

However, for fully paid-up members of the goggle-eyed fraternity, that sense of dashed expectations feels akin to the end of the world.

Fitting then that this was the case with Hard Sun, BBC1's pre-apocalyptic drama about two mismatched coppers (yawn - really, that old chestnut?) who uncover a seismically shocking truth - that the planet only has five years to go before an extinction-level event wipes out all life as we know it.

Jim Sturgess and Agyness Renko in Hard Well, everything apart from cockroaches and Keith Richards - the Earth could get reduced to smouldering ash and Keith would still be sitting on his charred veranda in the Bahamas, strumming the opening riff to Brown Sugar and wondering where the maid had got to with his mid-morning mojito.

And, with that cheery premise, Luther creator Neil Cross has set about spinning a hugely depressing, not to say wildly implausible tale that mashes together the hard-bitten police procedural tropes of Line of Duty with the 'end of days' conspiracy theories of Channel 4's late lamented (and far superior) Utopia.

I say 'hugely depressing' because, in an age where Trump is in the White House comparing the size of his nuclear button with that of his equally unhinged counterpart in North Korea, this whole 'countdown to Armageddon' schtick no longer passes as Saturday night escapism.

And the reason I found it wildly implausible... well, where shall I start? How about being asked to suspend disbelief over the casting of willowy former supermodel Agyness Deyn as a world-weary, knuckle duster-sporting DCI, or her constant existential wrangling about whether or not to reveal to the wider populace the devastating news that humanity does indeed have a best before date? Surely anybody with half a brain, upon making such a discovery, would just quit their job (preferably by going to the loo in their line manager's desk drawer before loudly telling him/her to stick it), then cane all their credit cards into the red and go live in some five-star gaff like the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge.

Why? For starters, the room service there is great, it's really handy for Harvey Nicks (it's just across the road) and the penthouse suite would be the perfect vantage point for watching the sun eventually implode over the London skyline in a shower of molten rain.

as Hicks Deyn as Sun Granted, you'd struggle to eke an entire series out of that scenario, but, on the other hand, who wants to spend six hours of their life watching this bibble either? After all, if the script of Hard Sun is to be believed there really isn't that much time left.

I therefore plan to use mine more wisely.

IT WAS fun watching a clearly miffed Gordon Ramsay being harangued on The One Show over his failure to reduce the amount of plastic used in his resturants.

Although, judging by the considerable work the 51-year-old appears to have had done to his face in recent years, he hardly looks plastic free himself.


Jim Sturgess as Hicks and Agyness Deyn as Renko in Hard Sun
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 14, 2018
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