The new offerings in TV this week start off well, then suffer a potentially horrendous dip in quality, before hopefully peaking quite nicely (all depending on your own taste, of course). Expect to see: detectives; more detectives; an inordinate amount of tennis (but only really on the BBC), and phase something-or-other of Marvel’s plan to take over the world.
For the entirety of the coming week (as well as all of last week), the BBC will be dominated during the day by Wimbledon 2015. Showing from 11:30 in the morning until, usually, 8pm in the evening on BBC One, BBC Two, and the Red Button, there is literally more tennis on than you can watch. With the first three rounds of the tournament over, Monday sees the first matches of the fourth round, with the tournament progressing all the way to the finals on the weekend. British prospects are, as always, resting solely on the shoulders of one Andy Murray, who has blasted through the lower rounds while his compatriots fell away around him (though to be fair to them, Heather Watson and James Ward both reached the third round, and played fantastically, just not, you know, fantastically enough). Murray will of course be joined by Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Serena Williams, though Nadal bit the dust in the first week.
The second season of True Detective continues on Monday this week with its third episode. Still struggling with ghost of its enormously successful first season, this year’s slow start has received mixed praise here at The Edge, but the conclusion is that it seems to be picking up, with last week’s episode ending on a thoroughly HBO-esque twist. Starring Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Rachel McAdams, the show’s nebulous plot follows corruption and murder in industrial California, and airs on Sky Atlantic at 9pm.
As well as continuing series and a competition more than a hundred years old, this week features shows entirely new to British television. Crossing Lines is the first of these, a show of international origin and scope, sees an ex-New York Detective and morphine addict hired by a fictional police department to work for The Hague investigating crimes crossing several international borders. With two seasons already aired in the US and now Canada, the show, which stars William Fitchner (Prison Break, The Lone Ranger) and Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games), premieres on Alibi at 9pm on Tuesday.
Another of those new series premieres on Friday – Transporter: The Series, based on the Luc Besson/Jason Statham film of the same name (that is, Transporter – the “Series” bit is just a handy addition so you can tell the two apart). The show follows the same premise as the films; a professional courier who will deliver anything, anywhere, so long as he doesn’t have to break his three inviolable rules (hint, he breaks them anyway). The show stars Chris Vance as the courier in question, taking over the character from Statham, and is a French-Canadian production. Two seasons have already aired in several countries, including both France and Canada, but was cancelled in the US, so that bodes well. The first episode airs on Spike (apparently an actual channel) at 9pm.
If Transporter: The Series doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, another show is available at 9 on Friday in the premiere of the third season of Unforgettable (although you probably will need to have seen the first two seasons beforehand). Proof that stale just isn’t in a TV exec’s vocabulary, Unforgettable is a police-procedural drama in which the lead character has some unique and fuzzily explained ability that just so happens to be perfect for detective work, in this case a flawless memory. The show is broadcast on Sky Living.
The week wraps up with another shiny new series, Marvel’s Agent Carter. Much anticipated in little old Britain, Agent Carter has already had a successful (critically, at least) first season in the US, and has been renewed for a second season. Part of the ever-expanding and all-consuming MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), the show is set in 1940s America and follows Peggy Carter after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, as she tries to balance life as both a regular, buttoned-up single woman and a secret agent, with Haley Atwell reprising her role from the film. The series premiere airs on Fox (UK) at 9pm on Sunday.