TV listings | The Dead Rabbits are back, kind of…

Everything has a familiar tone this week – so much so that I suspect foul play, except in the case of Scarlet Road: A Sex Worker’s Journey (DR2, Tue 23:10). Because while it might have a similar plot to the film The Sessions – able-bodied woman sleeps with disabled man – it’s a documentary. 

However, in the case of three new dramas making their debuts this week, it’s an open and shut case, your honour. The most forgivable is the children’s drama Mr Stink, which stars Downton Abbey’s lord of the manor Hugh Bonerville as a tramp. It might rip off Stig of the Dump but it’s charming. I rest my case.

But Land Girls, a 2009 Second World War drama series still going strong after three seasons, didn’t even change its name. Just like the popular 1998 film The Land Girls, it centres on the Women’s Land Army, which fought Hitler with rakes not rifles to ensure Blighty had the resources to fight. And incredulously, its creator Roland Moore wrote a whole article about its genesis in 2009 that didn’t mention the film, but applauded himself for choosing a subject that is “a part of our history that few people seem to know about”. Amnesia is a weak defence.

And then there’s Copper, a series about an Irish policeman working the Five Points neighbourhood of 1860s New York. Need I say anymore? Well, to be fair, the premise of Gangs of New York would have worked better as a series (Martin Scorsese himself is actually developing one), so there is hope, even though the reception has been mixed.

I forget what the gangs actually profited from back then: the illegal butchery of dead rabbits rings a bell. They would have to wait a while longer for drugs, a problem that is showing no sign of going away. The House I Live in (SVT1, Tue 21:55) examines current US policies and reveals the profound human rights implications. It’s harrowing stuff.

Elsewhere, Britain’s hidden Downtons get uncovered in  The Country House Revealed (SVT2, Mon 16:30 or 23:30); the cuddly Meet the Sloths (DR1, Thu 19:00) started life as a massive YouTube hit; and if you really hate humanity enough, you can watch the entire first series of Gordon Ramsey’s Hotel Hell (TV3, Sat 13:10).