IT always helps when entering the new world of a Sunday night drama to find one’s bearings. So full marks to the character in The Last Post (BBC1, Sunday, 9pm) who drank in her desert surroundings and proclaimed: “This isn’t Aldershot, is it?” Well spotted, madam. This is Aden in 1965, where life is a mix of heat, dust, shorts, gin, sex and a fight to the death with rebels who have decided that it is time for the British to go home.

Our guide in the first episode was officer’s wife Alison (Call the Midwife’s Jessica Raine). Spectacularly misnamed, Alison sloshed around in her dressing gown necking gin, and when she wasn’t doing that she was pegging lacy underwear on the line or having sex with one of her husband’s colleagues. A cruel slur on upstanding Alisons everywhere, I’m sure you will agree. Our lawyer will be in touch.

Alison sobered up long enough to make the introductions to the other main characters, who included new arrival Honor (she of the Aldershot observation) and Mary (Amanda Drew), the top officer’s wife and “mother” to the other spouses. Just when the drama was settling into a soapy groove, the viewer was brought back to political reality with a bump. The balance of thriller and domestic drama is going to be a tough one to maintain, but writer Peter Moffat (Silk) appears to know his way around.

The clock was turned back to another less than illustrious period in British history in Victoria (ITV, Sunday, 9pm). Reports were reaching Her Majesty of famine in Ireland and she wanted to know what parliament was going to do about it. Harumph a lot was the answer, and the disaster grew worse. Victoria often favours a soft focus view of history. Not this week. Like The Last Post, the episode had a lost bearings moment when DC Arnott of Line of Duty turned up as Dr Robert Traill, the man of the cloth who was instrumental in bringing the tragedy to royal attention. True character actor that he is, Martin Compston soon looked as at home in this role as he does in everything else.

Another performer was to the fore in Boris, Blond Ambition (Channel 4, Sunday, 10.05pm), which aired on the eve of the Conservative Party conference as talk intensified of the Foreign Secretary challenging the PM for the leadership. Gary Gibbon of Channel 4 News and a crew had followed Boris Johnson for a year with the aim of finding out whether he had the right stuff for the top job. The answer to this was obviously “Nope! Next question,” but since Gary had gone to all that trouble, it would have been rude not to carry on watching. We learned nothing new, with the only noteworthy moment being when our man in Myanmar ticked Boris off for wanting to recite Kipling’s The Road to Mandalay in front of his hosts. “Not appropriate,” said the ambassador witheringly. Even Boris looked embarrassed.

Now that Love Island has brought sex to the screen as never before, whatever will reality TV do next to grab viewers’ attention? Escape (Channel 4, Sunday, 8pm) reckons it has the answer: spark plugs. Instead of flying airheads to a luxury complex, Escape stranded a team of engineers in the middle of nowhere. Their mission: scavenge material from nearby wreckage and build a vehicle that will get them back to civilisation before the rations run out.

Leaving behind the tastelessness of using accident sites, albeit fake ones, as sets, Escape was at least trying to raise the collective IQ of the genre.

Ultimately, though, it was as much in love with the old reality show clichés (men v women, etc) as any series of Big Brother, and how much real jeopardy was there really? It is not like the producers, should the team fail the task, are going to leave them to eat each other. Then again, after Love Island ...

If Escape wanted to transport viewers to a Mad Max-style future, Porridge (BBC1, Friday, 9.30pm) sought to remind them of a warm and gloopy TV past.

This time, it was not Norman Stanley Fletcher (Ronnie Barker) the burglar banged up but his grandson, Nigel Norman Fletcher (Kevin Bishop), the computer hacker. Fletch was not the only one to get an upgrade. There was another Mr Mackay (now Mr Meekie), a new Mr Barraclough (Mr Braithwaite) – you get the idea. There being no substitute for genius, original writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais were back at the writing coalface.

Where the old Porridge could be deliciously salty, the new mix may be too sweet for some. But young Bishop comes across as a genial enough spud-faced nipper. Like Mr Mackay and the original Fletch, looking down from the great exercise yard in the sky, I’ll be keeping an eye on him.