Sharp Objects Monday ,9pm, Sky Atlantic Adapted from the first novel by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, Sky Atlantic’s latest HBO import is compelling from the first, and drags you deeper as it goes. But it’s how it goes that’s key. An eight-part mystery, Sharp Objects is itchy pulp at heart and ventures into twisted areas, but it takes its own sweet, sleepy time about it, unfolding quietly, at a heroically, hypnotically slow burn.

It takes that pace both from its setting – a sweltering, half-dead small town in Missouri called Wind Gap, the kind of nothing-to-do place where the stunned air sweats and the summer lawns hiss – and its central character, a journalist with troubles, who gets by thanks to a near constant intake of alcohol, careful to keep herself blurry at the edges.

Played by Amy Adams in perhaps her best work yet, our protagonist is Camille Preaker. As the series begins, we find her in St Louis, working for the city’s newspaper. Her editor Frank (Miguel Sandoval) wants her to head to Wind Gap for a story: one young girl has already been murdered in the town, and another has just been reported missing.

Wind Gap, however, is the last place Camille wants to go, because she already escaped its stifling clutches once, and, as will become clear, still bears the scars to prove it – it’s the town where she grew up.

I said above that we first encounter Camille in St Louis, but that’s not quite true. Before that comes an enigmatic opening sequence, following two young girls as they roller skate toward a mysterious mansion – it turns out to be one of Camille’s recurring dreams, in which she is doomed always to go back to Wind Gap. As the series progresses, these fragmented memories of her teenage years begin to pile up.

But Frank orders her to go back for real. You can tell by his manner, gruffly impatient on top, caring beneath, and by half-caught clues in the dialogue, that he reckons sending her there will do her good, a kind of therapy, intended to help her over some recent, as-yet unspecified, bad business. So Camille drives back home, taking her bottles and her contempt with her as protection, and reluctantly goes to stay in the mansion at the edge of town with her vague yet domineering mother Adora, the faded Queen Bee of Wind Gap society, who regards her with disappointment tinged with disgust (another magnificent performance by the great Patricia Clarkson).

Here, sleeping next door to the empty bedroom once occupied by her dead sister, preserved like a mausoleum, Camille’s memories keep flashing, and begin breaking into the present, to the point where neither she nor we are sure if they’re happening for real. Her knowledge of and loathing of the town makes her more of an outsider than a real outsider. Soon, not even the endless booze is enough, and she begins venting other destructive hungers. Meanwhile, there’s a killer loose, and Camille tries to follow the trail, woozing in and out of focus.

The series is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who previously made the excellent Big Little Lies. He brings a similar, faintly dreamlike, slightly showboating touch here, but the tone is scuzzier, sweatier. In plot, setting, twists and characters – all burned belles and bad girls and gossip and festering secrets– Sharp Objects is the stuff of ripe, fried, Southern Gothic. But the baroque strands are put together with a nicely matter-of-fact touch, personified by Adams’s superb performance, a detective who might collapse any minute, with eyes as sharp and clear as vodka.

Sunday S.W.A.T.

9pm, Sky One Based on the 1970s elite-cop series of the same name that was already remade in 2003 as a hokey Colin Farrell movie, this new American import is an unashamed (in fact, largely unthinking) throwback macho-muscle action show. But, if that’s your bag, it ticks the boxes. Shemar Moore stars as maverick LA cop Hondo Harrelson, who is unexpectedly promoted to become new leader of his Special Weapons And Tactics unit: it’s a political move aimed at defusing racial tensions in the area after the team’s previous, white, leader killed an unarmed black teenager during a battle with Bad Guys. Alex Russell co-stars as the even more maverick young new recruit, a motorbikin’ rebel from the streets called Jim Street, while Stephanie Sigman plays Hondo’s superior, Cortez, who he’s also sleeping with, just to complicate the job. Actually, it’s about as complicated as a sticker book, but there are cars flipping over, and bullets flying, and people running around grunting stuff like “Stay liquid!”

Tuesday The Rise And Fall Of Nokia 9pm, BBC Four For more than ten years – the decade that saw the mobile phone revolution – Nokia dominated the industry and led the way in innovation. As late as 2007, sales of the company’s smartphones accounted for a 49.4 per cent share of the market. But 2007 was also the year all that changed, when Steve Jobs appeared on stage at the Macworld conference in San Francisco, and pulled from his pocket a device he introduced as the iPhone. By 2013, the year Microsoft bought Nokia out, its share had dwindled to just 3 per cent. Filled with contributions from ex-employees who recall the boom times with misty eyes, this excellent little documentary tells the tale in a manner that’s part elegy, part wry morality tale for our times. Originally founded as a rubber company, during its heyday around the millennium Nokia’s annual budget was bigger than that of Finland itself, and its happy workers reaped the rewards. But global domination eroded the pioneering spirit, quantity replaced quality, and, as Nokia stalled, the world moved on.

Wednesday Picnic At Hanging Rock 9.05pm, BBC Two Given that the lingering air of unresolved mystery is one of the key elements of Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel – about a group of girls from an exclusive private school in the Australia of 1900, who inexplicably vanish during a daytrip into the wilderness – it’s debatable whether a stretched out six-hour adaptation is really the best way to go about adapting it. This new series ditches the elusive, suggestive, impressionistic qualities and sense of sun-dazed folk horror that made Peter Weir’s 1975 movie memorable. For huge sections, the thundering direction instead mistakes “atmosphere” for “effects,” cramming in relentless slow-motion, grating music and weeeeird camera angles, while any undercurrents get dragged out screaming and laid right on top. That said, at least the bright and woozy pop approach has some life, and the cast is very good, with Natalie Dormer having an icy blast as the school’s mysterious, snippy new owner, Miss Appleyard, owner of some way cool shades.

Thursday Keeping Faith 9pm, BBC One Following hot on the heels of Hinterland and Hidden, this is the latest in the exciting new strand of squint-your-eyes-and-you-could-almost-imagine-you’re-watching-yet-another-middling-Scandi-noir productions from BBC Wales, although it controversially bucks convention by not having a title that notably features the letters H and I. (Clearly, it should’ve been Keeping Hilda.) An eight-part mystery set in the obligatory isolated, tight-knit, Broadchurchy community full of secrets, Eve Myles stars as Faith, a busy lawyer and mum whose happy maternity leave comes to an abrupt, unexpected and miserable halt when her husband Evan (Bradley Freegard) leaves for work one morning and then…simply…vanishes. As he’s also her business partner, at first she’s distracted by having to rush to fill in for him at court – but it soon becomes clear that his disappearance is a deeply sinister matter, as evidence begins to emerge that he had been living a life that she knew nothing about, beginning with a a fake driver’s license and wig in the wardrobe… Friday Meat Loaf: In And Out Of Hell 9pm, BBC Four Ever wondered how Meat Loaf got his name? All is revealed in this 2015 profile, which features contributions from some of his old pals from high school in Dallas, where he first earned that famous moniker, while enduring a very bleak childhood. The big man himself recounts his tumultuous rise, fall, and rise again, beginning with his decision to leave Texas following his mother’s death, to try and make it in LA. By 1969 he was broke and disillusioned, scraping a living as a parking attendant when he was invited to audition for the musical Hair. It turned out to be the big break he needed, leading to the meeting with producer Jim Steinman and the album that that would change both their lives. But, as they recount, getting people to listen to Bat Out Of Hell wasn’t easy – and Meat Loaf would have more hard times ahead. Then stay tuned for episode two of Smashing Hits: The 80s Pop Map Of Britain And Ireland (10pm), which includes a visit to Glasgow, and a chat with that Clare Grogan.

Saturday 14 Reginald D Hunter’s Songs Of The Border 9pm, BBC Two In a timely follow-up to his 2015 film Songs Of The South, for this new documentary, set against the backdrop of President Trump’s planned construction of a wall between the two countries, the comedian takes a 2,000-mile musical trip along the US-Mexico border. Hunter considers how, in many classic American country tunes and pop songs, Mexico was often portrayed romantically, as a land of freedom and escape, albeit tinged with danger. More recently, however, through greater awareness of traditional Mexican music, and the influence of Tex-Mex and Mexican rap, a more accurate reflection of the Mexican experience has started to emerge. Hunter explores how romance and reality play out musically, where third-world Mexico meets first-world USA on “the broken road to the American Dream.” Music fans will also want to note the return tonight of The Voice: Kids (8pm, STV), so they can avoid it. Good luck. This year, the search for “Britain’s best young singer” is going to air Every. Single. Night. Across. The. Week.

You wait ages for a female journalist with a messy private life investigating murderous business, and then two come along at once, etc. The arrival of Sharp Objects on Sky Atlantic this week coincided with my Netflix menu nudging me repeatedly to check out its Secret City, another drama about a reporter who finds herself on the trail of a twisting mystery.

Normally, I steer clear of Netflix’s algorithmic suggestions, an ironclad rule I’ve tried to live by ever since the unfortunate night those helpful gremlins popped up to assure me that, because I had watched No Man Of Her Own, a 1950 film noir starring Barbara Stanwyck, I would also like Kickboxer: Retaliation, a 2017 production featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mike Tyson and Brazil’s former midfield sensation Ronaldinho. I’m still looking for a lawyer prepared to take on the case pursuing damages for the resulting existential trauma and bar bills.

But I took the bait this time and I’m glad I did. Made for Australian TV, Secret City is a six-part thriller set around Canberra, following a reporter’s dogged pursuit of a story involving international political scandal, corruption, murder and, maybe, a double agent high in government, secretly working for the Chinese regime.

Aside from both featuring a female journalist as lead, Secret City and Sharp Objects are very different affairs. Where the HBO show makes a virtue of a hazy, slow-burn pace, the Australian series subscribes to the hustling, old-school idea that you should grab the audience by the hair from the start: the opening scene involves a young woman setting herself on fire, swiftly followed by a young man being chased over a bridge, pausing to swallow a Sim card, then chucking himself into the waters below – only to be discovered next day, gutted open. By coincidence, the journalist happens along as the cops are fishing his corpse from the river, putting her on the trail. It’s one of many screaming coincidences (her ex-husband happens to work for the Australian security services, in a high-tech snooping job useful for uncovering stuff that pushes the plot along), but the show puts them across with lack of fuss, unexpected touches, and a wry, shrugging sense of humour that doesn’t get in the way of tension.

It was originally broadcast in 2016, so some specific points about US–China relations are slightly out of date, but the story is densely packed, with a growing air of paranoia, played out in a satisfyingly straight-ahead manner.

The one other thing it does share with Sharp Objects, though, is that the main reason for watching becomes the lead performance. The questing journalist, Harriet Dunkley, is played by Anna Torv, who was recently excellent as the glassy boss in Netflix’s serial-killer drama Mindhunter.

She’s great here, unfussy, utterly believable, the kind of acting that makes you think the character is someone you could know in real life. The best news is that a second series is on the way.