IT is quite the gamble putting two presenters together for a travelogue. If they don’t hit it off the whole series could be thrown into jeopardy, the viewer unwilling to pally the scratchy duo along.

The bod who came up with the idea for Boswell and Johnson’s Scottish Road Trip with Frank Skinner and Denise Mina (on the free to view Sky Arts, Tuesday, 9pm), therefore deserves a cheer. This three-part follow in the footsteps of the English and Scottish writers is a hoot and a half.

Describing Johnson as only a writer does him a disservice. As Skinner finds when he reads the inscription on a statue of Johnson in London, he was a “critic, essayist, philologist, biographer, wit, poet, moralist, dramatist, political writer and talker”. Quips Skinner: “He would have been brilliant on Twitter.”

Don’t let the wisecrack fool you. Having written two dissertations on Johnson, and been president of the Samuel Johnson Society, the comedian is not kidding around when he says he is a fan.

Add to this mix Denise Mina, a writer of this parish who similarly wears a lot of learning lightly, and whose observations can be as sharp as daggers, and you have two fun, well informed, travelling companions.

Not that this prevents them from bringing in the opinions of others when necessary. In Mina’s case, a lunch with author Andrew O’Hagan in Edinburgh furnishes her with the knowledge that Boswell the lawyer, having written a book about Corsica, took to kicking around Edinburgh in the island’s official dress. “He’s such a hipster!” cries Mina.

“This was a guy who would consort with prostitutes at six o’clock and be at church at 7 o’clock,” says O’Hagan. “A mass of contradictions but a man of enormous human sympathy as well.”

Mina finds no statues of Boswell in Edinburgh, just a solitary, blink and you will miss it plaque. “Why are we so ashamed about Boswell being a Scottish writer?” she asks.

Skinner and Mina chum it to St Andrews and Arbroath Abbey. For a spell, Skinner wears 18th century costume, complete with wig. Mina, in keeping with Boswell’s more practical nature, gives the dressing up box a swerve, preferring a skirt, leggings, and hoodie combo topped with a fabulous faux fur jacket. Very Game of Thrones. Boswell, he of the Corsican get-up, would have approved.

By the time they get to Macbeth country, with Skinner on the blasted heath and Mina at Cawdor Castle, the friendship has been sealed. Just like Boswell and Johnson’s. Art imitating life and biography. Next week it is on to the Highlands and Hebrides.

Back for a second series is Murder Case (BBC Scotland, Tuesday-Wednesday, 10pm, or BBC2, Wednesday-Thursday, 9pm, above). Forgive the long listing of channels and times; this is what happens when a BBC Scotland series becomes a network hit – everyone wants a piece of the award-winning action. See Guilt, Shetland, etc.

There is a lot of real life action on offer in Matt Pinder’s films about Police Scotland’s Major Investigations Team. Cases are followed from the crime scene to eventual outcome, taking in everything from forensic analysis of material to the accounts of the victims’ families, all of it presented as events unfolded. This kind of care and attention to detail takes time, but the results are well worth the wait.

The new film looks at the case of Paul Mathieson, 37, who was attacked in the street in Renfrew in 2018. The assault was captured on CCTV but the footage was grainy and the perpetrator fled. Mr Mathieson died later in hospital.

With the investigation hampered by a shortage of forensic evidence and reliable witnesses, the odds of finding the attacker seem lengthy. But the Murder Investigations Team, led by DCI Martin Fergus, are just getting started.

It can be difficult to find a place of your own in the crowded market for documentaries, far less those specialising in true crime. That word spread so far and fast about series one of Murder Case says a lot about its quality and originality.

Stand by your beds and get ready to turn the volume down when another rammy inevitably erupts in the return of River City (BBC Scotland, Monday, 10pm, or BBC1 Scotland, Tuesday, 8pm). The good, and not so good, folks of the fictional Shieldinch are back after a five month absence caused by The Virus. Where the Corry and EastEnders casts have gone, the River City lot have followed, socially distancing and hand sanitising all the way.

The new run finds the community coming together to say a final cheerio to Molly. Played by Una McLean, who announced last year that she was quitting the role at the tender age of 90 (they breed em tough in the Glesga theatre), the character will be much missed.