WE don’t know exactly when it is coming, but it is on the way. “It” would be the new series of Line of Duty, a television event on a par with the moon landings, or the big reveal to the question of who shot JR?

An exaggeration, but such was the way series five of Jed Mercurio’s police procedural had the country by the lapels (more than nine million watched the final episode), and so starved are we of a decent Sunday night drama during lockdown, that series six cannot come soon enough. Why, it’s almost an act of public service to get it on the screen asap.

The word on the street from registered informants (okay, the Radio Times) is of a late March transmission date, which gives us a few weeks to fill. If we must wait for one Mercurio drama, why not while away the time with another?

Bloodlands ((BBC1, Sunday, 9pm) is created and written by Chris Brandon, but Mercurio is an executive producer, and the four part series is made by HTM Television, a production company co-owned by Mercurio and Hat Trick Productions, makers of Have I Got News for You and Outnumbered.

Filmed and set in Northern Ireland, Bloodlands stars James Nesbitt (Cold Feet, The Missing) as DCI Tom Brannick. The detective is investigating the kidnapping of a former senior member of the IRA whose car has been found dumped in the harbour. Brannick, a veteran of policing during the Troubles, is soon led back into the past and an unsolved case that is painfully close to home.

With its zippy pace, slick editing, heart-pumping background music and “trust no one” air, Bloodlands has echoes of a certain other drama in which a copper from Northern Ireland features prominently. Yet it goes its own way too, with Brandon injecting some bleakly funny lines into the dialogue.

While Nesbitt is very much the main focus, a strong supporting cast includes Lorcan Cranitch (from the much missed Cracker), a couple of familiar faces from Derry Girls (a Hat Trick production), and an at first unrecognisable Chris Walley (Jock from The Young Offenders). Who knew underneath that baseball cap was such a lovely head of hair?

No cigar, not even a sweetie from the jar, for guessing what Chris Packham’s Animal Einsteins (BBC2, Sunday, 8pm) is about. Being a six-part series it’s also about six hours long, so the bright eyed and bushy tailed one needs something more in his arsenal than a segment on Jane Goodall and her tool-wielding, history-making chimpanzees. Happily, he does.

New scientific techniques and discoveries mean we are now in a position to learn much more about the intelligence of animals, and assess how their brainpower compares to our own. Are they as intelligent as us, wonders Packham, or are we as intelligent as them?

He begins with the relatively easy stuff – a raven finding its favourite stone – before moving on to more complex tasks involving problem solving.

We meet New Caledonian Crows and see how they are more likely than a five-year-old child to retrieve a sweet from a tube. Then it is on to bottlenosed dolphins, bees, and of course chimps. It’s the law that any wildlife programme must have its quota of meerkats, and there are some very cute pups here learning from their elders about the best way to eat a scorpion (very carefully).

Matters take a turn for the even more illuminating when it comes to the “mirror test”. It was thought only a small number of species, including ourselves, could recognise themselves in a looking glass and thus be self-aware.

But what if the way the test is carried out changes to suit different animals?

Packham is an excellent host, able to take complex information and chop it up into easily digestible bites. This is backed up by interviews with scientists, some of them demonstrating their work in the field.

Fascinating. Oh, and you will finally learn the answer to the question of why you should never play poker with a parrot. Every day is a school day.

As we are reminded in Charles Kennedy: A Good Man BBC Alba, Tuesday, 9pm), the Glasgow University graduate who would one day lead the Liberal Democrats was just 23 when he stood for election in the Highland constituency of Ross, Cromarty and Skye.

He would go on to spend more than three decades in politics, becoming a well kent face across the UK with his many appearances on panel games and talk shows.

From his opposition to the Iraq war to the fight to save the sleeper service to Fort William, he was the veteran of many a political battle. The one fight he could not win, alas, was the one with the bottle. It is the measure of the man that he is remembered so fondly today.