SOMETIMES, for a giggle, I like to imagine what Scotland would have been like had we kept the oil for ourselves. Like Saudi Arabia without the weather and executions, maybe? Or more like canny Norway, investing the cash in a big brolly for some future rainy day?

Ach, I think we can all agree it would have spoiled us, so maybe it is just as well the matter was taken out of our hands. We’re poor but we are happy. Well, maybe not happy but we’re definitely poor.

New drama State of Happiness (BBC4, Saturday), set in Norway in the 1960s, showed how that country was transformed by the black stuff. Not everyone was convinced there was oil in that there North Sea, though. As episode one began, one American firm sent a young hotshot lawyer to Stavanger to shut operations down. Since the place was described to him as a “small fishing village, religious, rainy, cold, no real summers, no real winters, no bars” the law man was naturally thrilled to be going.

But Stavanger was not the dull dog it sounded. It was instead the setting for a grand, soapy drama about class, love, family, and at the centre of it all, money, money, money. Add in the 1960s clothes, cars and period soundtrack, and this was Scandi drama for anyone who believes they have had enough of Scandi drama (which is quite a lot of us). Plenty of fascinating characters to choose from, with my favourite being Anna, the secretary who was always the smartest person in any room full of slick oil men. One to watch: her, and the drama.

One of the big hits of the new BBC Scotland channel, Inside Central Station (BBC Scotland), returned for a second series with the same mix of sunny station staff and cheery punters. Everyone was happy in Inside Central Station, even when they were being told that their train was running two hours late. With lines in the voiceover like “The 11.25 to Gourock is now terminating at the very first stop”, it was not exactly hoaching with high drama.

So, everybody getting on just dandy and zero suspense. Ought to have made for dull viewing, but the charm of this series is its simplicity. It does exactly what it says on the tin(s) of G&T the wise traveller picks up before boarding, along with half a ton of Percy Pigs and a six pack of crisps. (That’s another reason why Scotland is better off without the oil money: we would have spent it all on sweeties.)

With segues into subjects such as the Beeching cuts and privatisation, Inside Central Station (above) put the story of the railways into political context. Going deeper into the subject added welcome weight to a programme which at other times was a touch too back to basics. No-one on staff, for instance, had a surname; it was “Alison” this and “Martin” that.

Having said it was short of drama, there was tension waiting to see if the Blue Lagoon would finish its refit before the planned opening time of 7pm. Mercifully it did, though I don’t know what they were expecting if it had been otherwise. Riots? Those fish suppers looked delicious.

The last series of The A-word (BBC1, Tuesday) ended in tears before bedtime as Paul and Alison (Lee Ingleby and Morven Christie) prepared to go their separate ways. Now two years on, divorced and living apart, their lives still centre around their son Joe, who has autism. Joe was not coping well with the disruption to his routines. He was not the only one failing to adjust to new circumstances. Grandad Maurice (Christopher Eccleston), despite collapsing at the end of series two, was still charging around, trying to solve everyone’s problems in his own inimitable way. “I’m taking him to the petting zoo,” he announced after another upset for Joe. “Ice cream and the smell of goat s*** – enough to cheer anybody up.” He might have a point there.

Peter Bowker’s Lakes-set drama has lost none of its gentleness, humour and charm. Whatever happens, and all human life is here, there is never a fuss. Having a great cast helps. The scenes between Eccleston and young Max Vento, playing Joe, are a joy from start to finish. Bowker’s ability to strike just the right tone does the rest.

Now, as a professional TV critic (hard to believe I get paid for this, I know) I watch telly with a pen and notebook to hand. Hope you did the same when checking out First Dates Hotel (Channel 4, Thursday) because matters became a tad complicated.

Georgie had ventured to the Amalfi Coast for a date with Robbie. Rachel had done the same with Blain. But it turned out the women knew each other. More than that, they fancied each other rotten. There being no section on such developments in Debrett’s the gang had to work it out for themselves, which they did, no bother. Perhaps they had pens and notebooks, too.