THERE is an episode of Frasier in which the radio psychiatrist is persuaded to endorse a candidate for Congress. The pair are getting along famously as they stand on Frasier’s balcony, gazing at the night sky of Seattle.

The wannabe Congressman says he once thought of calling Frasier’s agony uncle show. Really, says Frasier, what for?

“Six years ago I was abducted by aliens.”

There followed the slowest head turn ever seen on television as a horrified Frasier realised his new amigo was a space cadet. There are some gulfs that, once opened, cannot be bridged.

There was a Frasier moment in the new six part drama Life (BBC1, Tuesday). From Mike Bartlett, creator of Doctor Foster, and with a cast that stretched from Alison Steadman and Adrian Lester via Peter Davison, the Manchester-set tale had a lot going for it. Then came the Frasier moment.

To say what it was would spoil the show for those still to catch up, but if you have seen it you will know. Once the floodgate of doubt opened, other reservations bobbed to the surface. How could a young mother afford to live in the same block of flats as Steadman and Davison’s seemingly well to do couple? Wasn’t the relationship between the new mum, her boyfriend and the baby’s father too cool for school?

There may be something clever going on here, some narrative sleight of hand by Bartlett. But there was something else, something worse: the suspicion that we were being treated to one of those horrible “inspirational” dramas, the kind where everyone learns to walk a mile in each other’s shoes and doesn’t mind the blisters. I could be wrong. We’ll convene again on this one.

Actor Keeley Hawes and writer Gwyneth Hughes had a tricky line to walk in Honour (STV, Monday-Tuesday). The aim: to do justice to the true story of a young Iraqi Kurd, Banaz Mahmod, who fell in love with someone not of her family’s choosing, and met a horrific end.

All concerned did so with the minimum of fuss but maximum poignancy. This was a drama that was not afraid to show where it stood and what it felt. The only way the position could have been more plain was if they had called the piece “(So-called) Honour”. As one Kurdish character said of the murderers: “They dishonour us all.”

It began in no nonsense, straight to it style with Hawes’s DCI Caroline Goode driving to work. Goode was a kind of DCI Jane Tennison for the age: one of the boys but a self-assured woman in her own right as well. We saw nothing of her private life, which made a refreshing change from the way women detectives are usually treated: as often harassed mothers and partners first, and professionals second.

The police did not come out of Honour at all well. Five times Banaz asked for help, only to receive none. It was just as well Goode turned up to restore some faith.

The Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story (BBC2, Monday-Wednesday) looked into another true case, that of the serial killing GP from Hyde. This was another instance where flags were raised and alarms sounded but the warnings were ignored for too long. Filmmaker Chris Wilson had one apparently simple but highly revealing question: why? What was it about Shipman’s elderly victims that ensured few were likely to question their passing too closely? The clue was in the word elderly.

In focussing on the victims, their families and friends, Wilson did something the media coverage at the time often failed to do. He had a nice way with him. “Kettle on?” was his cheery greeting to interviewees. You knew it was not the first time he had sat in those kitchens, and probably would not be the last.

My first reporting gig was at The Savoy (STV, Wednesday). The details now escape me – it was something financial – but I took away one vital lesson: being a journalist gave you access to free tea and fancy biscuits in places that would never normally let scruffs like me over the door. Reader, I married that career. Not very Martha Gellhorn, I know.

There were some ritzy bakes in The Savoy (STV, Wednesday), and quite a lot of Gordon Ramsay, too. Given his production company made the series, it was inevitable he would be to the fore, publicising the Grill that now bears his name.

He did not come out of it entirely smelling of roses, though. There was an awful, toe-curler of a scene in which he berated his restaurant director for tackling a duck breast with a blunt knife. We get it Gordon, you’re a tough guy. Yawn.

As for the rest of it, would you pay upwards of £1500 a night for a suite if it meant you could be pampered like Mrs Pumphrey’s Tricki Woo?

One guest eyed the pretty vase on her table. “Too bad my purse is already full,” she joked. And she wasn’t even a member of Her Majesty’s Press.