SO much for everything in moderation. There I was, the entire fourth series of The Crown (Netflix, from Sunday) ahead of me. It had seemed so long since the last season, a romp that went from the Moon landing to the arrival of punk.

Best ration this one out, said my TV watching conscience; courtesy of The Germs there is not a lot new coming out till Christmas. Just one episode a week then, old school.

Six hours later I was still watching. I had fallen down the gilded rabbit hole that is Peter Morgan’s creation, a sucker once more for its blend of high-end soap opera, middlebrow history and low level naughtiness. On the latter front, how about the restaurant in which Diana supposedly met Camilla, The Menage a Trois? Or Diana offering to go Dutch on the bill. “I’m all for sharing,” says the older woman. To quote that observer of the age, Dick Emery, sometimes you are awful, The Crown, but I like you.

Since The Crown began I have swithered over whether Morgan hates the monarchy, or is the best thing that could have happened to them. So far in this series, hate seems to be winning. As the programme charts the entry of Diana into the palace, and Maggie takes the throne in Number 10, the royal family are portrayed as absolute horrors. How horrible? Well, it takes a lot for your average Scot to feel sorry for Mrs Thatcher, but after seeing her first trip to Balmoral, as dramatised, I succumbed.

Worse lay in wait for poor Diana, portrayed as an innocent entering a nightmare rather than a fairy tale. There were no “no go” areas as we saw the teenage Diana, left to rattle around the palace alone as marriage loomed, struggle with bulimia as a way of keeping some control.

Emma Corrin, as the princess, perfectly captured Diana’s youthful spirit and slowly crumbling optimism. Gillian Anderson made a not terribly convincing Mrs Thatcher, far too mannered, even for made-over Maggie, but otherwise everyone was on their game. Even when The Crown becomes too silly for its own good – what is true, what is not? – it is rescued by the quality of its actors. One eve of wedding scene between mother and son, Queen and Prince (Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor), about duty versus happiness, took the breath away.

There was no Queen Liz or Queen Vic on the line in Saving Britain’s Pubs with Tom Kerridge (BBC2, Thursday). Instead we had the Michelin-starred chef adding the Black Bull in Gartmore, Stirlingshire, to the list of hostelries he is trying to guide into more profitable territory.

The Black Bull is one of only two community run pubs in Scotland, with 240 of the locals clubbing together to buy it. It was clearly at the heart of the village. “I like to sneak in for a wee drink after ju-jitsu,” said one customer, perfectly encapsulating modern Scottish life in one sentence.

But the Bull also had to earn its keep, and the toll of keeping the place running was beginning to tell on some of the volunteers, many of whom thought they had retired from the daily grind.

Ketteridge duly matched mouth to money and invested “a small sum”. By the end the Bull was taking shape, with two full-time staff hired. Then you know what arrived and even the usually ebullient Ketteridge looked in need of an arm round his shoulders.

What We Were Watching (BBC4, Friday) was a smash and grab on the BBC’s archives, taking in the best and worst, mostly the worst, of Auntie’s song and dance spectaculars from the 1960s to the 1980s.

It was all here, Cliff and the Three Degrees on a Love Train, Lulu singing Shaft (surreal) and Dylan (surreal with knobs on). There were a couple of treasures in the mix, including Thelma Houston and Aretha, Franklin, and host Grace Dent, the Elsie Tanner de nos jours for my money, kept the vibe nicely sardonic.

An hour was too long, even with Pan’s People and their heroically literal dance interpretation. I had forgotten the real mutts wheeled on for Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Bad Dog”. Whatever the budget, they didn’t spend it on the dancers’ costumes. Hundreds of them, all women of course, seemed to have spent the entire 1970s dancing around in their knickers.

Kitten Rescue with Jo Brand (Channel 5, Thursday) was as shameless a pull on viewer affections as Pan’s People sharing a stage with a Golden Retriever. This new series, Brand informed us, was packed with even more “kittens close to catastrophe”. In Macclesfield a kitten was trapped in a storm drain. It took ten hours and two shifts by the Fire and Rescue Service to get her out safe. No-one begrudged their time and effort, which is either crazy or confirmation that the human race is not all bad. “Mum”, or the cat’s owner, was too busy smiling like the proverbial Cheshire. “Come here baby, come here,” she cooed. I would have said the same, albeit with the addition of a few words requiring asterisks.