Patsy Kensit and one of the Kemp brothers from Spandau Ballet climb into a hot air balloon … It sounds like the beginning of a joke, or the basis of a new cartoon strip in Viz (still going, I checked). It was in fact the plot of crime caper McDonald and Dodds (STV, Sunday).

Patsy and Martin played Mick and Barbara, part of a group of five who took to the skies only for the trip to end with one person dead. Not Patsy or Martin, obviously. You don’t cast Patsy and Martin only to kill them in the first ten minutes. Think of all the brilliant acting you would miss out on, especially from, ahem, Patsy.

DCI McDonald and DS Dodds (Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins) took the full two hours to solve the mystery, and what a pile of piffle it turned out to be. Then again, you don’t shop at McDonald and Dodds for Morse-like plots; you go to be gently entertained by the essentially jokey nature of the piece. If you don’t know when it is being tongue-in-cheek, the score delivers a great big thumping hint.

Just when you thought McDonald and Dodds was so lightweight it would blow away with the first gust of wind, there came a scene that was so beautifully crafted and delivered it fair took the breath away. Dodds was talking about loneliness and the pandemic (but without uttering the word), and what a trial the long dark winter of empty streets had been. Sometimes I think the sun will never shine again, sighed Dodds, then the May Day weekend arrives and everything is okay, summer is here. It was like getting a hug from the television, just what was needed. The brilliant Watkins strikes again.

The Terror (BBC2, Wednesday) was the tale of a 19th century Arctic expedition gone horribly wrong. With winter closing in, captain Sir John Franklin (Ciaran Hinds) was warned by fellow explorer Frances Crozier (Jared Harris) to turn back before their ships became stuck fast in the ice. The alert was ignored so here we were, embarking on a ten-part drama first shown on American television four years ago.

Stuck in the middle of a pandemic with scarcely a new drama in sight – this is the pretty pass television finds itself in. Not that The Terror was thin rations. Far from it. The cast, as seen from the presence of Hinds and Harris, was top drawer, the writing was taut and the staging was movie quality, as it should have been given Ridley “Alien” Scott was the executive producer.

The Arctic, vast and barren, looked like another planet. As we know from Scott’s cv, that usually spells trouble and so it proved here. Something was clearly out there, and it was not a lost Mr Whippy van.

Inspired by a real-life tale, The Terror certainly drew you in. Not a mood lifter, though, even if the one of the ships did boast a monkey and a Newfoundland. The shaggy dog was the only living thing that did not look frozen.

Max Clifford: The Fall of a Tabloid King (Channel 4, Monday) felt like dropping in on one of those old episodes of Top of the Pops. All the familiar hits were there – Freddie Starr and the hamster, David Mellor and the Chelsea strip – but so was the sleazy horror lurking below the surface. As this 90-minute film showed, Clifford, like Savile, was a monster hiding in plain sight.

After decades of selling lies to a complicit Fleet Street, he thought he was untouchable. His victims, some of whom were interviewed here for the first time, their identities concealed, thought differently and bravely came forward. Also new were audio interviews with Clifford by his biographer.

Journalism hardly covered itself in glory where Clifford was concerned. Two investigative reporters, both interviewed here, rumbled him early on, but the story was spiked, allowing him to carry on his abuse of young women and girls.

Even after he was charged, and before the trial, he was given endless opportunities in the media to claim he was innocent and talk about all the great charidee work he was doing.

Toby Paton’s film was lacking in detail about Clifford’s early life, but otherwise it got the late scumbag bang to rights.

Under lockdown, art has become the new rock and roll/black/orange/whatever. Among the new shows celebrating the trend is Drawers Off (Channel 4, Monday-Friday).

The fnar-fnar title and the format – five amateurs take it in turn to get (some of) their kit off and draw each other – suggested Naked Attraction-style raciness, but the 5.30pm start and punk grandma Jenny Eclair as host knocked that on the head.

This was half an hour of good clean fun, tips from an expert, and fair to middling drawing. First to pose was Siobahn, who draped a piece of blue silk round her bumpy parts. She was flabbergasted at the finished works, and not always in a good way. “It’s a sort of older, fatter you,” said Eclair of one sketch. Extra points for playing the old Vision On gallery music.