Guilt (BBC Scotland, Thursday; 10pm, BBC2, Wednesday, 9pm) ****

EIGHT months and many thousands of programme hours in, the new BBC Scotland channel has an appointment-to-view hit on its hands with the comedy drama Guilt.

In the brave new world of multi-platform, Martini viewing (anytime, anywhere) there is meant to be no such thing anymore as a programme that lots of people sit down as one to watch. But this bleak as the grave farce from Bob Servant creator Neil Forsyth is such a phenomenon. A little bit Fargo, deliciously far-fetched and nicely warped in a peculiarly Scottish way, it is the most impressive small screen debut since Tutti Frutti.

Set in Edinburgh, but as The Herald revealed this week shot largely in Glasgow, Guilt is the tale of chalk and cheese brothers Max and Jake (Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives). While driving home half sozzled from a wedding one night, their car hits and kills a pedestrian. Time to call the police, but what if they don’t? From that one bad decision many consequences will flow.

Farce relies in large part on the viewer being drawn into a story so much that they are willing to suspend their disbelief in the interests of keeping the fun going. If one thought too much about the twists and turns in Guilt - would a lawyer really take such a risk? What are the chances that particular letter would be lying on the table? - the house of improbable cards would collapse.

But Forsyth barely gives the audience time to draw breath, never mind allow their minds to wander up the highways and byways of logic. The verbal sparring between cynical Max and his softer, record shop manager brother is brisk and vicious, with Max having a particularly nice line in creative swearing, lambasting his sibling for his “signature ****wittery”.

The setting, featuring wide open streets, large front lawns and Max’s big hoose, makes it look as though the tale is taking place in America. And what a cast of players, with the Scots duo of Bonnar (making grey hair great again) and Ives balanced by Dublin-born Ruth Bradley playing the victim’s American niece Angie, and Moyo Akande (The Cry) as the gym buddy of Max’s eternally hacked off wife Claire (Sian Brooke, Sherlock, Doctor Foster).

Guilt was made for the BBC Scotland channel. Though the channel was set up to make uniquely Scottish content that might not otherwise be produced, it has always been a given that should a programme be picked up by the UK network then that would be a feather in the newbie's cap. This two for one set up worked for the recent Disclosure documentary on so-called “pick up artists” which became a Panorama, and now Guilt is going the same way, having another run on BBC2 on Wednesdays. The BBC2 show is a week behind, however, while Disclosure/Panorama aired the same night.

With so many working parts whirring at once, it will be quite an achievement by Forsyth if he can keep the pace and the standard as high as they have been in the first two episodes. Splitting the story into four, one hour-long chunks is a gamble. It is the kind of thing that suits BBC Scotland, which has lots of hours to fill and relatively little original content. On BBC2, however, six to eight half hours in the 10pm slot before Newsnight might have been better.

So far the viewing figures are impressive. Wednesday’s episode on BBC2 had an overnight audience of one million UK-wide. In Scotland the combined audience for the two showings (BBC2 and BBC Scotland) is 270,000. iPlayer viewings will add to the totals.

A growing army of fans cannot wait to see where Forsyth sends this mad caravan of love, loathing and ****wittery next.