BEFORE there was fake news there were stories dubbed TGTC: too good to check. Tales so terrific that one dare not hold them up to the light for fear they would fall apart, these yarns somehow found their way into print.

Such a practice is of course an urban myth. As if any journalist would ever do such a thing …

Ah, the old ellipsis, the punctuation mark that suggests all is not quite as it seems, that whatever has been said is meant tongue in cheek. An ellipsis pops up at the beginning of Urban Myths: Orson Welles in Norwich (Sky Arts, Wednesday, 10pm).

The International Emmy-nominated strand of comedy-dramas bills itself as the home of “true … ish stories”. Each one takes an anecdote with a kernel, however small, of truth, and imagines what might have happened had it been true. So there’s the time Barbra Streisand met Joan Rivers, Alice Cooper dallied with Dali, Freddie Mercury’s night out with Diana, Les Dawson playing the piano in Paris – you get the idea.

Next week finds Robbie Coltrane in the role he was born to play (well, that and Hagrid). It is 1971, Welles cannot get arrested in Hollywood never mind persuade anyone to finance another picture that comes to nothing. His agent tells him of an offer that has come in from “Nor-witch” in England: a series of mystery dramas that the producers would like the big man to put his mark on.

The Citizen Kane director and all-round cinematic genius did indeed front Orson Welles Great Mysteries for Anglia Television in Norwich. But what really happened if/when he came over to make the show? Was the Nor-witch gig everything he had been led to expect? Let the fun begin …

By accident or design, Coltrane is joined by some excellent Scots actors, including Craig Ferguson making an appearance as his agent, and Sean Biggerstaff (who also starred in Harry Potter once upon a time) as TV crew member Billy. Matching them quip for quip is Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Erin from Derry Girls) as the station’s newsreader/weather forecaster/director.

Enjoyable silly and commendably brief (just half an hour), a programme that will have you rushing to Google what’s what, and what’s not.

Now, you know how bossy boots streaming services like to recommend future viewing based on what you watched in the past (a job best done by a professional TV reviewer, I’m sure you would agree)? Well, if you adored Sofia Helin as Saga Noren in The Bridge, and admired the drama Deutschland 83,set in a divided Berlin, chances are you will find The Same Sky (More 4, Friday, 9pm) not too shabby.

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall) and written by TV veteran Paula Milne (The Politician’s Husband), The Same Sky opens in 1974 with the Cold War at its chilliest. In East Germany they are thinking up ways to win the intelligence battle with the West, and one strategy involves sending handsome young men to seduce lonely women of a certain age. Women like Lauren (Helin), an intelligence analyst working at a so far impenetrable listening station operated by the British and Americans.

The East German spy given this particular “Romeo assignment” is Lars, 25. Handsome, multilingual and fiercely ambitious, Lars takes his work very seriously indeed. The way he “reels” Lauren into his orbit is corny but horribly effective. He is not doing anything remarkable save for noticing the poor woman is alive. Unlike her oafish son and most of her younger colleagues, Lars has time for Lauren.

The period detail is lovingly observed. In one scene, Lars opens the door to his new flat in West Berlin to find what looks like heaven (or did in 1974). No clunky brown furniture here, everything is sleek and bright. His masters have even given him a photo of a fake family, alongside the usual spy accessories – money, a fancy watch, and a gun.

Helin is almost unrecognisable from her Saga days. Gone are the leather trousers, bovver boots, and straggly hair; in come the pastel skirt suits and the carefully set bob. If you look carefully though the attitude is the same. No one would take Saga for a fool; one can only hope the same can be said in time of Lauren.

The Trump Show (BBC2, Thursday, 9pm) comes to a close by bringing us right up to date with the experiment in democracy that is The Donald. This has been a terrific, helter-skelter account of recent history. Watching it you realise how much of the madness you managed to miss. The talking heads are worth listening to, the clips just right, and the pace is exhilarating.

The real Trump show may come to an end on election day on November 3, or be commissioned by the American public for a second term/series. Stay tuned for updates.