AUTUMN officially began in many Scottish homes this week with the ancient ceremony of Switching On the Heating. I had hoped to make it to October but gave in to a 10-minute blast on Tuesday. Oh, the decadence.

Elsewhere in the kingdom, autumn kicked off with three blokes and an octogenarian wearing mullet wigs and grooving to Achy Breaky Heart. What else could it be but the return of The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4, Tuesday)?

Bake Off has become such a favourite with viewers that Channel 4 should use it as a hostage in its negotiations with the government. “Privatise us and the mini-rolls get it.” One of this year’s contestants, an Italian no less, said walking into the Bake Off tent was like entering the Sistine Chapel. It’s more like Switzerland with scones, a place of neutrality where the outside world and its cares stay outside.

This year’s dozen contestants range from a Met detective and software developer to an engineer and a student. They hail from all over the world except Scotland, a fact that some have remarked upon but which we will ignore on the grounds that it is daft. It’s a baking competition for flour’s sake, not the formation of a world government.

Though the field is crowded some are already standing out. There is Giuseppe (Sistine Chapel bloke); Freya the vegan (northern, 19, touch of the Thora Hirds); Jurgen the German (built his showstopper cake with the aid of spanners); and Maggie the retired midwife and Prue Leith lookalike (says fellow judge Paul Hollywood). Welcome, people.

Prince Philip: the Royal Family Remembers (BBC1, Wednesday) started out as a film to celebrate the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday. Events, as they say, intervened.

The line-up of contributors was remarkable in many ways. There was space for Prince Andrew (gasp), but none for Meghan, or Kate, or anything but the mildest criticism. Fair enough to some extent on the latter, but the dancing around anything contentious was glaring. “He was unapologetically him,” said Harry, while Anne offered: “Some people would say he could be a bit sharp with his wit.” It was left to Camilla to trot out the old suffering fools gladly line.

Other observations from this free advert for The Firm was that the crown should skip Charles (earnest, awkward, other worldly) and go straight to William (slick, a TV natural). Better still, give it to Anne if it must go to someone.

Manhunt: The Night Stalker (STV, Monday-Thursday) saw Martin Clunes returning as DCI Colin Sutton. It was another true story case, this one about the 17-year hunt for a rapist and burglar who preyed on elderly people.

It was Sutton’s job to review the investigation, again, to find out what was being missed.

Clunes was superb. Between Manhunt and the recent Stephen (Steve Coogan as a Met detective), it seems you cannot get better than a comedian to play an old school copper who radiates decency.

Written by Ed Whitmore and directed by Marc Evans, the four-night drama was respectful to the victims and never sensationalist.

At the same time, like Sutton, the viewer burned with the sense of a great injustice having been done. Last week elderly people were being ignored by society in Help, this week it was Manhunt. “We notice them but we don’t see them,” said a family liaison officer as she and Sutton wondered how it had taken so long to solve the case.

The documentary Let’s Talk About the English (BBC Scotland, Tuesday) scored brownie points for not being titled “We Need to Talk about the English”. The extra effort, and the urge to resist a cliche, was evident throughout.

Sure, it was a conventional enough film about feelings towards the people next door, and the places it went to (Berwick, Corby) were predictable, but most of the interviewees were just a touch out of the ordinary.

More refreshing still was McQueer’s willingness to listen. People clearly warmed to him, which always helps. On the debit side, too long as usual. On the plus side, the instantly likeable McQueer, though I’m not sure about the moustache, mate.

Okay, are we ready for the finale of Vigil (BBC1, Sunday)?

The bodies are piling up, the Russkies are moving in for the kill and Suranne Jones has been locked in a missile tube. Could have been worse: poor Martin Compston has been lying in one since the first episode.

It has been quite the thrill ride on Vigil, regardless of the silliness, starting with being set on the world’s most spacious submarine, and a great calling card for made in Scotland drama.

Not sure it has done much for Trident’s image, but whatevah, as they don’t say in the nuclear war game.