BRADLEY Walsh, who stars as the benign patriarch in The Larkins (STV, Sunday), has been all over the place saying the new adaptation of The Darling Buds of May is just what society needs in a time of strife. A kind of calamine lotion for the soul no less.

I’ll buy that, I thought, even though the cynic in me wondered if HE Bates’ magic would still work 30 years on. If the Larkins were around today the family would be under the eye of social services (boy driving truck?), Pop would be exposed by the BBC as a Rogue Trader, and the village would be in the grip of a vicious planning dispute. And don’t get me started on their meat eating.

But this was the 1950s, which as we all know was the height of wokeness. All told, it was a pleasant enough introduction if you could cope with the floor to ceiling smugness. “We don’t believe in worrying, do we?” said Pop to Ma. “Leave that to everyone else.” Bully for you, Pop.

Just when you thought Simon “The Durrells” Nye, had elbowed you in the ribs one too many times with the Larkins’ innate goodness, along came a line that gave a body hope, as when a breathless Miss Edith Pilchester (Amelia Bullmore) opened the door to Pop with the words: “I’ve been refreshing my pelmets.”

By episode end, all had been righted with the world and Mariette (Sabrina Bartlett in Catherine Zeta Jones’s old role) had committed GBH on a carnival worker for breaking her little sis’s heart. If everyone could calm down and stop trying so hard we might have something here.

The Larkins might be one to save and watch after Angela Black (STV, Sunday). Joanne Froggatt played the title role, a woman with a perfect life, good looking husband, adorable kids, not a care in the world. Yet behind closed doors, etc.

You could tell this was a “trouble lurks in suburbia” drama by the opening shot of a decomposing fox lying in the gutter. The heavy-handed script by Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing) did not stop there. Angela worked as a volunteer at an animal shelter where one of the dogs was a big bad wolf type that Angela said would never hurt her. The dog was named Jackie, but he might as well have been called Olivier, after Angela’s violent and controlling husband.

This was a drama that veered from the plausible (whenever Froggatt was on screen) to the far-fetched (everything else). It was not sensationalist; we heard but did not see the violence, though that was harrowing enough. But did the story really need to be souped-up with the addition of the mysterious Ed? “I help people with things,” he said by way of introducing himself to Angela. If anyone can persuade us to stick with this it is the outstanding as always Froggatt.

Guilt (BBC Scotland, Tuesday; BBC2, Thursday) returned and it did not disappoint (thank you, gods of television). After two years in the big house for a hit and run, Max (Mark Bonnar) was back and expecting his dues. Only no-one else thought he was due them. Roy the gangster (Stuart Bowman doing a grand job taking over from Bill Paterson) reckoned Max should be grateful he was still breathing. Will our favourite crooked lawyer leave it there, maybe do some charity work, meet a good woman and stay on the right path? Will he chuff.

One of the many pleasures of Neil Forsyth’s comedy drama, after watching Bonnar rage and scheme for Scotland, is its subversiveness. Beneath the brass of polite Edinburgh society there is muck, and Guilt delights in exposing it.

Other new members of the cast include Greg McHugh, playing a brother out for revenge, and Phyllis Logan, whose character rules her care home like a scarier Livia Soprano. Once again, it is a short but oh so sweet series of four episodes, which you can binge on iPlayer. I’m going old school, one instalment a week. A pleasure denied and all that.

Two episodes in, Blair and Brown: the New Labour Revolution (BBC2, Monday) continues to disappoint those who have come to the series expecting revelations. It does not have any, or not so far anyway. It’s the same old faces telling us what we already knew, but what faces, Blair’s especially. What was that old saw about getting the coupon you deserve?

Footage was shown of election night 1997, everyone celebrating like one big happy New Labour family. Blair said he was reluctant to get swept up in the euphoria. “It was never going to last, was it?” he remarked forlornly. It would have taken a heart of stone not to laugh. By episode end the Blair and Brown camps were tearing lumps out of each other. “This is Downing Street, not Coronation

Street,” said one exasperated aide. The conceit of it. EastEnders would have been a closer comparison.