Bluestone 42

Tue Mar 5, 10-10.30pm, BBC3

Episode one
It might be set among a bomb disposal team in Helmand province, but this new sitcom is very much a workplace comedy, complete with standard-issue annoying bosses, office jokers and sense of vague claustrophobia. The USP, of course, is the nature of the job – the languor, aimlessness and fruity banter can, at any moment, be interrupted by carnage. It’s a decent set-up, but tonight’s opener struggles to get beyond the realm of cliché.

Oliver Chris’s Captain Nick Medhurst is the squadron’s David Brent – despite the death of a CIA operative embedded with the team, Medhurst is more interested in the possibility of a bunk-up with the attractive new padre. Elsewhere, there are cookie-cutter Scots Quinn and Hoatson (defining characteristic? Being Scottish) and Lynda Bird, a full-blown, beer-swigging, belching ladette. Perhaps this will improve as the characters bed in. But it had better get its skates on.

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