Nikita; The Mob Doctor

Fri Aug 9, 9-10pm, 10-11pm Sky Living

Series three, episode one; series one, episode one
In theory, this is a handy little double bill for Sky Living, pairing a reinvigorated third series of spy thriller ‘Nikita’ with what we believe to be a TV first – the medical/mob drama mash-up. First up, ‘Nikita’, which has finally located a sense of humour to go with the fast, fizzy action sequences.

To recap, Nikita (Maggie Q) and chums have cleaned out and taken over The Division, ostensibly to run it for more noble and ethical ends. Some of the team find it a little harder than others to play by the rules when a rogue Division agent surfaces to wreak havoc. From firearm fetish to assassination by necksnap, fans will be well satisfied, but with the next season reportedly the last, it may be a little late for newcomers.

‘The Mob Doctor’, meanwhile has some great villains (notably William Forsythe of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ ), but a fatally insipid lead in Jordana Spiro, playing Dr Grace Devlin as a surgeon juggling everyday life-and-death decisions with the demands of a gangster blackmailing her over her brother’s misdemeanours. Should she let a man ratting on the mob die? Or aid one resurgent mobster against the rival who has her under his thumb?

There’s so much going on, and so messily, that it’s hard to care either way: sketchily drawn dilemmas are simplistically resolved. No surprise that it was killed off after just one season.