TV Crime log: Freak, Scorpion, S.H.I.E.L.D.

If you’re hoping for handsome vicars and gleaming spires, you’re going to be disappointed. ITV fired its pistol on the cosy stuff last week, so we’re going to have to rely on our transatlantic friends to provide some excellent televisual content.

American Horror Story: Freak ShowAnthology shows are all the rage, these days. There’s True Detective and, er… well, American Horror Story was the template, really, and that’s back for a fourth season.

Jessica Lange, whose snarling delivery and aggressive smoking has given the whole thing some old school gravitas, says she’s going to bow out after this fourth story, which is set in a travelling freak show in the 1950s.

Some of the usual regulars are back, and also Michael Chiklis has joined the cast –- Vic Mackey from The Shield! American Horror Story: Freak Show is on Fox tonight, Monday, at 10pm.

There’s some kind of spin-off on the way featuring infamous True Crime cases. So that’s another anthology series right there.

ScorpionScorpion is one kick-ass title. Most of the cool aggressive animal titles have now been used for various stuff. Wolverine, Wolf, Shark, Viper. That just leaves my assassin-for-hire series Honey Badger waiting to be picked up.

Someone must have been sitting around trying to think of a way of remaking The Big Bang Theory but without the laughs, because Scorpion is about a think tank of geek geniuses who are the last line of defence against complex, high-tech threats of the modern age. Ooh, look, it’s him from Casualty.

In the first episode, on ITV2 on Thursday at 9pm, a crisis at LAX airport leaves dozens of airplanes unable to land and the government enlists the team to save the day. Next week, presumably, they turn their attention to the bus timetable.

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D just started getting good at the end of the last series — but it took its fine time about it — and it looks like a lot of US viewers have seeped away for this second season. The team try to stay under the radar while flying about in the biggest plane you’ve ever seen, putting the organization back together after it got its arse kicked by the evil Hydra people, and fighting lots of minor supervillains from the Marvel U -– including Carl ‘Crusher’ Creel. That’s the Absorbing Man to you.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Channel 4 at 8pm, on Friday night.

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