Yesterday’s TV – Missing

Now, the more observant of you will note that my posts are generally entitled ‘Last Night’s TV’ however, as Missing is on BBC1 at 2:15pm, I had to do some quick thinking and made the executive decision to change the title. I know… the power is in my hands.

This show was piloted last year and ran for five episodes, and it must’ve impressed somebody at the BBC’s Commissioning Unit because it’s back for ten episodes this time. But it rapidly became apparent why it’s on daytime TV and not primetime evening TV.

Muffin the Mule and/or Pinocchio looked less wooden than the actors in this show, and probably had better storylines too. And despite the wonderful Pauline Quirke heading up the cast, I suspect even 2:15pm is a little too high profile for it.

Maybe 4am would suit it better, alongside reruns of Prisoner Cell Block H and whatever other dross there dwells.

Pauline plays DS Mary Jane – but call her MJ or she’ll be annoyed – Croft who was immediately tasked with finding a missing six year old girl. The only clue found was the missing girl’s pencil case. But wait, it gets worse…

The missing child’s mum – played by Brooke Kinsella – wailed, “She loves this thing! She saved up for it herself!”

Oh emm gee…

It all turned out ok though because the girl had just run off fearing her family were going to move to Reading. And fair dos, who wouldn’t run away if that spectre loomed large in their lives?

There was also a concurrent case about a missing man who’d gone AWOL following a family row and of course, the obligatory power struggle within the police station. There was the almost legally obligatory – in police dramas anyway – ball breaker who we were given to understand is evil and the equally predictable storyline that MJ will do her job regardless of what ball breaker says; she’s in it as a vocation, not to climb a career ladder.

She cares, and that was forced down our throats on numerous occasions. In fact, again as is entirely predictable, she cares too much, to the detriment of her own life. As do her very photogenic and loyal underlings who worship at the altar of good role model MJ, even if it means disobeying the “chain of command” sometimes. Oh those crazy kids.

There was one bright spot on Missing’s horizon though when Roy Hudd turned up as MJ’s long lost dad.

However, having just said all that, if someone had a gun to my head and said “Which are you going to watch? Jeremy Kyle, Murder She Wrote or Missing?” I’d go with Missing. It’s not that it’s good, it’s just not as bad as the first two choices…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.