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Arts | By Roger Lewis | December 2017

Have you noticed how the characters in Cold Feet are always in the kitchen chopping carrots? I’ve started to find the programme too cosy. Real pain is avoided – I hated the abortion sequence. People break up, go bust, fall ill, lose sleep; yet everything always comes together in a big group hug. The actors deserve better. When is someone going to take James Nesbitt aside and tell him the George Robey eyebrows don’t work? Written in 1987, Ian McEwan’s The Child in Time is set in a London before CCTV, mobiles, texts and tweets. The characters exchange postcards, write letters, walk to the postbox. Thatcher is in charge and there is a back-to-basics ethos about childcare and citizenship. The recent adaptation with Benedict Cumberbatch, set in the present, lost this period texture – and made no procedural sense. An infant lost in a supermarket in 2017 would be found...

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