Like Paul Burgin I am a huge fan of Stephen Poliakoff, and would rate his 2006 dramas Friends and Crocodiles and Gideon's Daughter among the best things I've seen on the telly since the 70s golden age of I Claudius, Bouquet of Barbed Wire and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.
But I couldn't help but feel a little let-down by the two more recent films, Joe's Palace, which was shown a week ago on Sunday, and Capturing Mary which had its first airing last night.
While both were brilliantly well-acted, as you might expect from an ensemble cast including the likes of Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Michael Gambon, Rupert Penry Jones, Ruth Wilson and Kelly Reilly, the storylines were exceptionally thin and at times downright unconvincing - for instance when, in Joe's Palace, Sir Michael's character enlists the help of a girl from the local deli (played by Rebecca Hall) to uncover a secret from his father's papers that has eluded scores of professional historians.
I personally think Joe's Palace and Capturing Mary would have worked better as a single film, with the latter shown as flashbacks as Mary unburdens herself to Joe in between the requisite bonking sessions involving Penry Jones and Reilly. It would probably have had to be about three hours long, but would, in my view, have had a much more substantial feel to it.
Poliakoff is of course being commissioned by the BBC to come up with this stuff, but I do wonder whether they are in danger of killing the goose that laid the golden egg, and whether the corporation might be better advised to cast its net a little wider when it comes to showcasing new drama.
Meanwhile, for anyone who loved Friends and Crocodiles and is also a fan of the seminal 1990s artpop duo Mono, here's a special treat.