Winter is coming. But its television seems to have arrived already.
Sitting indoors watching gritty British murder mysteries on a hot Sunday night in January seems to me an unnatural act: like the rugby season kicking off in February, eating an egg and bacon pie without lashings of worcestershire sauce, or ballroom dancing.
But I imagine TV One screening gritty British murder mysteries on a hot Sunday night in January has something to do with "needs must" programming.
The appearance of the second season of Broadchurch (8.35pm) -- which has just finished screening in Britain -- in the middle of our summer is likely down to TV One wanting to get ahead of the crowd who watch stuff illegally on the web.
The appearance of Prey (9.35pm) immediately after Broadchurch is likely down to TV One wanting to please us still further: "if you liked this, then you'll like this too, let's make a night of it".
Actually Prey, a three-part thriller starring the great John Simm, makes the pretty bloody gritty Broadchurch, child murderer and all, look rather cheery.
In Prey, Simm is a good man, a hardworking Manchester copper called Marcus Farrow who is sadly separated from his wife and and two young boys. But as the first episode opened, this was not his immediate problem. No, his runaway difficulty was that he was a prisoner on his way to prison who had managed to escape from a police van after it rolled in an accident.
This was flashback. By the end of the episode we knew he was running away because he was charged with killing his estranged wife and one of his sons and that he was running from his fellow Peelers and the courts so that he could find the real killer and clear his name.
If this is starting to sound just a little familiar, then that's because the good-man-on-the-run-from-the-law thing was central to something called The Fugitive, a 60s TV show starring one David Janssen and also a 1990s film starring Harrison Ford.
That aside, Prey is its own show. It set its parameters quickly too: we have three choices for who the real killer might be: Could it be Farrow's partner, who is caught destroying evidence for another murder that he and Farrow are investigating? Or could it be a local criminal apparently involved in this second murder who appeared to threaten Farrow's family? Or maybe -- wildcard -- it could it be the officer investigating the murders, the clearly off her rocker DS Susan Reinhart (an excellent Rosie Cavaliero), who it seems is also stalking her ex-boyfriend?
Prey is shot in blue-greys, is crisply edited, is extremely well cast and played and is bleaker than a Manchester winter. It had me in the first 15 minutes. The first episode of the second season of Broadchurch took a little longer.
Broadchurch's first series was one of my shows of the year for 2014. It too was -- is -- extremely well cast and played, crisply edited and beautifully directed. So there's a lot of credit in the bank.
But I found myself slightly ambivalent in its first hour. Partly because I guessed early that the child killer Joe Miller was going to plead not guilty, but also because the episode was jam-packed with extra plotting (and sub-plotting) including a repeat of the what's-Mark-Latimer-up-to? plotline.
In the meantime Prey is excellent viewing; I've said it before: John Simm is so good I'd watch him paint a wall. But then Broadchurch's David Tennant and Olivia Colman are equally compelling players. Which is really great news for the sweaty, hot Sunday nights of summer still to come.