Around The World In 80 Treasures (BBC2); Wire In The Blood (ITV1): DAN Cruickshank has the sort of assignment of which many people dream. He's travelling the world selecting treasures, both well-known and not so well-known, for our appreciation.

He'll be visiting 40 countries in 150 days, taking 90 flights as well as travelling by land and sea, as he covers some 80,000 miles. It's a hell of a journey and I fear that I'm going to be fed up - through boredom or jealousy, I'm uncertain - with Cruickshank muttering on while wandering in front of his latest treasure. I was already exhausted by the end of the first hour's worth of TV covering Latin America.

He comes over as a cross between Michael Palin and any TV historian/archaeologist you'd care to name. Unlike Palin, he doesn't interact with the locals. No-one else is allowed to be the star. Already we've watched him hang-gliding over a sacred valley, eating guinea pig ("mmm, delicious, very tasty"), seeing the mysterious Easter Island statues and venturing by plane, car and boat deep into the Amazon rainforest.

The sights are, needless to say, stunning. More importantly, they're not always the obvious ones. The lost city of Machu Picchu is familiar enough but the spider necklace of Sipan in north Peru was new to me. And the Nazca Lines, huge images carved into pampas and only visible from the air, were truly amazing.

It was good to see that not everything went according to plan. After all, one of the pleasures of travel shows is the unexpected happening to the presenter. Here, he was nattering away in front of the statue of Christ on a mountain top in Rio de Janeiro when the massive statue disappeared before our very eyes as a thick fog descended.

Much of the time you're peering into the dark in Wire In The Blood, the gruesome detective series featuring Robson Green as a smug psychologist who's always annoyingly right. Perhaps he could persuade someone to put a 50p in the meter so the lights could be turned on. He advises detective Hermione Norris, who had a spot of bad luck in this opener. She was mugged, and then run down by a car as she picked herself up. Confined to a hospital bed, she begged him to bring her the investigation papers. "It's the case or daytime TV," she said (a little tactlessly as Green has been starring in Afternoon Plays on the BBC). The distasteful case involved runaway children being found dead, the position of the bodies suggesting some sort of ritual. Clever clogs Green knew immediately that the police had got the wrong man. Even his bedroom ceiling falling in on him failed to dent his confidence.

This was a grim tale, what with child abusers, wife beaters and paedophiles, not to mention the murder of children. The only light relief was the pleasure of seeing the smug psychologist get soaked to the skin when the ceiling fell in on him. That was one thing he didn't see coming.

Published: 22/05/2005