Like Father, Like Son (ITV1)

Woe betide anyone who tells Dee Stanton that teenage son Jamie takes after his father. For dad, it transpires, is a serial killer who kidnapped and strangled four young girls.

Not that young Jamie knows this as Like Father, Like Son opens. His mother confirms that his late father was an Air Force pilot who died in action in the first Gulf War. The wall of the proud lad's bedroom is decorated with posters of aircraft and model planes hang from the ceiling.

We know this idyllic family life can't last long. Dee is happy enough, as she shows at parents' night at the local school. Those who think these events are for mothers and fathers to find out first hand about the academic progress of their children should think again.

She uses the time to check up on teacher Dominic Milne's (Robson Green) teaching technique by snogging him in the interviewing cubicle. At least, he had a sense of humour, asking: "Shouldn't we be doing this behind the bike sheds?".

The smile was soon wiped off his face as his marriage proposal to Dee caused Jamie to have a paddy. You could tell he wasn't happy by the way he threw stones at cats. The end credits probably informed us that no cats were harmed during the making of this programme. My credulity, though, was stretched to breaking point by the red herrings, deception and downright lies used to keep the suspense bubbling over two episodes - the concluding part is tonight - as to whodunit. Dun what? I hear you ask. Strangled the provocative schoolgirl Morag with whom Jamie was obsessed, that's what. Her corpse was found in the undergrowth not long after Dee's skeletons came tumbling out of the cupboard and her allegedly dead husband was revealed as a serial killer.

With her husband locked up, divorced Dee made a new life for her and Jamie. Then Dominic came along and spoilt it all because, before marrying him, she felt the need to divulge details of her ex-husband's criminal activities.

Her confession was overheard by Jamie in a piece of lazy plotting. He then demanded to visit his father in prison. "Mum, am I like him?," asked Jamie, wondering if he'd inherited the serial killer gene - especially when Morag's body was found.

Dee looked anguished, Dominic looked guilty and Jamie didn't appear as innocent as he looked. It would have helped if any of this was remotely believable, which it wasn't with a plot dependent on too many coincidences and false assumptions.

Jemma Redgrave looked suitably harassed as Dee, wearing an expression that said: "Did I remember to turn the gas off before I left the house?".

Robson Green was, well, Robson Green as the randy teacher and Tara Fitzgerald was the most unlikely police inspector you could think of. My main regret is that there wasn't more of Phil Davis, having a ball as a mean and nasty serial killer.