Too Good To Be True (ITV1): Premiere People (BBC1 - Newcastle/Cumbria): THEY look like the perfect family on holiday as mum, dad and two children frolic in the sea under the Spanish sun.

But Too Good To Be True demonstrated that appearances can be deceptive.

Parents Robert and Tina were divorced, together again temporarily for the sake of the children. She'd been single since the marriage broke up. He'd re-married, but kept a key to the family home so he could pop in and kiss the kids goodnight whenever he felt like it.

I'm in a tricky position because I've seen the second part of this psychological thriller - tonight at 9pm - and can assure you that something begins to happen at last. This is another case, and they're becoming all too frequent on TV, of a decent 90-minute film being spread too thinly over two 90-minute episodes.

The opener was all scene-setting as the happy family situation began to crumble after Tina found herself a new man through the Internet. She invited Mister41 round for dinner, put pepper instead of cinnamon in the main course, and ended up having sex with him.

Robert was not happy. He took great delight in revealing that Matthew, his ex-wife's new beau, lied about being divorced. His wife was actually killed in a car crash. We left Robert and Tina back in bed together. "I'm not sure this is a good idea," she suggested.

How right she was, as she'll discover tonight. Whether it's Matthew or Robert (good to see normally nice guy Peter Davison being not so nice), who's the psycho, you'll find out tonight. One thing's for certain - Tina, as played by Niamh Cusack, is such a pain in the neck it's difficult to understand why one, let alone two, men are besotted by her.

I shouldn't really be telling you about Premiere People because (a) this column usually deals with programmes already shown - and this is on BBC North East/Cumbria tonight, 11.05pm - and (b) the Beeb is trying to do me out of a job. It's inviting viewers to become critics and call an audience line (08700 100456) to say what they thought of these short films made at Newcastle's Personal Digital Production Centre, where BBC staff from around the country train to use new, lightweight cameras that effectively turn them into one-man documentary units.

The results, as this one-off collection demonstrates, are remarkably watchable. Among those we meet are Brenda, who's addicted to sunbathing, forever stripping off to fry under the sun or on a sunbed. She's aware of the dangers of skin cancer, but laughs about death: "I'm going to be burnt, so I'm still going to be brown at the end."

Best of all was the visit aboard the Tuxedo Princess, the retired Sealink ferry that's now Newcastle's floating nightclub. Podium dancers Barry and Daniel proved an entertaining double act, but couldn't beat boat doctor Nick recalling his first night on duty. A fight between two women ended - and I loved his matter-of-fact recollection - with one of the friends stamping repeatedly on the other's head.

This, Nick said, wouldn't normally have been a problem, only she was wearing four inch stilettos. "The result was a large hole in the other woman's skull into her brain," he recalled. "I had to plug the hole and the only thing I had was my finger. I treated her, and seven days later she was back on the boat."

Published: 23/09/2003