... As the Vengaboys once 'sang'. "Back to the island" for the viewer, at any rate - the characters in Lost (Tue 9pm/10pm C4) never left. And oh, what delights await us down the hatch? For the dedicated fan who has managed to avoid the billions of spoilers floating around in the web ether, the wait to find out what Locke's dynamite antics have uncovered is almost over - and about bloody time, too. Well done to Channel 4 for bringing Lost forward rather than waiting for the Desperate Housewives (Wed 10pm C4) slot to become free, meaning we can all stop rocking back and forward and chanting "4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42" over and over again now. Last season's finale, with Walt dragged off by the Others, and Jack and Locke staring down a ladder that really reminded us of something from Zelda: A Link To The Past, was the very definition of blueballs TV - we wanted to know what happened next right now, goddammit! - but, from what we've been told, the first episode of the new series confuses rather than explains. That's the Lost we know, love and crave. Good thing the next ep is on immediately after to tell us a bit more. Welcome back, dears.
For the 0.01% of rational, sensible adults who are violently allergic to desert islands after the Barbados incident a few years back and thus cannot bear to watch Lost as it brings back too many bad memories, as well as the irrational, foolish members of the TV-watching public who lost faith and couldn't give a manatee's earlobe what happens to Walt's dog and Hurley's waistline ... we recommend the disgusting, fascinating A Life Of Grime (Tue 9pm BBC1), which starts up a new series by looking at the least salubrious parts of Edinburgh. Promises as ever to be more nausea-inducing than that famous diving-into-a-toilet scene from Trainspotting. But not as vomit-worthy as the sight of Sadie Frost preparing a meal for her Primrose Hill Set™ in Eating With ... (Wed 8.30pm BBC2), we'd imagine, although it'll be worth watching just so we can confirm all of our prejudices about people from the posh bits of north-west London (take a look at this if you're wondering what we're prejudiced against - what the hell is "cranio-sacral therapy", anyway?).
We're going to mention Chantelle's Dream Dates (Thur 10.30pm E4) more out of incredulity that she is still getting work than anything else. Basic premise: Chantelle helps some girls
steal other women's fiancés be more successful with men. How? By telling them to wear pink, dye their hair blonde, suppress any and all original thoughts they may have and giggle a lot? Oh god, the horror. It could be fun in a car-crash kind of way - maybe. Whatever, it won't be a patch on this week's The Apprentice (Wed 9pm BBC2) when the remaining wannabe-moguls - representing the very best of British business talent, naturally - are interviewed, or, rather, interrogated, about everything from (we're guessing) how many detentions they got at school to how they would handle the Prince of Darkness appearing in the middle of the board room and demanding worship and tribute. This is more like it: no gimmicks, just a few people in a room with a camera trained on them, like one of those Warhol films where he got stars to sit in front of a lens until, he said, their true personality emerged under its basilisk stare. Who will crumble under the pressure?
TV Troll is in no way prejudiced against Scientology - feel free to believe in thetans and e-meters and whatever the hell you want, we don't care - but we have to admit to being sincerely sick of the circus surrounding its most famous hierophant and his child bride (Tom & Katie: A Showbiz Marriage, Fri 9pm Five). OK, he's famous, so is she, she's pregnant, she's given birth, whoopie-doo. This programme promises to be a stale rehashing of the clips we've all seen a million times before - so much so that we can't even summon up the energy to search YouTube for the couch-jumping incident (we've got far better things to search for - Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Dinner has to be seen to be believed). For a far more touching look at human interaction, it's the final of Beauty And The Geek (Fri 10.35pm C4) that is this week's must-watch. Fancy something a bit less life-affirming? Previously utterly boring Freeview channel Sky Three is showing Deadwood (Wed 11pm Sky Three). Lovejoy as you have never seen him before; sorry for not flagging this up earlier. Yee-haw!