Julian Barratt gives his comic all to Mindhorn, playing washed-up actor Richard Thorncroft who is called upon by Isle of Man police to revive his 80s TV detective Mindhorn to solve some strange murders on the island.

He’s a Bergerac meets MacGyver style character, with an all-seeing eye that can detect stuff. Thorncroft takes the gig – he hasn’t much else on – and returns to his isle of glory, where a former flame is revived in the comely form of Essie Davies’ Patricia Deville, Mindhorn’s former sidekick, who now works as a local TV journalist and married to a Swedish stuntman, played by co-writer Simon Farnaby.

As a marker, Steve Coogan appears – this is very much based in the comic tradition of David Brent and Alan Partridge but has a polo-necked layer of empathy as a film, with Thorncroft imprisoned in his own character and own myth.

I laughed a lot and loudly although the gag per second ratio is necessary to cover over the thinness of the concept being stretched to feature length, like a bad actor’s desperate comb-over toupee…

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