Haunted houses can seldom have been so injurious to health as the suburban fun palace that stars in Ju-On: Origins (Netflix). As implied, the six-part series tells the backstory that underpins all those franchised Ju-On films – specifically how the notorious Tokyo residence first affected those tainted by it, even if only by association, in different, wildly destructive ways. It’s the sort of house, housing the sort of neighbours, that sends property prices through the floor. But bricks and mortar don’t become evil without being marred by some initial human depravity. So here, in the same location as an unspeakable but forgotten desecration of mother and baby, comes the schoolboy rapist attacking a female pupil; a hanging or two; multiple slashings; psychological meltdowns; a literal, corporeal meltdown; and recurring hauntings. As it plays chronological hopscotch, Ju-On: Origins becomes a difficult watch: the particularly squeamish might care to view episode four from behind the sofa. So what does all this tell us about the human condition? That it has a tendency, revisited across decades, towards grisly violence? That we are addicted to icy-veined moments of terror? As we accompany paranormal researcher Yasuo Odajima (Yoshiyoshi Arakawa) on his obsessive quest to find the house in question, seemingly identifiable from grainy newspaper photographs and rambling testimony only, the extreme horror of grim goings-on there becomes apparent. The questions that creep out, however, touch on just how Odajima has managed to remain immune to the curse of a house in which he lived briefly as a child: is he somehow complicit in the psycho-sadistic happenings? And does his family history poison the lives of later occupants? Much may be revealed in a probable second series, but for now, beware all things that creak, wail and gush innards in the night. Doom Patrol is back for a second season An underappreciated James Bond he might have been, but Timothy Dalton has always had a barely repressed dark side as a moustache-twirling vaudeville villain. Underneath it all he’s Dick Dastardly with Shakespearean anti-hero leanings (exhibit A: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s gothic murder-mystery movie Hot Fuzz ). Now, as Dr Niles Caulder in Doom Patrol (HBO Go; new episodes on Fridays), he has evolved into a Dick Dastardly-Professor Charles Xavier mash-up. He’s also another potentially crazy comic-strip scientist with a god complex – perhaps that’s why he’s referred to as “Chief” – one who has erred on the side of reckless experimentation and helped condemn his legion of physically and mentally scarred misfits to a miserable existence of rejection and abuse at the hands of “bawdy, illiterate scum”. But hey, he’s terribly sorry and is trying to make amends. So that’s all right then. There is more superhero cross-pollination than just Caulder in a motorised wheelchair: a soupçon of the Fantastic Four here; a dollop of Iron Man there; a couple of morsels of Star Trek; a helping of Gulliver’s Travels … even a deranged Dorothy who is definitely not in Kansas any more. But don’t come to Doom Patrol expecting X-Men . This is more like the Why?-Men or the Whaaaat?-Men: beyond its horrors of the science fiction and personal-tragedy varieties the story can be challenging to follow, with flashbacks, memory whiteouts and time skips. This lot really need to save themselves before saving the world. Advisory: start with series one (also available on HBO Go) before tackling the second season to gain some understanding of the dinosaur-vegetable combo, colossal rat, monster cockroach and other assorted wonders the Doom Patrol universe tosses out. Or you can consider the whole thing a spoof and just enjoy Dr Tyme’s spangly-trousered roller disco.