Looking for a career change and entry into a pandemic-proof business? The answer may lie in your own backyard, but be warned: places in the pecking order are defended robustly and the really big money never trickles down. According to the makers of true-crime drugs documentary Traffickers: Inside the Golden Triangle , business has seldom been better. Far from making a dent in profits, Covid-19 has helped pay dividends to people invested in narcotics in the region bordering Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. A three-part investigation now available on streaming platform HBO Go, Traffickers moves from the late 1960s to almost the present in exposing the power, influence and prestige once enjoyed by three of the most notorious drug barons. From the jungles and mountains of Myanmar’s Shan State, where “prince of death” Khun Sa ran a “revolutionary army” to control the production of opium; to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, scene of the media-circus apprehension of Laotian “playboy drug lord” Xaysana Xkeopimpha in 2017; via the Mekong River and the massacre of 13 crew aboard two Chinese boats in 2011, the series offers a grim assessment of drugs’ knock-on effects. Such effects seem to go unnoticed by a few apologists, such as the smiling Buddhist monk who describes one callous criminal as “a Robin Hood”. Though the drugs may change – crystal meth has long superseded opium as the Golden Triangle’s greatest cash cow – and one ruthless kingpin’s reign of terror gives way to the next, there is “no end in sight”, says one ex-DEA agent. Because if there is demand, there will always be supply . Fine pairing They might be far from some of Asia’s most perilous coordinates, but what is it about Britain’s most picturesque cities that inspires devious foul play? Oxford, Durham, Edinburgh, Cambridge and now Bath; is it just a question of pretty scenery, or are there sinister forces at play? Perhaps it’s the latter, if the second series of McDonald & Dodds (BBC First, all three instalments now available on demand via myTV Super and Now TV in Hong Kong) is any yardstick. An odd-couple detective show in a contemporary setting but with a retro air, it can’t fail to seduce fans of Inspector Morse , Endeavour , Poirot , Rebus and the like. Here, the never-ending fight against crime is led by brusque Detective Chief Inspector Lauren McDonald (Tala Gouveia), an import from London’s Metropolitan Police used to some genuinely mean streets. Her underling is Detective Sergeant Dodds (Jason Watkins), who appears not to be held back by the absence of a first name and whose chief sleuthing tools are an endearing quirkiness and a flair for lateral thinking. But what sort of bad guys are we really expecting to find in – or even above – quaint, West Country Bath, be they natives or visitors? In their first outing of the new season our semi-dynamic duo find everything is up in the air, making it tricky to ascertain whether a death involving a hot-air balloon ride was murder or an accident. The four wealthy, middle-aged, smug suspects (and big-name guest stars) constitute a neat repudiation of all that was objectionable about 1980s Thatcherite Britain. That said, the ever-twinkly Martin Kemp, formerly of Spandau Ballet and fittingly cast here as an ex-music mogul, almost makes a virtue of his gang of four’s “greed is good” mantra. Elsewhere, the pitfalls of plastic surgery and the horrors of a drunken girls’ night out exercise the forthright McDonald and the eccentric Dodds – who, along the way, finds himself perplexed and discomfited by the terms “lifestyle influencer ”, “trolled” and “unfollowed”. In some lines of work, pedantry and bumbling are unbeatable.