Five of the best TV shows to watch this weekend
Francis Brennan takes 12 tourists to South Africa while John Creedon takes the roads less travelled around Ireland
Francis Brennan takes 12 tourists on the trip of a lifetime to South Africa
Stan Lee’s Lucky Man
Friday, Sky One, 9pm
James Nesbitt returns as Detective Inspector Harry Clayton, the guardian of a special bracelet which bestows great luck on its wearer. Despite being supposedly the luckiest man in the world, however, Harry is beset by enemies, foes and criminals, all of whom want a piece of Harry’s good fortune. Sounds as if he would be better off throwing the damn bracelet in the Thames, but of course he’s not about to do anything so rash. As series three begins, Harry is on the run from his old colleagues in London’s Murder Squad, and heads to Hong Kong to search for clues about the origins of the bracelet. But, as luck would have it, he falls foul of HK’s ultra-violent criminal gangs. And just when you think things couldn’t get worse, he faces his most powerful enemy yet, contract killer Samuel Blake, who wants – what else? – to get his bloodied hands on the magic bracelet. Lucky my arse.
If you liked Futurama, here’s another animated sci-fi comedy series, this one created by indie film-maker Olan Rogers. It’s a grown-up cartoon following the adventures of an astronaut named Gary Goodspeed, who befriends an adorable alien named Mooncake. But Mooncake has a hidden talent – he can destroy entire planets, and the evil Lord Commander wants to tap into this talent in order to, we suppose, destroy planets. Gary and Mooncake must avoid falling into Lord Commander’s clutches while trying to solve the ultimate mysteries of the universe, such as where does the universe end, and does the blooming thing even exist at all?
Touretteshero: Me, My Mouth and I
Saturday, BBC2, 10.45pm
Theatre-maker and comedian Jess Thom is best known for her award-winning stage show Backstage in Biscuit Land. She also co-founded Touretteshero, an alter-ego and project aimed at increasing awareness of Tourette’s Syndrome, the neurological condition which she was diagnosed with in her early 20s. In this new film, the performer, artist and activist explores neuro-diversity in the arts through the work of Samuel Beckett and her own personal experiences. Jess takes us on a funny and unpredictable journey of discovery into one of Becket’s most complex plays, the 1972 short dramatic monologue Not I. She asks us to radically reconsider issues of disability, representation and social exclusion before going on to perform the role of Mouth, a woman who has been largely voiceless, but who suddenly speaks, in front of a live theatre audience.
Creedon’s Road Less Travelled
Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm
John Creedon goes on his holliers again – and this time he’s going off the main drag and into unexplored territory. The remote jungles of Borneo? The hidden Himalayan trails? No, in this first episode of his latest summer travel series, Creedon is taking the slip road off the M8 and venturing into the lost world beyond the motorway. This may surprise you, but there is an entire civilisation thriving along the secondary roads and boreens that lie behind the main dual carriageways. Half-forgotten places like Abbeyleix, Thurles and Cahir, untouched by time and only reachable by taking the exit off the M8.
Creedon dares to take that exit into a whole new world that just whizzes by most people as they rush to get from Dublin to Cork. Creedon’s first stop is Kilworth Camp – no, not a survivalists’ colony, but an Irish Army base in Co Cork, where Creedon relives his days as a cadet in the FCA. Next stop is Cahir, Co Tipperary to meet internet comedy duo The Two Johnnies. Yes, you heard right, they even have the internet in Cahir. Then it’s on to Thurles, the site of the legendary Féile festival, where he meets Féile stalwart Leo Moran of The Saw Doctors, before zooming up to Mondello Park to try out his driving skills against former rally driver Rosemary Smith. Bet you never even knew these places existed.
Francis Brennan’s Grand Tour South Africa
Sunday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
The hotelier is hosting another motley crew of holidaymakers on a mystery tour – and this time he’s chosen to bring them on an epic journey from Johannesburg to Cape Town and all scenic points in between. Once again, the travellers have no idea where they’re going – it’s only when they arrive at Dublin airport that Brennan reveals their destination. Getting a surprise holiday to South Africa sounds wonderful, but let’s not forget the guests are actually paying for it. Among the delights that await the guests are an African drumming lesson, a visit to the Apartheid Museum in Soweto, a safari (of course), and a yummy bite of roast crocodile. – Additional reporting PA