This week on TV: The shows not to miss
Marvel deploys its defenders. Quacks carve up London
Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist team up to save the world/sell more merchandise in The Defenders
Meetings with Ivor
Monday, RTÉ One, 10.40pm
He was a pioneer of Irish psychiatry, and a passionate, crusading advocate for better mental health care. Now in his late 80s, Ivor Browne is as mentally sharp as ever, and Meetings with Ivor (Monday, RTÉ One, 10.40pm) tells the story of his groundbreaking work through the decades in helping to drag Ireland’s mental-health system out of the dark ages. Alan Gilsenan paints a cinematic portrait of the man, who was born to a middle-class family in Sandycove, Co Dublin, and went on to become a celebrated psychiatrist.
Tuesday, BBC Two, 10pm
Imagine being a surgeon in Victorian London, with all the scary tools of the trade. Rory Kinnear heads a cast of 19th-century medics in Quacks (Tuesday, BBC Two, 10pm), a comedy about four medical friends competing to make their mark on medical history. Kinnear plays Robert, a brilliant, pioneering surgeon with a rock star-sized ego who likes to show off his surgery skills in front of an adoring audience. But when he gets too arrogant, and ends up doing a cack-handed amputation, he falls foul of Royal Physician Dr Hendrick (played by Rupert Everett).
Wednesday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm
The mob’s favourite fixer is back for a fifth series, but will his luck finally run out? Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber as the titular tough guy, with Susan Sarandon and Jon Voight also part of the action. Things have settled a bit for Ray – the Russian gangsters are off his back, and his family seems to be united again.
But don’t get too comfy – the producers have promised that series five will be the darkest yet, with the Donovan family facing its own demons, and dealing with even more dangerous clients. The series covers a 12-month period in the lives of the Donovans, but for the first time, the story is non-linear, time-jumping around with headspinning frequency.
No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender-Free?
Wednesday, BBC Two, 9pm
Here’s a novel way to deal with the gender pay gap: erase the colours pink and blue from your kids’ lives. Dr Javid Abdelmoneim believes gender inequality begins in the nursery, and if we change the way we treat our kids, we will change their future for the better. No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender-Free? is a unique experiment in which a class of seven-year-olds are treated in a “gender-neutral” way – so no more pink for the girls and blue for the boys, and no books aimed solely at boys or girls, and no teaching based on deep-rooted assumptions about gender differences.
from Friday, Netflix
Four superhero heads are better than one, so Netflix is bringing together four of its finest to unite against a common enemy. Marvel’s The Defenders (from Friday, Netflix) sees Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Iron Fist put aside their own solo crimefighting projects to form a kick-ass comic book quartet. All four, of course, have their own series on Netflix – and their own flawed superhero issues – but now they’ve got to work together as a team and save New York from destruction by a shady death cult known as The Hand. Will it be a case of many hands make fight work, or too many cooks spoil the wrath? The series is set in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, so the timeline and storyline is consistent with the Marvel movies, which is nice.