TV guide: 16 of the best shows to watch this week
Tana French-based crime series debuts on RTÉ and BBC, plus Ireland's goth ‘Lolitas’, 18th series of Family Guy, and original Terminator stars on Graham Norton
Killian Scott and Sarah Greene in Dubln Murders
Monday, BBC1, 9pm; Tuesday, BBC1, 10.35pm; Wednesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
If you go down to the woods today . . . well, you can guess what’s gonna happen. This new eight-part series, based on the Dublin Murder Squad novels by Tana French, will make you think twice before you take a walk in your local forest. It’s the height of the Celtic Tiger boom and everyone’s awash with cash, snapping up apartments in Bulgaria, holiday homes in Wexford and helicopters for the back garden. But for detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox, the ghosts of Ireland’s past still walk the earth – and there’s an unwanted boom in dead bodies. Killian Scott and Sarah Greene star as the two ambitious young gardaí facing primal forces that threaten their sanity as well as their safety. We’re expecting some seriously gritty drama to keep us on the edge of our sofas during these autumn nights. We begin with a flashback to 1985 and the mysterious disappearance of two children in the Knocknaree woods. Fast-forward to 2006, and the body of a 13-year-old girl is found in the same woods, laid out on an ancient stone altar. What dark forces are at work here? The series promises a distinct gothic edge to ramp up the psychological tension. With RTÉ lacking a little in the funds department these days, it’s no surprise that this series is a joint effort with the BBC, co-produced by Euston Films, Element Pictures and Veritas Entertainment. In this instance, looks like a case of many hands make dark work.
Pulling with My Parents
Monday, RTÉ 2, 9.30pm (repeated Tues, RTÉ One, 10.15pm)
You wouldn’t let your parents choose your outfits, would you? And you certainly wouldn’t let them pick the music for your Spotify playlist. So why on earth would you let them decide who you go out with on a date? In this new series, lovelorn young people hand over the cupid’s bow to their mam and dad in the hope that they’ll succeed where dating apps have failed and find them someone to play mammies and daddies with. Let’s face it, you’d have to be pretty desperate to allow your parents to play matchmaker, but these young singletons have been seriously let down by modern dating technology, and so they need to recruit someone older and wiser to help reboot their love life. The first episode features Sophie (28) and Jason (30), both of whom are unlucky in love. Can their parents help them pull a cracker so they won’t be lonely this Christmas? The mams and dads will need a crash course in swiping right and left, but they’ll also resurrect some old-fashioned dating methods, including putting an ad in the Farmer’s Journal and tapping into their local GAA nookie network.
Climate Change: What Can We Do? – Panorama
Monday, BBC1, 8.30pm
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg is regularly hitting the headlines thanks to her efforts to raise awareness of climate change; in May she appeared on the cover of Time magazine, while climate change protests inspired by her stand have been happening across the globe. Here, reporter Justin Rowlatt reveals what we as individuals can do to make a practical difference by reducing our carbon emissions. A family from Nottingham helps him put theory into practice before asking whether their government is doing all it can to encourage the public to live a greener lifestyle.
Monday, UTV2, 9pm
The 18th series of the animated comedy gets under way. Downsizing at the Pawtucket Brewery has Peter worried about his job. On the brink of being let go, he suffers a significant panic attack. So to help lower his stress a doctor recommends that he begins listening to “yacht rock” (think Kenny Loggins and Hall & Oates). After getting his friends and family on board with his idea, Peter invites everybody to join him on a cruise ship dedicated to the soft rock. Unfortunately, it may not be such a stress-free vacation as the vessel begins to sink.
Tuesday, RTÉ Player
Living Lolita explores the world of a unique fashion subculture that found its way from Japan to a group of young women in Ireland. The Irish Gothic Lolita Community is a group of Irish women who dress in an elaborate Renaissance-inspired style that originated in Japan, some wearing it every day “to the shops for a jug of milk”. To the Lolitas, this is about more than clothes – it’s a movement: “We wear these clothes because they are feminine. They are not sexual. They are not for anyone else’s gaze – it is something for me.” Despite dealing with unwanted attention and common misconceptions surrounding their controversial name, the Lolitas say their movement is about empowerment, belonging and, most of all, friendship.
Tuesday, RTÉ Player
Gay conversion therapy has remained cloaked from the public and largely unreported in Ireland. This documentary explores the stories of four men with first-hand experience of these practices, including counselling and exorcism. Considering that homosexuality was only decriminalised in here in the 1990s, LGBTQ rights in Ireland have progressed rapidly. The country made international headlines with the same-sex marriage referendum in May 2015 and the Gender Recognition Act two months later. This momentum continued into 2017, which saw the instatement of an openly gay Taoiseach. However, attempts at “gay conversion therapy”, which still take place, have largely fallen beneath the radar of the media. Converted interviews one man who experienced it, one who provides it, a Christian who believes that it should be an option for those who seek it, and a journalist who went under cover in a Christian group that provided “support” and “guidance” on living chaste homosexual lives.
Catching Britain’s Killers: The Crimes That Changed Us
Wednesday, BBC2, 9pm
The stories of murder investigations and their extraordinary consequences, which overturned laws, transformed police interrogation and revolutionised forensic detection. This episode focuses on the murder of Julie Hogg, a single mother from the small town of Billingham in Teesside. The programme looks back at Julie’s mother Ann’s campaign to challenge the 800-year-old law on double jeopardy, after a jury failed to convict Julie’s former boyfriend. As the twists and turns of Ann’s campaign are traced, the story of other cases that benefited from the legal changes are also explored.
Thursday, BBC Two, 9pm
Here’s a British-Japanese crime series, starring Takehiro Hira and Kelly Macdonald, that examines how one murder creates a butterfly effect that stretches between two cities at opposite sides of the world. Tokyo detective Kenzo finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings after he’s sent to London to find his missing brother. Far away from his family, Kenzo must learn the strange ways of Londoners, and tread carefully in his dealings with the shadowy corporation of Abbott and Vickers, which is looking to expand to the east.
Seal le Dáithí
Thursay, TG4, 7.30pm
Trócaire head Caoimhe de Barra is Dáithí Ó Sé’s guest this week. From Monkstown, Co Dublin, de Barra originally majored in marketing before travelling to Asia and working in Europe before coming home to do a master’s in development studies at UCD. De Barra has held various roles both with Concern and Trócaire, the latter for the past 18 years and is the first woman to rise to the rank of chief executive. She remains passionate about the mission and values of the organisation.
Seoda Bhailiúchán na Scol
Thursday, TG4, 8pm
This new series delves in to the treasures of the Schools Folklore Collection, an archive of almost half a million pages of folklore collected by schoolchildren from their neighbours and relatives in 50,000 schools across Ireland between 1937-1939. In the first programme, ex-RTÉ News presenter Aengus Mac Grianna looks at traditions relating to love and marriage. To compare them to the ways of today, he attends a singles night, a humanist wedding rehearsal and chats to people on the street from various countries to see what is practiced where they come from.
Charlotte Church: My Family & Me
Thursday, Channel 4, 9pm
In 1997, 11-year-old Charlotte Church sang Pie Jesu over the phone on This Morning. At 12, she released her debut album, Voice of an Angel, which became a huge crossover classical hit, and as a teenager, she performed for the pope and presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush. But with Church’s success came huge pressures – and she wasn’t the only one affected. In this candid documentary, Church and her parents Maria and James spend five days together in a remote location to talk about the impact the singer’s fame had on their family and how they dealt with the resulting newfound wealth and tabloid scrutiny.
Own the Sky: Jet Pack Dreamers
Thursday, BBC4, 9pm
Described as “Man on Wire with a jetpack”, Gregory Read’s fascinating documentary delves into the relentless obsession of Australian David Mayman, who embarked on the seemingly impossible quest of flying the world’s first jetpack around the Statue of Liberty in 2015. Shot over 10 years, the film looks back at the likes of the Wright Brothers and explains how they also must’ve looked like maniacs as they tried to launch themselves skyward on nothing but the power of their own ingenuity. But the main focus is Mayman, a qualified commercial helicopter pilot whose attempts to fulfil his childhood dream eventually turn into an all-consuming addiction that nearly costs him his family – and his life.
Even Later . . . with Jools Holland and Mark Ronson
Thursday, BBC2, 11.15pm
Later . . . has been going for yonks now, but after nearly 30 years of introducing the best bands around, Jools Holland has decided he needs a little help in the co-hosting department. The format stays largely the same: superb acts play great songs totally live. But there will be more enhanced encounters with each guest and, each week, Holland will be joined by a different co-presenter. First up is Uptown Funk maestro Mark Ronson, the musician/producer with the midas touch, and the all-female guest list includes Yebba, Sampa the Great, Cate Le Bon, Georgia and PP Arnold.
Oliver Jeffers: Here We Are – BBC Arts NI Presents
Thursday, BBC2, 10pm
A profile of the award-winning children’s picture book-maker who has sold more than 10 million books, including How to Catch a Star, The Incredible Book Eating Boy and Lost and Found. The latter was turned into a Bafta-winning animation in 2008. Jeffers has also made a promotional video for U2 and did the artwork for their Innocence and Experience tour. He is also a prolific and collectable fine artist, hungrily experimenting with media and form, and in recent times has become politically vocal through his regular postings on Instagram. Born in Australia, Jeffers spent his childhood and young adulthood in Belfast before moving to New York some 12 years ago.
Still Open All Hours
Friday, BBC1, 8pm
David Jason stars in this follow-up to Roy Clarke’s popular comedy Open All Hours. Once the dogsbody, Granville has inherited the business from his miserly uncle Albert Arkwright, but he is not alone in running the shop – he now has his own assistant in the shape of his son Leroy, who proves more popular with the ladies than his dad ever did. Promised storylines promised include Eric and Cyril getting a little too close to nature while trying to impress their wives on a camping trip, and Gastric contemplating whether he would rather die than diet.
The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, the original stars of James Cameron’s classic The Terminator (1984), discuss reuniting for the latest in the series, Terminator: Dark Fate. Plus British chef and Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain and iconic singer Debbie Harry.