TV guide: 17 of the best shows to watch this week
The return of Home Rescue, life on Tory Island and Kylie turns up on Graham Norton
Inside the Cage: The Rise of Female Fighters, Wednesday on BBC1
Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
Part one of a two-part documentary following young people with learning disabilities who are leaving home for the first time and moving into supported apartments that offer the chance of independent living. The opening instalment introduces Lewis, Michael, Sarah, Jade, Anna and Curtis as they say goodbye to their families and make the huge leap. It’s not as easy for some as it is others to settle in to the new situation, and the first few days of living in the block prove to be a rollercoaster of emotions.
Monday, BBC2, 9pm
The BBC dumped Ripper Street, citing poor ratings, and yet it seems to be launching a similar three-part period crime drama. Vienna Blood is based on a series of novels by Frank Tallis, adapted for the screen by Steve Thompson, whose previous credits include episodes of Sherlock and Jericho. Matthew Beard takes the lead role of a brilliant young English doctor living in the titular Austrian city while studying under psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. His path crosses with that of a local police detective (Juergen Maurer), and his help proves invaluable in solving a baffling and disturbing murder. Conleth Hill and Amelia Bullmore are among the supporting cast.
Save Well, Spend Better
Monday, Channel 4, 8.30pm
New series. Experts give advice at a hub where partners, friends, siblings, young adults and parents with money worries can come clean to their loved ones and get help. The team includes entrepreneur Bianca Miller Cole, global wealth consultant Ann Wilson, financial adviser Emmanuel Asuquo, and life coach Anna Williamson. In the first edition, parents Louise and Graham reveal why they can’t say no to their kids despite being in crippling debt, and best friends Eric and Phoebe’s severe fear of missing out has left them in payday loan purgatory.
The Brokenwood Mysteries
Monday, Drama, 8pm
If you’re a newcomer to this saga, it’s set in a seemingly quiet country New Zealand town, where police detecitve Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) finds that murder lurks in even the most homely location. His unconventional approach to police work is countered by constable Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland), who has learned to tolerate his methods. In the first episode of series six, Mike and his team are drawn into a world of Victorian dress-up and escapism when they investigate a murder at a steampunk event.
24 Hours in A&E
Monday, Channel 4, 9pm
The return of the documentary about life inside an A&E department, following patients treated in a 24-hour period at St George’s in southwest London. Eduard (14) is rushed in after falling from a swing and fracturing his ankle, while Rosina (62) is treated having broken her wrist on the dancefloor. Paula is in because she can’t take in food through her feeding tube. And it is not only her health that is in danger, but also that of her unborn baby.
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
Is your home cluttered beyond compare? Ever feel like the old woman in Julia Donaldson’s A Squash and a Squeeze? (Hmm, must get around to clearing out all those old children’s books.) Architect Roisin Murphy and builder Peter Finn are back with a new series of Home Rescue, in which they help more Irish families to clear out their stuff and make more room for actual humans. Forget the gentle, zen-like approach of Marie Kondo – Roisin and Peter go in like guerilla de-clutterers, pulling out all your accumulated life’s detritus and putting it out into a specially made-up marquee in the garden (“the sorting tent”), where the family will have to quickly decide what to keep and what to throw away. Hey, sometimes you need to take drastic steps to get your precious space back, especially in the current housing climate, where trading up to a bigger house is not an option for many. For their first job, Roisin, Peter and the crack clear-out squad head to Borris in Co Carlow to help Ann and her family reclaim their space.
Greg Davies: Looking for Kes
Tuesday, BBC4, 9pm
The funnyman pays tribute to Ken Loach’s beloved 1969 adaptation of Barry Hines’ classic novel, A Kestrel for a Knave. In Barnsley he meets members of Hines’ family, including his brother Richard, who was the inspiration for the book’s protagonist, Billy Casper. Davies also chats to Loach and Dai Bradley, who played Billy in the film, as well as Jarvis Cocker about the character’s impact on British pop culture. As this documentary reveals, the story is as powerful now as whenKes was released 50 years ago. Followed at 10pm by Kes: Reimagined, dance and puppetry based on the film.
Toraigh: Creag Bheag i Lár na Farraige
Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm
The islanders on remote Tory in north Donegal have been fighting for years to preserve their way of life. This documentary looks at their everyday lives and the unique challenges they face living in isolation nine miles from the mainland. Tory is Ireland’s most remote inhabited island, with an Irish-speaking population of just a few hundred. The island also has a king, Patsy Dan Rodgers, who has been “ruling” for 25 years, but he has been diagnosed with cancer, and as his health deteriorates, so too does the mood on the island. Tory has been besieged over the years by EU fishing rules, which have all but destroyed the island’s salmon industry, and by a State policy of evacuation, which islanders have strongly resisted. But despite high unemployment, harsh living conditions and an uncertain future, the islanders are determined to make a life for themselves far out at sea.
Inside the Cage: The Rise of Female Fighters
Wednesday, BBC1, 10.45pm
Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is one of the fastest-growing sports in Europe – and it’s not just men who are taking it up. In this documentary, Annie Price meets some of the women who are fighting to reach the top of the sport, including Molly McCann, the first English woman to win in the Ultimate Fight Championship. She invites Price to train with her as she prepares for the biggest bout of her career to date in the US. Meanwhile, Shanelle Dyer (18) currently fights at an amateur level but sees the sport as a way to escape from the violent streets of West London. Price also meets Cory McKenna, a straight A-student who now fights full-time. The presenter asks what drives these women to compete, and if the potential rewards of MMA are really worth the risks.
Boeing’s Killer Plane: What Went Wrong?
Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm
When Boeing unveiled the 737 Max, it promised a quieter ride, with increased fuel efficiency and an 8 per cent reduction in operational costs, as well as a new anti-stall system. No wonder it became the fastest-selling aircraft in the manufacturer’s history, with more than 5,000 orders. But on October 29th, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board. Less than five months later, Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX also crashed at the cost of 157 lives. With investigations into the latter tragedy still ongoing, this documentary uses CGI and flight simulation to look at what went wrong and whether the catastrophes could have been avoided.
Inside Europe: Ten Years of Turmoil
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 11.10pm
This episode takes us inside the room at crucial summits where leaders and their ministers battle to avert financial disaster. At its heart is a clash between the cautious Angela Merkel and the feisty Nicolas Sarkozy over how to deal with the near bankruptcy of Greece. It is a story that sees billions of euro pumped into the Greek economy, riots against austerity, and the election of Europe’s first populist government. The cast includes some of Europe’s most powerful figures at the time, among them German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, UK chancellor George Osborne, and radical Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. As the EU’s most ambitious project, the euro, teetered on the brink of collapse, Greece narrowly escaped being forced out.
Ear to the Ground
Thursday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
What Makes a Murderer
Thursday, Channel 4, 9pm
New series. Convicted murderers submit themselves to biological and psychological investigations to determine whether they truly had control over their actions. First up is John Massey (71), Britain’s longest-serving murderer, who spent 43 years in prison for the fatal shooting of a nightclub bouncer in 1975. Neurocriminologist Adrian Raine looks for biological causes of Massey’s aggressive risk-taking and psychopathic behaviour, while forensic psychologist Vicky Thakordas-Desai takes him back in time to his most painful childhood experiences.
EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2019
Thursday, RTÉ One, 11.20pm
Darragh Maloney and Aoibhín Garrihy host the Gala Awards for this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year. This 24 Finalists will join the EY Alumni Community, which now counts some 500 of the island’s strongest entrepreneurs among its members. Collectively they employ more than 160,000 people and have revenues approaching €18 billion.
Country Music by Ken Burns
Friday, BBC4, 9.30pm
A nine-part series examining the history of the American art form, and how it evolved across the 20th century. Episode one explores the genre’s earliest years up to 1933, when so-called “hillbilly music” grew in popularity. After centuries of gestating in the American South, hillbilly began reaching more people through phonographs and radio. The Carter Family, with their ballads and old hymns, and Jimmie Rodgers, with his mix of blues and yodeling, became its first big stars. Dolly Parton, Rosanne Cash and Merle Haggard are among the contributors.
The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.35pm
The man every A-lister wants to drink wine with is joined by Elizabeth Banks, best known for playing Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games series and as Gail Abernathy-McKadden in the Pitch Perfect films, and soon be seen in the new Charlie’s Angels reboot, which she also wrote and directed. Joining her on the sofa is actor/comedian Ricky Gervais and pop princess Kylie Minogue, who will perform a special version of her hit single Slow.
Friday, Channel 4, 7.30pm
Iraqi society has changed over the last five years and young Iraqis in particular want to look increasingly western – even provocative. Influencing these trends are the social media stars who have garnered millions of followers. So reporter Sahar Zand heads to the troubled nation to meet a few of them. Huge nationwide protests against corruption have been making headlines, but these young millennials are taking on power in a different way: by celebrating beauty, fashion and rap. They have acquired much popularity but, as this programme reveals, fame can have deadly consequences.