TV guide: Six of the best shows to watch this week, beginning tonight

Including The Zoo, Bog Amach, Only Murders in the Building, Harry Wild and more

The Zoo

Sunday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Recently, RTÉ set up its cameras in Dublin Zoo’s African plain for a week, watching the activities as the animals and zoo staff went about their daily business. If that whetted your appetite for more, here’s series 11 of The Zoo, and a chance to get behind the scenes and see the animals up close. This one promises cuteness levels off the scale. The stars of the show are two gorilla babies, Asali and Kavuli, while the red pandas are moving into their new Himalayan habitat, with more super-cute additions to the family. And this series sees the arrival of dholes — a species of wild dog — into Dublin Zoo for the first time.

Bog Amach

Monday, RTÉ One, 8pm

If estate agents are to be believed — and who wouldn’t believe them? — there is a mass exodus from Ireland’s cities, as house-hunters scramble to escape the rat race and find a quiet, peaceful home in the countryside. They’re casting their net into rural corners of the country in hopes of finding a home that’s not overpriced in an area that’s not overdeveloped, where they can work from home while enjoying all the benefits of fresh air, wide open spaces and lovely scenery. In this new six-part series, presenter Tessa Fleming helps different families and couples find their dream home away from the nightmare of modern suburban life.

Only Murders in the Building

From Tuesday, Disney+

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez return as the three sleuthing amigos for a second series, and there is another murder in the building that they must solve — only this time someone’s trying to frame our crime-solving trio for it. Not only that, but their true-crime podcast is also under threat as they find themselves the subjects of a rival podcast. Can Martin, Short and Gomez maintain that chemistry that kept viewers coming back to the Arconia apartment building to catch the next clever twist? Series two features new cast members Amy Schumer, Cara Delevingne and a formidable-looking Shirley MacLaine.

Harry Wild

Wednesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Jane Seymour stars as the titular sleuth (full name Harriet) in this new drama series set in Dublin, and co-starring a host of familiar Irish faces, including Amy Huberman, Stuart Graham, Ciara O’Callaghan, Paul Tylak, Danielle Ryan and Kevin J Ryan. Seymour plays a retired literature professor with a liking for a drink and a penchant for spouting profanities. She plans to spend her retirement “sorting out the attic, gardening, starting a detective agency”. When she becomes the victim of a mugging, she goes to stay with her son Charlie (Ryan), a Garda detective, to recover. Charlie is investigating a bizarre murder, and the ever-inquisitive Harry can’t help peeking at the files, noticing that the murderer’s modus operandi is taken straight from an obscure Elizabethan play. With Charlie telling her to keep her nose out of the case (“I didn’t know I was being raised by Columbo,” he snaps), she decides to enlist her teenage mugger Fergus (Rohan Nedd), to help solve the mystery.

Tracks and Trails

Thursday, RTÉ One, 7pm

The outdoorsy series returns for a 10th series, with four presenters setting off on four very different routes through the Irish countryside. In the first episode, sports journalist Darren Frehill explores different trails around Lough Derg, stepping into three counties along the route. In episode two, author and comedian Rory O’Connor takes a walk along the Lagan towpath in Belfast and up Slieve Gullion in Co Armagh. Episode three finds Roz Purcell following St Kevin’s Way and the Avonmore Way in Co Wicklow, while Cathy Kenny finishes up the series with a walk on the Dingle Peninsula and Killarney National Park in Co Kerry. Phew, I need a sit-down after watching all that.

The Undeclared War

Thursday, Channel 4, 9pm

With a rather meh title, this new thriller series hopes to get us on the edge of our ergonomic office chairs with a plot revolving around the global threat of major cyber attacks. Mark Rylance heads up the cast alongside Simon Pegg with the plot centring on a top team of tech analysts in Britain’s GCHQ waging a cyber defence against an invisible enemy out to undermine democracy, plunder bank accounts and hold state institutions to ransom. When intern Saara (Hannah Khalique-Brown) uncovers a plot to carry out a series of cyberattacks in the run-up to a general election, the team get booted up and get their mouses ready for full-on cyber battle. The show’s creator Peter Kosminsky has been researching the series for several years, embedding himself with intel experts in the US and UK, so you can be sure the data is reliable. Let’s just hope the action and excitement is there too.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist