TV guide: 12 of the best shows to watch this week, beginning tonight

From David Tennant as poisoning victim Alexander Litvinenko to Catherine Tate as queen of Australia

Night & Day: Ó Dhubh go Dubh (new series)

Sunday, TG4, 10.30pm

The inaugural Night and Day festival in Clonalis House, Co Roscommon, in September 2022 featured such a big line-up of stars, they need an entire series to capture this exciting new festival. The historic grounds played host to such artists as The Mary Wallopers, Moxie, Orla Gartland (below) and John Grant over a vibrant weekend, and in this first episode, presenters Kayte O’Malley and Cian Ó Maonlaí introduce sets from Villagers, Cathy Davey, Columbia Mills, Amy Montgomery and Soda Blonde.

Van Der Valk series three

Sunday, UTV, 8pm

Marc Warren returns as the iconic Dutch detective for a third series in this rebooted version of the popular 1970s show (how could we forget the famous theme tune, Eye Level by the Simon Park Orchestra?). The series is filmed on location in Amsterdam, and finds Commissaris Piet Van Der Valk and his team dealing with three new murders in the Dutch capital, beginning with the shooting dead of a champion freerunner. During the course of the investigation, Van Der Valk finds himself unexpectedly back in touch with his ex-girlfriend Lena.


Monday-Thursday, UTV, 9pm

In 2006 the world watched in horror as ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko lay in a London hospital bed, dying a slow death from polonium poisoning. Litvinenko’s death sparked off a huge investigation, as detectives from the Metropolitan Police worked to uncover the culprits in this high-profile killing, with all roads leading back to the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin. David Tennant plays Litvinenko in this four-part drama written by George Kay and co-starring Mark Bonnar and Margarita Levieva.

Wonders of the World I Can’t See

Monday, Channel 4, 10pm

Blind comedian Chris McCausland is understandably reluctant to travel, as sightseeing is off the agenda, but in this new comedy travelogue he agrees to visit four of the world’s most famous landmarks, in the company of four of his comedy friends Tom Allen, Harry Hill, Guz Khan and Lisa Tarbuck. They’ll have to convince McCausland that there’s more to visiting these places than just the postcard picture, and they’ll have to use all their powers of description to act as McCausland’s comic tour guide.


The Shelter: Animal SOS

Tuesday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Time to meet more cute animals in need of urgent medical attention in this series following the work of the vets at the DSPCA’s animal shelter. This week the vets have a big challenge with a dog called Rex, whose coat is so severely matted he can hardly move. Meanwhile, cat whisperer Colm has to calm down a very grumpy cat called Phoebe, while Vet Oonagh Hynes and surgeon Prof Barbera Kirby work to help Carlos the terrier, who has severe leg injuries after being hit by a car.

Dr Death

Tuesday, Channel 4, 10pm

Dr Christopher Duntsch is a talented and charismatic young neurosurgeon who is running a successful practice in Dallas, Texas. But when patients going in to his surgery for routine spinal procedures are left either maimed or dead, two of his colleagues realise they must stop him before he harms anyone else. Joshua Jackson stars as the titular Dr Death in this series based on a true crime podcast, with Christian Slater and Alec Baldwin as his deeply concerned colleagues. A second series is about to be released, focusing on different real-life case.

The Change

Wednesday, Channel 4, 10pm

Linda is a mother of two hitting her 50s and going through a big mental health scare in this new comedy series created by and starring Bridget Christie. Linda seems to have trouble remembering the names of everyday things, such as shoes, and is convinced it’s a sign of early onset dementia. When she learns it’s only the menopause – only the menopause! – she decides it’s time to put her own needs first, and sets off on a journey of self-discovery, which leads her to living in a mouldy old caravan in the Forest of Dean. Susan Lynch, Monica Dolan and Paul Whitehouse co-star.

There She Goes

Wednesday, BBC Two, 9pm

David Tennant and Jessica Hynes star as married couple Simon and Emily Yates, whose daughter Rosie (Miley Locke) has a rare chromosomal disorder that has left her with severe learning disabilities. The series is based on the real-life experiences of writers Shaun Pye and Sarah Crawford, and follows the day-to-day life of 13-year-old Rosie as she struggles with the onset of puberty, and the challenges faced by her family as they deal with her increasingly emotional and violent outbursts.

And Just Like That

Thursday, Sky Comedy and Now, 9pm

It’s series two in the follow-up series to Sex and the City, and we rejoin Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they deal with the complexities of life, friendship and New York living in their 50s. Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis are down to a trio, as Kim Cattrall has declined to take part, but you can expect no shortage of bling, romance, relationship problems and life lessons as these strong women grab modern life by the short and curlies. Ouch.

Face the Music

Thursday, RTÉ One, 10.15pm

The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) has been going for 175 years, and now the cameras go inside this historic institute of learning in this new three-part observational series. A new academic year is about to begin, but the opening of the €25 million national conservatoire is delayed as the builders are still at work. Meanwhile, student Rachael Conaghan is auditioning for a lead role in the opera, before going for surgery to fix a misaligned jaw that is affecting her singing, and self-taught teenage pianist Sean Shannon is getting ready to make the move from Ennis, Co Clare to take his place in the high-pressure musical environment of RIAM.

Queen of Oz

Friday, BBC One, 8.30pm

Catherine Tate stars as not-so-great queen Georgie in this new comedy series set Down Under. Prodigal princess Georgie has been packed off by her exasperated family to rule Australia, in the hope of putting some manners on her. But soon she’s scandalising her Aussie subjects and, in episode two, gossip gets out that she’s sleeping with a member of her staff – and of course it’s true. Meanwhile, a very unflattering portrait of Georgie is about to be imprinted on the new £5 note, and a hunting trip turns into a blood-soaked diplomatic incident.

Nationwide: Eye on Nature Finale

Friday, RTÉ One, 7pm

Anne Cassin and Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh present a special programme from the lush environs of Dublin’s Botanic Gardens, where the winner of this year’s Eye on Nature wildlife photography competition will be announced. Both amateur and professional photographers have competed for the prize of €1,000, with the emphasis on highlighting Ireland’s biodiversity and the beauty of the natural world. Derek Mooney will introduce the 10 finalists with a keen eye for nature.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist