TV tonight: the peerless autumn escapism of His Dark Materials

Phil Harrison, Hannah Verdier, Ali Catterall, Hannah J Davies and Paul Howlett

His Dark Materials

8pm, BBC One

If you loved the books, you’re unlikely to be disappointed by this adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy novels: their fictional world is lavishly and faithfully rendered and will snare devotees and newcomers alike. Jack Thorne’s script is funny and propulsive, and the big names in the cast – including James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Clarke Peters – look likely to be upstaged by the excellent Dafne Keen, who brings gifted, cheeky underdog Lyra Belacqua vividly to life. A promising start. Phil Harrison

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Seven Worlds, One Planet

6.15pm, BBC One

David Attenborough’s increasingly polemical edge is immediately evident: tonight, we’re in Asia for a reprise of the walrus carnage seen in his Netflix series Our Planet – caused by melting ice bringing incompatible species into proximity. Cheerier highlights include bears playing in the snow. PH

World on Fire

9pm, BBC One

Life in Paris changes after the Nazi invasion, while Nancy (Helen Hunt) is taking risks in Berlin. Harry returns home to a textbook snippy welcome from the fabulous Robina (Lesley Manville) when she discovers he’s brought the Senegalese man who saved him. Lois then shakes an eventful afternoon up further. Hannah Verdier

The Americas With Simon Reeve

9pm, BBC Two

In this penultimate episode, Reeve surveys the chaos at the Rio Grande border as migrants attempt to cross. He then dons a flak jacket to accompany special forces tackling one of the reasons they’re fleeing: the Mexican drug war. Elsewhere, he visits Mayan ruins in the jungle. Ali Catterall

The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell

9pm, Sky Crime

First in a four-part documentary series probing the unsolved case of a Utah woman who vanished in 2009, as well as the subsequent deaths of her husband and their two children. With participation from Powell’s family and some particularly grim themes, this is not for the faint of heart. Hannah J Davies

It’s Grime, Up North

10pm, Channel 4

What else would you call a grime event in Blackpool but The Seaside Shutdown? Grime crew LOE have the branding spot on – does the music match the hype? As this series concludes, it’s clear that this scene is thriving. But can break-out star Little T handle a live audience after years of video appearances? PH

Film choice

Rush 1am, Channel 4

Ron Howard’s Formula One drama recalls one of the great sporting rivalries, between Britain’s swashbuckling James Hunt and Austria’s Niki Lauda. Chris Hemsworth’s Hunt is all golden-locked charisma; Daniel Brühl’s Lauda a more cautious character who was nevertheless the one to suffer a horrific accident. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Premier League Football: Crystal Palace v Leicester City 2pm, Sky Sports Main Event. With Everton v Spurs to follow.

Premiership Rugby Union: Worcester Warriors v Exeter Chiefs 2.30pm, BT Sport 2. From Sixways Stadium.

F1 Motor Racing: The United States Grand Prix 7.05pm, Sky Sports F1. The 19th round from Texas.

What to read next