Australia RU

Australia slideshow

Australia's hooker Stephen Moore takes part in a training session at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on November 10, 2017, ahead of Australia's autumn international rugby union match against Wales

Australia's hooker Stephen Moore takes part in a training session at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on November 10, 2017, ahead of Australia's autumn international rugby union match against Wales

Australia's hooker Stephen Moore takes part in a training session at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on November 10, 2017, ahead of Australia's autumn international rugby union match against Wales (AFP Photo/Geoff CADDICK)

Autumn Internationals - England vs Australia

Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - England vs Australia - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 18, 2017 Australia head coach Michael Cheika before the match REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Australia's coach Michael Cheika checks out the conditions ahead of the international rugby union test match against England November 18, 2017

Australia's coach Michael Cheika checks out the conditions ahead of the international rugby union test match against England November 18, 2017

Australia's coach Michael Cheika checks out the conditions ahead of the international rugby union test match against England November 18, 2017

Australia's coach Michael Cheika checks out the conditions ahead of the international rugby union test match against England November 18, 2017 (AFP Photo/Ben STANSALL)

England's head coach Eddie Jones gestures during a training session at Twickenham Stadium in London on November 17, 2017, ahead of the autumn international rugby union test match against Australia

England's head coach Eddie Jones gestures during a training session at Twickenham Stadium in London on November 17, 2017, ahead of the autumn international rugby union test match against Australia

England's head coach Eddie Jones gestures during a training session at Twickenham Stadium in London on November 17, 2017, ahead of the autumn international rugby union test match against Australia

England's head coach Eddie Jones gestures during a training session at Twickenham Stadium in London on November 17, 2017, ahead of the autumn international rugby union test match against Australia (AFP Photo/OLLY GREENWOOD)

Australia's hooker Stephen Moore takes part in a training session at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on November 10, 2017, ahead of Australia's autumn international rugby union match against Wales

RugbyUnion - England bench Hartley for Samoa finale

England's hooker Dylan Hartley gestures during the international rugby union test match between England and Australia at Twickenham stadium in south-west London on November 18, 2017. (AFP Photo/OLLY GREENWOOD)

What's on TV tonight: Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain and Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight

Thursday 23 November Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm It’s an eye-catching idea: identify individual bombs from among the millions that rained down on Britain during the Blitz, and select four that had greater impact than any others. So much so, they might even have had beneficial effects in the long run. The bomb featured in this opener, which hit 8 Martindale Road in London’s docklands on the first night of the Blitz in September 1940, didn’t actually explode. But the evacuation it prompted set in motion a series of events that led to horrific loss of life.  Public outrage at the authorities’ ineptitude, unpreparedness and apparent callous disregard for working people, boosted by campaigning journalist Peter Ritchie Calder, eventually led to Tory MP Henry Willink being appointed to organise a better response to the Blitz. He, in turn, wrote the first draft of the postwar White Paper, proposing what would eventually become the NHS. It really is a bit of a stretch (and may even be offensive to some) to suggest that a German bomb was what effectively led to the founding of the British welfare state. But the story makes for an intriguing slice of social and political history none the less. Gerard O’Donovan She’s Gotta Have It Netflix, from today Can the feted director Spike Lee recreate, 21 years on, the magic of his scintillating 1986 romcom in this much-anticipated new series? Lee’s plotline remains the same – the story of beautiful New Yorker Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) highly entertaining efforts to decide which of her lovers she should settle down with permanently. But it is updated to reflect the mind-boggling choice of partners available to the 21st-century adventurer. As Nola confesses to one therapist: “As a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, monogamy never seemed like a remote possibility for me.”  Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight ITV, 7.30pm A fortnight since its relationship-tracking documentary Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply, ITV devotes another programme to the Royal engagement that hasn’t yet happened. Here reporter Fiona Foster considers what the rest of the Royal family think of the relationship. Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s moreish drama set in a Leeds registry office continues as Kate (Ashley Jensen) is forced to step down from her big promotion. And things go from bad to worse when Rob (Adrian Bower) turns up with worrying news about their daughter. Trump: An American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm The revealing review of the US President’s life story reaches the Nineties, with Donald Trump’s personal and business life in meltdown as his wife Ivana seeks a divorce (and a massive settlement) and his business empire teeters towards bankruptcy. John Bishop: in Conversation with Jeremy Corbyn W, 9.00pm In what is a last-minute addition to John Bishop’s intimate interview series, the Labour leader joins him for a frank discussion about his life and his politics, including his thoughts on President Trump and the Chilcott Enquiry, as well as the impact of the death of his brother. GO The Search for a Miracle Cure Channel 4, 10.00pm An emotionally charged documentary following lawyer Mark Lewis’s quest for a cure for multiple sclerosis. The degenerative disease was thought incurable but here Lewis embarks on a trial of a new stem-cell treatment that has shown remarkable results. GO Revolver (2005) 5STAR, 10.00pm ★★☆☆☆  After making the truly awful Swept Away with then-wife Madonna, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… director Guy Ritchie returns to his suit-wearing gangster roots and his favourite star, Jason Statham. It’s stylishly shot but unfortunately this Ritchie/Luc Besson-penned tale of chess, revenge, con artists and assassins is weaved into such a complex, maze-like brain-teaser that it’s virtually incomprehensible. Limitless (2011) Film4, 11.15pm ★★★☆☆  Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a writer whose former brother-in-law slips him a pill that enables him to access 100 per cent of his brain. His book is finished in four days, so he goes back for more and this time nets himself a fortune on the stock market. Neil Burger directs at breakneck pace, but afterwards you wish that Cooper’s character had used that brainpower for something more interesting than making money. Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) Sky Atlantic, 12.00midnight ★★☆☆☆  When HBO didn’t give Stephen Merchant’s sitcom a second series, he made this movie instead. It follows him in the role of Stuart, a geeky IT guy who’s looking for his soul mate in Los Angeles. When he learns that his ex-girlfriend is planning to visit, he sets out to impress her with his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, this style of cringe-making comedy has been done to death. Friday 24 November Chums: Jimmy Doherty, Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver Credit: Channel 4 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and childhood mucker Jimmy Doherty return for another series of their hyperactive meld of cookery programme, food information and celebrity chat hosted at their Southend Pier caff. This series tends to stand or fall with the visiting celebrity but luckily this week it’s Simon Pegg, who gamely enters into the spirit of things by serving customers, cooking what looks like a pretty good tagine and admitting that he’s far more food conscious in these Mission: Impossible days (Tom Cruise is apparently the devil for pushing cakes on those trying to stay in shape). Friday Night Feast feels closer in tone to the early cookery shows that made Oliver’s name and Pegg enters into the cheeky-chappy spirit, mucking around with Doherty and dropping sardonic asides. “It’s fundamentally evil but at the same time beautiful,” he remarks of Oliver’s Provençal Bake, a calorific but clearly delicious mixture of pancakes, cheese, ham and tomatoes, which causes one customer to gush, “I never want it to end.” Elsewhere, Oliver and Doherty go on the road to uncover the joys of free-range duck, and Doherty builds a barbecue for the Stoke Mandeville wheelchair rugby team. Sarah Hughes Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm BBC One’s live music show is a great idea but so far has been a bit hit and miss. Presenters Greg James and Dotty are enthusiastic but more risks are needed when booking the live acts. Craig David co-hosts this episode, and there are performances from The Killers and Anne-Marie.  Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales Ray Mears’s laid-back excursion around Australia continues in South Australia’s Flinders mountain ranges, which provides a dramatic setting for three species of kangaroos and the country’s largest bird of prey. Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The personable Stephen Mangan takes the host’s chair for this episode of the satirical news-based panel game. He’s joined by business journalist Steph McGovern and comedian Jo Caulfield.  Extreme Wives with Kate Humble BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 9.30pm Kate Humble heads to the remote town of Shillong in north-east India to meet with the matrilineal Khasi people in the fascinating final episode. The Khasi pass everything, including property, down the female line and hand power to the youngest daughter in each family. SH Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Sky Arts, 9.00pm Anyone who has read Sticky Fingers, the recent biography of Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner, will realise that this Alex Gibney series is something of a puff piece in comparison. That said, it’s still very enjoyable. The focus here is on the kidnap of Patty Hearst and the way in which the counterculture slowly became mainstream. Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices BBC Four, 10.00pm Jazz musician Gregory Porter’s outstanding series continues with a focus on crooners. All the usual suspects – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the unbeatable Nat King Cole – are present but what makes this series so exceptional is the knowledge Porter brings to his subject. This episode dissects why Sinatra was “a little too presumptuous for the croon” as well as looking at how everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie used the technique. The real pleasure, however, comes from the music. SH Collateral Beauty (2016) Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm ★★☆☆☆  The plot of David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and Allan Loeb’s (Just Go with It) film is fantastically unhinged: Will Smith is an ad-exec who has lost his daughter to cancer, and in his grief is pestered on the streets of New York by the personifications of Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren) – “the three abstractions”. Dark Shadows (2012) W, 9.00pm ★★☆☆☆  Tim Burton’s film is at its best in the opening scenes, when it can afford to be all show and no tell. It’s Johnny Depp, naturally, who plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th-century Byronic rascal who is transformed into a vampire by a jealous witch (Eva Green) and wakes up in Nixon-era small-town America. Depp and Burton’s eighth film together brought them level with De Niro and Scorsese, although in numerical terms only. Boyhood (2014) Channel 4, 12.05am ★★★★★  Richard Linklater’s real-time depiction of a boy growing up over 12 years received the biggest Oscar snub of recent years, winning only one award, for Patricia Arquette as for Best Supporting Actress. From 2002, Linklater spent a few days each year filming the same actors to chart Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) ordinary life – in what is an extraordinary, beautiful and moving string of small, everyday moments. Saturday 25 November In his words: the life of the Sixties playwright Joe Orton Credit: Hulton Archive Joe Orton Laid Bare BBC Two, 9.00pm “I realise it’s unforgivable doing this but I’m just unrepentant.” So announces a young Joe Orton in this suitably anarchic take on the playwright’s life, works and early, brutal death. It’s a sentence that entirely sums up Orton’s acidic take on life; he was a man who loved (and arguably lived) to shock and who enjoyed making people uncomfortable – “I felt snakes were writhing round my feet,” wrote one theatre critic after watching the bawdy Entertaining Mr Sloane – yet who was also possessed of enough wit, charm and intelligence to win over even the most mortally offended.  Making great use of Orton’s letters, diaries and plays – scenes from the latter acted by a cast that includes Antony Sher, Ben Miles and Jaime Winstone – the documentary does its best to pin its subject to the page with contributors including his sister Leonie, playwright Christopher Hampton and producer Michael Codron. There is (surprisingly) understanding too for the man who murdered Orton, his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who subsequently killed himself. Ultimately, however, what lingers is not the gory manner of Orton’s death but rather his wildly entertaining words. Sarah Hughes International Rugby Union: Scotland v Australia & England v Samoa  BBC One, 2.00pm & Sky Sports Main Event, 2.45pm Having fallen agonisingly close to pulling off the greatest result in their history – they lost 22-17 to New Zealand – Scotland host Australia at Murrayfield with their tails up. Meanwhile, England – who beat the Wallabies 30-6 last weekend, with Danny Care putting a sublime performance after coming off the bench – face Samoa, hoping to take Eddie Jones’s record to 22 wins from 23 as their coach. Expect Jones to ring the changes, with Henry Slade likely to be handed another opportunity at No 12 and Mike Brown returning to the side as full-back.  International Rugby Union: Wales v New Zealand  BBC Two, 4.45pm An unsuccessful three-match series in New Zealand this summer saw Wales return home still looking for a victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 1953. They have now lost 29 consecutive fixtures, 10 of which have been presided over by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland during his tenure. Wales head into this match on the back of a far-from-convincing 13-6 victory against Georgia. Granted, Gatland did put out an experimental team. Premier League Football: Liverpool v Chelsea BT Sport 1, 5.00pm Two of last Saturday’s star performers meet at Anfield in what should be a pulsating encounter. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice, while Chelsea, inspired by Eden Hazard, ran out 4-0 winners at West Brom. When these sides met in January here, Georginio Wijnaldum cancelled out David Luiz’s goal in a 1-1 draw.  Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.50pm With only three weeks left in the competition, the judges must try to separate the glitter from the paste. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are expected to make the final but it’s wide open as to who else joins them. This week, the couples can earn extra points in the “pasodoblathon”. The X Factor: The Semi Finals ITV, 7.30pm From surprise double eliminations to the extra sing-offs, this year’s X Factor has been derided for being a mess. This week, it can redeem itself as the contestants sing for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final.   Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Michael McIntyre’s attempt to single-handedly revive the variety show continues. This week, he’s joined by guests Gary Barlow, Russell Kane, Clean Bandit and Danny Dyer, who hands over his mobile phone for the Celebrity Send to All slot. Dad’s Army BBC Two, 8.30pm; not NI or Scotland  As Brexit edges nearer so Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s comedy about the Home Guard appears ever more relevant, not least because it pinpoints a certain kind of Englishness. This episode sees the bumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) pitch camp in the middle of an artillery exercise. SH Witnesses: A Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Another day, another atmospherically depressing European crime drama. But this French eight-part series, shown in double bills over the next four weeks, is really good. The Tunnel’s Marie Dompnier plays Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to a macabre case involving 15 frozen bodies on an abandoned bus. The dead men are all linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot), who disappeared three years earlier.   White Princess Drama, 9.00pm It might be hokum but this adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s bestseller is enjoyable largely thanks to the complicated relationship at its heart. The marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) is very much a dynastic contract between two people forced to find common cause. This episode sees them take steps towards that new understanding. SH Daddy Long Legs (1955) BBC Two, 2.10pm ★★★☆☆  Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron are paired for the first time in this Hollywood musical written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (parents of Nora) and loosely based on a 1912 novel. They bring charm and warmth to a story about the complications of a love affair between a young woman and a man 30 years her senior. The dance sequences are particularly striking, containing a rarity in Astaire’s choreography: a kiss. Lone Survivor (2013) Channel 4, 11.05pm ★★★☆☆  In this film based on true events, Mark Wahlberg gives a strong performance as sniper Marcus Luttrell, who, in 2005, was the head of a four-man team of Navy Seals, tasked with killing Taliban leader Ahmed Shah. An encounter with some goatherds gives the team a major moral dilemma. The film, directed by Peter Berg, is hampered by a lack of character exploration but it’s certainly action-packed. Albert Nobbs (2011) BBC Two, 11.35pm ★★★☆☆  Glenn Close toiled for 30 years to make an Albert Nobbs film after playing the part in a 1982 off-Broadway play. Close inhabits the role, of a woman disguised as a man to work as a waiter in a 19th-century hotel, with uncanny accuracy (she was rewarded with an Oscar nomination). The film reaches for something to say about sexual identity, but neither Close nor director Rodrigo García seem to know what it is. Sunday 26 November Ring of fire: Xand van Tulleken Credit: BBC Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm As is the wont of BBC documentaries about the natural world these days, the impact of humans can no longer be ignored – in fact, it’s central to the premise of this new two-parter in which geologist Chris Jackson and humanitarian doctor Xand van Tulleken journey to live volcanoes and the communities that live in their shadow.  Nyiragongo, in the Congo, last erupted in 2002, causing a mass evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, terrible loss of life and wholesale destruction of property. The pair’s expedition examines ways to predict its behaviour, especially since another eruption is almost inevitable. Van Tulleken focuses on disease prevention and healthcare, looking at how to avoid the spread of cholera that proved so catastrophic 15 years ago, while Jackson drops into the crater (the staggering camerawork and pounding soundtrack leave you in no doubt as to the potential peril of the venture) to assess the latest techniques for detecting sulphur dioxide and geological vibrations. By the end, problems have been diagnosed and solutions prescribed – it’s an admirable project whose success can only be judged, grimly, in the event of another disaster. Next week, they head to nearby Nyamuragira. Gabriel Tate Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4, noon & Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm He may have already been crowned champion but that didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton putting in a fine display in Brazil, starting in the pit lane under flawless Brazilian skies and finishing a mere five seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel. Let’s hope for a similarly exciting spectacle at the Yas Marina Circuit, as the curtain comes down on the 2017 season. Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm Every episode of this mesmerising series brings with it new wonders. This week’s venture into underwater forests, meadows and mangroves sniffs out creatures with unlikely names (the Pyjama Shark, the Garibaldi Damselfish) and even more outlandish strategies for survival. Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm It might be hard to see what Julie Walters can bring to this well-worn travelogue approach, despite all her charisma and appeal. But there is plenty to enjoy in her tour of the British Isles – tonight, she boards the “Harry Potter” train in the Highlands, guts herring and wrangles cattle. Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm Kenneth Lonergan’s restrained, affecting adaptation reachesa crunch point in relations between Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Henry (Matthew Macfadyen), driving a wedge between their two families; with the Basts approaching penury, a showdown looms. Guy Martin vs the Robocar Channel 4, 9.00pm Always up for a challenge, Guy Martin builds his own robotic Ford Transit to take on a “Roboracer” around Silverstone. But first he picks up a few tips from a “Level Five” autonomous vehicle in Budapest and Tesla’s latest models in Massachusetts. GT Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm and 10.00pm With every one of the €40 million budget up on screen, this adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Thirties-set policiers is one of the most handsome dramas of the year – and one of the most gripping. The first season reaches its climax with Lotte (Liv Lisa Fries) having a point to prove and Gereon (Volker Bruch) dealing both with ghosts from the past and chilling hints at what the future holds. Season two begins next week. Naples ’44: a Wartime Diary BBC Four, 11.00pm Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this gripping and cleverly structured Italian film, which blends archive footage, documentary and drama to tell the story of a city and its resilient citizens through the eyes of British officer Norman Lewis. Some of the imagery is powerful indeed (one sequence of cows being milked in the rubble of the city has a pungent surrealism) and the pacifist message is ultimately undeniable. GT Stalingrad (1994) History, 3.00pm ★★★☆☆  Joseph Vilsmaier’s film reconstructs the 1942 Siege of Stalingrad, in which Soviet forces successfully held back the German army. The battle proved to be a major turning point in the Second World War and claimed millions of lives – a point that the film rests on, showing the horrors of modern warfare in all its stomach-churning brutality. Dominique Horwitz and Thomas Kretschmann star as German soldiers. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) BBC Two, 6.45pm ★★★☆☆  Steve Carell has become a dab hand at making public embarrassment ridiculous and borderline tragic, and saves the day in this slight but entertaining comedy. Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), blows out a candle for his 12th birthday and initiates this fateful curse so that his family understand how it feels to have a purely maddening 24 hours. Fury (2014) Channel 5, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  David Ayer’s study of the habits and habitats of the American killer male is an astonishing drama. It’s Germany 1945, and Sgt Don “Wardaddy” Collie (Brad Pitt) and his team are grinding towards Berlin in a battered tank. There is no rescue mission, just an agonising rumble from one brush with death to the next. The set pieces are gripping, and the terror of war is blasted home. Monday 27 November Right to work: Tourette’s sufferer Ryan Credit: BBC Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm This moving series, which follows jobseekers determined to show that their disabilities shouldn’t prevent them working, returns for a new four-part run. There’s a persuasive double purpose to the programme – to highlight the disabilities themselves and to explore how those living with them fight against prejudice every day.  The opening episode showcases a wonderfully inspirational duo. We meet 52-year-old Andy, who was once the go-getting manager of a successful motorcycle business. Despite being left partially paralysed and struggling with speech after a life-threatening stroke, Andy wants to break into public speaking and motivate others with his story. Alongside him is turtle-mad Tourette’s sufferer Ryan, whose severe tics can leave him physically debilitated, but who nevertheless dreams of working with animals.  The pair’s will to succeed is humbling as they tackle longed-for job opportunities and the significant hurdles this entails. Helping them on the way is psychologist Nancy Doyle, who runs a pioneering scheme aimed at getting our hopefuls to promote their talents and for recruiters to see their considerable worth. Toby Dantzic Chinese Burn BBC Three, from 10.00am This comedy pilot, executive-produced by Ash Atalla (People Just Do Nothing), about three girls from China trying to make new lives in London is worth watching. Flatmates Elizabeth (Shin-Fei Chen), who’s chasing her dream job as a sommelier, and fiery struggling actress Jackie (Yennis Cheung) get a surprise visit from Elizabeth’s ultra-rich friend FuFu (Yuyu Rau). She’s an unwelcome guest, however, as Elizabeth hasn’t been honest with her parents.    Lost and Found Channel 4, 3.00pm Heartstrings are shamelessly tugged in this new series, which follows the sterling work of the Dogs Trust charity. The pooches featured in this episode include Ida, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that needs regular hydrotherapy, and a Labrador that has been missing for four days. Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Paul Hollywood fronts this new four-part series which combines personal anecdotes with his favourite recipes. The opening episode serves up footage of the gimlet-eyed bread expert’s original Great British Bake Off audition, along with a menu of his ultimate pizza and a Madeira celebration cake. Nigella: At My Table BBC Two, 8.30pm Here’s another eclectic selection of dishes from television’s glossiest gourmet. Her recipes include an intriguingly titled golden egg curry, and a feast of spiced lamb kofta followed by rose and pepper pavlova. Supershoppers Channel 4, 8.30pm The savvy consumer advice show returns with presenter Anna Richardson and newcomer Sabrina Grant investigating whether supermarkets’ standard own-label ranges are really any different to their cheaper value ranges. Beauty wipes and car insurance also get the once over. TD Last Men In Aleppo: Storyville BBC Four, 10.00pm This grim but absorbing documentary follows the work of the White Helmets, Syrian civilians who conduct search-and-rescue missions in the city of Aleppo. We follow a trio of volunteers that includes Khaled, who moves between scouring for missing people and searching out medicine for his malnourished daughter. The director Feras Fayyad’s stark camera style takes an unflinching approach to the horror. TD Die Another Day (2002) ITV4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond is also his least satisfying (although even Sean Connery might have struggled to look cool driving an invisible car). Dastardly Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) wants to provoke a war between the Koreas using a military satellite. Bond, aided by Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, must stop him. It’s all let down by an over-reliance on CGI, but there are some great set pieces. Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014) Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.25pm ★★★☆☆  A thundering performance by Benicio del Toro almost redeems this misjudged biopic of the Colombian crime lord. Seizing on the role with understated relish, he teeters adroitly between generous family man and murdering manipulator. What a shame, then, that he’s used so sparingly – the film renders the tyrant nothing more than a supporting character. The Road (2009) ITV4, 11.45pm ★★★☆☆  John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s exalted novel is as harrowing as its source material. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood as a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (the superb Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander the American wasteland after an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, Nick Cave’s wrenching score makes it a wholly chilling experience. Tuesday 28 November The rise of AI: robot Jess helps families with life’s challenges Credit: Channel 4 The Robot Will See You Now Channel 4, 10.00pm The Rise of the Robots season continues with this documentary exploring whether robots will ever be sophisticated enough to play the role of best friend and confidant, or even therapist, to humans. Some forms of artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are becoming more commonly involved in our home lives; cars are almost at the point where they drive themselves; and trials are afoot to test whether software can be used to perform medical and legal functions. A companionship robot has also been developed to keep astronauts’ spirits up during lengthy periods on the International Space Station. That’s all a long way from being able to substitute the life experience, and emotional, ethical and psychological support, for which we turn to friends, family, religion and counsellors. But maybe not for long.  This intriguing film focuses on a team from Manchester and Plymouth Universities racing to develop a humanoid robot called Jess, that uses AI-based analysis to offer counselling on problems to do with marriage, divorce, infidelity and other day-to-day traumas – with built-in sympathy and tissue dispenser, no doubt. Gerard O’Donovan Glitch Netflix, from today This Aussie drama about a lakeside town where the dead start coming back to life bore too great a resemblance to French chiller The Returned in its early stages, but it eventually took a different supernatural path with reasonable success. The second series kicks off with last season’s closing shock revelation still hanging in the air: Elisha (Genevieve O’Reilly), the medic who’s been helping the undead, has been one of them herself, all along. How to Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield ITV, 8.00pm This festive consumer series sees Phillip Schofield inviting celebrity guests to test and taste the “must have” food, drink and gift items of the season. This week, they look at the hottest toys of 2017 and how Father Christmas can get hold of them. The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Rebecca (Molly Wright) packs her parents off on a much-needed mini-break and drafts in Eddie (Greg McHugh) and Nicola (Vinette Robinson) to help care for seven-year-old Joe (Max Vento). Unsurprisingly, things don’t go entirely according to plan. MasterChef: The Professionals BBC Two, 9.00pm The standard has been unusually high this year and this week’s six nervous new candidates prove especially inventive in the signature round and a challenge to come up with a new take on flavoursome, filled pasta with an accompanying sauce. Grand Designs: House of the Year Channel 4, 9.00pm Which of the shortlisted super-dwellings will win the Riba prize for 2017’s House of the Year? Kevin McCloud can only announce the winner once the last two finalists have been chosen – from the predictably stunning nominees in the Minimalist and Modern category. GO Passions: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor by Chi-Chi Nwanoku Sky Arts, 9.00pm Bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku is the founder of Europe’s first black and ethnic minority classical orchestra. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the poet (that’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge, silly) she chooses as her hero but the similarly named mixed-race British composer born 100 years later, in a film praising black musicians who’ve overcome prejudice to succeed in the conservative world of classical music. GO Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Sky Cinema Superheroes, 5.50pm ★★★☆☆   Tim Burton’s Edwardian fairy tale, based on the first Miss Peregrine book by Ransom Riggs – feels oddly conventional. Adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), it’s a tale of an insular Florida lad, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), who visits an orphanage that figured in tales spun by his grandfather (Terence Stamp). Mars Attacks! (1996) ITV4, 10.50pm ★★★★☆  It may not be director Tim Burton’s best film but this surreal sci-fi comedy is still fun. The glitzy cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker, put on their best camp performances to fight seemingly peaceful Martians, who in fact want to destroy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all in the name of a good time. It’s a loving parody of Fifties’ science-fiction cinema. Runaway Train (1985) Movies4Men, 10.50pm ★★★☆☆  Jon Voight and Eric Roberts (both Oscar-nominated) star as a pair of convicts, whose dash for freedom from an Alaskan prison takes an unexpected turn when they find themselves on an out-of-control train. The officers on their heels are caught between stopping it and reclaiming the criminals. It’s all a bit ridiculous, but Voight brings an appealing manic energy to a fun premise. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars. Wednesday 29 November Ferrying around: those who work on the busy English Channel Credit: Channel 4 The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm Drunk passengers, frazzled families, fundraisers swimming in testing conditions, enormous ships trying to squeeze through a narrow body of water: it’s all in a day’s workfor those who police the waters of the English Channel, as this new documentary series makes clear.  Filmed last summer and with a heavy focus on the many changes that Brexit may bring to the Channel crossing, this opening episode concentrates largely on life on the ferries. “We’re already down on passengers and spending from last year,” notes one employee, pointing out that the collapse of the pound against the euro means that holidaymakers are less inclined to splash their cash. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we also follow a determined single mother who plans to swim the Channel to raise money and awareness of sickle cell disease, which both her sons have. Elsewhere, there are interesting statistics about the sheer numbers making the crossing – up to 400 ships passing through the 21-mile-wide Dover Strait each day – and captain Mark Miller and his crew have to deal with both a paralytic passenger and the tour company who intend to leave him behind. Sarah Hughes The Marvellous Mrs Maisel Amazon Prime Video, from today Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino returns with this effervescent tale set in Fifties New York. Our heroine is Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). On the surface she’s the perfect Jewish American Princess but underneath beats the soul of an acid-tongued comedian. Sherman-Palladino is clearly playing homage to the trailblazing likes of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller but her story still feels fresh thanks to a sharp script and Brosnahan’s wonderful timing. Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry continues her trawl through some of the UK’s grandest country houses. This week she’s in Scotland helping the inhabitants of Scone Palace, Lord and Lady Mansfield, prepare for dinner and a ceilidh while fitting in a bit of deer stalking and salmon fishing on the side.  Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm Steven Knight’s gangster drama is firing on all cylinders this series and never more so than in a tight, tense third episode which sees Polly (Helen McCrory) re-join the company and Arthur (the excellent Paul Anderson) wrestle with both his guilt and his God following John’s death.    Digging for Britain BBC Four, 9.00pm “Archaeology is adding flesh to the bare bones of people” announces Professor Alice Roberts as the second part of this series digging deep into Britain’s past heads to Kent. There we spend time following the excavation of the wreck of East India Company ship, the Rooswijk, before uncovering early evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in the shape of an ancient fort. SH Wallis: The Queen That Never Was Channel 5, 9.00pm Georgina Rich is the latest actress to play Wallis Simpson in this meld of drama and documentary. It’s not a format that ever works particularly well but, beyond the enactments, a complex portrait of the Duchess of Windsor emerges and one which sheds fresh light on the true nature of her marriages.   How to Build a Robot Channel 4, 10.35pm David Tennant narrates this entertaining documentary focusing on Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran. McGoran’s aim is to invent a robot that can truly interact with humans. SH The Riot Club (2014) Film4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Laura Wade’s 2010 play, Posh, dealt with a still-reported habit of trashing dining establishments by Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club. It reaches the screen as The Riot Club, starring a braying gang of silverspoon-reared Brits. The pungency of the play has been diluted, along with its political bite, but Holliday Grainger, Max Irons and Sam Claflin are perfectly cast in the main roles. Bronson (2008) London Live, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  A gripping character study of “Britain’s most notorious long-term prisoner”, Charles Bronson (who has recently wed), whose bloody bare-knuckle brawls have seen him moved from prison to prison 120 times. Tom Hardy (who now seems to specialise in complex, muscle-bound brawlers – Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, Taboo) ramps it up with disturbing intensity to delve inside the mind of the tormented personality. Life As We Know It (2010) 5STAR, 11.00pm ★★★☆☆  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star in this shrill domestic nightmare in which they raise their orphaned godchild. Heigl once again plays a beautifully groomed control freak, while Duhamel’s Messer – a philandering man-child – repeatedly lives up to his name. When they get together, it feels like something to do with careers, contracts and romcom necessity; nothing to do with life. Thursday 30 November Pushing the boat out: Prunella Scales and Timothy West Credit: Channel 4 Great Canal Journeys Channel 4, 8.00pm When they embarked on the first series of Great Canal Journeys in 2014, it’s doubtful whether Timothy West or Prunella Scales could have foreseen its longevity, in part given the niche material and also because of Scales’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Yet here they are, heading through Portugal for the first instalment in this eighth series, never passing up the opportunity to draw comparisons between long marriages and vintage fortified wines. It is another hour of gentle insights and pure, unaffected charm.  Their journey takes them from a river port 100 miles inland through to Porto along the Rio Douro, via several vineyards and, slightly less predictably, examples of ancient rock art and Europe’s deepest lock. Throughout is evidence of why Portugal remains England’s oldest ally (Brits are heavily involved in the contemporary port industry) and, more significantly, of a relationship of a strength and mutual affection to which we can all aspire. Scales credits her husband with “opening up the world”. For West’s part, he reckons that “she likes being with me and I like being with her. That’s the best we can hope for, and very nice too.” Gabriel Tate PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge Sky Sports Main Event, 6.30pm It’s the opening day at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas, where Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is the reigning champion.  Discovering: Richard Widmark Sky Arts, 8.00pm Always more than a mere journeyman but never quite leading man material either, Richard Widmark was one of Hollywood’s most consistent talents, his work spanning classic noirs (Panic in the Streets), westerns (Two Rode Together) and thrillers (Coma). Journalists and critics assemble to pay tribute in another breezy, concise profile. The Farthest: Voyager’s Interstellar Journey: Storyville BBC Four, 8.55pm The space programme perhaps best represents the dazzling possibilities of the human brain and our capacity to imagine. This characteristically excellent and absorbing Storyville celebrates the scientific achievements of the Voyager probes through those that planned, made and continue to monitor them as they leave our solar system for interstellar space. Their enthusiasm is undiminished and infectious. GT Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm; Scotland, 11.15pm This affecting series investigates the repercussions of a German bomb that destroyed two houses in Hull. The personal traumas were of course profound, but a series of essays written by the city’s children in 1941 also unwittingly encouraged Britain’s controversial urban bombing strategies later in the war. Trump: an American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm This enthralling series concludes with the future President rediscovering his mojo thanks to the influence of a new wife and advisors, before a combination of reality television and social media open an unlikely route to the White House. Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm A fine line-up launch a new run for the hardy stand-up perennial from Hammersmith, with quickfire Gary Delaney and rising Scottish comic Larry Dean on the agenda, introduced by Sara Pascoe. The Sex Robots Are Coming Channel 4, 10.00pm Nick Sweeney’s unsettling documentary follows the creation of Harmony, a prototype sexbot, and James, a potential purchaser. What do these technological advances mean for human relationships and the ever-present issue of objectification? GT Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Film4, 7.15pm ★★★☆☆  The furiously funny, and startling originality of disaster parody Airplane! makes this sequel, which is set in the future and takes place on a lunar shuttle, stick out like a sore thumb, especially since the original team had no involvement. There are some amusing spoofs of Rocky and E.T., but the jokes tread familiar ground. Cameos come from Raymond Burr and William Shatner. Cliffhanger (1993) Universal Channel, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Get Him to the Greek (2010) Comedy Central, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  Russell Brand plays himself (very well), thinly disguised as washed-up British rocker Aldous Snow who, desperate for a career revival, is called upon for a one-night show at LA venue The Greek. Despite trying too hard to shock, Brand’s famously crude humour lends this potentially humdrum American bromance some eccentricity and makes it, at times, a raucous comedy. Friday 1 December Life Thru a Lens: Robbie Williams is one of Norton’s guests Credit: Getty The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Graham Norton remains the best chat show host on British television, even if one or two of his line-ups this season have failed to generate much in the way of sparks. (The recent edition featuring only the cast of Ken Branagh’s new Agatha Christie movie Murder on the Orient Express could have been bottled and sold as a soporific, despite all of the star names on display.) Happily that’s unlikely to be a problem here as most of his guests are blessed with some of the biggest and most-often utilised mouths in showbiz.  Elton John is on hand to promote his latest greatest hits collection, and will perhaps have plenty to say about ITV’s recent poll of the British public’s 20 favourite songs from his rather extensive back catalogue. Stephen Fry will doubtless be as mesmerising as ever as he discusses his new book on Greek mythology; and Robbie Williams might make some noise about his new album, Under the Radar Volume 2, and upcoming Heavy Entertainment tour. All in all, you have to wonder how demure actress Carey Mulligan will manage to get a word in edgeways on the subject of her terrific new Netflix film Mudbound, although we’re confident she will. Gerard O’Donovan Dark Netflix, from today “The question is not where, or who, or how…but when?” This creepy time-bending thriller, about the disappearance of two German boys over a 30-year interval, plays with the idea of how fractured relationships repeat time and again. Voyeur Netflix, from today This controversial documentary explores one of veteran US writer Gay Talese’s most sensational pieces of “literary journalism”, The Voyeur’s Motel. It told the story of how, in the Eighties, Gerald Foos opened a motel supposedly for the sole purpose of peeping on guests. But how much of the tale was made up? Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm Singer Rita Ora joins regular presenters Greg James and Dotty as guest host at the BBC’s White City studios to introduce, among others, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood. Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales   In the series’ finale Mears ends his epic journey in the ancient Walpole Forest, a vast swathe of primordial wilderness in Western Australia. He’s in search of the forest’s famed giant tingle and karri trees but the smaller denizens – such as the elusive quokka – are just as amazing. Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s pier-end café goes fully vegetarian in honour of guest Joanna Lumley, who revives the tastes of her childhood by cooking the King of Malaysia’s favourite dish. Meanwhile, the childhood friends go on the road to champion British fava beans, and Doherty designs a vertical vegetable patch – perfect for the high-rise balcony. Britain’s Greatest Bridges Channel 5, 8.00pm The series concludes with the story of the feat of engineering that is the mile-long Severn Bridge and how its designer Bill Brown revolutionised modern bridge design with its aerodynamic box girder deck. GO Truth Tellers at the BBC BBC Four, 11.00pm Friday night is music night on BBC Four, and this new archive series adds depth to its line-up by showcasing clips of the most lyrically gifted songwriters to have performed on the BBC. These include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith. GO The King’s Speech (2010) More4, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  Tom Hooper’s film about the future George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer in the nation’s hour of need won multiple Oscars, including a deserved Best Actor gong for Colin Firth. But it’s his double-act with Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue that gives the film its heart, and the double-handers between them are fraught and fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps underused as the Duchess of York. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) ITV4, 11.40pm ★★★☆☆  This is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a revenge artist who wields his razors with merry abandon in 19th-century London with the help of the deliciously sinister Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). Alan Rickman plays the deplorable Judge Turpin. Wild (2014) Channel 4, 12.10am ★★★★☆  The Pacific Crest Trail, which runs up the entire western spine of the United States, is a challenge of fabled arduousness and rugged beauty. In 1995, aged 26, Cheryl Strayed (played by a superb Reese Witherspoon) walked it, to get clearance in her head after a decade of loss and personal meltdown. Wild powerfully reveals Strayed’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on the journey. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain and Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight

Thursday 23 November Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm It’s an eye-catching idea: identify individual bombs from among the millions that rained down on Britain during the Blitz, and select four that had greater impact than any others. So much so, they might even have had beneficial effects in the long run. The bomb featured in this opener, which hit 8 Martindale Road in London’s docklands on the first night of the Blitz in September 1940, didn’t actually explode. But the evacuation it prompted set in motion a series of events that led to horrific loss of life.  Public outrage at the authorities’ ineptitude, unpreparedness and apparent callous disregard for working people, boosted by campaigning journalist Peter Ritchie Calder, eventually led to Tory MP Henry Willink being appointed to organise a better response to the Blitz. He, in turn, wrote the first draft of the postwar White Paper, proposing what would eventually become the NHS. It really is a bit of a stretch (and may even be offensive to some) to suggest that a German bomb was what effectively led to the founding of the British welfare state. But the story makes for an intriguing slice of social and political history none the less. Gerard O’Donovan She’s Gotta Have It Netflix, from today Can the feted director Spike Lee recreate, 21 years on, the magic of his scintillating 1986 romcom in this much-anticipated new series? Lee’s plotline remains the same – the story of beautiful New Yorker Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) highly entertaining efforts to decide which of her lovers she should settle down with permanently. But it is updated to reflect the mind-boggling choice of partners available to the 21st-century adventurer. As Nola confesses to one therapist: “As a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, monogamy never seemed like a remote possibility for me.”  Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight ITV, 7.30pm A fortnight since its relationship-tracking documentary Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply, ITV devotes another programme to the Royal engagement that hasn’t yet happened. Here reporter Fiona Foster considers what the rest of the Royal family think of the relationship. Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s moreish drama set in a Leeds registry office continues as Kate (Ashley Jensen) is forced to step down from her big promotion. And things go from bad to worse when Rob (Adrian Bower) turns up with worrying news about their daughter. Trump: An American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm The revealing review of the US President’s life story reaches the Nineties, with Donald Trump’s personal and business life in meltdown as his wife Ivana seeks a divorce (and a massive settlement) and his business empire teeters towards bankruptcy. John Bishop: in Conversation with Jeremy Corbyn W, 9.00pm In what is a last-minute addition to John Bishop’s intimate interview series, the Labour leader joins him for a frank discussion about his life and his politics, including his thoughts on President Trump and the Chilcott Enquiry, as well as the impact of the death of his brother. GO The Search for a Miracle Cure Channel 4, 10.00pm An emotionally charged documentary following lawyer Mark Lewis’s quest for a cure for multiple sclerosis. The degenerative disease was thought incurable but here Lewis embarks on a trial of a new stem-cell treatment that has shown remarkable results. GO Revolver (2005) 5STAR, 10.00pm ★★☆☆☆  After making the truly awful Swept Away with then-wife Madonna, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… director Guy Ritchie returns to his suit-wearing gangster roots and his favourite star, Jason Statham. It’s stylishly shot but unfortunately this Ritchie/Luc Besson-penned tale of chess, revenge, con artists and assassins is weaved into such a complex, maze-like brain-teaser that it’s virtually incomprehensible. Limitless (2011) Film4, 11.15pm ★★★☆☆  Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a writer whose former brother-in-law slips him a pill that enables him to access 100 per cent of his brain. His book is finished in four days, so he goes back for more and this time nets himself a fortune on the stock market. Neil Burger directs at breakneck pace, but afterwards you wish that Cooper’s character had used that brainpower for something more interesting than making money. Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) Sky Atlantic, 12.00midnight ★★☆☆☆  When HBO didn’t give Stephen Merchant’s sitcom a second series, he made this movie instead. It follows him in the role of Stuart, a geeky IT guy who’s looking for his soul mate in Los Angeles. When he learns that his ex-girlfriend is planning to visit, he sets out to impress her with his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, this style of cringe-making comedy has been done to death. Friday 24 November Chums: Jimmy Doherty, Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver Credit: Channel 4 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and childhood mucker Jimmy Doherty return for another series of their hyperactive meld of cookery programme, food information and celebrity chat hosted at their Southend Pier caff. This series tends to stand or fall with the visiting celebrity but luckily this week it’s Simon Pegg, who gamely enters into the spirit of things by serving customers, cooking what looks like a pretty good tagine and admitting that he’s far more food conscious in these Mission: Impossible days (Tom Cruise is apparently the devil for pushing cakes on those trying to stay in shape). Friday Night Feast feels closer in tone to the early cookery shows that made Oliver’s name and Pegg enters into the cheeky-chappy spirit, mucking around with Doherty and dropping sardonic asides. “It’s fundamentally evil but at the same time beautiful,” he remarks of Oliver’s Provençal Bake, a calorific but clearly delicious mixture of pancakes, cheese, ham and tomatoes, which causes one customer to gush, “I never want it to end.” Elsewhere, Oliver and Doherty go on the road to uncover the joys of free-range duck, and Doherty builds a barbecue for the Stoke Mandeville wheelchair rugby team. Sarah Hughes Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm BBC One’s live music show is a great idea but so far has been a bit hit and miss. Presenters Greg James and Dotty are enthusiastic but more risks are needed when booking the live acts. Craig David co-hosts this episode, and there are performances from The Killers and Anne-Marie.  Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales Ray Mears’s laid-back excursion around Australia continues in South Australia’s Flinders mountain ranges, which provides a dramatic setting for three species of kangaroos and the country’s largest bird of prey. Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The personable Stephen Mangan takes the host’s chair for this episode of the satirical news-based panel game. He’s joined by business journalist Steph McGovern and comedian Jo Caulfield.  Extreme Wives with Kate Humble BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 9.30pm Kate Humble heads to the remote town of Shillong in north-east India to meet with the matrilineal Khasi people in the fascinating final episode. The Khasi pass everything, including property, down the female line and hand power to the youngest daughter in each family. SH Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Sky Arts, 9.00pm Anyone who has read Sticky Fingers, the recent biography of Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner, will realise that this Alex Gibney series is something of a puff piece in comparison. That said, it’s still very enjoyable. The focus here is on the kidnap of Patty Hearst and the way in which the counterculture slowly became mainstream. Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices BBC Four, 10.00pm Jazz musician Gregory Porter’s outstanding series continues with a focus on crooners. All the usual suspects – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the unbeatable Nat King Cole – are present but what makes this series so exceptional is the knowledge Porter brings to his subject. This episode dissects why Sinatra was “a little too presumptuous for the croon” as well as looking at how everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie used the technique. The real pleasure, however, comes from the music. SH Collateral Beauty (2016) Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm ★★☆☆☆  The plot of David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and Allan Loeb’s (Just Go with It) film is fantastically unhinged: Will Smith is an ad-exec who has lost his daughter to cancer, and in his grief is pestered on the streets of New York by the personifications of Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren) – “the three abstractions”. Dark Shadows (2012) W, 9.00pm ★★☆☆☆  Tim Burton’s film is at its best in the opening scenes, when it can afford to be all show and no tell. It’s Johnny Depp, naturally, who plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th-century Byronic rascal who is transformed into a vampire by a jealous witch (Eva Green) and wakes up in Nixon-era small-town America. Depp and Burton’s eighth film together brought them level with De Niro and Scorsese, although in numerical terms only. Boyhood (2014) Channel 4, 12.05am ★★★★★  Richard Linklater’s real-time depiction of a boy growing up over 12 years received the biggest Oscar snub of recent years, winning only one award, for Patricia Arquette as for Best Supporting Actress. From 2002, Linklater spent a few days each year filming the same actors to chart Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) ordinary life – in what is an extraordinary, beautiful and moving string of small, everyday moments. Saturday 25 November In his words: the life of the Sixties playwright Joe Orton Credit: Hulton Archive Joe Orton Laid Bare BBC Two, 9.00pm “I realise it’s unforgivable doing this but I’m just unrepentant.” So announces a young Joe Orton in this suitably anarchic take on the playwright’s life, works and early, brutal death. It’s a sentence that entirely sums up Orton’s acidic take on life; he was a man who loved (and arguably lived) to shock and who enjoyed making people uncomfortable – “I felt snakes were writhing round my feet,” wrote one theatre critic after watching the bawdy Entertaining Mr Sloane – yet who was also possessed of enough wit, charm and intelligence to win over even the most mortally offended.  Making great use of Orton’s letters, diaries and plays – scenes from the latter acted by a cast that includes Antony Sher, Ben Miles and Jaime Winstone – the documentary does its best to pin its subject to the page with contributors including his sister Leonie, playwright Christopher Hampton and producer Michael Codron. There is (surprisingly) understanding too for the man who murdered Orton, his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who subsequently killed himself. Ultimately, however, what lingers is not the gory manner of Orton’s death but rather his wildly entertaining words. Sarah Hughes International Rugby Union: Scotland v Australia & England v Samoa  BBC One, 2.00pm & Sky Sports Main Event, 2.45pm Having fallen agonisingly close to pulling off the greatest result in their history – they lost 22-17 to New Zealand – Scotland host Australia at Murrayfield with their tails up. Meanwhile, England – who beat the Wallabies 30-6 last weekend, with Danny Care putting a sublime performance after coming off the bench – face Samoa, hoping to take Eddie Jones’s record to 22 wins from 23 as their coach. Expect Jones to ring the changes, with Henry Slade likely to be handed another opportunity at No 12 and Mike Brown returning to the side as full-back.  International Rugby Union: Wales v New Zealand  BBC Two, 4.45pm An unsuccessful three-match series in New Zealand this summer saw Wales return home still looking for a victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 1953. They have now lost 29 consecutive fixtures, 10 of which have been presided over by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland during his tenure. Wales head into this match on the back of a far-from-convincing 13-6 victory against Georgia. Granted, Gatland did put out an experimental team. Premier League Football: Liverpool v Chelsea BT Sport 1, 5.00pm Two of last Saturday’s star performers meet at Anfield in what should be a pulsating encounter. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice, while Chelsea, inspired by Eden Hazard, ran out 4-0 winners at West Brom. When these sides met in January here, Georginio Wijnaldum cancelled out David Luiz’s goal in a 1-1 draw.  Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.50pm With only three weeks left in the competition, the judges must try to separate the glitter from the paste. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are expected to make the final but it’s wide open as to who else joins them. This week, the couples can earn extra points in the “pasodoblathon”. The X Factor: The Semi Finals ITV, 7.30pm From surprise double eliminations to the extra sing-offs, this year’s X Factor has been derided for being a mess. This week, it can redeem itself as the contestants sing for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final.   Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Michael McIntyre’s attempt to single-handedly revive the variety show continues. This week, he’s joined by guests Gary Barlow, Russell Kane, Clean Bandit and Danny Dyer, who hands over his mobile phone for the Celebrity Send to All slot. Dad’s Army BBC Two, 8.30pm; not NI or Scotland  As Brexit edges nearer so Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s comedy about the Home Guard appears ever more relevant, not least because it pinpoints a certain kind of Englishness. This episode sees the bumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) pitch camp in the middle of an artillery exercise. SH Witnesses: A Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Another day, another atmospherically depressing European crime drama. But this French eight-part series, shown in double bills over the next four weeks, is really good. The Tunnel’s Marie Dompnier plays Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to a macabre case involving 15 frozen bodies on an abandoned bus. The dead men are all linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot), who disappeared three years earlier.   White Princess Drama, 9.00pm It might be hokum but this adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s bestseller is enjoyable largely thanks to the complicated relationship at its heart. The marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) is very much a dynastic contract between two people forced to find common cause. This episode sees them take steps towards that new understanding. SH Daddy Long Legs (1955) BBC Two, 2.10pm ★★★☆☆  Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron are paired for the first time in this Hollywood musical written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (parents of Nora) and loosely based on a 1912 novel. They bring charm and warmth to a story about the complications of a love affair between a young woman and a man 30 years her senior. The dance sequences are particularly striking, containing a rarity in Astaire’s choreography: a kiss. Lone Survivor (2013) Channel 4, 11.05pm ★★★☆☆  In this film based on true events, Mark Wahlberg gives a strong performance as sniper Marcus Luttrell, who, in 2005, was the head of a four-man team of Navy Seals, tasked with killing Taliban leader Ahmed Shah. An encounter with some goatherds gives the team a major moral dilemma. The film, directed by Peter Berg, is hampered by a lack of character exploration but it’s certainly action-packed. Albert Nobbs (2011) BBC Two, 11.35pm ★★★☆☆  Glenn Close toiled for 30 years to make an Albert Nobbs film after playing the part in a 1982 off-Broadway play. Close inhabits the role, of a woman disguised as a man to work as a waiter in a 19th-century hotel, with uncanny accuracy (she was rewarded with an Oscar nomination). The film reaches for something to say about sexual identity, but neither Close nor director Rodrigo García seem to know what it is. Sunday 26 November Ring of fire: Xand van Tulleken Credit: BBC Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm As is the wont of BBC documentaries about the natural world these days, the impact of humans can no longer be ignored – in fact, it’s central to the premise of this new two-parter in which geologist Chris Jackson and humanitarian doctor Xand van Tulleken journey to live volcanoes and the communities that live in their shadow.  Nyiragongo, in the Congo, last erupted in 2002, causing a mass evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, terrible loss of life and wholesale destruction of property. The pair’s expedition examines ways to predict its behaviour, especially since another eruption is almost inevitable. Van Tulleken focuses on disease prevention and healthcare, looking at how to avoid the spread of cholera that proved so catastrophic 15 years ago, while Jackson drops into the crater (the staggering camerawork and pounding soundtrack leave you in no doubt as to the potential peril of the venture) to assess the latest techniques for detecting sulphur dioxide and geological vibrations. By the end, problems have been diagnosed and solutions prescribed – it’s an admirable project whose success can only be judged, grimly, in the event of another disaster. Next week, they head to nearby Nyamuragira. Gabriel Tate Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4, noon & Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm He may have already been crowned champion but that didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton putting in a fine display in Brazil, starting in the pit lane under flawless Brazilian skies and finishing a mere five seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel. Let’s hope for a similarly exciting spectacle at the Yas Marina Circuit, as the curtain comes down on the 2017 season. Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm Every episode of this mesmerising series brings with it new wonders. This week’s venture into underwater forests, meadows and mangroves sniffs out creatures with unlikely names (the Pyjama Shark, the Garibaldi Damselfish) and even more outlandish strategies for survival. Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm It might be hard to see what Julie Walters can bring to this well-worn travelogue approach, despite all her charisma and appeal. But there is plenty to enjoy in her tour of the British Isles – tonight, she boards the “Harry Potter” train in the Highlands, guts herring and wrangles cattle. Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm Kenneth Lonergan’s restrained, affecting adaptation reachesa crunch point in relations between Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Henry (Matthew Macfadyen), driving a wedge between their two families; with the Basts approaching penury, a showdown looms. Guy Martin vs the Robocar Channel 4, 9.00pm Always up for a challenge, Guy Martin builds his own robotic Ford Transit to take on a “Roboracer” around Silverstone. But first he picks up a few tips from a “Level Five” autonomous vehicle in Budapest and Tesla’s latest models in Massachusetts. GT Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm and 10.00pm With every one of the €40 million budget up on screen, this adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Thirties-set policiers is one of the most handsome dramas of the year – and one of the most gripping. The first season reaches its climax with Lotte (Liv Lisa Fries) having a point to prove and Gereon (Volker Bruch) dealing both with ghosts from the past and chilling hints at what the future holds. Season two begins next week. Naples ’44: a Wartime Diary BBC Four, 11.00pm Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this gripping and cleverly structured Italian film, which blends archive footage, documentary and drama to tell the story of a city and its resilient citizens through the eyes of British officer Norman Lewis. Some of the imagery is powerful indeed (one sequence of cows being milked in the rubble of the city has a pungent surrealism) and the pacifist message is ultimately undeniable. GT Stalingrad (1994) History, 3.00pm ★★★☆☆  Joseph Vilsmaier’s film reconstructs the 1942 Siege of Stalingrad, in which Soviet forces successfully held back the German army. The battle proved to be a major turning point in the Second World War and claimed millions of lives – a point that the film rests on, showing the horrors of modern warfare in all its stomach-churning brutality. Dominique Horwitz and Thomas Kretschmann star as German soldiers. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) BBC Two, 6.45pm ★★★☆☆  Steve Carell has become a dab hand at making public embarrassment ridiculous and borderline tragic, and saves the day in this slight but entertaining comedy. Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), blows out a candle for his 12th birthday and initiates this fateful curse so that his family understand how it feels to have a purely maddening 24 hours. Fury (2014) Channel 5, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  David Ayer’s study of the habits and habitats of the American killer male is an astonishing drama. It’s Germany 1945, and Sgt Don “Wardaddy” Collie (Brad Pitt) and his team are grinding towards Berlin in a battered tank. There is no rescue mission, just an agonising rumble from one brush with death to the next. The set pieces are gripping, and the terror of war is blasted home. Monday 27 November Right to work: Tourette’s sufferer Ryan Credit: BBC Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm This moving series, which follows jobseekers determined to show that their disabilities shouldn’t prevent them working, returns for a new four-part run. There’s a persuasive double purpose to the programme – to highlight the disabilities themselves and to explore how those living with them fight against prejudice every day.  The opening episode showcases a wonderfully inspirational duo. We meet 52-year-old Andy, who was once the go-getting manager of a successful motorcycle business. Despite being left partially paralysed and struggling with speech after a life-threatening stroke, Andy wants to break into public speaking and motivate others with his story. Alongside him is turtle-mad Tourette’s sufferer Ryan, whose severe tics can leave him physically debilitated, but who nevertheless dreams of working with animals.  The pair’s will to succeed is humbling as they tackle longed-for job opportunities and the significant hurdles this entails. Helping them on the way is psychologist Nancy Doyle, who runs a pioneering scheme aimed at getting our hopefuls to promote their talents and for recruiters to see their considerable worth. Toby Dantzic Chinese Burn BBC Three, from 10.00am This comedy pilot, executive-produced by Ash Atalla (People Just Do Nothing), about three girls from China trying to make new lives in London is worth watching. Flatmates Elizabeth (Shin-Fei Chen), who’s chasing her dream job as a sommelier, and fiery struggling actress Jackie (Yennis Cheung) get a surprise visit from Elizabeth’s ultra-rich friend FuFu (Yuyu Rau). She’s an unwelcome guest, however, as Elizabeth hasn’t been honest with her parents.    Lost and Found Channel 4, 3.00pm Heartstrings are shamelessly tugged in this new series, which follows the sterling work of the Dogs Trust charity. The pooches featured in this episode include Ida, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that needs regular hydrotherapy, and a Labrador that has been missing for four days. Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Paul Hollywood fronts this new four-part series which combines personal anecdotes with his favourite recipes. The opening episode serves up footage of the gimlet-eyed bread expert’s original Great British Bake Off audition, along with a menu of his ultimate pizza and a Madeira celebration cake. Nigella: At My Table BBC Two, 8.30pm Here’s another eclectic selection of dishes from television’s glossiest gourmet. Her recipes include an intriguingly titled golden egg curry, and a feast of spiced lamb kofta followed by rose and pepper pavlova. Supershoppers Channel 4, 8.30pm The savvy consumer advice show returns with presenter Anna Richardson and newcomer Sabrina Grant investigating whether supermarkets’ standard own-label ranges are really any different to their cheaper value ranges. Beauty wipes and car insurance also get the once over. TD Last Men In Aleppo: Storyville BBC Four, 10.00pm This grim but absorbing documentary follows the work of the White Helmets, Syrian civilians who conduct search-and-rescue missions in the city of Aleppo. We follow a trio of volunteers that includes Khaled, who moves between scouring for missing people and searching out medicine for his malnourished daughter. The director Feras Fayyad’s stark camera style takes an unflinching approach to the horror. TD Die Another Day (2002) ITV4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond is also his least satisfying (although even Sean Connery might have struggled to look cool driving an invisible car). Dastardly Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) wants to provoke a war between the Koreas using a military satellite. Bond, aided by Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, must stop him. It’s all let down by an over-reliance on CGI, but there are some great set pieces. Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014) Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.25pm ★★★☆☆  A thundering performance by Benicio del Toro almost redeems this misjudged biopic of the Colombian crime lord. Seizing on the role with understated relish, he teeters adroitly between generous family man and murdering manipulator. What a shame, then, that he’s used so sparingly – the film renders the tyrant nothing more than a supporting character. The Road (2009) ITV4, 11.45pm ★★★☆☆  John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s exalted novel is as harrowing as its source material. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood as a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (the superb Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander the American wasteland after an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, Nick Cave’s wrenching score makes it a wholly chilling experience. Tuesday 28 November The rise of AI: robot Jess helps families with life’s challenges Credit: Channel 4 The Robot Will See You Now Channel 4, 10.00pm The Rise of the Robots season continues with this documentary exploring whether robots will ever be sophisticated enough to play the role of best friend and confidant, or even therapist, to humans. Some forms of artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are becoming more commonly involved in our home lives; cars are almost at the point where they drive themselves; and trials are afoot to test whether software can be used to perform medical and legal functions. A companionship robot has also been developed to keep astronauts’ spirits up during lengthy periods on the International Space Station. That’s all a long way from being able to substitute the life experience, and emotional, ethical and psychological support, for which we turn to friends, family, religion and counsellors. But maybe not for long.  This intriguing film focuses on a team from Manchester and Plymouth Universities racing to develop a humanoid robot called Jess, that uses AI-based analysis to offer counselling on problems to do with marriage, divorce, infidelity and other day-to-day traumas – with built-in sympathy and tissue dispenser, no doubt. Gerard O’Donovan Glitch Netflix, from today This Aussie drama about a lakeside town where the dead start coming back to life bore too great a resemblance to French chiller The Returned in its early stages, but it eventually took a different supernatural path with reasonable success. The second series kicks off with last season’s closing shock revelation still hanging in the air: Elisha (Genevieve O’Reilly), the medic who’s been helping the undead, has been one of them herself, all along. How to Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield ITV, 8.00pm This festive consumer series sees Phillip Schofield inviting celebrity guests to test and taste the “must have” food, drink and gift items of the season. This week, they look at the hottest toys of 2017 and how Father Christmas can get hold of them. The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Rebecca (Molly Wright) packs her parents off on a much-needed mini-break and drafts in Eddie (Greg McHugh) and Nicola (Vinette Robinson) to help care for seven-year-old Joe (Max Vento). Unsurprisingly, things don’t go entirely according to plan. MasterChef: The Professionals BBC Two, 9.00pm The standard has been unusually high this year and this week’s six nervous new candidates prove especially inventive in the signature round and a challenge to come up with a new take on flavoursome, filled pasta with an accompanying sauce. Grand Designs: House of the Year Channel 4, 9.00pm Which of the shortlisted super-dwellings will win the Riba prize for 2017’s House of the Year? Kevin McCloud can only announce the winner once the last two finalists have been chosen – from the predictably stunning nominees in the Minimalist and Modern category. GO Passions: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor by Chi-Chi Nwanoku Sky Arts, 9.00pm Bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku is the founder of Europe’s first black and ethnic minority classical orchestra. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the poet (that’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge, silly) she chooses as her hero but the similarly named mixed-race British composer born 100 years later, in a film praising black musicians who’ve overcome prejudice to succeed in the conservative world of classical music. GO Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Sky Cinema Superheroes, 5.50pm ★★★☆☆   Tim Burton’s Edwardian fairy tale, based on the first Miss Peregrine book by Ransom Riggs – feels oddly conventional. Adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), it’s a tale of an insular Florida lad, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), who visits an orphanage that figured in tales spun by his grandfather (Terence Stamp). Mars Attacks! (1996) ITV4, 10.50pm ★★★★☆  It may not be director Tim Burton’s best film but this surreal sci-fi comedy is still fun. The glitzy cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker, put on their best camp performances to fight seemingly peaceful Martians, who in fact want to destroy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all in the name of a good time. It’s a loving parody of Fifties’ science-fiction cinema. Runaway Train (1985) Movies4Men, 10.50pm ★★★☆☆  Jon Voight and Eric Roberts (both Oscar-nominated) star as a pair of convicts, whose dash for freedom from an Alaskan prison takes an unexpected turn when they find themselves on an out-of-control train. The officers on their heels are caught between stopping it and reclaiming the criminals. It’s all a bit ridiculous, but Voight brings an appealing manic energy to a fun premise. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars. Wednesday 29 November Ferrying around: those who work on the busy English Channel Credit: Channel 4 The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm Drunk passengers, frazzled families, fundraisers swimming in testing conditions, enormous ships trying to squeeze through a narrow body of water: it’s all in a day’s workfor those who police the waters of the English Channel, as this new documentary series makes clear.  Filmed last summer and with a heavy focus on the many changes that Brexit may bring to the Channel crossing, this opening episode concentrates largely on life on the ferries. “We’re already down on passengers and spending from last year,” notes one employee, pointing out that the collapse of the pound against the euro means that holidaymakers are less inclined to splash their cash. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we also follow a determined single mother who plans to swim the Channel to raise money and awareness of sickle cell disease, which both her sons have. Elsewhere, there are interesting statistics about the sheer numbers making the crossing – up to 400 ships passing through the 21-mile-wide Dover Strait each day – and captain Mark Miller and his crew have to deal with both a paralytic passenger and the tour company who intend to leave him behind. Sarah Hughes The Marvellous Mrs Maisel Amazon Prime Video, from today Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino returns with this effervescent tale set in Fifties New York. Our heroine is Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). On the surface she’s the perfect Jewish American Princess but underneath beats the soul of an acid-tongued comedian. Sherman-Palladino is clearly playing homage to the trailblazing likes of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller but her story still feels fresh thanks to a sharp script and Brosnahan’s wonderful timing. Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry continues her trawl through some of the UK’s grandest country houses. This week she’s in Scotland helping the inhabitants of Scone Palace, Lord and Lady Mansfield, prepare for dinner and a ceilidh while fitting in a bit of deer stalking and salmon fishing on the side.  Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm Steven Knight’s gangster drama is firing on all cylinders this series and never more so than in a tight, tense third episode which sees Polly (Helen McCrory) re-join the company and Arthur (the excellent Paul Anderson) wrestle with both his guilt and his God following John’s death.    Digging for Britain BBC Four, 9.00pm “Archaeology is adding flesh to the bare bones of people” announces Professor Alice Roberts as the second part of this series digging deep into Britain’s past heads to Kent. There we spend time following the excavation of the wreck of East India Company ship, the Rooswijk, before uncovering early evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in the shape of an ancient fort. SH Wallis: The Queen That Never Was Channel 5, 9.00pm Georgina Rich is the latest actress to play Wallis Simpson in this meld of drama and documentary. It’s not a format that ever works particularly well but, beyond the enactments, a complex portrait of the Duchess of Windsor emerges and one which sheds fresh light on the true nature of her marriages.   How to Build a Robot Channel 4, 10.35pm David Tennant narrates this entertaining documentary focusing on Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran. McGoran’s aim is to invent a robot that can truly interact with humans. SH The Riot Club (2014) Film4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Laura Wade’s 2010 play, Posh, dealt with a still-reported habit of trashing dining establishments by Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club. It reaches the screen as The Riot Club, starring a braying gang of silverspoon-reared Brits. The pungency of the play has been diluted, along with its political bite, but Holliday Grainger, Max Irons and Sam Claflin are perfectly cast in the main roles. Bronson (2008) London Live, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  A gripping character study of “Britain’s most notorious long-term prisoner”, Charles Bronson (who has recently wed), whose bloody bare-knuckle brawls have seen him moved from prison to prison 120 times. Tom Hardy (who now seems to specialise in complex, muscle-bound brawlers – Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, Taboo) ramps it up with disturbing intensity to delve inside the mind of the tormented personality. Life As We Know It (2010) 5STAR, 11.00pm ★★★☆☆  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star in this shrill domestic nightmare in which they raise their orphaned godchild. Heigl once again plays a beautifully groomed control freak, while Duhamel’s Messer – a philandering man-child – repeatedly lives up to his name. When they get together, it feels like something to do with careers, contracts and romcom necessity; nothing to do with life. Thursday 30 November Pushing the boat out: Prunella Scales and Timothy West Credit: Channel 4 Great Canal Journeys Channel 4, 8.00pm When they embarked on the first series of Great Canal Journeys in 2014, it’s doubtful whether Timothy West or Prunella Scales could have foreseen its longevity, in part given the niche material and also because of Scales’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Yet here they are, heading through Portugal for the first instalment in this eighth series, never passing up the opportunity to draw comparisons between long marriages and vintage fortified wines. It is another hour of gentle insights and pure, unaffected charm.  Their journey takes them from a river port 100 miles inland through to Porto along the Rio Douro, via several vineyards and, slightly less predictably, examples of ancient rock art and Europe’s deepest lock. Throughout is evidence of why Portugal remains England’s oldest ally (Brits are heavily involved in the contemporary port industry) and, more significantly, of a relationship of a strength and mutual affection to which we can all aspire. Scales credits her husband with “opening up the world”. For West’s part, he reckons that “she likes being with me and I like being with her. That’s the best we can hope for, and very nice too.” Gabriel Tate PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge Sky Sports Main Event, 6.30pm It’s the opening day at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas, where Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is the reigning champion.  Discovering: Richard Widmark Sky Arts, 8.00pm Always more than a mere journeyman but never quite leading man material either, Richard Widmark was one of Hollywood’s most consistent talents, his work spanning classic noirs (Panic in the Streets), westerns (Two Rode Together) and thrillers (Coma). Journalists and critics assemble to pay tribute in another breezy, concise profile. The Farthest: Voyager’s Interstellar Journey: Storyville BBC Four, 8.55pm The space programme perhaps best represents the dazzling possibilities of the human brain and our capacity to imagine. This characteristically excellent and absorbing Storyville celebrates the scientific achievements of the Voyager probes through those that planned, made and continue to monitor them as they leave our solar system for interstellar space. Their enthusiasm is undiminished and infectious. GT Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm; Scotland, 11.15pm This affecting series investigates the repercussions of a German bomb that destroyed two houses in Hull. The personal traumas were of course profound, but a series of essays written by the city’s children in 1941 also unwittingly encouraged Britain’s controversial urban bombing strategies later in the war. Trump: an American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm This enthralling series concludes with the future President rediscovering his mojo thanks to the influence of a new wife and advisors, before a combination of reality television and social media open an unlikely route to the White House. Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm A fine line-up launch a new run for the hardy stand-up perennial from Hammersmith, with quickfire Gary Delaney and rising Scottish comic Larry Dean on the agenda, introduced by Sara Pascoe. The Sex Robots Are Coming Channel 4, 10.00pm Nick Sweeney’s unsettling documentary follows the creation of Harmony, a prototype sexbot, and James, a potential purchaser. What do these technological advances mean for human relationships and the ever-present issue of objectification? GT Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Film4, 7.15pm ★★★☆☆  The furiously funny, and startling originality of disaster parody Airplane! makes this sequel, which is set in the future and takes place on a lunar shuttle, stick out like a sore thumb, especially since the original team had no involvement. There are some amusing spoofs of Rocky and E.T., but the jokes tread familiar ground. Cameos come from Raymond Burr and William Shatner. Cliffhanger (1993) Universal Channel, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Get Him to the Greek (2010) Comedy Central, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  Russell Brand plays himself (very well), thinly disguised as washed-up British rocker Aldous Snow who, desperate for a career revival, is called upon for a one-night show at LA venue The Greek. Despite trying too hard to shock, Brand’s famously crude humour lends this potentially humdrum American bromance some eccentricity and makes it, at times, a raucous comedy. Friday 1 December Life Thru a Lens: Robbie Williams is one of Norton’s guests Credit: Getty The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Graham Norton remains the best chat show host on British television, even if one or two of his line-ups this season have failed to generate much in the way of sparks. (The recent edition featuring only the cast of Ken Branagh’s new Agatha Christie movie Murder on the Orient Express could have been bottled and sold as a soporific, despite all of the star names on display.) Happily that’s unlikely to be a problem here as most of his guests are blessed with some of the biggest and most-often utilised mouths in showbiz.  Elton John is on hand to promote his latest greatest hits collection, and will perhaps have plenty to say about ITV’s recent poll of the British public’s 20 favourite songs from his rather extensive back catalogue. Stephen Fry will doubtless be as mesmerising as ever as he discusses his new book on Greek mythology; and Robbie Williams might make some noise about his new album, Under the Radar Volume 2, and upcoming Heavy Entertainment tour. All in all, you have to wonder how demure actress Carey Mulligan will manage to get a word in edgeways on the subject of her terrific new Netflix film Mudbound, although we’re confident she will. Gerard O’Donovan Dark Netflix, from today “The question is not where, or who, or how…but when?” This creepy time-bending thriller, about the disappearance of two German boys over a 30-year interval, plays with the idea of how fractured relationships repeat time and again. Voyeur Netflix, from today This controversial documentary explores one of veteran US writer Gay Talese’s most sensational pieces of “literary journalism”, The Voyeur’s Motel. It told the story of how, in the Eighties, Gerald Foos opened a motel supposedly for the sole purpose of peeping on guests. But how much of the tale was made up? Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm Singer Rita Ora joins regular presenters Greg James and Dotty as guest host at the BBC’s White City studios to introduce, among others, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood. Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales   In the series’ finale Mears ends his epic journey in the ancient Walpole Forest, a vast swathe of primordial wilderness in Western Australia. He’s in search of the forest’s famed giant tingle and karri trees but the smaller denizens – such as the elusive quokka – are just as amazing. Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s pier-end café goes fully vegetarian in honour of guest Joanna Lumley, who revives the tastes of her childhood by cooking the King of Malaysia’s favourite dish. Meanwhile, the childhood friends go on the road to champion British fava beans, and Doherty designs a vertical vegetable patch – perfect for the high-rise balcony. Britain’s Greatest Bridges Channel 5, 8.00pm The series concludes with the story of the feat of engineering that is the mile-long Severn Bridge and how its designer Bill Brown revolutionised modern bridge design with its aerodynamic box girder deck. GO Truth Tellers at the BBC BBC Four, 11.00pm Friday night is music night on BBC Four, and this new archive series adds depth to its line-up by showcasing clips of the most lyrically gifted songwriters to have performed on the BBC. These include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith. GO The King’s Speech (2010) More4, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  Tom Hooper’s film about the future George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer in the nation’s hour of need won multiple Oscars, including a deserved Best Actor gong for Colin Firth. But it’s his double-act with Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue that gives the film its heart, and the double-handers between them are fraught and fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps underused as the Duchess of York. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) ITV4, 11.40pm ★★★☆☆  This is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a revenge artist who wields his razors with merry abandon in 19th-century London with the help of the deliciously sinister Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). Alan Rickman plays the deplorable Judge Turpin. Wild (2014) Channel 4, 12.10am ★★★★☆  The Pacific Crest Trail, which runs up the entire western spine of the United States, is a challenge of fabled arduousness and rugged beauty. In 1995, aged 26, Cheryl Strayed (played by a superb Reese Witherspoon) walked it, to get clearance in her head after a decade of loss and personal meltdown. Wild powerfully reveals Strayed’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on the journey. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain and Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight

Thursday 23 November Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm It’s an eye-catching idea: identify individual bombs from among the millions that rained down on Britain during the Blitz, and select four that had greater impact than any others. So much so, they might even have had beneficial effects in the long run. The bomb featured in this opener, which hit 8 Martindale Road in London’s docklands on the first night of the Blitz in September 1940, didn’t actually explode. But the evacuation it prompted set in motion a series of events that led to horrific loss of life.  Public outrage at the authorities’ ineptitude, unpreparedness and apparent callous disregard for working people, boosted by campaigning journalist Peter Ritchie Calder, eventually led to Tory MP Henry Willink being appointed to organise a better response to the Blitz. He, in turn, wrote the first draft of the postwar White Paper, proposing what would eventually become the NHS. It really is a bit of a stretch (and may even be offensive to some) to suggest that a German bomb was what effectively led to the founding of the British welfare state. But the story makes for an intriguing slice of social and political history none the less. Gerard O’Donovan She’s Gotta Have It Netflix, from today Can the feted director Spike Lee recreate, 21 years on, the magic of his scintillating 1986 romcom in this much-anticipated new series? Lee’s plotline remains the same – the story of beautiful New Yorker Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) highly entertaining efforts to decide which of her lovers she should settle down with permanently. But it is updated to reflect the mind-boggling choice of partners available to the 21st-century adventurer. As Nola confesses to one therapist: “As a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, monogamy never seemed like a remote possibility for me.”  Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight ITV, 7.30pm A fortnight since its relationship-tracking documentary Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply, ITV devotes another programme to the Royal engagement that hasn’t yet happened. Here reporter Fiona Foster considers what the rest of the Royal family think of the relationship. Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s moreish drama set in a Leeds registry office continues as Kate (Ashley Jensen) is forced to step down from her big promotion. And things go from bad to worse when Rob (Adrian Bower) turns up with worrying news about their daughter. Trump: An American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm The revealing review of the US President’s life story reaches the Nineties, with Donald Trump’s personal and business life in meltdown as his wife Ivana seeks a divorce (and a massive settlement) and his business empire teeters towards bankruptcy. John Bishop: in Conversation with Jeremy Corbyn W, 9.00pm In what is a last-minute addition to John Bishop’s intimate interview series, the Labour leader joins him for a frank discussion about his life and his politics, including his thoughts on President Trump and the Chilcott Enquiry, as well as the impact of the death of his brother. GO The Search for a Miracle Cure Channel 4, 10.00pm An emotionally charged documentary following lawyer Mark Lewis’s quest for a cure for multiple sclerosis. The degenerative disease was thought incurable but here Lewis embarks on a trial of a new stem-cell treatment that has shown remarkable results. GO Revolver (2005) 5STAR, 10.00pm ★★☆☆☆  After making the truly awful Swept Away with then-wife Madonna, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… director Guy Ritchie returns to his suit-wearing gangster roots and his favourite star, Jason Statham. It’s stylishly shot but unfortunately this Ritchie/Luc Besson-penned tale of chess, revenge, con artists and assassins is weaved into such a complex, maze-like brain-teaser that it’s virtually incomprehensible. Limitless (2011) Film4, 11.15pm ★★★☆☆  Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a writer whose former brother-in-law slips him a pill that enables him to access 100 per cent of his brain. His book is finished in four days, so he goes back for more and this time nets himself a fortune on the stock market. Neil Burger directs at breakneck pace, but afterwards you wish that Cooper’s character had used that brainpower for something more interesting than making money. Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) Sky Atlantic, 12.00midnight ★★☆☆☆  When HBO didn’t give Stephen Merchant’s sitcom a second series, he made this movie instead. It follows him in the role of Stuart, a geeky IT guy who’s looking for his soul mate in Los Angeles. When he learns that his ex-girlfriend is planning to visit, he sets out to impress her with his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, this style of cringe-making comedy has been done to death. Friday 24 November Chums: Jimmy Doherty, Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver Credit: Channel 4 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and childhood mucker Jimmy Doherty return for another series of their hyperactive meld of cookery programme, food information and celebrity chat hosted at their Southend Pier caff. This series tends to stand or fall with the visiting celebrity but luckily this week it’s Simon Pegg, who gamely enters into the spirit of things by serving customers, cooking what looks like a pretty good tagine and admitting that he’s far more food conscious in these Mission: Impossible days (Tom Cruise is apparently the devil for pushing cakes on those trying to stay in shape). Friday Night Feast feels closer in tone to the early cookery shows that made Oliver’s name and Pegg enters into the cheeky-chappy spirit, mucking around with Doherty and dropping sardonic asides. “It’s fundamentally evil but at the same time beautiful,” he remarks of Oliver’s Provençal Bake, a calorific but clearly delicious mixture of pancakes, cheese, ham and tomatoes, which causes one customer to gush, “I never want it to end.” Elsewhere, Oliver and Doherty go on the road to uncover the joys of free-range duck, and Doherty builds a barbecue for the Stoke Mandeville wheelchair rugby team. Sarah Hughes Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm BBC One’s live music show is a great idea but so far has been a bit hit and miss. Presenters Greg James and Dotty are enthusiastic but more risks are needed when booking the live acts. Craig David co-hosts this episode, and there are performances from The Killers and Anne-Marie.  Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales Ray Mears’s laid-back excursion around Australia continues in South Australia’s Flinders mountain ranges, which provides a dramatic setting for three species of kangaroos and the country’s largest bird of prey. Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The personable Stephen Mangan takes the host’s chair for this episode of the satirical news-based panel game. He’s joined by business journalist Steph McGovern and comedian Jo Caulfield.  Extreme Wives with Kate Humble BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 9.30pm Kate Humble heads to the remote town of Shillong in north-east India to meet with the matrilineal Khasi people in the fascinating final episode. The Khasi pass everything, including property, down the female line and hand power to the youngest daughter in each family. SH Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Sky Arts, 9.00pm Anyone who has read Sticky Fingers, the recent biography of Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner, will realise that this Alex Gibney series is something of a puff piece in comparison. That said, it’s still very enjoyable. The focus here is on the kidnap of Patty Hearst and the way in which the counterculture slowly became mainstream. Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices BBC Four, 10.00pm Jazz musician Gregory Porter’s outstanding series continues with a focus on crooners. All the usual suspects – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the unbeatable Nat King Cole – are present but what makes this series so exceptional is the knowledge Porter brings to his subject. This episode dissects why Sinatra was “a little too presumptuous for the croon” as well as looking at how everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie used the technique. The real pleasure, however, comes from the music. SH Collateral Beauty (2016) Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm ★★☆☆☆  The plot of David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and Allan Loeb’s (Just Go with It) film is fantastically unhinged: Will Smith is an ad-exec who has lost his daughter to cancer, and in his grief is pestered on the streets of New York by the personifications of Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren) – “the three abstractions”. Dark Shadows (2012) W, 9.00pm ★★☆☆☆  Tim Burton’s film is at its best in the opening scenes, when it can afford to be all show and no tell. It’s Johnny Depp, naturally, who plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th-century Byronic rascal who is transformed into a vampire by a jealous witch (Eva Green) and wakes up in Nixon-era small-town America. Depp and Burton’s eighth film together brought them level with De Niro and Scorsese, although in numerical terms only. Boyhood (2014) Channel 4, 12.05am ★★★★★  Richard Linklater’s real-time depiction of a boy growing up over 12 years received the biggest Oscar snub of recent years, winning only one award, for Patricia Arquette as for Best Supporting Actress. From 2002, Linklater spent a few days each year filming the same actors to chart Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) ordinary life – in what is an extraordinary, beautiful and moving string of small, everyday moments. Saturday 25 November In his words: the life of the Sixties playwright Joe Orton Credit: Hulton Archive Joe Orton Laid Bare BBC Two, 9.00pm “I realise it’s unforgivable doing this but I’m just unrepentant.” So announces a young Joe Orton in this suitably anarchic take on the playwright’s life, works and early, brutal death. It’s a sentence that entirely sums up Orton’s acidic take on life; he was a man who loved (and arguably lived) to shock and who enjoyed making people uncomfortable – “I felt snakes were writhing round my feet,” wrote one theatre critic after watching the bawdy Entertaining Mr Sloane – yet who was also possessed of enough wit, charm and intelligence to win over even the most mortally offended.  Making great use of Orton’s letters, diaries and plays – scenes from the latter acted by a cast that includes Antony Sher, Ben Miles and Jaime Winstone – the documentary does its best to pin its subject to the page with contributors including his sister Leonie, playwright Christopher Hampton and producer Michael Codron. There is (surprisingly) understanding too for the man who murdered Orton, his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who subsequently killed himself. Ultimately, however, what lingers is not the gory manner of Orton’s death but rather his wildly entertaining words. Sarah Hughes International Rugby Union: Scotland v Australia & England v Samoa  BBC One, 2.00pm & Sky Sports Main Event, 2.45pm Having fallen agonisingly close to pulling off the greatest result in their history – they lost 22-17 to New Zealand – Scotland host Australia at Murrayfield with their tails up. Meanwhile, England – who beat the Wallabies 30-6 last weekend, with Danny Care putting a sublime performance after coming off the bench – face Samoa, hoping to take Eddie Jones’s record to 22 wins from 23 as their coach. Expect Jones to ring the changes, with Henry Slade likely to be handed another opportunity at No 12 and Mike Brown returning to the side as full-back.  International Rugby Union: Wales v New Zealand  BBC Two, 4.45pm An unsuccessful three-match series in New Zealand this summer saw Wales return home still looking for a victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 1953. They have now lost 29 consecutive fixtures, 10 of which have been presided over by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland during his tenure. Wales head into this match on the back of a far-from-convincing 13-6 victory against Georgia. Granted, Gatland did put out an experimental team. Premier League Football: Liverpool v Chelsea BT Sport 1, 5.00pm Two of last Saturday’s star performers meet at Anfield in what should be a pulsating encounter. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice, while Chelsea, inspired by Eden Hazard, ran out 4-0 winners at West Brom. When these sides met in January here, Georginio Wijnaldum cancelled out David Luiz’s goal in a 1-1 draw.  Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.50pm With only three weeks left in the competition, the judges must try to separate the glitter from the paste. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are expected to make the final but it’s wide open as to who else joins them. This week, the couples can earn extra points in the “pasodoblathon”. The X Factor: The Semi Finals ITV, 7.30pm From surprise double eliminations to the extra sing-offs, this year’s X Factor has been derided for being a mess. This week, it can redeem itself as the contestants sing for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final.   Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Michael McIntyre’s attempt to single-handedly revive the variety show continues. This week, he’s joined by guests Gary Barlow, Russell Kane, Clean Bandit and Danny Dyer, who hands over his mobile phone for the Celebrity Send to All slot. Dad’s Army BBC Two, 8.30pm; not NI or Scotland  As Brexit edges nearer so Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s comedy about the Home Guard appears ever more relevant, not least because it pinpoints a certain kind of Englishness. This episode sees the bumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) pitch camp in the middle of an artillery exercise. SH Witnesses: A Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Another day, another atmospherically depressing European crime drama. But this French eight-part series, shown in double bills over the next four weeks, is really good. The Tunnel’s Marie Dompnier plays Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to a macabre case involving 15 frozen bodies on an abandoned bus. The dead men are all linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot), who disappeared three years earlier.   White Princess Drama, 9.00pm It might be hokum but this adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s bestseller is enjoyable largely thanks to the complicated relationship at its heart. The marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) is very much a dynastic contract between two people forced to find common cause. This episode sees them take steps towards that new understanding. SH Daddy Long Legs (1955) BBC Two, 2.10pm ★★★☆☆  Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron are paired for the first time in this Hollywood musical written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (parents of Nora) and loosely based on a 1912 novel. They bring charm and warmth to a story about the complications of a love affair between a young woman and a man 30 years her senior. The dance sequences are particularly striking, containing a rarity in Astaire’s choreography: a kiss. Lone Survivor (2013) Channel 4, 11.05pm ★★★☆☆  In this film based on true events, Mark Wahlberg gives a strong performance as sniper Marcus Luttrell, who, in 2005, was the head of a four-man team of Navy Seals, tasked with killing Taliban leader Ahmed Shah. An encounter with some goatherds gives the team a major moral dilemma. The film, directed by Peter Berg, is hampered by a lack of character exploration but it’s certainly action-packed. Albert Nobbs (2011) BBC Two, 11.35pm ★★★☆☆  Glenn Close toiled for 30 years to make an Albert Nobbs film after playing the part in a 1982 off-Broadway play. Close inhabits the role, of a woman disguised as a man to work as a waiter in a 19th-century hotel, with uncanny accuracy (she was rewarded with an Oscar nomination). The film reaches for something to say about sexual identity, but neither Close nor director Rodrigo García seem to know what it is. Sunday 26 November Ring of fire: Xand van Tulleken Credit: BBC Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm As is the wont of BBC documentaries about the natural world these days, the impact of humans can no longer be ignored – in fact, it’s central to the premise of this new two-parter in which geologist Chris Jackson and humanitarian doctor Xand van Tulleken journey to live volcanoes and the communities that live in their shadow.  Nyiragongo, in the Congo, last erupted in 2002, causing a mass evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, terrible loss of life and wholesale destruction of property. The pair’s expedition examines ways to predict its behaviour, especially since another eruption is almost inevitable. Van Tulleken focuses on disease prevention and healthcare, looking at how to avoid the spread of cholera that proved so catastrophic 15 years ago, while Jackson drops into the crater (the staggering camerawork and pounding soundtrack leave you in no doubt as to the potential peril of the venture) to assess the latest techniques for detecting sulphur dioxide and geological vibrations. By the end, problems have been diagnosed and solutions prescribed – it’s an admirable project whose success can only be judged, grimly, in the event of another disaster. Next week, they head to nearby Nyamuragira. Gabriel Tate Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4, noon & Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm He may have already been crowned champion but that didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton putting in a fine display in Brazil, starting in the pit lane under flawless Brazilian skies and finishing a mere five seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel. Let’s hope for a similarly exciting spectacle at the Yas Marina Circuit, as the curtain comes down on the 2017 season. Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm Every episode of this mesmerising series brings with it new wonders. This week’s venture into underwater forests, meadows and mangroves sniffs out creatures with unlikely names (the Pyjama Shark, the Garibaldi Damselfish) and even more outlandish strategies for survival. Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm It might be hard to see what Julie Walters can bring to this well-worn travelogue approach, despite all her charisma and appeal. But there is plenty to enjoy in her tour of the British Isles – tonight, she boards the “Harry Potter” train in the Highlands, guts herring and wrangles cattle. Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm Kenneth Lonergan’s restrained, affecting adaptation reachesa crunch point in relations between Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Henry (Matthew Macfadyen), driving a wedge between their two families; with the Basts approaching penury, a showdown looms. Guy Martin vs the Robocar Channel 4, 9.00pm Always up for a challenge, Guy Martin builds his own robotic Ford Transit to take on a “Roboracer” around Silverstone. But first he picks up a few tips from a “Level Five” autonomous vehicle in Budapest and Tesla’s latest models in Massachusetts. GT Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm and 10.00pm With every one of the €40 million budget up on screen, this adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Thirties-set policiers is one of the most handsome dramas of the year – and one of the most gripping. The first season reaches its climax with Lotte (Liv Lisa Fries) having a point to prove and Gereon (Volker Bruch) dealing both with ghosts from the past and chilling hints at what the future holds. Season two begins next week. Naples ’44: a Wartime Diary BBC Four, 11.00pm Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this gripping and cleverly structured Italian film, which blends archive footage, documentary and drama to tell the story of a city and its resilient citizens through the eyes of British officer Norman Lewis. Some of the imagery is powerful indeed (one sequence of cows being milked in the rubble of the city has a pungent surrealism) and the pacifist message is ultimately undeniable. GT Stalingrad (1994) History, 3.00pm ★★★☆☆  Joseph Vilsmaier’s film reconstructs the 1942 Siege of Stalingrad, in which Soviet forces successfully held back the German army. The battle proved to be a major turning point in the Second World War and claimed millions of lives – a point that the film rests on, showing the horrors of modern warfare in all its stomach-churning brutality. Dominique Horwitz and Thomas Kretschmann star as German soldiers. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) BBC Two, 6.45pm ★★★☆☆  Steve Carell has become a dab hand at making public embarrassment ridiculous and borderline tragic, and saves the day in this slight but entertaining comedy. Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), blows out a candle for his 12th birthday and initiates this fateful curse so that his family understand how it feels to have a purely maddening 24 hours. Fury (2014) Channel 5, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  David Ayer’s study of the habits and habitats of the American killer male is an astonishing drama. It’s Germany 1945, and Sgt Don “Wardaddy” Collie (Brad Pitt) and his team are grinding towards Berlin in a battered tank. There is no rescue mission, just an agonising rumble from one brush with death to the next. The set pieces are gripping, and the terror of war is blasted home. Monday 27 November Right to work: Tourette’s sufferer Ryan Credit: BBC Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm This moving series, which follows jobseekers determined to show that their disabilities shouldn’t prevent them working, returns for a new four-part run. There’s a persuasive double purpose to the programme – to highlight the disabilities themselves and to explore how those living with them fight against prejudice every day.  The opening episode showcases a wonderfully inspirational duo. We meet 52-year-old Andy, who was once the go-getting manager of a successful motorcycle business. Despite being left partially paralysed and struggling with speech after a life-threatening stroke, Andy wants to break into public speaking and motivate others with his story. Alongside him is turtle-mad Tourette’s sufferer Ryan, whose severe tics can leave him physically debilitated, but who nevertheless dreams of working with animals.  The pair’s will to succeed is humbling as they tackle longed-for job opportunities and the significant hurdles this entails. Helping them on the way is psychologist Nancy Doyle, who runs a pioneering scheme aimed at getting our hopefuls to promote their talents and for recruiters to see their considerable worth. Toby Dantzic Chinese Burn BBC Three, from 10.00am This comedy pilot, executive-produced by Ash Atalla (People Just Do Nothing), about three girls from China trying to make new lives in London is worth watching. Flatmates Elizabeth (Shin-Fei Chen), who’s chasing her dream job as a sommelier, and fiery struggling actress Jackie (Yennis Cheung) get a surprise visit from Elizabeth’s ultra-rich friend FuFu (Yuyu Rau). She’s an unwelcome guest, however, as Elizabeth hasn’t been honest with her parents.    Lost and Found Channel 4, 3.00pm Heartstrings are shamelessly tugged in this new series, which follows the sterling work of the Dogs Trust charity. The pooches featured in this episode include Ida, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that needs regular hydrotherapy, and a Labrador that has been missing for four days. Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Paul Hollywood fronts this new four-part series which combines personal anecdotes with his favourite recipes. The opening episode serves up footage of the gimlet-eyed bread expert’s original Great British Bake Off audition, along with a menu of his ultimate pizza and a Madeira celebration cake. Nigella: At My Table BBC Two, 8.30pm Here’s another eclectic selection of dishes from television’s glossiest gourmet. Her recipes include an intriguingly titled golden egg curry, and a feast of spiced lamb kofta followed by rose and pepper pavlova. Supershoppers Channel 4, 8.30pm The savvy consumer advice show returns with presenter Anna Richardson and newcomer Sabrina Grant investigating whether supermarkets’ standard own-label ranges are really any different to their cheaper value ranges. Beauty wipes and car insurance also get the once over. TD Last Men In Aleppo: Storyville BBC Four, 10.00pm This grim but absorbing documentary follows the work of the White Helmets, Syrian civilians who conduct search-and-rescue missions in the city of Aleppo. We follow a trio of volunteers that includes Khaled, who moves between scouring for missing people and searching out medicine for his malnourished daughter. The director Feras Fayyad’s stark camera style takes an unflinching approach to the horror. TD Die Another Day (2002) ITV4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond is also his least satisfying (although even Sean Connery might have struggled to look cool driving an invisible car). Dastardly Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) wants to provoke a war between the Koreas using a military satellite. Bond, aided by Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, must stop him. It’s all let down by an over-reliance on CGI, but there are some great set pieces. Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014) Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.25pm ★★★☆☆  A thundering performance by Benicio del Toro almost redeems this misjudged biopic of the Colombian crime lord. Seizing on the role with understated relish, he teeters adroitly between generous family man and murdering manipulator. What a shame, then, that he’s used so sparingly – the film renders the tyrant nothing more than a supporting character. The Road (2009) ITV4, 11.45pm ★★★☆☆  John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s exalted novel is as harrowing as its source material. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood as a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (the superb Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander the American wasteland after an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, Nick Cave’s wrenching score makes it a wholly chilling experience. Tuesday 28 November The rise of AI: robot Jess helps families with life’s challenges Credit: Channel 4 The Robot Will See You Now Channel 4, 10.00pm The Rise of the Robots season continues with this documentary exploring whether robots will ever be sophisticated enough to play the role of best friend and confidant, or even therapist, to humans. Some forms of artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are becoming more commonly involved in our home lives; cars are almost at the point where they drive themselves; and trials are afoot to test whether software can be used to perform medical and legal functions. A companionship robot has also been developed to keep astronauts’ spirits up during lengthy periods on the International Space Station. That’s all a long way from being able to substitute the life experience, and emotional, ethical and psychological support, for which we turn to friends, family, religion and counsellors. But maybe not for long.  This intriguing film focuses on a team from Manchester and Plymouth Universities racing to develop a humanoid robot called Jess, that uses AI-based analysis to offer counselling on problems to do with marriage, divorce, infidelity and other day-to-day traumas – with built-in sympathy and tissue dispenser, no doubt. Gerard O’Donovan Glitch Netflix, from today This Aussie drama about a lakeside town where the dead start coming back to life bore too great a resemblance to French chiller The Returned in its early stages, but it eventually took a different supernatural path with reasonable success. The second series kicks off with last season’s closing shock revelation still hanging in the air: Elisha (Genevieve O’Reilly), the medic who’s been helping the undead, has been one of them herself, all along. How to Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield ITV, 8.00pm This festive consumer series sees Phillip Schofield inviting celebrity guests to test and taste the “must have” food, drink and gift items of the season. This week, they look at the hottest toys of 2017 and how Father Christmas can get hold of them. The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Rebecca (Molly Wright) packs her parents off on a much-needed mini-break and drafts in Eddie (Greg McHugh) and Nicola (Vinette Robinson) to help care for seven-year-old Joe (Max Vento). Unsurprisingly, things don’t go entirely according to plan. MasterChef: The Professionals BBC Two, 9.00pm The standard has been unusually high this year and this week’s six nervous new candidates prove especially inventive in the signature round and a challenge to come up with a new take on flavoursome, filled pasta with an accompanying sauce. Grand Designs: House of the Year Channel 4, 9.00pm Which of the shortlisted super-dwellings will win the Riba prize for 2017’s House of the Year? Kevin McCloud can only announce the winner once the last two finalists have been chosen – from the predictably stunning nominees in the Minimalist and Modern category. GO Passions: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor by Chi-Chi Nwanoku Sky Arts, 9.00pm Bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku is the founder of Europe’s first black and ethnic minority classical orchestra. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the poet (that’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge, silly) she chooses as her hero but the similarly named mixed-race British composer born 100 years later, in a film praising black musicians who’ve overcome prejudice to succeed in the conservative world of classical music. GO Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Sky Cinema Superheroes, 5.50pm ★★★☆☆   Tim Burton’s Edwardian fairy tale, based on the first Miss Peregrine book by Ransom Riggs – feels oddly conventional. Adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), it’s a tale of an insular Florida lad, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), who visits an orphanage that figured in tales spun by his grandfather (Terence Stamp). Mars Attacks! (1996) ITV4, 10.50pm ★★★★☆  It may not be director Tim Burton’s best film but this surreal sci-fi comedy is still fun. The glitzy cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker, put on their best camp performances to fight seemingly peaceful Martians, who in fact want to destroy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all in the name of a good time. It’s a loving parody of Fifties’ science-fiction cinema. Runaway Train (1985) Movies4Men, 10.50pm ★★★☆☆  Jon Voight and Eric Roberts (both Oscar-nominated) star as a pair of convicts, whose dash for freedom from an Alaskan prison takes an unexpected turn when they find themselves on an out-of-control train. The officers on their heels are caught between stopping it and reclaiming the criminals. It’s all a bit ridiculous, but Voight brings an appealing manic energy to a fun premise. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars. Wednesday 29 November Ferrying around: those who work on the busy English Channel Credit: Channel 4 The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm Drunk passengers, frazzled families, fundraisers swimming in testing conditions, enormous ships trying to squeeze through a narrow body of water: it’s all in a day’s workfor those who police the waters of the English Channel, as this new documentary series makes clear.  Filmed last summer and with a heavy focus on the many changes that Brexit may bring to the Channel crossing, this opening episode concentrates largely on life on the ferries. “We’re already down on passengers and spending from last year,” notes one employee, pointing out that the collapse of the pound against the euro means that holidaymakers are less inclined to splash their cash. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we also follow a determined single mother who plans to swim the Channel to raise money and awareness of sickle cell disease, which both her sons have. Elsewhere, there are interesting statistics about the sheer numbers making the crossing – up to 400 ships passing through the 21-mile-wide Dover Strait each day – and captain Mark Miller and his crew have to deal with both a paralytic passenger and the tour company who intend to leave him behind. Sarah Hughes The Marvellous Mrs Maisel Amazon Prime Video, from today Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino returns with this effervescent tale set in Fifties New York. Our heroine is Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). On the surface she’s the perfect Jewish American Princess but underneath beats the soul of an acid-tongued comedian. Sherman-Palladino is clearly playing homage to the trailblazing likes of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller but her story still feels fresh thanks to a sharp script and Brosnahan’s wonderful timing. Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry continues her trawl through some of the UK’s grandest country houses. This week she’s in Scotland helping the inhabitants of Scone Palace, Lord and Lady Mansfield, prepare for dinner and a ceilidh while fitting in a bit of deer stalking and salmon fishing on the side.  Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm Steven Knight’s gangster drama is firing on all cylinders this series and never more so than in a tight, tense third episode which sees Polly (Helen McCrory) re-join the company and Arthur (the excellent Paul Anderson) wrestle with both his guilt and his God following John’s death.    Digging for Britain BBC Four, 9.00pm “Archaeology is adding flesh to the bare bones of people” announces Professor Alice Roberts as the second part of this series digging deep into Britain’s past heads to Kent. There we spend time following the excavation of the wreck of East India Company ship, the Rooswijk, before uncovering early evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in the shape of an ancient fort. SH Wallis: The Queen That Never Was Channel 5, 9.00pm Georgina Rich is the latest actress to play Wallis Simpson in this meld of drama and documentary. It’s not a format that ever works particularly well but, beyond the enactments, a complex portrait of the Duchess of Windsor emerges and one which sheds fresh light on the true nature of her marriages.   How to Build a Robot Channel 4, 10.35pm David Tennant narrates this entertaining documentary focusing on Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran. McGoran’s aim is to invent a robot that can truly interact with humans. SH The Riot Club (2014) Film4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Laura Wade’s 2010 play, Posh, dealt with a still-reported habit of trashing dining establishments by Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club. It reaches the screen as The Riot Club, starring a braying gang of silverspoon-reared Brits. The pungency of the play has been diluted, along with its political bite, but Holliday Grainger, Max Irons and Sam Claflin are perfectly cast in the main roles. Bronson (2008) London Live, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  A gripping character study of “Britain’s most notorious long-term prisoner”, Charles Bronson (who has recently wed), whose bloody bare-knuckle brawls have seen him moved from prison to prison 120 times. Tom Hardy (who now seems to specialise in complex, muscle-bound brawlers – Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, Taboo) ramps it up with disturbing intensity to delve inside the mind of the tormented personality. Life As We Know It (2010) 5STAR, 11.00pm ★★★☆☆  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star in this shrill domestic nightmare in which they raise their orphaned godchild. Heigl once again plays a beautifully groomed control freak, while Duhamel’s Messer – a philandering man-child – repeatedly lives up to his name. When they get together, it feels like something to do with careers, contracts and romcom necessity; nothing to do with life. Thursday 30 November Pushing the boat out: Prunella Scales and Timothy West Credit: Channel 4 Great Canal Journeys Channel 4, 8.00pm When they embarked on the first series of Great Canal Journeys in 2014, it’s doubtful whether Timothy West or Prunella Scales could have foreseen its longevity, in part given the niche material and also because of Scales’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Yet here they are, heading through Portugal for the first instalment in this eighth series, never passing up the opportunity to draw comparisons between long marriages and vintage fortified wines. It is another hour of gentle insights and pure, unaffected charm.  Their journey takes them from a river port 100 miles inland through to Porto along the Rio Douro, via several vineyards and, slightly less predictably, examples of ancient rock art and Europe’s deepest lock. Throughout is evidence of why Portugal remains England’s oldest ally (Brits are heavily involved in the contemporary port industry) and, more significantly, of a relationship of a strength and mutual affection to which we can all aspire. Scales credits her husband with “opening up the world”. For West’s part, he reckons that “she likes being with me and I like being with her. That’s the best we can hope for, and very nice too.” Gabriel Tate PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge Sky Sports Main Event, 6.30pm It’s the opening day at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas, where Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is the reigning champion.  Discovering: Richard Widmark Sky Arts, 8.00pm Always more than a mere journeyman but never quite leading man material either, Richard Widmark was one of Hollywood’s most consistent talents, his work spanning classic noirs (Panic in the Streets), westerns (Two Rode Together) and thrillers (Coma). Journalists and critics assemble to pay tribute in another breezy, concise profile. The Farthest: Voyager’s Interstellar Journey: Storyville BBC Four, 8.55pm The space programme perhaps best represents the dazzling possibilities of the human brain and our capacity to imagine. This characteristically excellent and absorbing Storyville celebrates the scientific achievements of the Voyager probes through those that planned, made and continue to monitor them as they leave our solar system for interstellar space. Their enthusiasm is undiminished and infectious. GT Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm; Scotland, 11.15pm This affecting series investigates the repercussions of a German bomb that destroyed two houses in Hull. The personal traumas were of course profound, but a series of essays written by the city’s children in 1941 also unwittingly encouraged Britain’s controversial urban bombing strategies later in the war. Trump: an American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm This enthralling series concludes with the future President rediscovering his mojo thanks to the influence of a new wife and advisors, before a combination of reality television and social media open an unlikely route to the White House. Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm A fine line-up launch a new run for the hardy stand-up perennial from Hammersmith, with quickfire Gary Delaney and rising Scottish comic Larry Dean on the agenda, introduced by Sara Pascoe. The Sex Robots Are Coming Channel 4, 10.00pm Nick Sweeney’s unsettling documentary follows the creation of Harmony, a prototype sexbot, and James, a potential purchaser. What do these technological advances mean for human relationships and the ever-present issue of objectification? GT Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Film4, 7.15pm ★★★☆☆  The furiously funny, and startling originality of disaster parody Airplane! makes this sequel, which is set in the future and takes place on a lunar shuttle, stick out like a sore thumb, especially since the original team had no involvement. There are some amusing spoofs of Rocky and E.T., but the jokes tread familiar ground. Cameos come from Raymond Burr and William Shatner. Cliffhanger (1993) Universal Channel, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Get Him to the Greek (2010) Comedy Central, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  Russell Brand plays himself (very well), thinly disguised as washed-up British rocker Aldous Snow who, desperate for a career revival, is called upon for a one-night show at LA venue The Greek. Despite trying too hard to shock, Brand’s famously crude humour lends this potentially humdrum American bromance some eccentricity and makes it, at times, a raucous comedy. Friday 1 December Life Thru a Lens: Robbie Williams is one of Norton’s guests Credit: Getty The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Graham Norton remains the best chat show host on British television, even if one or two of his line-ups this season have failed to generate much in the way of sparks. (The recent edition featuring only the cast of Ken Branagh’s new Agatha Christie movie Murder on the Orient Express could have been bottled and sold as a soporific, despite all of the star names on display.) Happily that’s unlikely to be a problem here as most of his guests are blessed with some of the biggest and most-often utilised mouths in showbiz.  Elton John is on hand to promote his latest greatest hits collection, and will perhaps have plenty to say about ITV’s recent poll of the British public’s 20 favourite songs from his rather extensive back catalogue. Stephen Fry will doubtless be as mesmerising as ever as he discusses his new book on Greek mythology; and Robbie Williams might make some noise about his new album, Under the Radar Volume 2, and upcoming Heavy Entertainment tour. All in all, you have to wonder how demure actress Carey Mulligan will manage to get a word in edgeways on the subject of her terrific new Netflix film Mudbound, although we’re confident she will. Gerard O’Donovan Dark Netflix, from today “The question is not where, or who, or how…but when?” This creepy time-bending thriller, about the disappearance of two German boys over a 30-year interval, plays with the idea of how fractured relationships repeat time and again. Voyeur Netflix, from today This controversial documentary explores one of veteran US writer Gay Talese’s most sensational pieces of “literary journalism”, The Voyeur’s Motel. It told the story of how, in the Eighties, Gerald Foos opened a motel supposedly for the sole purpose of peeping on guests. But how much of the tale was made up? Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm Singer Rita Ora joins regular presenters Greg James and Dotty as guest host at the BBC’s White City studios to introduce, among others, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood. Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales   In the series’ finale Mears ends his epic journey in the ancient Walpole Forest, a vast swathe of primordial wilderness in Western Australia. He’s in search of the forest’s famed giant tingle and karri trees but the smaller denizens – such as the elusive quokka – are just as amazing. Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s pier-end café goes fully vegetarian in honour of guest Joanna Lumley, who revives the tastes of her childhood by cooking the King of Malaysia’s favourite dish. Meanwhile, the childhood friends go on the road to champion British fava beans, and Doherty designs a vertical vegetable patch – perfect for the high-rise balcony. Britain’s Greatest Bridges Channel 5, 8.00pm The series concludes with the story of the feat of engineering that is the mile-long Severn Bridge and how its designer Bill Brown revolutionised modern bridge design with its aerodynamic box girder deck. GO Truth Tellers at the BBC BBC Four, 11.00pm Friday night is music night on BBC Four, and this new archive series adds depth to its line-up by showcasing clips of the most lyrically gifted songwriters to have performed on the BBC. These include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith. GO The King’s Speech (2010) More4, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  Tom Hooper’s film about the future George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer in the nation’s hour of need won multiple Oscars, including a deserved Best Actor gong for Colin Firth. But it’s his double-act with Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue that gives the film its heart, and the double-handers between them are fraught and fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps underused as the Duchess of York. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) ITV4, 11.40pm ★★★☆☆  This is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a revenge artist who wields his razors with merry abandon in 19th-century London with the help of the deliciously sinister Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). Alan Rickman plays the deplorable Judge Turpin. Wild (2014) Channel 4, 12.10am ★★★★☆  The Pacific Crest Trail, which runs up the entire western spine of the United States, is a challenge of fabled arduousness and rugged beauty. In 1995, aged 26, Cheryl Strayed (played by a superb Reese Witherspoon) walked it, to get clearance in her head after a decade of loss and personal meltdown. Wild powerfully reveals Strayed’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on the journey. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain and Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight

Thursday 23 November Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm It’s an eye-catching idea: identify individual bombs from among the millions that rained down on Britain during the Blitz, and select four that had greater impact than any others. So much so, they might even have had beneficial effects in the long run. The bomb featured in this opener, which hit 8 Martindale Road in London’s docklands on the first night of the Blitz in September 1940, didn’t actually explode. But the evacuation it prompted set in motion a series of events that led to horrific loss of life.  Public outrage at the authorities’ ineptitude, unpreparedness and apparent callous disregard for working people, boosted by campaigning journalist Peter Ritchie Calder, eventually led to Tory MP Henry Willink being appointed to organise a better response to the Blitz. He, in turn, wrote the first draft of the postwar White Paper, proposing what would eventually become the NHS. It really is a bit of a stretch (and may even be offensive to some) to suggest that a German bomb was what effectively led to the founding of the British welfare state. But the story makes for an intriguing slice of social and political history none the less. Gerard O’Donovan She’s Gotta Have It Netflix, from today Can the feted director Spike Lee recreate, 21 years on, the magic of his scintillating 1986 romcom in this much-anticipated new series? Lee’s plotline remains the same – the story of beautiful New Yorker Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) highly entertaining efforts to decide which of her lovers she should settle down with permanently. But it is updated to reflect the mind-boggling choice of partners available to the 21st-century adventurer. As Nola confesses to one therapist: “As a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, monogamy never seemed like a remote possibility for me.”  Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight ITV, 7.30pm A fortnight since its relationship-tracking documentary Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply, ITV devotes another programme to the Royal engagement that hasn’t yet happened. Here reporter Fiona Foster considers what the rest of the Royal family think of the relationship. Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s moreish drama set in a Leeds registry office continues as Kate (Ashley Jensen) is forced to step down from her big promotion. And things go from bad to worse when Rob (Adrian Bower) turns up with worrying news about their daughter. Trump: An American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm The revealing review of the US President’s life story reaches the Nineties, with Donald Trump’s personal and business life in meltdown as his wife Ivana seeks a divorce (and a massive settlement) and his business empire teeters towards bankruptcy. John Bishop: in Conversation with Jeremy Corbyn W, 9.00pm In what is a last-minute addition to John Bishop’s intimate interview series, the Labour leader joins him for a frank discussion about his life and his politics, including his thoughts on President Trump and the Chilcott Enquiry, as well as the impact of the death of his brother. GO The Search for a Miracle Cure Channel 4, 10.00pm An emotionally charged documentary following lawyer Mark Lewis’s quest for a cure for multiple sclerosis. The degenerative disease was thought incurable but here Lewis embarks on a trial of a new stem-cell treatment that has shown remarkable results. GO Revolver (2005) 5STAR, 10.00pm ★★☆☆☆  After making the truly awful Swept Away with then-wife Madonna, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… director Guy Ritchie returns to his suit-wearing gangster roots and his favourite star, Jason Statham. It’s stylishly shot but unfortunately this Ritchie/Luc Besson-penned tale of chess, revenge, con artists and assassins is weaved into such a complex, maze-like brain-teaser that it’s virtually incomprehensible. Limitless (2011) Film4, 11.15pm ★★★☆☆  Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a writer whose former brother-in-law slips him a pill that enables him to access 100 per cent of his brain. His book is finished in four days, so he goes back for more and this time nets himself a fortune on the stock market. Neil Burger directs at breakneck pace, but afterwards you wish that Cooper’s character had used that brainpower for something more interesting than making money. Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) Sky Atlantic, 12.00midnight ★★☆☆☆  When HBO didn’t give Stephen Merchant’s sitcom a second series, he made this movie instead. It follows him in the role of Stuart, a geeky IT guy who’s looking for his soul mate in Los Angeles. When he learns that his ex-girlfriend is planning to visit, he sets out to impress her with his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, this style of cringe-making comedy has been done to death. Friday 24 November Chums: Jimmy Doherty, Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver Credit: Channel 4 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and childhood mucker Jimmy Doherty return for another series of their hyperactive meld of cookery programme, food information and celebrity chat hosted at their Southend Pier caff. This series tends to stand or fall with the visiting celebrity but luckily this week it’s Simon Pegg, who gamely enters into the spirit of things by serving customers, cooking what looks like a pretty good tagine and admitting that he’s far more food conscious in these Mission: Impossible days (Tom Cruise is apparently the devil for pushing cakes on those trying to stay in shape). Friday Night Feast feels closer in tone to the early cookery shows that made Oliver’s name and Pegg enters into the cheeky-chappy spirit, mucking around with Doherty and dropping sardonic asides. “It’s fundamentally evil but at the same time beautiful,” he remarks of Oliver’s Provençal Bake, a calorific but clearly delicious mixture of pancakes, cheese, ham and tomatoes, which causes one customer to gush, “I never want it to end.” Elsewhere, Oliver and Doherty go on the road to uncover the joys of free-range duck, and Doherty builds a barbecue for the Stoke Mandeville wheelchair rugby team. Sarah Hughes Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm BBC One’s live music show is a great idea but so far has been a bit hit and miss. Presenters Greg James and Dotty are enthusiastic but more risks are needed when booking the live acts. Craig David co-hosts this episode, and there are performances from The Killers and Anne-Marie.  Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales Ray Mears’s laid-back excursion around Australia continues in South Australia’s Flinders mountain ranges, which provides a dramatic setting for three species of kangaroos and the country’s largest bird of prey. Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The personable Stephen Mangan takes the host’s chair for this episode of the satirical news-based panel game. He’s joined by business journalist Steph McGovern and comedian Jo Caulfield.  Extreme Wives with Kate Humble BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 9.30pm Kate Humble heads to the remote town of Shillong in north-east India to meet with the matrilineal Khasi people in the fascinating final episode. The Khasi pass everything, including property, down the female line and hand power to the youngest daughter in each family. SH Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Sky Arts, 9.00pm Anyone who has read Sticky Fingers, the recent biography of Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner, will realise that this Alex Gibney series is something of a puff piece in comparison. That said, it’s still very enjoyable. The focus here is on the kidnap of Patty Hearst and the way in which the counterculture slowly became mainstream. Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices BBC Four, 10.00pm Jazz musician Gregory Porter’s outstanding series continues with a focus on crooners. All the usual suspects – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the unbeatable Nat King Cole – are present but what makes this series so exceptional is the knowledge Porter brings to his subject. This episode dissects why Sinatra was “a little too presumptuous for the croon” as well as looking at how everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie used the technique. The real pleasure, however, comes from the music. SH Collateral Beauty (2016) Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm ★★☆☆☆  The plot of David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and Allan Loeb’s (Just Go with It) film is fantastically unhinged: Will Smith is an ad-exec who has lost his daughter to cancer, and in his grief is pestered on the streets of New York by the personifications of Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren) – “the three abstractions”. Dark Shadows (2012) W, 9.00pm ★★☆☆☆  Tim Burton’s film is at its best in the opening scenes, when it can afford to be all show and no tell. It’s Johnny Depp, naturally, who plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th-century Byronic rascal who is transformed into a vampire by a jealous witch (Eva Green) and wakes up in Nixon-era small-town America. Depp and Burton’s eighth film together brought them level with De Niro and Scorsese, although in numerical terms only. Boyhood (2014) Channel 4, 12.05am ★★★★★  Richard Linklater’s real-time depiction of a boy growing up over 12 years received the biggest Oscar snub of recent years, winning only one award, for Patricia Arquette as for Best Supporting Actress. From 2002, Linklater spent a few days each year filming the same actors to chart Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) ordinary life – in what is an extraordinary, beautiful and moving string of small, everyday moments. Saturday 25 November In his words: the life of the Sixties playwright Joe Orton Credit: Hulton Archive Joe Orton Laid Bare BBC Two, 9.00pm “I realise it’s unforgivable doing this but I’m just unrepentant.” So announces a young Joe Orton in this suitably anarchic take on the playwright’s life, works and early, brutal death. It’s a sentence that entirely sums up Orton’s acidic take on life; he was a man who loved (and arguably lived) to shock and who enjoyed making people uncomfortable – “I felt snakes were writhing round my feet,” wrote one theatre critic after watching the bawdy Entertaining Mr Sloane – yet who was also possessed of enough wit, charm and intelligence to win over even the most mortally offended.  Making great use of Orton’s letters, diaries and plays – scenes from the latter acted by a cast that includes Antony Sher, Ben Miles and Jaime Winstone – the documentary does its best to pin its subject to the page with contributors including his sister Leonie, playwright Christopher Hampton and producer Michael Codron. There is (surprisingly) understanding too for the man who murdered Orton, his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who subsequently killed himself. Ultimately, however, what lingers is not the gory manner of Orton’s death but rather his wildly entertaining words. Sarah Hughes International Rugby Union: Scotland v Australia & England v Samoa  BBC One, 2.00pm & Sky Sports Main Event, 2.45pm Having fallen agonisingly close to pulling off the greatest result in their history – they lost 22-17 to New Zealand – Scotland host Australia at Murrayfield with their tails up. Meanwhile, England – who beat the Wallabies 30-6 last weekend, with Danny Care putting a sublime performance after coming off the bench – face Samoa, hoping to take Eddie Jones’s record to 22 wins from 23 as their coach. Expect Jones to ring the changes, with Henry Slade likely to be handed another opportunity at No 12 and Mike Brown returning to the side as full-back.  International Rugby Union: Wales v New Zealand  BBC Two, 4.45pm An unsuccessful three-match series in New Zealand this summer saw Wales return home still looking for a victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 1953. They have now lost 29 consecutive fixtures, 10 of which have been presided over by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland during his tenure. Wales head into this match on the back of a far-from-convincing 13-6 victory against Georgia. Granted, Gatland did put out an experimental team. Premier League Football: Liverpool v Chelsea BT Sport 1, 5.00pm Two of last Saturday’s star performers meet at Anfield in what should be a pulsating encounter. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice, while Chelsea, inspired by Eden Hazard, ran out 4-0 winners at West Brom. When these sides met in January here, Georginio Wijnaldum cancelled out David Luiz’s goal in a 1-1 draw.  Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.50pm With only three weeks left in the competition, the judges must try to separate the glitter from the paste. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are expected to make the final but it’s wide open as to who else joins them. This week, the couples can earn extra points in the “pasodoblathon”. The X Factor: The Semi Finals ITV, 7.30pm From surprise double eliminations to the extra sing-offs, this year’s X Factor has been derided for being a mess. This week, it can redeem itself as the contestants sing for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final.   Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Michael McIntyre’s attempt to single-handedly revive the variety show continues. This week, he’s joined by guests Gary Barlow, Russell Kane, Clean Bandit and Danny Dyer, who hands over his mobile phone for the Celebrity Send to All slot. Dad’s Army BBC Two, 8.30pm; not NI or Scotland  As Brexit edges nearer so Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s comedy about the Home Guard appears ever more relevant, not least because it pinpoints a certain kind of Englishness. This episode sees the bumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) pitch camp in the middle of an artillery exercise. SH Witnesses: A Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Another day, another atmospherically depressing European crime drama. But this French eight-part series, shown in double bills over the next four weeks, is really good. The Tunnel’s Marie Dompnier plays Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to a macabre case involving 15 frozen bodies on an abandoned bus. The dead men are all linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot), who disappeared three years earlier.   White Princess Drama, 9.00pm It might be hokum but this adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s bestseller is enjoyable largely thanks to the complicated relationship at its heart. The marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) is very much a dynastic contract between two people forced to find common cause. This episode sees them take steps towards that new understanding. SH Daddy Long Legs (1955) BBC Two, 2.10pm ★★★☆☆  Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron are paired for the first time in this Hollywood musical written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (parents of Nora) and loosely based on a 1912 novel. They bring charm and warmth to a story about the complications of a love affair between a young woman and a man 30 years her senior. The dance sequences are particularly striking, containing a rarity in Astaire’s choreography: a kiss. Lone Survivor (2013) Channel 4, 11.05pm ★★★☆☆  In this film based on true events, Mark Wahlberg gives a strong performance as sniper Marcus Luttrell, who, in 2005, was the head of a four-man team of Navy Seals, tasked with killing Taliban leader Ahmed Shah. An encounter with some goatherds gives the team a major moral dilemma. The film, directed by Peter Berg, is hampered by a lack of character exploration but it’s certainly action-packed. Albert Nobbs (2011) BBC Two, 11.35pm ★★★☆☆  Glenn Close toiled for 30 years to make an Albert Nobbs film after playing the part in a 1982 off-Broadway play. Close inhabits the role, of a woman disguised as a man to work as a waiter in a 19th-century hotel, with uncanny accuracy (she was rewarded with an Oscar nomination). The film reaches for something to say about sexual identity, but neither Close nor director Rodrigo García seem to know what it is. Sunday 26 November Ring of fire: Xand van Tulleken Credit: BBC Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm As is the wont of BBC documentaries about the natural world these days, the impact of humans can no longer be ignored – in fact, it’s central to the premise of this new two-parter in which geologist Chris Jackson and humanitarian doctor Xand van Tulleken journey to live volcanoes and the communities that live in their shadow.  Nyiragongo, in the Congo, last erupted in 2002, causing a mass evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, terrible loss of life and wholesale destruction of property. The pair’s expedition examines ways to predict its behaviour, especially since another eruption is almost inevitable. Van Tulleken focuses on disease prevention and healthcare, looking at how to avoid the spread of cholera that proved so catastrophic 15 years ago, while Jackson drops into the crater (the staggering camerawork and pounding soundtrack leave you in no doubt as to the potential peril of the venture) to assess the latest techniques for detecting sulphur dioxide and geological vibrations. By the end, problems have been diagnosed and solutions prescribed – it’s an admirable project whose success can only be judged, grimly, in the event of another disaster. Next week, they head to nearby Nyamuragira. Gabriel Tate Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4, noon & Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm He may have already been crowned champion but that didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton putting in a fine display in Brazil, starting in the pit lane under flawless Brazilian skies and finishing a mere five seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel. Let’s hope for a similarly exciting spectacle at the Yas Marina Circuit, as the curtain comes down on the 2017 season. Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm Every episode of this mesmerising series brings with it new wonders. This week’s venture into underwater forests, meadows and mangroves sniffs out creatures with unlikely names (the Pyjama Shark, the Garibaldi Damselfish) and even more outlandish strategies for survival. Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm It might be hard to see what Julie Walters can bring to this well-worn travelogue approach, despite all her charisma and appeal. But there is plenty to enjoy in her tour of the British Isles – tonight, she boards the “Harry Potter” train in the Highlands, guts herring and wrangles cattle. Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm Kenneth Lonergan’s restrained, affecting adaptation reachesa crunch point in relations between Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Henry (Matthew Macfadyen), driving a wedge between their two families; with the Basts approaching penury, a showdown looms. Guy Martin vs the Robocar Channel 4, 9.00pm Always up for a challenge, Guy Martin builds his own robotic Ford Transit to take on a “Roboracer” around Silverstone. But first he picks up a few tips from a “Level Five” autonomous vehicle in Budapest and Tesla’s latest models in Massachusetts. GT Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm and 10.00pm With every one of the €40 million budget up on screen, this adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Thirties-set policiers is one of the most handsome dramas of the year – and one of the most gripping. The first season reaches its climax with Lotte (Liv Lisa Fries) having a point to prove and Gereon (Volker Bruch) dealing both with ghosts from the past and chilling hints at what the future holds. Season two begins next week. Naples ’44: a Wartime Diary BBC Four, 11.00pm Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this gripping and cleverly structured Italian film, which blends archive footage, documentary and drama to tell the story of a city and its resilient citizens through the eyes of British officer Norman Lewis. Some of the imagery is powerful indeed (one sequence of cows being milked in the rubble of the city has a pungent surrealism) and the pacifist message is ultimately undeniable. GT Stalingrad (1994) History, 3.00pm ★★★☆☆  Joseph Vilsmaier’s film reconstructs the 1942 Siege of Stalingrad, in which Soviet forces successfully held back the German army. The battle proved to be a major turning point in the Second World War and claimed millions of lives – a point that the film rests on, showing the horrors of modern warfare in all its stomach-churning brutality. Dominique Horwitz and Thomas Kretschmann star as German soldiers. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) BBC Two, 6.45pm ★★★☆☆  Steve Carell has become a dab hand at making public embarrassment ridiculous and borderline tragic, and saves the day in this slight but entertaining comedy. Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), blows out a candle for his 12th birthday and initiates this fateful curse so that his family understand how it feels to have a purely maddening 24 hours. Fury (2014) Channel 5, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  David Ayer’s study of the habits and habitats of the American killer male is an astonishing drama. It’s Germany 1945, and Sgt Don “Wardaddy” Collie (Brad Pitt) and his team are grinding towards Berlin in a battered tank. There is no rescue mission, just an agonising rumble from one brush with death to the next. The set pieces are gripping, and the terror of war is blasted home. Monday 27 November Right to work: Tourette’s sufferer Ryan Credit: BBC Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm This moving series, which follows jobseekers determined to show that their disabilities shouldn’t prevent them working, returns for a new four-part run. There’s a persuasive double purpose to the programme – to highlight the disabilities themselves and to explore how those living with them fight against prejudice every day.  The opening episode showcases a wonderfully inspirational duo. We meet 52-year-old Andy, who was once the go-getting manager of a successful motorcycle business. Despite being left partially paralysed and struggling with speech after a life-threatening stroke, Andy wants to break into public speaking and motivate others with his story. Alongside him is turtle-mad Tourette’s sufferer Ryan, whose severe tics can leave him physically debilitated, but who nevertheless dreams of working with animals.  The pair’s will to succeed is humbling as they tackle longed-for job opportunities and the significant hurdles this entails. Helping them on the way is psychologist Nancy Doyle, who runs a pioneering scheme aimed at getting our hopefuls to promote their talents and for recruiters to see their considerable worth. Toby Dantzic Chinese Burn BBC Three, from 10.00am This comedy pilot, executive-produced by Ash Atalla (People Just Do Nothing), about three girls from China trying to make new lives in London is worth watching. Flatmates Elizabeth (Shin-Fei Chen), who’s chasing her dream job as a sommelier, and fiery struggling actress Jackie (Yennis Cheung) get a surprise visit from Elizabeth’s ultra-rich friend FuFu (Yuyu Rau). She’s an unwelcome guest, however, as Elizabeth hasn’t been honest with her parents.    Lost and Found Channel 4, 3.00pm Heartstrings are shamelessly tugged in this new series, which follows the sterling work of the Dogs Trust charity. The pooches featured in this episode include Ida, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that needs regular hydrotherapy, and a Labrador that has been missing for four days. Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Paul Hollywood fronts this new four-part series which combines personal anecdotes with his favourite recipes. The opening episode serves up footage of the gimlet-eyed bread expert’s original Great British Bake Off audition, along with a menu of his ultimate pizza and a Madeira celebration cake. Nigella: At My Table BBC Two, 8.30pm Here’s another eclectic selection of dishes from television’s glossiest gourmet. Her recipes include an intriguingly titled golden egg curry, and a feast of spiced lamb kofta followed by rose and pepper pavlova. Supershoppers Channel 4, 8.30pm The savvy consumer advice show returns with presenter Anna Richardson and newcomer Sabrina Grant investigating whether supermarkets’ standard own-label ranges are really any different to their cheaper value ranges. Beauty wipes and car insurance also get the once over. TD Last Men In Aleppo: Storyville BBC Four, 10.00pm This grim but absorbing documentary follows the work of the White Helmets, Syrian civilians who conduct search-and-rescue missions in the city of Aleppo. We follow a trio of volunteers that includes Khaled, who moves between scouring for missing people and searching out medicine for his malnourished daughter. The director Feras Fayyad’s stark camera style takes an unflinching approach to the horror. TD Die Another Day (2002) ITV4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond is also his least satisfying (although even Sean Connery might have struggled to look cool driving an invisible car). Dastardly Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) wants to provoke a war between the Koreas using a military satellite. Bond, aided by Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, must stop him. It’s all let down by an over-reliance on CGI, but there are some great set pieces. Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014) Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.25pm ★★★☆☆  A thundering performance by Benicio del Toro almost redeems this misjudged biopic of the Colombian crime lord. Seizing on the role with understated relish, he teeters adroitly between generous family man and murdering manipulator. What a shame, then, that he’s used so sparingly – the film renders the tyrant nothing more than a supporting character. The Road (2009) ITV4, 11.45pm ★★★☆☆  John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s exalted novel is as harrowing as its source material. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood as a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (the superb Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander the American wasteland after an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, Nick Cave’s wrenching score makes it a wholly chilling experience. Tuesday 28 November The rise of AI: robot Jess helps families with life’s challenges Credit: Channel 4 The Robot Will See You Now Channel 4, 10.00pm The Rise of the Robots season continues with this documentary exploring whether robots will ever be sophisticated enough to play the role of best friend and confidant, or even therapist, to humans. Some forms of artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are becoming more commonly involved in our home lives; cars are almost at the point where they drive themselves; and trials are afoot to test whether software can be used to perform medical and legal functions. A companionship robot has also been developed to keep astronauts’ spirits up during lengthy periods on the International Space Station. That’s all a long way from being able to substitute the life experience, and emotional, ethical and psychological support, for which we turn to friends, family, religion and counsellors. But maybe not for long.  This intriguing film focuses on a team from Manchester and Plymouth Universities racing to develop a humanoid robot called Jess, that uses AI-based analysis to offer counselling on problems to do with marriage, divorce, infidelity and other day-to-day traumas – with built-in sympathy and tissue dispenser, no doubt. Gerard O’Donovan Glitch Netflix, from today This Aussie drama about a lakeside town where the dead start coming back to life bore too great a resemblance to French chiller The Returned in its early stages, but it eventually took a different supernatural path with reasonable success. The second series kicks off with last season’s closing shock revelation still hanging in the air: Elisha (Genevieve O’Reilly), the medic who’s been helping the undead, has been one of them herself, all along. How to Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield ITV, 8.00pm This festive consumer series sees Phillip Schofield inviting celebrity guests to test and taste the “must have” food, drink and gift items of the season. This week, they look at the hottest toys of 2017 and how Father Christmas can get hold of them. The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Rebecca (Molly Wright) packs her parents off on a much-needed mini-break and drafts in Eddie (Greg McHugh) and Nicola (Vinette Robinson) to help care for seven-year-old Joe (Max Vento). Unsurprisingly, things don’t go entirely according to plan. MasterChef: The Professionals BBC Two, 9.00pm The standard has been unusually high this year and this week’s six nervous new candidates prove especially inventive in the signature round and a challenge to come up with a new take on flavoursome, filled pasta with an accompanying sauce. Grand Designs: House of the Year Channel 4, 9.00pm Which of the shortlisted super-dwellings will win the Riba prize for 2017’s House of the Year? Kevin McCloud can only announce the winner once the last two finalists have been chosen – from the predictably stunning nominees in the Minimalist and Modern category. GO Passions: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor by Chi-Chi Nwanoku Sky Arts, 9.00pm Bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku is the founder of Europe’s first black and ethnic minority classical orchestra. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the poet (that’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge, silly) she chooses as her hero but the similarly named mixed-race British composer born 100 years later, in a film praising black musicians who’ve overcome prejudice to succeed in the conservative world of classical music. GO Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Sky Cinema Superheroes, 5.50pm ★★★☆☆   Tim Burton’s Edwardian fairy tale, based on the first Miss Peregrine book by Ransom Riggs – feels oddly conventional. Adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), it’s a tale of an insular Florida lad, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), who visits an orphanage that figured in tales spun by his grandfather (Terence Stamp). Mars Attacks! (1996) ITV4, 10.50pm ★★★★☆  It may not be director Tim Burton’s best film but this surreal sci-fi comedy is still fun. The glitzy cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker, put on their best camp performances to fight seemingly peaceful Martians, who in fact want to destroy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all in the name of a good time. It’s a loving parody of Fifties’ science-fiction cinema. Runaway Train (1985) Movies4Men, 10.50pm ★★★☆☆  Jon Voight and Eric Roberts (both Oscar-nominated) star as a pair of convicts, whose dash for freedom from an Alaskan prison takes an unexpected turn when they find themselves on an out-of-control train. The officers on their heels are caught between stopping it and reclaiming the criminals. It’s all a bit ridiculous, but Voight brings an appealing manic energy to a fun premise. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars. Wednesday 29 November Ferrying around: those who work on the busy English Channel Credit: Channel 4 The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm Drunk passengers, frazzled families, fundraisers swimming in testing conditions, enormous ships trying to squeeze through a narrow body of water: it’s all in a day’s workfor those who police the waters of the English Channel, as this new documentary series makes clear.  Filmed last summer and with a heavy focus on the many changes that Brexit may bring to the Channel crossing, this opening episode concentrates largely on life on the ferries. “We’re already down on passengers and spending from last year,” notes one employee, pointing out that the collapse of the pound against the euro means that holidaymakers are less inclined to splash their cash. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we also follow a determined single mother who plans to swim the Channel to raise money and awareness of sickle cell disease, which both her sons have. Elsewhere, there are interesting statistics about the sheer numbers making the crossing – up to 400 ships passing through the 21-mile-wide Dover Strait each day – and captain Mark Miller and his crew have to deal with both a paralytic passenger and the tour company who intend to leave him behind. Sarah Hughes The Marvellous Mrs Maisel Amazon Prime Video, from today Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino returns with this effervescent tale set in Fifties New York. Our heroine is Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). On the surface she’s the perfect Jewish American Princess but underneath beats the soul of an acid-tongued comedian. Sherman-Palladino is clearly playing homage to the trailblazing likes of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller but her story still feels fresh thanks to a sharp script and Brosnahan’s wonderful timing. Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry continues her trawl through some of the UK’s grandest country houses. This week she’s in Scotland helping the inhabitants of Scone Palace, Lord and Lady Mansfield, prepare for dinner and a ceilidh while fitting in a bit of deer stalking and salmon fishing on the side.  Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm Steven Knight’s gangster drama is firing on all cylinders this series and never more so than in a tight, tense third episode which sees Polly (Helen McCrory) re-join the company and Arthur (the excellent Paul Anderson) wrestle with both his guilt and his God following John’s death.    Digging for Britain BBC Four, 9.00pm “Archaeology is adding flesh to the bare bones of people” announces Professor Alice Roberts as the second part of this series digging deep into Britain’s past heads to Kent. There we spend time following the excavation of the wreck of East India Company ship, the Rooswijk, before uncovering early evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in the shape of an ancient fort. SH Wallis: The Queen That Never Was Channel 5, 9.00pm Georgina Rich is the latest actress to play Wallis Simpson in this meld of drama and documentary. It’s not a format that ever works particularly well but, beyond the enactments, a complex portrait of the Duchess of Windsor emerges and one which sheds fresh light on the true nature of her marriages.   How to Build a Robot Channel 4, 10.35pm David Tennant narrates this entertaining documentary focusing on Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran. McGoran’s aim is to invent a robot that can truly interact with humans. SH The Riot Club (2014) Film4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Laura Wade’s 2010 play, Posh, dealt with a still-reported habit of trashing dining establishments by Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club. It reaches the screen as The Riot Club, starring a braying gang of silverspoon-reared Brits. The pungency of the play has been diluted, along with its political bite, but Holliday Grainger, Max Irons and Sam Claflin are perfectly cast in the main roles. Bronson (2008) London Live, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  A gripping character study of “Britain’s most notorious long-term prisoner”, Charles Bronson (who has recently wed), whose bloody bare-knuckle brawls have seen him moved from prison to prison 120 times. Tom Hardy (who now seems to specialise in complex, muscle-bound brawlers – Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, Taboo) ramps it up with disturbing intensity to delve inside the mind of the tormented personality. Life As We Know It (2010) 5STAR, 11.00pm ★★★☆☆  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star in this shrill domestic nightmare in which they raise their orphaned godchild. Heigl once again plays a beautifully groomed control freak, while Duhamel’s Messer – a philandering man-child – repeatedly lives up to his name. When they get together, it feels like something to do with careers, contracts and romcom necessity; nothing to do with life. Thursday 30 November Pushing the boat out: Prunella Scales and Timothy West Credit: Channel 4 Great Canal Journeys Channel 4, 8.00pm When they embarked on the first series of Great Canal Journeys in 2014, it’s doubtful whether Timothy West or Prunella Scales could have foreseen its longevity, in part given the niche material and also because of Scales’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Yet here they are, heading through Portugal for the first instalment in this eighth series, never passing up the opportunity to draw comparisons between long marriages and vintage fortified wines. It is another hour of gentle insights and pure, unaffected charm.  Their journey takes them from a river port 100 miles inland through to Porto along the Rio Douro, via several vineyards and, slightly less predictably, examples of ancient rock art and Europe’s deepest lock. Throughout is evidence of why Portugal remains England’s oldest ally (Brits are heavily involved in the contemporary port industry) and, more significantly, of a relationship of a strength and mutual affection to which we can all aspire. Scales credits her husband with “opening up the world”. For West’s part, he reckons that “she likes being with me and I like being with her. That’s the best we can hope for, and very nice too.” Gabriel Tate PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge Sky Sports Main Event, 6.30pm It’s the opening day at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas, where Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is the reigning champion.  Discovering: Richard Widmark Sky Arts, 8.00pm Always more than a mere journeyman but never quite leading man material either, Richard Widmark was one of Hollywood’s most consistent talents, his work spanning classic noirs (Panic in the Streets), westerns (Two Rode Together) and thrillers (Coma). Journalists and critics assemble to pay tribute in another breezy, concise profile. The Farthest: Voyager’s Interstellar Journey: Storyville BBC Four, 8.55pm The space programme perhaps best represents the dazzling possibilities of the human brain and our capacity to imagine. This characteristically excellent and absorbing Storyville celebrates the scientific achievements of the Voyager probes through those that planned, made and continue to monitor them as they leave our solar system for interstellar space. Their enthusiasm is undiminished and infectious. GT Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm; Scotland, 11.15pm This affecting series investigates the repercussions of a German bomb that destroyed two houses in Hull. The personal traumas were of course profound, but a series of essays written by the city’s children in 1941 also unwittingly encouraged Britain’s controversial urban bombing strategies later in the war. Trump: an American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm This enthralling series concludes with the future President rediscovering his mojo thanks to the influence of a new wife and advisors, before a combination of reality television and social media open an unlikely route to the White House. Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm A fine line-up launch a new run for the hardy stand-up perennial from Hammersmith, with quickfire Gary Delaney and rising Scottish comic Larry Dean on the agenda, introduced by Sara Pascoe. The Sex Robots Are Coming Channel 4, 10.00pm Nick Sweeney’s unsettling documentary follows the creation of Harmony, a prototype sexbot, and James, a potential purchaser. What do these technological advances mean for human relationships and the ever-present issue of objectification? GT Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Film4, 7.15pm ★★★☆☆  The furiously funny, and startling originality of disaster parody Airplane! makes this sequel, which is set in the future and takes place on a lunar shuttle, stick out like a sore thumb, especially since the original team had no involvement. There are some amusing spoofs of Rocky and E.T., but the jokes tread familiar ground. Cameos come from Raymond Burr and William Shatner. Cliffhanger (1993) Universal Channel, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Get Him to the Greek (2010) Comedy Central, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  Russell Brand plays himself (very well), thinly disguised as washed-up British rocker Aldous Snow who, desperate for a career revival, is called upon for a one-night show at LA venue The Greek. Despite trying too hard to shock, Brand’s famously crude humour lends this potentially humdrum American bromance some eccentricity and makes it, at times, a raucous comedy. Friday 1 December Life Thru a Lens: Robbie Williams is one of Norton’s guests Credit: Getty The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Graham Norton remains the best chat show host on British television, even if one or two of his line-ups this season have failed to generate much in the way of sparks. (The recent edition featuring only the cast of Ken Branagh’s new Agatha Christie movie Murder on the Orient Express could have been bottled and sold as a soporific, despite all of the star names on display.) Happily that’s unlikely to be a problem here as most of his guests are blessed with some of the biggest and most-often utilised mouths in showbiz.  Elton John is on hand to promote his latest greatest hits collection, and will perhaps have plenty to say about ITV’s recent poll of the British public’s 20 favourite songs from his rather extensive back catalogue. Stephen Fry will doubtless be as mesmerising as ever as he discusses his new book on Greek mythology; and Robbie Williams might make some noise about his new album, Under the Radar Volume 2, and upcoming Heavy Entertainment tour. All in all, you have to wonder how demure actress Carey Mulligan will manage to get a word in edgeways on the subject of her terrific new Netflix film Mudbound, although we’re confident she will. Gerard O’Donovan Dark Netflix, from today “The question is not where, or who, or how…but when?” This creepy time-bending thriller, about the disappearance of two German boys over a 30-year interval, plays with the idea of how fractured relationships repeat time and again. Voyeur Netflix, from today This controversial documentary explores one of veteran US writer Gay Talese’s most sensational pieces of “literary journalism”, The Voyeur’s Motel. It told the story of how, in the Eighties, Gerald Foos opened a motel supposedly for the sole purpose of peeping on guests. But how much of the tale was made up? Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm Singer Rita Ora joins regular presenters Greg James and Dotty as guest host at the BBC’s White City studios to introduce, among others, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood. Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales   In the series’ finale Mears ends his epic journey in the ancient Walpole Forest, a vast swathe of primordial wilderness in Western Australia. He’s in search of the forest’s famed giant tingle and karri trees but the smaller denizens – such as the elusive quokka – are just as amazing. Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s pier-end café goes fully vegetarian in honour of guest Joanna Lumley, who revives the tastes of her childhood by cooking the King of Malaysia’s favourite dish. Meanwhile, the childhood friends go on the road to champion British fava beans, and Doherty designs a vertical vegetable patch – perfect for the high-rise balcony. Britain’s Greatest Bridges Channel 5, 8.00pm The series concludes with the story of the feat of engineering that is the mile-long Severn Bridge and how its designer Bill Brown revolutionised modern bridge design with its aerodynamic box girder deck. GO Truth Tellers at the BBC BBC Four, 11.00pm Friday night is music night on BBC Four, and this new archive series adds depth to its line-up by showcasing clips of the most lyrically gifted songwriters to have performed on the BBC. These include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith. GO The King’s Speech (2010) More4, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  Tom Hooper’s film about the future George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer in the nation’s hour of need won multiple Oscars, including a deserved Best Actor gong for Colin Firth. But it’s his double-act with Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue that gives the film its heart, and the double-handers between them are fraught and fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps underused as the Duchess of York. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) ITV4, 11.40pm ★★★☆☆  This is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a revenge artist who wields his razors with merry abandon in 19th-century London with the help of the deliciously sinister Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). Alan Rickman plays the deplorable Judge Turpin. Wild (2014) Channel 4, 12.10am ★★★★☆  The Pacific Crest Trail, which runs up the entire western spine of the United States, is a challenge of fabled arduousness and rugged beauty. In 1995, aged 26, Cheryl Strayed (played by a superb Reese Witherspoon) walked it, to get clearance in her head after a decade of loss and personal meltdown. Wild powerfully reveals Strayed’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on the journey. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain and Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight

Thursday 23 November Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm It’s an eye-catching idea: identify individual bombs from among the millions that rained down on Britain during the Blitz, and select four that had greater impact than any others. So much so, they might even have had beneficial effects in the long run. The bomb featured in this opener, which hit 8 Martindale Road in London’s docklands on the first night of the Blitz in September 1940, didn’t actually explode. But the evacuation it prompted set in motion a series of events that led to horrific loss of life.  Public outrage at the authorities’ ineptitude, unpreparedness and apparent callous disregard for working people, boosted by campaigning journalist Peter Ritchie Calder, eventually led to Tory MP Henry Willink being appointed to organise a better response to the Blitz. He, in turn, wrote the first draft of the postwar White Paper, proposing what would eventually become the NHS. It really is a bit of a stretch (and may even be offensive to some) to suggest that a German bomb was what effectively led to the founding of the British welfare state. But the story makes for an intriguing slice of social and political history none the less. Gerard O’Donovan She’s Gotta Have It Netflix, from today Can the feted director Spike Lee recreate, 21 years on, the magic of his scintillating 1986 romcom in this much-anticipated new series? Lee’s plotline remains the same – the story of beautiful New Yorker Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) highly entertaining efforts to decide which of her lovers she should settle down with permanently. But it is updated to reflect the mind-boggling choice of partners available to the 21st-century adventurer. As Nola confesses to one therapist: “As a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, monogamy never seemed like a remote possibility for me.”  Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight ITV, 7.30pm A fortnight since its relationship-tracking documentary Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply, ITV devotes another programme to the Royal engagement that hasn’t yet happened. Here reporter Fiona Foster considers what the rest of the Royal family think of the relationship. Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s moreish drama set in a Leeds registry office continues as Kate (Ashley Jensen) is forced to step down from her big promotion. And things go from bad to worse when Rob (Adrian Bower) turns up with worrying news about their daughter. Trump: An American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm The revealing review of the US President’s life story reaches the Nineties, with Donald Trump’s personal and business life in meltdown as his wife Ivana seeks a divorce (and a massive settlement) and his business empire teeters towards bankruptcy. John Bishop: in Conversation with Jeremy Corbyn W, 9.00pm In what is a last-minute addition to John Bishop’s intimate interview series, the Labour leader joins him for a frank discussion about his life and his politics, including his thoughts on President Trump and the Chilcott Enquiry, as well as the impact of the death of his brother. GO The Search for a Miracle Cure Channel 4, 10.00pm An emotionally charged documentary following lawyer Mark Lewis’s quest for a cure for multiple sclerosis. The degenerative disease was thought incurable but here Lewis embarks on a trial of a new stem-cell treatment that has shown remarkable results. GO Revolver (2005) 5STAR, 10.00pm ★★☆☆☆  After making the truly awful Swept Away with then-wife Madonna, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… director Guy Ritchie returns to his suit-wearing gangster roots and his favourite star, Jason Statham. It’s stylishly shot but unfortunately this Ritchie/Luc Besson-penned tale of chess, revenge, con artists and assassins is weaved into such a complex, maze-like brain-teaser that it’s virtually incomprehensible. Limitless (2011) Film4, 11.15pm ★★★☆☆  Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a writer whose former brother-in-law slips him a pill that enables him to access 100 per cent of his brain. His book is finished in four days, so he goes back for more and this time nets himself a fortune on the stock market. Neil Burger directs at breakneck pace, but afterwards you wish that Cooper’s character had used that brainpower for something more interesting than making money. Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) Sky Atlantic, 12.00midnight ★★☆☆☆  When HBO didn’t give Stephen Merchant’s sitcom a second series, he made this movie instead. It follows him in the role of Stuart, a geeky IT guy who’s looking for his soul mate in Los Angeles. When he learns that his ex-girlfriend is planning to visit, he sets out to impress her with his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, this style of cringe-making comedy has been done to death. Friday 24 November Chums: Jimmy Doherty, Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver Credit: Channel 4 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and childhood mucker Jimmy Doherty return for another series of their hyperactive meld of cookery programme, food information and celebrity chat hosted at their Southend Pier caff. This series tends to stand or fall with the visiting celebrity but luckily this week it’s Simon Pegg, who gamely enters into the spirit of things by serving customers, cooking what looks like a pretty good tagine and admitting that he’s far more food conscious in these Mission: Impossible days (Tom Cruise is apparently the devil for pushing cakes on those trying to stay in shape). Friday Night Feast feels closer in tone to the early cookery shows that made Oliver’s name and Pegg enters into the cheeky-chappy spirit, mucking around with Doherty and dropping sardonic asides. “It’s fundamentally evil but at the same time beautiful,” he remarks of Oliver’s Provençal Bake, a calorific but clearly delicious mixture of pancakes, cheese, ham and tomatoes, which causes one customer to gush, “I never want it to end.” Elsewhere, Oliver and Doherty go on the road to uncover the joys of free-range duck, and Doherty builds a barbecue for the Stoke Mandeville wheelchair rugby team. Sarah Hughes Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm BBC One’s live music show is a great idea but so far has been a bit hit and miss. Presenters Greg James and Dotty are enthusiastic but more risks are needed when booking the live acts. Craig David co-hosts this episode, and there are performances from The Killers and Anne-Marie.  Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales Ray Mears’s laid-back excursion around Australia continues in South Australia’s Flinders mountain ranges, which provides a dramatic setting for three species of kangaroos and the country’s largest bird of prey. Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The personable Stephen Mangan takes the host’s chair for this episode of the satirical news-based panel game. He’s joined by business journalist Steph McGovern and comedian Jo Caulfield.  Extreme Wives with Kate Humble BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 9.30pm Kate Humble heads to the remote town of Shillong in north-east India to meet with the matrilineal Khasi people in the fascinating final episode. The Khasi pass everything, including property, down the female line and hand power to the youngest daughter in each family. SH Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Sky Arts, 9.00pm Anyone who has read Sticky Fingers, the recent biography of Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner, will realise that this Alex Gibney series is something of a puff piece in comparison. That said, it’s still very enjoyable. The focus here is on the kidnap of Patty Hearst and the way in which the counterculture slowly became mainstream. Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices BBC Four, 10.00pm Jazz musician Gregory Porter’s outstanding series continues with a focus on crooners. All the usual suspects – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the unbeatable Nat King Cole – are present but what makes this series so exceptional is the knowledge Porter brings to his subject. This episode dissects why Sinatra was “a little too presumptuous for the croon” as well as looking at how everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie used the technique. The real pleasure, however, comes from the music. SH Collateral Beauty (2016) Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm ★★☆☆☆  The plot of David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and Allan Loeb’s (Just Go with It) film is fantastically unhinged: Will Smith is an ad-exec who has lost his daughter to cancer, and in his grief is pestered on the streets of New York by the personifications of Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren) – “the three abstractions”. Dark Shadows (2012) W, 9.00pm ★★☆☆☆  Tim Burton’s film is at its best in the opening scenes, when it can afford to be all show and no tell. It’s Johnny Depp, naturally, who plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th-century Byronic rascal who is transformed into a vampire by a jealous witch (Eva Green) and wakes up in Nixon-era small-town America. Depp and Burton’s eighth film together brought them level with De Niro and Scorsese, although in numerical terms only. Boyhood (2014) Channel 4, 12.05am ★★★★★  Richard Linklater’s real-time depiction of a boy growing up over 12 years received the biggest Oscar snub of recent years, winning only one award, for Patricia Arquette as for Best Supporting Actress. From 2002, Linklater spent a few days each year filming the same actors to chart Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) ordinary life – in what is an extraordinary, beautiful and moving string of small, everyday moments. Saturday 25 November In his words: the life of the Sixties playwright Joe Orton Credit: Hulton Archive Joe Orton Laid Bare BBC Two, 9.00pm “I realise it’s unforgivable doing this but I’m just unrepentant.” So announces a young Joe Orton in this suitably anarchic take on the playwright’s life, works and early, brutal death. It’s a sentence that entirely sums up Orton’s acidic take on life; he was a man who loved (and arguably lived) to shock and who enjoyed making people uncomfortable – “I felt snakes were writhing round my feet,” wrote one theatre critic after watching the bawdy Entertaining Mr Sloane – yet who was also possessed of enough wit, charm and intelligence to win over even the most mortally offended.  Making great use of Orton’s letters, diaries and plays – scenes from the latter acted by a cast that includes Antony Sher, Ben Miles and Jaime Winstone – the documentary does its best to pin its subject to the page with contributors including his sister Leonie, playwright Christopher Hampton and producer Michael Codron. There is (surprisingly) understanding too for the man who murdered Orton, his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who subsequently killed himself. Ultimately, however, what lingers is not the gory manner of Orton’s death but rather his wildly entertaining words. Sarah Hughes International Rugby Union: Scotland v Australia & England v Samoa  BBC One, 2.00pm & Sky Sports Main Event, 2.45pm Having fallen agonisingly close to pulling off the greatest result in their history – they lost 22-17 to New Zealand – Scotland host Australia at Murrayfield with their tails up. Meanwhile, England – who beat the Wallabies 30-6 last weekend, with Danny Care putting a sublime performance after coming off the bench – face Samoa, hoping to take Eddie Jones’s record to 22 wins from 23 as their coach. Expect Jones to ring the changes, with Henry Slade likely to be handed another opportunity at No 12 and Mike Brown returning to the side as full-back.  International Rugby Union: Wales v New Zealand  BBC Two, 4.45pm An unsuccessful three-match series in New Zealand this summer saw Wales return home still looking for a victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 1953. They have now lost 29 consecutive fixtures, 10 of which have been presided over by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland during his tenure. Wales head into this match on the back of a far-from-convincing 13-6 victory against Georgia. Granted, Gatland did put out an experimental team. Premier League Football: Liverpool v Chelsea BT Sport 1, 5.00pm Two of last Saturday’s star performers meet at Anfield in what should be a pulsating encounter. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice, while Chelsea, inspired by Eden Hazard, ran out 4-0 winners at West Brom. When these sides met in January here, Georginio Wijnaldum cancelled out David Luiz’s goal in a 1-1 draw.  Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.50pm With only three weeks left in the competition, the judges must try to separate the glitter from the paste. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are expected to make the final but it’s wide open as to who else joins them. This week, the couples can earn extra points in the “pasodoblathon”. The X Factor: The Semi Finals ITV, 7.30pm From surprise double eliminations to the extra sing-offs, this year’s X Factor has been derided for being a mess. This week, it can redeem itself as the contestants sing for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final.   Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Michael McIntyre’s attempt to single-handedly revive the variety show continues. This week, he’s joined by guests Gary Barlow, Russell Kane, Clean Bandit and Danny Dyer, who hands over his mobile phone for the Celebrity Send to All slot. Dad’s Army BBC Two, 8.30pm; not NI or Scotland  As Brexit edges nearer so Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s comedy about the Home Guard appears ever more relevant, not least because it pinpoints a certain kind of Englishness. This episode sees the bumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) pitch camp in the middle of an artillery exercise. SH Witnesses: A Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Another day, another atmospherically depressing European crime drama. But this French eight-part series, shown in double bills over the next four weeks, is really good. The Tunnel’s Marie Dompnier plays Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to a macabre case involving 15 frozen bodies on an abandoned bus. The dead men are all linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot), who disappeared three years earlier.   White Princess Drama, 9.00pm It might be hokum but this adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s bestseller is enjoyable largely thanks to the complicated relationship at its heart. The marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) is very much a dynastic contract between two people forced to find common cause. This episode sees them take steps towards that new understanding. SH Daddy Long Legs (1955) BBC Two, 2.10pm ★★★☆☆  Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron are paired for the first time in this Hollywood musical written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (parents of Nora) and loosely based on a 1912 novel. They bring charm and warmth to a story about the complications of a love affair between a young woman and a man 30 years her senior. The dance sequences are particularly striking, containing a rarity in Astaire’s choreography: a kiss. Lone Survivor (2013) Channel 4, 11.05pm ★★★☆☆  In this film based on true events, Mark Wahlberg gives a strong performance as sniper Marcus Luttrell, who, in 2005, was the head of a four-man team of Navy Seals, tasked with killing Taliban leader Ahmed Shah. An encounter with some goatherds gives the team a major moral dilemma. The film, directed by Peter Berg, is hampered by a lack of character exploration but it’s certainly action-packed. Albert Nobbs (2011) BBC Two, 11.35pm ★★★☆☆  Glenn Close toiled for 30 years to make an Albert Nobbs film after playing the part in a 1982 off-Broadway play. Close inhabits the role, of a woman disguised as a man to work as a waiter in a 19th-century hotel, with uncanny accuracy (she was rewarded with an Oscar nomination). The film reaches for something to say about sexual identity, but neither Close nor director Rodrigo García seem to know what it is. Sunday 26 November Ring of fire: Xand van Tulleken Credit: BBC Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm As is the wont of BBC documentaries about the natural world these days, the impact of humans can no longer be ignored – in fact, it’s central to the premise of this new two-parter in which geologist Chris Jackson and humanitarian doctor Xand van Tulleken journey to live volcanoes and the communities that live in their shadow.  Nyiragongo, in the Congo, last erupted in 2002, causing a mass evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, terrible loss of life and wholesale destruction of property. The pair’s expedition examines ways to predict its behaviour, especially since another eruption is almost inevitable. Van Tulleken focuses on disease prevention and healthcare, looking at how to avoid the spread of cholera that proved so catastrophic 15 years ago, while Jackson drops into the crater (the staggering camerawork and pounding soundtrack leave you in no doubt as to the potential peril of the venture) to assess the latest techniques for detecting sulphur dioxide and geological vibrations. By the end, problems have been diagnosed and solutions prescribed – it’s an admirable project whose success can only be judged, grimly, in the event of another disaster. Next week, they head to nearby Nyamuragira. Gabriel Tate Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4, noon & Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm He may have already been crowned champion but that didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton putting in a fine display in Brazil, starting in the pit lane under flawless Brazilian skies and finishing a mere five seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel. Let’s hope for a similarly exciting spectacle at the Yas Marina Circuit, as the curtain comes down on the 2017 season. Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm Every episode of this mesmerising series brings with it new wonders. This week’s venture into underwater forests, meadows and mangroves sniffs out creatures with unlikely names (the Pyjama Shark, the Garibaldi Damselfish) and even more outlandish strategies for survival. Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm It might be hard to see what Julie Walters can bring to this well-worn travelogue approach, despite all her charisma and appeal. But there is plenty to enjoy in her tour of the British Isles – tonight, she boards the “Harry Potter” train in the Highlands, guts herring and wrangles cattle. Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm Kenneth Lonergan’s restrained, affecting adaptation reachesa crunch point in relations between Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Henry (Matthew Macfadyen), driving a wedge between their two families; with the Basts approaching penury, a showdown looms. Guy Martin vs the Robocar Channel 4, 9.00pm Always up for a challenge, Guy Martin builds his own robotic Ford Transit to take on a “Roboracer” around Silverstone. But first he picks up a few tips from a “Level Five” autonomous vehicle in Budapest and Tesla’s latest models in Massachusetts. GT Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm and 10.00pm With every one of the €40 million budget up on screen, this adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Thirties-set policiers is one of the most handsome dramas of the year – and one of the most gripping. The first season reaches its climax with Lotte (Liv Lisa Fries) having a point to prove and Gereon (Volker Bruch) dealing both with ghosts from the past and chilling hints at what the future holds. Season two begins next week. Naples ’44: a Wartime Diary BBC Four, 11.00pm Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this gripping and cleverly structured Italian film, which blends archive footage, documentary and drama to tell the story of a city and its resilient citizens through the eyes of British officer Norman Lewis. Some of the imagery is powerful indeed (one sequence of cows being milked in the rubble of the city has a pungent surrealism) and the pacifist message is ultimately undeniable. GT Stalingrad (1994) History, 3.00pm ★★★☆☆  Joseph Vilsmaier’s film reconstructs the 1942 Siege of Stalingrad, in which Soviet forces successfully held back the German army. The battle proved to be a major turning point in the Second World War and claimed millions of lives – a point that the film rests on, showing the horrors of modern warfare in all its stomach-churning brutality. Dominique Horwitz and Thomas Kretschmann star as German soldiers. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) BBC Two, 6.45pm ★★★☆☆  Steve Carell has become a dab hand at making public embarrassment ridiculous and borderline tragic, and saves the day in this slight but entertaining comedy. Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), blows out a candle for his 12th birthday and initiates this fateful curse so that his family understand how it feels to have a purely maddening 24 hours. Fury (2014) Channel 5, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  David Ayer’s study of the habits and habitats of the American killer male is an astonishing drama. It’s Germany 1945, and Sgt Don “Wardaddy” Collie (Brad Pitt) and his team are grinding towards Berlin in a battered tank. There is no rescue mission, just an agonising rumble from one brush with death to the next. The set pieces are gripping, and the terror of war is blasted home. Monday 27 November Right to work: Tourette’s sufferer Ryan Credit: BBC Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm This moving series, which follows jobseekers determined to show that their disabilities shouldn’t prevent them working, returns for a new four-part run. There’s a persuasive double purpose to the programme – to highlight the disabilities themselves and to explore how those living with them fight against prejudice every day.  The opening episode showcases a wonderfully inspirational duo. We meet 52-year-old Andy, who was once the go-getting manager of a successful motorcycle business. Despite being left partially paralysed and struggling with speech after a life-threatening stroke, Andy wants to break into public speaking and motivate others with his story. Alongside him is turtle-mad Tourette’s sufferer Ryan, whose severe tics can leave him physically debilitated, but who nevertheless dreams of working with animals.  The pair’s will to succeed is humbling as they tackle longed-for job opportunities and the significant hurdles this entails. Helping them on the way is psychologist Nancy Doyle, who runs a pioneering scheme aimed at getting our hopefuls to promote their talents and for recruiters to see their considerable worth. Toby Dantzic Chinese Burn BBC Three, from 10.00am This comedy pilot, executive-produced by Ash Atalla (People Just Do Nothing), about three girls from China trying to make new lives in London is worth watching. Flatmates Elizabeth (Shin-Fei Chen), who’s chasing her dream job as a sommelier, and fiery struggling actress Jackie (Yennis Cheung) get a surprise visit from Elizabeth’s ultra-rich friend FuFu (Yuyu Rau). She’s an unwelcome guest, however, as Elizabeth hasn’t been honest with her parents.    Lost and Found Channel 4, 3.00pm Heartstrings are shamelessly tugged in this new series, which follows the sterling work of the Dogs Trust charity. The pooches featured in this episode include Ida, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that needs regular hydrotherapy, and a Labrador that has been missing for four days. Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Paul Hollywood fronts this new four-part series which combines personal anecdotes with his favourite recipes. The opening episode serves up footage of the gimlet-eyed bread expert’s original Great British Bake Off audition, along with a menu of his ultimate pizza and a Madeira celebration cake. Nigella: At My Table BBC Two, 8.30pm Here’s another eclectic selection of dishes from television’s glossiest gourmet. Her recipes include an intriguingly titled golden egg curry, and a feast of spiced lamb kofta followed by rose and pepper pavlova. Supershoppers Channel 4, 8.30pm The savvy consumer advice show returns with presenter Anna Richardson and newcomer Sabrina Grant investigating whether supermarkets’ standard own-label ranges are really any different to their cheaper value ranges. Beauty wipes and car insurance also get the once over. TD Last Men In Aleppo: Storyville BBC Four, 10.00pm This grim but absorbing documentary follows the work of the White Helmets, Syrian civilians who conduct search-and-rescue missions in the city of Aleppo. We follow a trio of volunteers that includes Khaled, who moves between scouring for missing people and searching out medicine for his malnourished daughter. The director Feras Fayyad’s stark camera style takes an unflinching approach to the horror. TD Die Another Day (2002) ITV4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond is also his least satisfying (although even Sean Connery might have struggled to look cool driving an invisible car). Dastardly Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) wants to provoke a war between the Koreas using a military satellite. Bond, aided by Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, must stop him. It’s all let down by an over-reliance on CGI, but there are some great set pieces. Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014) Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.25pm ★★★☆☆  A thundering performance by Benicio del Toro almost redeems this misjudged biopic of the Colombian crime lord. Seizing on the role with understated relish, he teeters adroitly between generous family man and murdering manipulator. What a shame, then, that he’s used so sparingly – the film renders the tyrant nothing more than a supporting character. The Road (2009) ITV4, 11.45pm ★★★☆☆  John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s exalted novel is as harrowing as its source material. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood as a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (the superb Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander the American wasteland after an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, Nick Cave’s wrenching score makes it a wholly chilling experience. Tuesday 28 November The rise of AI: robot Jess helps families with life’s challenges Credit: Channel 4 The Robot Will See You Now Channel 4, 10.00pm The Rise of the Robots season continues with this documentary exploring whether robots will ever be sophisticated enough to play the role of best friend and confidant, or even therapist, to humans. Some forms of artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are becoming more commonly involved in our home lives; cars are almost at the point where they drive themselves; and trials are afoot to test whether software can be used to perform medical and legal functions. A companionship robot has also been developed to keep astronauts’ spirits up during lengthy periods on the International Space Station. That’s all a long way from being able to substitute the life experience, and emotional, ethical and psychological support, for which we turn to friends, family, religion and counsellors. But maybe not for long.  This intriguing film focuses on a team from Manchester and Plymouth Universities racing to develop a humanoid robot called Jess, that uses AI-based analysis to offer counselling on problems to do with marriage, divorce, infidelity and other day-to-day traumas – with built-in sympathy and tissue dispenser, no doubt. Gerard O’Donovan Glitch Netflix, from today This Aussie drama about a lakeside town where the dead start coming back to life bore too great a resemblance to French chiller The Returned in its early stages, but it eventually took a different supernatural path with reasonable success. The second series kicks off with last season’s closing shock revelation still hanging in the air: Elisha (Genevieve O’Reilly), the medic who’s been helping the undead, has been one of them herself, all along. How to Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield ITV, 8.00pm This festive consumer series sees Phillip Schofield inviting celebrity guests to test and taste the “must have” food, drink and gift items of the season. This week, they look at the hottest toys of 2017 and how Father Christmas can get hold of them. The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Rebecca (Molly Wright) packs her parents off on a much-needed mini-break and drafts in Eddie (Greg McHugh) and Nicola (Vinette Robinson) to help care for seven-year-old Joe (Max Vento). Unsurprisingly, things don’t go entirely according to plan. MasterChef: The Professionals BBC Two, 9.00pm The standard has been unusually high this year and this week’s six nervous new candidates prove especially inventive in the signature round and a challenge to come up with a new take on flavoursome, filled pasta with an accompanying sauce. Grand Designs: House of the Year Channel 4, 9.00pm Which of the shortlisted super-dwellings will win the Riba prize for 2017’s House of the Year? Kevin McCloud can only announce the winner once the last two finalists have been chosen – from the predictably stunning nominees in the Minimalist and Modern category. GO Passions: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor by Chi-Chi Nwanoku Sky Arts, 9.00pm Bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku is the founder of Europe’s first black and ethnic minority classical orchestra. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the poet (that’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge, silly) she chooses as her hero but the similarly named mixed-race British composer born 100 years later, in a film praising black musicians who’ve overcome prejudice to succeed in the conservative world of classical music. GO Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Sky Cinema Superheroes, 5.50pm ★★★☆☆   Tim Burton’s Edwardian fairy tale, based on the first Miss Peregrine book by Ransom Riggs – feels oddly conventional. Adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), it’s a tale of an insular Florida lad, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), who visits an orphanage that figured in tales spun by his grandfather (Terence Stamp). Mars Attacks! (1996) ITV4, 10.50pm ★★★★☆  It may not be director Tim Burton’s best film but this surreal sci-fi comedy is still fun. The glitzy cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker, put on their best camp performances to fight seemingly peaceful Martians, who in fact want to destroy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all in the name of a good time. It’s a loving parody of Fifties’ science-fiction cinema. Runaway Train (1985) Movies4Men, 10.50pm ★★★☆☆  Jon Voight and Eric Roberts (both Oscar-nominated) star as a pair of convicts, whose dash for freedom from an Alaskan prison takes an unexpected turn when they find themselves on an out-of-control train. The officers on their heels are caught between stopping it and reclaiming the criminals. It’s all a bit ridiculous, but Voight brings an appealing manic energy to a fun premise. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars. Wednesday 29 November Ferrying around: those who work on the busy English Channel Credit: Channel 4 The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm Drunk passengers, frazzled families, fundraisers swimming in testing conditions, enormous ships trying to squeeze through a narrow body of water: it’s all in a day’s workfor those who police the waters of the English Channel, as this new documentary series makes clear.  Filmed last summer and with a heavy focus on the many changes that Brexit may bring to the Channel crossing, this opening episode concentrates largely on life on the ferries. “We’re already down on passengers and spending from last year,” notes one employee, pointing out that the collapse of the pound against the euro means that holidaymakers are less inclined to splash their cash. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we also follow a determined single mother who plans to swim the Channel to raise money and awareness of sickle cell disease, which both her sons have. Elsewhere, there are interesting statistics about the sheer numbers making the crossing – up to 400 ships passing through the 21-mile-wide Dover Strait each day – and captain Mark Miller and his crew have to deal with both a paralytic passenger and the tour company who intend to leave him behind. Sarah Hughes The Marvellous Mrs Maisel Amazon Prime Video, from today Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino returns with this effervescent tale set in Fifties New York. Our heroine is Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). On the surface she’s the perfect Jewish American Princess but underneath beats the soul of an acid-tongued comedian. Sherman-Palladino is clearly playing homage to the trailblazing likes of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller but her story still feels fresh thanks to a sharp script and Brosnahan’s wonderful timing. Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry continues her trawl through some of the UK’s grandest country houses. This week she’s in Scotland helping the inhabitants of Scone Palace, Lord and Lady Mansfield, prepare for dinner and a ceilidh while fitting in a bit of deer stalking and salmon fishing on the side.  Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm Steven Knight’s gangster drama is firing on all cylinders this series and never more so than in a tight, tense third episode which sees Polly (Helen McCrory) re-join the company and Arthur (the excellent Paul Anderson) wrestle with both his guilt and his God following John’s death.    Digging for Britain BBC Four, 9.00pm “Archaeology is adding flesh to the bare bones of people” announces Professor Alice Roberts as the second part of this series digging deep into Britain’s past heads to Kent. There we spend time following the excavation of the wreck of East India Company ship, the Rooswijk, before uncovering early evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in the shape of an ancient fort. SH Wallis: The Queen That Never Was Channel 5, 9.00pm Georgina Rich is the latest actress to play Wallis Simpson in this meld of drama and documentary. It’s not a format that ever works particularly well but, beyond the enactments, a complex portrait of the Duchess of Windsor emerges and one which sheds fresh light on the true nature of her marriages.   How to Build a Robot Channel 4, 10.35pm David Tennant narrates this entertaining documentary focusing on Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran. McGoran’s aim is to invent a robot that can truly interact with humans. SH The Riot Club (2014) Film4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Laura Wade’s 2010 play, Posh, dealt with a still-reported habit of trashing dining establishments by Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club. It reaches the screen as The Riot Club, starring a braying gang of silverspoon-reared Brits. The pungency of the play has been diluted, along with its political bite, but Holliday Grainger, Max Irons and Sam Claflin are perfectly cast in the main roles. Bronson (2008) London Live, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  A gripping character study of “Britain’s most notorious long-term prisoner”, Charles Bronson (who has recently wed), whose bloody bare-knuckle brawls have seen him moved from prison to prison 120 times. Tom Hardy (who now seems to specialise in complex, muscle-bound brawlers – Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, Taboo) ramps it up with disturbing intensity to delve inside the mind of the tormented personality. Life As We Know It (2010) 5STAR, 11.00pm ★★★☆☆  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star in this shrill domestic nightmare in which they raise their orphaned godchild. Heigl once again plays a beautifully groomed control freak, while Duhamel’s Messer – a philandering man-child – repeatedly lives up to his name. When they get together, it feels like something to do with careers, contracts and romcom necessity; nothing to do with life. Thursday 30 November Pushing the boat out: Prunella Scales and Timothy West Credit: Channel 4 Great Canal Journeys Channel 4, 8.00pm When they embarked on the first series of Great Canal Journeys in 2014, it’s doubtful whether Timothy West or Prunella Scales could have foreseen its longevity, in part given the niche material and also because of Scales’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Yet here they are, heading through Portugal for the first instalment in this eighth series, never passing up the opportunity to draw comparisons between long marriages and vintage fortified wines. It is another hour of gentle insights and pure, unaffected charm.  Their journey takes them from a river port 100 miles inland through to Porto along the Rio Douro, via several vineyards and, slightly less predictably, examples of ancient rock art and Europe’s deepest lock. Throughout is evidence of why Portugal remains England’s oldest ally (Brits are heavily involved in the contemporary port industry) and, more significantly, of a relationship of a strength and mutual affection to which we can all aspire. Scales credits her husband with “opening up the world”. For West’s part, he reckons that “she likes being with me and I like being with her. That’s the best we can hope for, and very nice too.” Gabriel Tate PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge Sky Sports Main Event, 6.30pm It’s the opening day at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas, where Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is the reigning champion.  Discovering: Richard Widmark Sky Arts, 8.00pm Always more than a mere journeyman but never quite leading man material either, Richard Widmark was one of Hollywood’s most consistent talents, his work spanning classic noirs (Panic in the Streets), westerns (Two Rode Together) and thrillers (Coma). Journalists and critics assemble to pay tribute in another breezy, concise profile. The Farthest: Voyager’s Interstellar Journey: Storyville BBC Four, 8.55pm The space programme perhaps best represents the dazzling possibilities of the human brain and our capacity to imagine. This characteristically excellent and absorbing Storyville celebrates the scientific achievements of the Voyager probes through those that planned, made and continue to monitor them as they leave our solar system for interstellar space. Their enthusiasm is undiminished and infectious. GT Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm; Scotland, 11.15pm This affecting series investigates the repercussions of a German bomb that destroyed two houses in Hull. The personal traumas were of course profound, but a series of essays written by the city’s children in 1941 also unwittingly encouraged Britain’s controversial urban bombing strategies later in the war. Trump: an American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm This enthralling series concludes with the future President rediscovering his mojo thanks to the influence of a new wife and advisors, before a combination of reality television and social media open an unlikely route to the White House. Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm A fine line-up launch a new run for the hardy stand-up perennial from Hammersmith, with quickfire Gary Delaney and rising Scottish comic Larry Dean on the agenda, introduced by Sara Pascoe. The Sex Robots Are Coming Channel 4, 10.00pm Nick Sweeney’s unsettling documentary follows the creation of Harmony, a prototype sexbot, and James, a potential purchaser. What do these technological advances mean for human relationships and the ever-present issue of objectification? GT Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Film4, 7.15pm ★★★☆☆  The furiously funny, and startling originality of disaster parody Airplane! makes this sequel, which is set in the future and takes place on a lunar shuttle, stick out like a sore thumb, especially since the original team had no involvement. There are some amusing spoofs of Rocky and E.T., but the jokes tread familiar ground. Cameos come from Raymond Burr and William Shatner. Cliffhanger (1993) Universal Channel, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Get Him to the Greek (2010) Comedy Central, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  Russell Brand plays himself (very well), thinly disguised as washed-up British rocker Aldous Snow who, desperate for a career revival, is called upon for a one-night show at LA venue The Greek. Despite trying too hard to shock, Brand’s famously crude humour lends this potentially humdrum American bromance some eccentricity and makes it, at times, a raucous comedy. Friday 1 December Life Thru a Lens: Robbie Williams is one of Norton’s guests Credit: Getty The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Graham Norton remains the best chat show host on British television, even if one or two of his line-ups this season have failed to generate much in the way of sparks. (The recent edition featuring only the cast of Ken Branagh’s new Agatha Christie movie Murder on the Orient Express could have been bottled and sold as a soporific, despite all of the star names on display.) Happily that’s unlikely to be a problem here as most of his guests are blessed with some of the biggest and most-often utilised mouths in showbiz.  Elton John is on hand to promote his latest greatest hits collection, and will perhaps have plenty to say about ITV’s recent poll of the British public’s 20 favourite songs from his rather extensive back catalogue. Stephen Fry will doubtless be as mesmerising as ever as he discusses his new book on Greek mythology; and Robbie Williams might make some noise about his new album, Under the Radar Volume 2, and upcoming Heavy Entertainment tour. All in all, you have to wonder how demure actress Carey Mulligan will manage to get a word in edgeways on the subject of her terrific new Netflix film Mudbound, although we’re confident she will. Gerard O’Donovan Dark Netflix, from today “The question is not where, or who, or how…but when?” This creepy time-bending thriller, about the disappearance of two German boys over a 30-year interval, plays with the idea of how fractured relationships repeat time and again. Voyeur Netflix, from today This controversial documentary explores one of veteran US writer Gay Talese’s most sensational pieces of “literary journalism”, The Voyeur’s Motel. It told the story of how, in the Eighties, Gerald Foos opened a motel supposedly for the sole purpose of peeping on guests. But how much of the tale was made up? Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm Singer Rita Ora joins regular presenters Greg James and Dotty as guest host at the BBC’s White City studios to introduce, among others, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood. Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales   In the series’ finale Mears ends his epic journey in the ancient Walpole Forest, a vast swathe of primordial wilderness in Western Australia. He’s in search of the forest’s famed giant tingle and karri trees but the smaller denizens – such as the elusive quokka – are just as amazing. Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s pier-end café goes fully vegetarian in honour of guest Joanna Lumley, who revives the tastes of her childhood by cooking the King of Malaysia’s favourite dish. Meanwhile, the childhood friends go on the road to champion British fava beans, and Doherty designs a vertical vegetable patch – perfect for the high-rise balcony. Britain’s Greatest Bridges Channel 5, 8.00pm The series concludes with the story of the feat of engineering that is the mile-long Severn Bridge and how its designer Bill Brown revolutionised modern bridge design with its aerodynamic box girder deck. GO Truth Tellers at the BBC BBC Four, 11.00pm Friday night is music night on BBC Four, and this new archive series adds depth to its line-up by showcasing clips of the most lyrically gifted songwriters to have performed on the BBC. These include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith. GO The King’s Speech (2010) More4, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  Tom Hooper’s film about the future George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer in the nation’s hour of need won multiple Oscars, including a deserved Best Actor gong for Colin Firth. But it’s his double-act with Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue that gives the film its heart, and the double-handers between them are fraught and fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps underused as the Duchess of York. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) ITV4, 11.40pm ★★★☆☆  This is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a revenge artist who wields his razors with merry abandon in 19th-century London with the help of the deliciously sinister Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). Alan Rickman plays the deplorable Judge Turpin. Wild (2014) Channel 4, 12.10am ★★★★☆  The Pacific Crest Trail, which runs up the entire western spine of the United States, is a challenge of fabled arduousness and rugged beauty. In 1995, aged 26, Cheryl Strayed (played by a superb Reese Witherspoon) walked it, to get clearance in her head after a decade of loss and personal meltdown. Wild powerfully reveals Strayed’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on the journey. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain and Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight

Thursday 23 November Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm It’s an eye-catching idea: identify individual bombs from among the millions that rained down on Britain during the Blitz, and select four that had greater impact than any others. So much so, they might even have had beneficial effects in the long run. The bomb featured in this opener, which hit 8 Martindale Road in London’s docklands on the first night of the Blitz in September 1940, didn’t actually explode. But the evacuation it prompted set in motion a series of events that led to horrific loss of life.  Public outrage at the authorities’ ineptitude, unpreparedness and apparent callous disregard for working people, boosted by campaigning journalist Peter Ritchie Calder, eventually led to Tory MP Henry Willink being appointed to organise a better response to the Blitz. He, in turn, wrote the first draft of the postwar White Paper, proposing what would eventually become the NHS. It really is a bit of a stretch (and may even be offensive to some) to suggest that a German bomb was what effectively led to the founding of the British welfare state. But the story makes for an intriguing slice of social and political history none the less. Gerard O’Donovan She’s Gotta Have It Netflix, from today Can the feted director Spike Lee recreate, 21 years on, the magic of his scintillating 1986 romcom in this much-anticipated new series? Lee’s plotline remains the same – the story of beautiful New Yorker Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) highly entertaining efforts to decide which of her lovers she should settle down with permanently. But it is updated to reflect the mind-boggling choice of partners available to the 21st-century adventurer. As Nola confesses to one therapist: “As a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, monogamy never seemed like a remote possibility for me.”  Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight ITV, 7.30pm A fortnight since its relationship-tracking documentary Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply, ITV devotes another programme to the Royal engagement that hasn’t yet happened. Here reporter Fiona Foster considers what the rest of the Royal family think of the relationship. Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s moreish drama set in a Leeds registry office continues as Kate (Ashley Jensen) is forced to step down from her big promotion. And things go from bad to worse when Rob (Adrian Bower) turns up with worrying news about their daughter. Trump: An American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm The revealing review of the US President’s life story reaches the Nineties, with Donald Trump’s personal and business life in meltdown as his wife Ivana seeks a divorce (and a massive settlement) and his business empire teeters towards bankruptcy. John Bishop: in Conversation with Jeremy Corbyn W, 9.00pm In what is a last-minute addition to John Bishop’s intimate interview series, the Labour leader joins him for a frank discussion about his life and his politics, including his thoughts on President Trump and the Chilcott Enquiry, as well as the impact of the death of his brother. GO The Search for a Miracle Cure Channel 4, 10.00pm An emotionally charged documentary following lawyer Mark Lewis’s quest for a cure for multiple sclerosis. The degenerative disease was thought incurable but here Lewis embarks on a trial of a new stem-cell treatment that has shown remarkable results. GO Revolver (2005) 5STAR, 10.00pm ★★☆☆☆  After making the truly awful Swept Away with then-wife Madonna, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… director Guy Ritchie returns to his suit-wearing gangster roots and his favourite star, Jason Statham. It’s stylishly shot but unfortunately this Ritchie/Luc Besson-penned tale of chess, revenge, con artists and assassins is weaved into such a complex, maze-like brain-teaser that it’s virtually incomprehensible. Limitless (2011) Film4, 11.15pm ★★★☆☆  Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a writer whose former brother-in-law slips him a pill that enables him to access 100 per cent of his brain. His book is finished in four days, so he goes back for more and this time nets himself a fortune on the stock market. Neil Burger directs at breakneck pace, but afterwards you wish that Cooper’s character had used that brainpower for something more interesting than making money. Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) Sky Atlantic, 12.00midnight ★★☆☆☆  When HBO didn’t give Stephen Merchant’s sitcom a second series, he made this movie instead. It follows him in the role of Stuart, a geeky IT guy who’s looking for his soul mate in Los Angeles. When he learns that his ex-girlfriend is planning to visit, he sets out to impress her with his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, this style of cringe-making comedy has been done to death. Friday 24 November Chums: Jimmy Doherty, Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver Credit: Channel 4 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and childhood mucker Jimmy Doherty return for another series of their hyperactive meld of cookery programme, food information and celebrity chat hosted at their Southend Pier caff. This series tends to stand or fall with the visiting celebrity but luckily this week it’s Simon Pegg, who gamely enters into the spirit of things by serving customers, cooking what looks like a pretty good tagine and admitting that he’s far more food conscious in these Mission: Impossible days (Tom Cruise is apparently the devil for pushing cakes on those trying to stay in shape). Friday Night Feast feels closer in tone to the early cookery shows that made Oliver’s name and Pegg enters into the cheeky-chappy spirit, mucking around with Doherty and dropping sardonic asides. “It’s fundamentally evil but at the same time beautiful,” he remarks of Oliver’s Provençal Bake, a calorific but clearly delicious mixture of pancakes, cheese, ham and tomatoes, which causes one customer to gush, “I never want it to end.” Elsewhere, Oliver and Doherty go on the road to uncover the joys of free-range duck, and Doherty builds a barbecue for the Stoke Mandeville wheelchair rugby team. Sarah Hughes Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm BBC One’s live music show is a great idea but so far has been a bit hit and miss. Presenters Greg James and Dotty are enthusiastic but more risks are needed when booking the live acts. Craig David co-hosts this episode, and there are performances from The Killers and Anne-Marie.  Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales Ray Mears’s laid-back excursion around Australia continues in South Australia’s Flinders mountain ranges, which provides a dramatic setting for three species of kangaroos and the country’s largest bird of prey. Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The personable Stephen Mangan takes the host’s chair for this episode of the satirical news-based panel game. He’s joined by business journalist Steph McGovern and comedian Jo Caulfield.  Extreme Wives with Kate Humble BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 9.30pm Kate Humble heads to the remote town of Shillong in north-east India to meet with the matrilineal Khasi people in the fascinating final episode. The Khasi pass everything, including property, down the female line and hand power to the youngest daughter in each family. SH Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Sky Arts, 9.00pm Anyone who has read Sticky Fingers, the recent biography of Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner, will realise that this Alex Gibney series is something of a puff piece in comparison. That said, it’s still very enjoyable. The focus here is on the kidnap of Patty Hearst and the way in which the counterculture slowly became mainstream. Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices BBC Four, 10.00pm Jazz musician Gregory Porter’s outstanding series continues with a focus on crooners. All the usual suspects – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the unbeatable Nat King Cole – are present but what makes this series so exceptional is the knowledge Porter brings to his subject. This episode dissects why Sinatra was “a little too presumptuous for the croon” as well as looking at how everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie used the technique. The real pleasure, however, comes from the music. SH Collateral Beauty (2016) Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm ★★☆☆☆  The plot of David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and Allan Loeb’s (Just Go with It) film is fantastically unhinged: Will Smith is an ad-exec who has lost his daughter to cancer, and in his grief is pestered on the streets of New York by the personifications of Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren) – “the three abstractions”. Dark Shadows (2012) W, 9.00pm ★★☆☆☆  Tim Burton’s film is at its best in the opening scenes, when it can afford to be all show and no tell. It’s Johnny Depp, naturally, who plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th-century Byronic rascal who is transformed into a vampire by a jealous witch (Eva Green) and wakes up in Nixon-era small-town America. Depp and Burton’s eighth film together brought them level with De Niro and Scorsese, although in numerical terms only. Boyhood (2014) Channel 4, 12.05am ★★★★★  Richard Linklater’s real-time depiction of a boy growing up over 12 years received the biggest Oscar snub of recent years, winning only one award, for Patricia Arquette as for Best Supporting Actress. From 2002, Linklater spent a few days each year filming the same actors to chart Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) ordinary life – in what is an extraordinary, beautiful and moving string of small, everyday moments. Saturday 25 November In his words: the life of the Sixties playwright Joe Orton Credit: Hulton Archive Joe Orton Laid Bare BBC Two, 9.00pm “I realise it’s unforgivable doing this but I’m just unrepentant.” So announces a young Joe Orton in this suitably anarchic take on the playwright’s life, works and early, brutal death. It’s a sentence that entirely sums up Orton’s acidic take on life; he was a man who loved (and arguably lived) to shock and who enjoyed making people uncomfortable – “I felt snakes were writhing round my feet,” wrote one theatre critic after watching the bawdy Entertaining Mr Sloane – yet who was also possessed of enough wit, charm and intelligence to win over even the most mortally offended.  Making great use of Orton’s letters, diaries and plays – scenes from the latter acted by a cast that includes Antony Sher, Ben Miles and Jaime Winstone – the documentary does its best to pin its subject to the page with contributors including his sister Leonie, playwright Christopher Hampton and producer Michael Codron. There is (surprisingly) understanding too for the man who murdered Orton, his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who subsequently killed himself. Ultimately, however, what lingers is not the gory manner of Orton’s death but rather his wildly entertaining words. Sarah Hughes International Rugby Union: Scotland v Australia & England v Samoa  BBC One, 2.00pm & Sky Sports Main Event, 2.45pm Having fallen agonisingly close to pulling off the greatest result in their history – they lost 22-17 to New Zealand – Scotland host Australia at Murrayfield with their tails up. Meanwhile, England – who beat the Wallabies 30-6 last weekend, with Danny Care putting a sublime performance after coming off the bench – face Samoa, hoping to take Eddie Jones’s record to 22 wins from 23 as their coach. Expect Jones to ring the changes, with Henry Slade likely to be handed another opportunity at No 12 and Mike Brown returning to the side as full-back.  International Rugby Union: Wales v New Zealand  BBC Two, 4.45pm An unsuccessful three-match series in New Zealand this summer saw Wales return home still looking for a victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 1953. They have now lost 29 consecutive fixtures, 10 of which have been presided over by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland during his tenure. Wales head into this match on the back of a far-from-convincing 13-6 victory against Georgia. Granted, Gatland did put out an experimental team. Premier League Football: Liverpool v Chelsea BT Sport 1, 5.00pm Two of last Saturday’s star performers meet at Anfield in what should be a pulsating encounter. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice, while Chelsea, inspired by Eden Hazard, ran out 4-0 winners at West Brom. When these sides met in January here, Georginio Wijnaldum cancelled out David Luiz’s goal in a 1-1 draw.  Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.50pm With only three weeks left in the competition, the judges must try to separate the glitter from the paste. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are expected to make the final but it’s wide open as to who else joins them. This week, the couples can earn extra points in the “pasodoblathon”. The X Factor: The Semi Finals ITV, 7.30pm From surprise double eliminations to the extra sing-offs, this year’s X Factor has been derided for being a mess. This week, it can redeem itself as the contestants sing for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final.   Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Michael McIntyre’s attempt to single-handedly revive the variety show continues. This week, he’s joined by guests Gary Barlow, Russell Kane, Clean Bandit and Danny Dyer, who hands over his mobile phone for the Celebrity Send to All slot. Dad’s Army BBC Two, 8.30pm; not NI or Scotland  As Brexit edges nearer so Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s comedy about the Home Guard appears ever more relevant, not least because it pinpoints a certain kind of Englishness. This episode sees the bumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) pitch camp in the middle of an artillery exercise. SH Witnesses: A Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Another day, another atmospherically depressing European crime drama. But this French eight-part series, shown in double bills over the next four weeks, is really good. The Tunnel’s Marie Dompnier plays Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to a macabre case involving 15 frozen bodies on an abandoned bus. The dead men are all linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot), who disappeared three years earlier.   White Princess Drama, 9.00pm It might be hokum but this adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s bestseller is enjoyable largely thanks to the complicated relationship at its heart. The marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) is very much a dynastic contract between two people forced to find common cause. This episode sees them take steps towards that new understanding. SH Daddy Long Legs (1955) BBC Two, 2.10pm ★★★☆☆  Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron are paired for the first time in this Hollywood musical written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (parents of Nora) and loosely based on a 1912 novel. They bring charm and warmth to a story about the complications of a love affair between a young woman and a man 30 years her senior. The dance sequences are particularly striking, containing a rarity in Astaire’s choreography: a kiss. Lone Survivor (2013) Channel 4, 11.05pm ★★★☆☆  In this film based on true events, Mark Wahlberg gives a strong performance as sniper Marcus Luttrell, who, in 2005, was the head of a four-man team of Navy Seals, tasked with killing Taliban leader Ahmed Shah. An encounter with some goatherds gives the team a major moral dilemma. The film, directed by Peter Berg, is hampered by a lack of character exploration but it’s certainly action-packed. Albert Nobbs (2011) BBC Two, 11.35pm ★★★☆☆  Glenn Close toiled for 30 years to make an Albert Nobbs film after playing the part in a 1982 off-Broadway play. Close inhabits the role, of a woman disguised as a man to work as a waiter in a 19th-century hotel, with uncanny accuracy (she was rewarded with an Oscar nomination). The film reaches for something to say about sexual identity, but neither Close nor director Rodrigo García seem to know what it is. Sunday 26 November Ring of fire: Xand van Tulleken Credit: BBC Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm As is the wont of BBC documentaries about the natural world these days, the impact of humans can no longer be ignored – in fact, it’s central to the premise of this new two-parter in which geologist Chris Jackson and humanitarian doctor Xand van Tulleken journey to live volcanoes and the communities that live in their shadow.  Nyiragongo, in the Congo, last erupted in 2002, causing a mass evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, terrible loss of life and wholesale destruction of property. The pair’s expedition examines ways to predict its behaviour, especially since another eruption is almost inevitable. Van Tulleken focuses on disease prevention and healthcare, looking at how to avoid the spread of cholera that proved so catastrophic 15 years ago, while Jackson drops into the crater (the staggering camerawork and pounding soundtrack leave you in no doubt as to the potential peril of the venture) to assess the latest techniques for detecting sulphur dioxide and geological vibrations. By the end, problems have been diagnosed and solutions prescribed – it’s an admirable project whose success can only be judged, grimly, in the event of another disaster. Next week, they head to nearby Nyamuragira. Gabriel Tate Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4, noon & Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm He may have already been crowned champion but that didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton putting in a fine display in Brazil, starting in the pit lane under flawless Brazilian skies and finishing a mere five seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel. Let’s hope for a similarly exciting spectacle at the Yas Marina Circuit, as the curtain comes down on the 2017 season. Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm Every episode of this mesmerising series brings with it new wonders. This week’s venture into underwater forests, meadows and mangroves sniffs out creatures with unlikely names (the Pyjama Shark, the Garibaldi Damselfish) and even more outlandish strategies for survival. Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm It might be hard to see what Julie Walters can bring to this well-worn travelogue approach, despite all her charisma and appeal. But there is plenty to enjoy in her tour of the British Isles – tonight, she boards the “Harry Potter” train in the Highlands, guts herring and wrangles cattle. Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm Kenneth Lonergan’s restrained, affecting adaptation reachesa crunch point in relations between Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Henry (Matthew Macfadyen), driving a wedge between their two families; with the Basts approaching penury, a showdown looms. Guy Martin vs the Robocar Channel 4, 9.00pm Always up for a challenge, Guy Martin builds his own robotic Ford Transit to take on a “Roboracer” around Silverstone. But first he picks up a few tips from a “Level Five” autonomous vehicle in Budapest and Tesla’s latest models in Massachusetts. GT Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm and 10.00pm With every one of the €40 million budget up on screen, this adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Thirties-set policiers is one of the most handsome dramas of the year – and one of the most gripping. The first season reaches its climax with Lotte (Liv Lisa Fries) having a point to prove and Gereon (Volker Bruch) dealing both with ghosts from the past and chilling hints at what the future holds. Season two begins next week. Naples ’44: a Wartime Diary BBC Four, 11.00pm Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this gripping and cleverly structured Italian film, which blends archive footage, documentary and drama to tell the story of a city and its resilient citizens through the eyes of British officer Norman Lewis. Some of the imagery is powerful indeed (one sequence of cows being milked in the rubble of the city has a pungent surrealism) and the pacifist message is ultimately undeniable. GT Stalingrad (1994) History, 3.00pm ★★★☆☆  Joseph Vilsmaier’s film reconstructs the 1942 Siege of Stalingrad, in which Soviet forces successfully held back the German army. The battle proved to be a major turning point in the Second World War and claimed millions of lives – a point that the film rests on, showing the horrors of modern warfare in all its stomach-churning brutality. Dominique Horwitz and Thomas Kretschmann star as German soldiers. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) BBC Two, 6.45pm ★★★☆☆  Steve Carell has become a dab hand at making public embarrassment ridiculous and borderline tragic, and saves the day in this slight but entertaining comedy. Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), blows out a candle for his 12th birthday and initiates this fateful curse so that his family understand how it feels to have a purely maddening 24 hours. Fury (2014) Channel 5, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  David Ayer’s study of the habits and habitats of the American killer male is an astonishing drama. It’s Germany 1945, and Sgt Don “Wardaddy” Collie (Brad Pitt) and his team are grinding towards Berlin in a battered tank. There is no rescue mission, just an agonising rumble from one brush with death to the next. The set pieces are gripping, and the terror of war is blasted home. Monday 27 November Right to work: Tourette’s sufferer Ryan Credit: BBC Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm This moving series, which follows jobseekers determined to show that their disabilities shouldn’t prevent them working, returns for a new four-part run. There’s a persuasive double purpose to the programme – to highlight the disabilities themselves and to explore how those living with them fight against prejudice every day.  The opening episode showcases a wonderfully inspirational duo. We meet 52-year-old Andy, who was once the go-getting manager of a successful motorcycle business. Despite being left partially paralysed and struggling with speech after a life-threatening stroke, Andy wants to break into public speaking and motivate others with his story. Alongside him is turtle-mad Tourette’s sufferer Ryan, whose severe tics can leave him physically debilitated, but who nevertheless dreams of working with animals.  The pair’s will to succeed is humbling as they tackle longed-for job opportunities and the significant hurdles this entails. Helping them on the way is psychologist Nancy Doyle, who runs a pioneering scheme aimed at getting our hopefuls to promote their talents and for recruiters to see their considerable worth. Toby Dantzic Chinese Burn BBC Three, from 10.00am This comedy pilot, executive-produced by Ash Atalla (People Just Do Nothing), about three girls from China trying to make new lives in London is worth watching. Flatmates Elizabeth (Shin-Fei Chen), who’s chasing her dream job as a sommelier, and fiery struggling actress Jackie (Yennis Cheung) get a surprise visit from Elizabeth’s ultra-rich friend FuFu (Yuyu Rau). She’s an unwelcome guest, however, as Elizabeth hasn’t been honest with her parents.    Lost and Found Channel 4, 3.00pm Heartstrings are shamelessly tugged in this new series, which follows the sterling work of the Dogs Trust charity. The pooches featured in this episode include Ida, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that needs regular hydrotherapy, and a Labrador that has been missing for four days. Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Paul Hollywood fronts this new four-part series which combines personal anecdotes with his favourite recipes. The opening episode serves up footage of the gimlet-eyed bread expert’s original Great British Bake Off audition, along with a menu of his ultimate pizza and a Madeira celebration cake. Nigella: At My Table BBC Two, 8.30pm Here’s another eclectic selection of dishes from television’s glossiest gourmet. Her recipes include an intriguingly titled golden egg curry, and a feast of spiced lamb kofta followed by rose and pepper pavlova. Supershoppers Channel 4, 8.30pm The savvy consumer advice show returns with presenter Anna Richardson and newcomer Sabrina Grant investigating whether supermarkets’ standard own-label ranges are really any different to their cheaper value ranges. Beauty wipes and car insurance also get the once over. TD Last Men In Aleppo: Storyville BBC Four, 10.00pm This grim but absorbing documentary follows the work of the White Helmets, Syrian civilians who conduct search-and-rescue missions in the city of Aleppo. We follow a trio of volunteers that includes Khaled, who moves between scouring for missing people and searching out medicine for his malnourished daughter. The director Feras Fayyad’s stark camera style takes an unflinching approach to the horror. TD Die Another Day (2002) ITV4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond is also his least satisfying (although even Sean Connery might have struggled to look cool driving an invisible car). Dastardly Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) wants to provoke a war between the Koreas using a military satellite. Bond, aided by Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, must stop him. It’s all let down by an over-reliance on CGI, but there are some great set pieces. Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014) Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.25pm ★★★☆☆  A thundering performance by Benicio del Toro almost redeems this misjudged biopic of the Colombian crime lord. Seizing on the role with understated relish, he teeters adroitly between generous family man and murdering manipulator. What a shame, then, that he’s used so sparingly – the film renders the tyrant nothing more than a supporting character. The Road (2009) ITV4, 11.45pm ★★★☆☆  John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s exalted novel is as harrowing as its source material. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood as a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (the superb Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander the American wasteland after an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, Nick Cave’s wrenching score makes it a wholly chilling experience. Tuesday 28 November The rise of AI: robot Jess helps families with life’s challenges Credit: Channel 4 The Robot Will See You Now Channel 4, 10.00pm The Rise of the Robots season continues with this documentary exploring whether robots will ever be sophisticated enough to play the role of best friend and confidant, or even therapist, to humans. Some forms of artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are becoming more commonly involved in our home lives; cars are almost at the point where they drive themselves; and trials are afoot to test whether software can be used to perform medical and legal functions. A companionship robot has also been developed to keep astronauts’ spirits up during lengthy periods on the International Space Station. That’s all a long way from being able to substitute the life experience, and emotional, ethical and psychological support, for which we turn to friends, family, religion and counsellors. But maybe not for long.  This intriguing film focuses on a team from Manchester and Plymouth Universities racing to develop a humanoid robot called Jess, that uses AI-based analysis to offer counselling on problems to do with marriage, divorce, infidelity and other day-to-day traumas – with built-in sympathy and tissue dispenser, no doubt. Gerard O’Donovan Glitch Netflix, from today This Aussie drama about a lakeside town where the dead start coming back to life bore too great a resemblance to French chiller The Returned in its early stages, but it eventually took a different supernatural path with reasonable success. The second series kicks off with last season’s closing shock revelation still hanging in the air: Elisha (Genevieve O’Reilly), the medic who’s been helping the undead, has been one of them herself, all along. How to Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield ITV, 8.00pm This festive consumer series sees Phillip Schofield inviting celebrity guests to test and taste the “must have” food, drink and gift items of the season. This week, they look at the hottest toys of 2017 and how Father Christmas can get hold of them. The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Rebecca (Molly Wright) packs her parents off on a much-needed mini-break and drafts in Eddie (Greg McHugh) and Nicola (Vinette Robinson) to help care for seven-year-old Joe (Max Vento). Unsurprisingly, things don’t go entirely according to plan. MasterChef: The Professionals BBC Two, 9.00pm The standard has been unusually high this year and this week’s six nervous new candidates prove especially inventive in the signature round and a challenge to come up with a new take on flavoursome, filled pasta with an accompanying sauce. Grand Designs: House of the Year Channel 4, 9.00pm Which of the shortlisted super-dwellings will win the Riba prize for 2017’s House of the Year? Kevin McCloud can only announce the winner once the last two finalists have been chosen – from the predictably stunning nominees in the Minimalist and Modern category. GO Passions: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor by Chi-Chi Nwanoku Sky Arts, 9.00pm Bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku is the founder of Europe’s first black and ethnic minority classical orchestra. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the poet (that’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge, silly) she chooses as her hero but the similarly named mixed-race British composer born 100 years later, in a film praising black musicians who’ve overcome prejudice to succeed in the conservative world of classical music. GO Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Sky Cinema Superheroes, 5.50pm ★★★☆☆   Tim Burton’s Edwardian fairy tale, based on the first Miss Peregrine book by Ransom Riggs – feels oddly conventional. Adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), it’s a tale of an insular Florida lad, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), who visits an orphanage that figured in tales spun by his grandfather (Terence Stamp). Mars Attacks! (1996) ITV4, 10.50pm ★★★★☆  It may not be director Tim Burton’s best film but this surreal sci-fi comedy is still fun. The glitzy cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker, put on their best camp performances to fight seemingly peaceful Martians, who in fact want to destroy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all in the name of a good time. It’s a loving parody of Fifties’ science-fiction cinema. Runaway Train (1985) Movies4Men, 10.50pm ★★★☆☆  Jon Voight and Eric Roberts (both Oscar-nominated) star as a pair of convicts, whose dash for freedom from an Alaskan prison takes an unexpected turn when they find themselves on an out-of-control train. The officers on their heels are caught between stopping it and reclaiming the criminals. It’s all a bit ridiculous, but Voight brings an appealing manic energy to a fun premise. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars. Wednesday 29 November Ferrying around: those who work on the busy English Channel Credit: Channel 4 The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm Drunk passengers, frazzled families, fundraisers swimming in testing conditions, enormous ships trying to squeeze through a narrow body of water: it’s all in a day’s workfor those who police the waters of the English Channel, as this new documentary series makes clear.  Filmed last summer and with a heavy focus on the many changes that Brexit may bring to the Channel crossing, this opening episode concentrates largely on life on the ferries. “We’re already down on passengers and spending from last year,” notes one employee, pointing out that the collapse of the pound against the euro means that holidaymakers are less inclined to splash their cash. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we also follow a determined single mother who plans to swim the Channel to raise money and awareness of sickle cell disease, which both her sons have. Elsewhere, there are interesting statistics about the sheer numbers making the crossing – up to 400 ships passing through the 21-mile-wide Dover Strait each day – and captain Mark Miller and his crew have to deal with both a paralytic passenger and the tour company who intend to leave him behind. Sarah Hughes The Marvellous Mrs Maisel Amazon Prime Video, from today Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino returns with this effervescent tale set in Fifties New York. Our heroine is Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). On the surface she’s the perfect Jewish American Princess but underneath beats the soul of an acid-tongued comedian. Sherman-Palladino is clearly playing homage to the trailblazing likes of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller but her story still feels fresh thanks to a sharp script and Brosnahan’s wonderful timing. Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry continues her trawl through some of the UK’s grandest country houses. This week she’s in Scotland helping the inhabitants of Scone Palace, Lord and Lady Mansfield, prepare for dinner and a ceilidh while fitting in a bit of deer stalking and salmon fishing on the side.  Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm Steven Knight’s gangster drama is firing on all cylinders this series and never more so than in a tight, tense third episode which sees Polly (Helen McCrory) re-join the company and Arthur (the excellent Paul Anderson) wrestle with both his guilt and his God following John’s death.    Digging for Britain BBC Four, 9.00pm “Archaeology is adding flesh to the bare bones of people” announces Professor Alice Roberts as the second part of this series digging deep into Britain’s past heads to Kent. There we spend time following the excavation of the wreck of East India Company ship, the Rooswijk, before uncovering early evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in the shape of an ancient fort. SH Wallis: The Queen That Never Was Channel 5, 9.00pm Georgina Rich is the latest actress to play Wallis Simpson in this meld of drama and documentary. It’s not a format that ever works particularly well but, beyond the enactments, a complex portrait of the Duchess of Windsor emerges and one which sheds fresh light on the true nature of her marriages.   How to Build a Robot Channel 4, 10.35pm David Tennant narrates this entertaining documentary focusing on Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran. McGoran’s aim is to invent a robot that can truly interact with humans. SH The Riot Club (2014) Film4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Laura Wade’s 2010 play, Posh, dealt with a still-reported habit of trashing dining establishments by Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club. It reaches the screen as The Riot Club, starring a braying gang of silverspoon-reared Brits. The pungency of the play has been diluted, along with its political bite, but Holliday Grainger, Max Irons and Sam Claflin are perfectly cast in the main roles. Bronson (2008) London Live, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  A gripping character study of “Britain’s most notorious long-term prisoner”, Charles Bronson (who has recently wed), whose bloody bare-knuckle brawls have seen him moved from prison to prison 120 times. Tom Hardy (who now seems to specialise in complex, muscle-bound brawlers – Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, Taboo) ramps it up with disturbing intensity to delve inside the mind of the tormented personality. Life As We Know It (2010) 5STAR, 11.00pm ★★★☆☆  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star in this shrill domestic nightmare in which they raise their orphaned godchild. Heigl once again plays a beautifully groomed control freak, while Duhamel’s Messer – a philandering man-child – repeatedly lives up to his name. When they get together, it feels like something to do with careers, contracts and romcom necessity; nothing to do with life. Thursday 30 November Pushing the boat out: Prunella Scales and Timothy West Credit: Channel 4 Great Canal Journeys Channel 4, 8.00pm When they embarked on the first series of Great Canal Journeys in 2014, it’s doubtful whether Timothy West or Prunella Scales could have foreseen its longevity, in part given the niche material and also because of Scales’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Yet here they are, heading through Portugal for the first instalment in this eighth series, never passing up the opportunity to draw comparisons between long marriages and vintage fortified wines. It is another hour of gentle insights and pure, unaffected charm.  Their journey takes them from a river port 100 miles inland through to Porto along the Rio Douro, via several vineyards and, slightly less predictably, examples of ancient rock art and Europe’s deepest lock. Throughout is evidence of why Portugal remains England’s oldest ally (Brits are heavily involved in the contemporary port industry) and, more significantly, of a relationship of a strength and mutual affection to which we can all aspire. Scales credits her husband with “opening up the world”. For West’s part, he reckons that “she likes being with me and I like being with her. That’s the best we can hope for, and very nice too.” Gabriel Tate PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge Sky Sports Main Event, 6.30pm It’s the opening day at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas, where Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is the reigning champion.  Discovering: Richard Widmark Sky Arts, 8.00pm Always more than a mere journeyman but never quite leading man material either, Richard Widmark was one of Hollywood’s most consistent talents, his work spanning classic noirs (Panic in the Streets), westerns (Two Rode Together) and thrillers (Coma). Journalists and critics assemble to pay tribute in another breezy, concise profile. The Farthest: Voyager’s Interstellar Journey: Storyville BBC Four, 8.55pm The space programme perhaps best represents the dazzling possibilities of the human brain and our capacity to imagine. This characteristically excellent and absorbing Storyville celebrates the scientific achievements of the Voyager probes through those that planned, made and continue to monitor them as they leave our solar system for interstellar space. Their enthusiasm is undiminished and infectious. GT Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm; Scotland, 11.15pm This affecting series investigates the repercussions of a German bomb that destroyed two houses in Hull. The personal traumas were of course profound, but a series of essays written by the city’s children in 1941 also unwittingly encouraged Britain’s controversial urban bombing strategies later in the war. Trump: an American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm This enthralling series concludes with the future President rediscovering his mojo thanks to the influence of a new wife and advisors, before a combination of reality television and social media open an unlikely route to the White House. Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm A fine line-up launch a new run for the hardy stand-up perennial from Hammersmith, with quickfire Gary Delaney and rising Scottish comic Larry Dean on the agenda, introduced by Sara Pascoe. The Sex Robots Are Coming Channel 4, 10.00pm Nick Sweeney’s unsettling documentary follows the creation of Harmony, a prototype sexbot, and James, a potential purchaser. What do these technological advances mean for human relationships and the ever-present issue of objectification? GT Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Film4, 7.15pm ★★★☆☆  The furiously funny, and startling originality of disaster parody Airplane! makes this sequel, which is set in the future and takes place on a lunar shuttle, stick out like a sore thumb, especially since the original team had no involvement. There are some amusing spoofs of Rocky and E.T., but the jokes tread familiar ground. Cameos come from Raymond Burr and William Shatner. Cliffhanger (1993) Universal Channel, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Get Him to the Greek (2010) Comedy Central, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  Russell Brand plays himself (very well), thinly disguised as washed-up British rocker Aldous Snow who, desperate for a career revival, is called upon for a one-night show at LA venue The Greek. Despite trying too hard to shock, Brand’s famously crude humour lends this potentially humdrum American bromance some eccentricity and makes it, at times, a raucous comedy. Friday 1 December Life Thru a Lens: Robbie Williams is one of Norton’s guests Credit: Getty The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Graham Norton remains the best chat show host on British television, even if one or two of his line-ups this season have failed to generate much in the way of sparks. (The recent edition featuring only the cast of Ken Branagh’s new Agatha Christie movie Murder on the Orient Express could have been bottled and sold as a soporific, despite all of the star names on display.) Happily that’s unlikely to be a problem here as most of his guests are blessed with some of the biggest and most-often utilised mouths in showbiz.  Elton John is on hand to promote his latest greatest hits collection, and will perhaps have plenty to say about ITV’s recent poll of the British public’s 20 favourite songs from his rather extensive back catalogue. Stephen Fry will doubtless be as mesmerising as ever as he discusses his new book on Greek mythology; and Robbie Williams might make some noise about his new album, Under the Radar Volume 2, and upcoming Heavy Entertainment tour. All in all, you have to wonder how demure actress Carey Mulligan will manage to get a word in edgeways on the subject of her terrific new Netflix film Mudbound, although we’re confident she will. Gerard O’Donovan Dark Netflix, from today “The question is not where, or who, or how…but when?” This creepy time-bending thriller, about the disappearance of two German boys over a 30-year interval, plays with the idea of how fractured relationships repeat time and again. Voyeur Netflix, from today This controversial documentary explores one of veteran US writer Gay Talese’s most sensational pieces of “literary journalism”, The Voyeur’s Motel. It told the story of how, in the Eighties, Gerald Foos opened a motel supposedly for the sole purpose of peeping on guests. But how much of the tale was made up? Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm Singer Rita Ora joins regular presenters Greg James and Dotty as guest host at the BBC’s White City studios to introduce, among others, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood. Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales   In the series’ finale Mears ends his epic journey in the ancient Walpole Forest, a vast swathe of primordial wilderness in Western Australia. He’s in search of the forest’s famed giant tingle and karri trees but the smaller denizens – such as the elusive quokka – are just as amazing. Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s pier-end café goes fully vegetarian in honour of guest Joanna Lumley, who revives the tastes of her childhood by cooking the King of Malaysia’s favourite dish. Meanwhile, the childhood friends go on the road to champion British fava beans, and Doherty designs a vertical vegetable patch – perfect for the high-rise balcony. Britain’s Greatest Bridges Channel 5, 8.00pm The series concludes with the story of the feat of engineering that is the mile-long Severn Bridge and how its designer Bill Brown revolutionised modern bridge design with its aerodynamic box girder deck. GO Truth Tellers at the BBC BBC Four, 11.00pm Friday night is music night on BBC Four, and this new archive series adds depth to its line-up by showcasing clips of the most lyrically gifted songwriters to have performed on the BBC. These include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith. GO The King’s Speech (2010) More4, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  Tom Hooper’s film about the future George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer in the nation’s hour of need won multiple Oscars, including a deserved Best Actor gong for Colin Firth. But it’s his double-act with Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue that gives the film its heart, and the double-handers between them are fraught and fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps underused as the Duchess of York. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) ITV4, 11.40pm ★★★☆☆  This is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a revenge artist who wields his razors with merry abandon in 19th-century London with the help of the deliciously sinister Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). Alan Rickman plays the deplorable Judge Turpin. Wild (2014) Channel 4, 12.10am ★★★★☆  The Pacific Crest Trail, which runs up the entire western spine of the United States, is a challenge of fabled arduousness and rugged beauty. In 1995, aged 26, Cheryl Strayed (played by a superb Reese Witherspoon) walked it, to get clearance in her head after a decade of loss and personal meltdown. Wild powerfully reveals Strayed’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on the journey. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain and Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight

Thursday 23 November Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm It’s an eye-catching idea: identify individual bombs from among the millions that rained down on Britain during the Blitz, and select four that had greater impact than any others. So much so, they might even have had beneficial effects in the long run. The bomb featured in this opener, which hit 8 Martindale Road in London’s docklands on the first night of the Blitz in September 1940, didn’t actually explode. But the evacuation it prompted set in motion a series of events that led to horrific loss of life.  Public outrage at the authorities’ ineptitude, unpreparedness and apparent callous disregard for working people, boosted by campaigning journalist Peter Ritchie Calder, eventually led to Tory MP Henry Willink being appointed to organise a better response to the Blitz. He, in turn, wrote the first draft of the postwar White Paper, proposing what would eventually become the NHS. It really is a bit of a stretch (and may even be offensive to some) to suggest that a German bomb was what effectively led to the founding of the British welfare state. But the story makes for an intriguing slice of social and political history none the less. Gerard O’Donovan She’s Gotta Have It Netflix, from today Can the feted director Spike Lee recreate, 21 years on, the magic of his scintillating 1986 romcom in this much-anticipated new series? Lee’s plotline remains the same – the story of beautiful New Yorker Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) highly entertaining efforts to decide which of her lovers she should settle down with permanently. But it is updated to reflect the mind-boggling choice of partners available to the 21st-century adventurer. As Nola confesses to one therapist: “As a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, monogamy never seemed like a remote possibility for me.”  Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight ITV, 7.30pm A fortnight since its relationship-tracking documentary Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply, ITV devotes another programme to the Royal engagement that hasn’t yet happened. Here reporter Fiona Foster considers what the rest of the Royal family think of the relationship. Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s moreish drama set in a Leeds registry office continues as Kate (Ashley Jensen) is forced to step down from her big promotion. And things go from bad to worse when Rob (Adrian Bower) turns up with worrying news about their daughter. Trump: An American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm The revealing review of the US President’s life story reaches the Nineties, with Donald Trump’s personal and business life in meltdown as his wife Ivana seeks a divorce (and a massive settlement) and his business empire teeters towards bankruptcy. John Bishop: in Conversation with Jeremy Corbyn W, 9.00pm In what is a last-minute addition to John Bishop’s intimate interview series, the Labour leader joins him for a frank discussion about his life and his politics, including his thoughts on President Trump and the Chilcott Enquiry, as well as the impact of the death of his brother. GO The Search for a Miracle Cure Channel 4, 10.00pm An emotionally charged documentary following lawyer Mark Lewis’s quest for a cure for multiple sclerosis. The degenerative disease was thought incurable but here Lewis embarks on a trial of a new stem-cell treatment that has shown remarkable results. GO Revolver (2005) 5STAR, 10.00pm ★★☆☆☆  After making the truly awful Swept Away with then-wife Madonna, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… director Guy Ritchie returns to his suit-wearing gangster roots and his favourite star, Jason Statham. It’s stylishly shot but unfortunately this Ritchie/Luc Besson-penned tale of chess, revenge, con artists and assassins is weaved into such a complex, maze-like brain-teaser that it’s virtually incomprehensible. Limitless (2011) Film4, 11.15pm ★★★☆☆  Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a writer whose former brother-in-law slips him a pill that enables him to access 100 per cent of his brain. His book is finished in four days, so he goes back for more and this time nets himself a fortune on the stock market. Neil Burger directs at breakneck pace, but afterwards you wish that Cooper’s character had used that brainpower for something more interesting than making money. Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) Sky Atlantic, 12.00midnight ★★☆☆☆  When HBO didn’t give Stephen Merchant’s sitcom a second series, he made this movie instead. It follows him in the role of Stuart, a geeky IT guy who’s looking for his soul mate in Los Angeles. When he learns that his ex-girlfriend is planning to visit, he sets out to impress her with his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, this style of cringe-making comedy has been done to death. Friday 24 November Chums: Jimmy Doherty, Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver Credit: Channel 4 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and childhood mucker Jimmy Doherty return for another series of their hyperactive meld of cookery programme, food information and celebrity chat hosted at their Southend Pier caff. This series tends to stand or fall with the visiting celebrity but luckily this week it’s Simon Pegg, who gamely enters into the spirit of things by serving customers, cooking what looks like a pretty good tagine and admitting that he’s far more food conscious in these Mission: Impossible days (Tom Cruise is apparently the devil for pushing cakes on those trying to stay in shape). Friday Night Feast feels closer in tone to the early cookery shows that made Oliver’s name and Pegg enters into the cheeky-chappy spirit, mucking around with Doherty and dropping sardonic asides. “It’s fundamentally evil but at the same time beautiful,” he remarks of Oliver’s Provençal Bake, a calorific but clearly delicious mixture of pancakes, cheese, ham and tomatoes, which causes one customer to gush, “I never want it to end.” Elsewhere, Oliver and Doherty go on the road to uncover the joys of free-range duck, and Doherty builds a barbecue for the Stoke Mandeville wheelchair rugby team. Sarah Hughes Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm BBC One’s live music show is a great idea but so far has been a bit hit and miss. Presenters Greg James and Dotty are enthusiastic but more risks are needed when booking the live acts. Craig David co-hosts this episode, and there are performances from The Killers and Anne-Marie.  Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales Ray Mears’s laid-back excursion around Australia continues in South Australia’s Flinders mountain ranges, which provides a dramatic setting for three species of kangaroos and the country’s largest bird of prey. Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The personable Stephen Mangan takes the host’s chair for this episode of the satirical news-based panel game. He’s joined by business journalist Steph McGovern and comedian Jo Caulfield.  Extreme Wives with Kate Humble BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 9.30pm Kate Humble heads to the remote town of Shillong in north-east India to meet with the matrilineal Khasi people in the fascinating final episode. The Khasi pass everything, including property, down the female line and hand power to the youngest daughter in each family. SH Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Sky Arts, 9.00pm Anyone who has read Sticky Fingers, the recent biography of Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner, will realise that this Alex Gibney series is something of a puff piece in comparison. That said, it’s still very enjoyable. The focus here is on the kidnap of Patty Hearst and the way in which the counterculture slowly became mainstream. Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices BBC Four, 10.00pm Jazz musician Gregory Porter’s outstanding series continues with a focus on crooners. All the usual suspects – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the unbeatable Nat King Cole – are present but what makes this series so exceptional is the knowledge Porter brings to his subject. This episode dissects why Sinatra was “a little too presumptuous for the croon” as well as looking at how everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie used the technique. The real pleasure, however, comes from the music. SH Collateral Beauty (2016) Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm ★★☆☆☆  The plot of David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and Allan Loeb’s (Just Go with It) film is fantastically unhinged: Will Smith is an ad-exec who has lost his daughter to cancer, and in his grief is pestered on the streets of New York by the personifications of Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren) – “the three abstractions”. Dark Shadows (2012) W, 9.00pm ★★☆☆☆  Tim Burton’s film is at its best in the opening scenes, when it can afford to be all show and no tell. It’s Johnny Depp, naturally, who plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th-century Byronic rascal who is transformed into a vampire by a jealous witch (Eva Green) and wakes up in Nixon-era small-town America. Depp and Burton’s eighth film together brought them level with De Niro and Scorsese, although in numerical terms only. Boyhood (2014) Channel 4, 12.05am ★★★★★  Richard Linklater’s real-time depiction of a boy growing up over 12 years received the biggest Oscar snub of recent years, winning only one award, for Patricia Arquette as for Best Supporting Actress. From 2002, Linklater spent a few days each year filming the same actors to chart Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) ordinary life – in what is an extraordinary, beautiful and moving string of small, everyday moments. Saturday 25 November In his words: the life of the Sixties playwright Joe Orton Credit: Hulton Archive Joe Orton Laid Bare BBC Two, 9.00pm “I realise it’s unforgivable doing this but I’m just unrepentant.” So announces a young Joe Orton in this suitably anarchic take on the playwright’s life, works and early, brutal death. It’s a sentence that entirely sums up Orton’s acidic take on life; he was a man who loved (and arguably lived) to shock and who enjoyed making people uncomfortable – “I felt snakes were writhing round my feet,” wrote one theatre critic after watching the bawdy Entertaining Mr Sloane – yet who was also possessed of enough wit, charm and intelligence to win over even the most mortally offended.  Making great use of Orton’s letters, diaries and plays – scenes from the latter acted by a cast that includes Antony Sher, Ben Miles and Jaime Winstone – the documentary does its best to pin its subject to the page with contributors including his sister Leonie, playwright Christopher Hampton and producer Michael Codron. There is (surprisingly) understanding too for the man who murdered Orton, his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who subsequently killed himself. Ultimately, however, what lingers is not the gory manner of Orton’s death but rather his wildly entertaining words. Sarah Hughes International Rugby Union: Scotland v Australia & England v Samoa  BBC One, 2.00pm & Sky Sports Main Event, 2.45pm Having fallen agonisingly close to pulling off the greatest result in their history – they lost 22-17 to New Zealand – Scotland host Australia at Murrayfield with their tails up. Meanwhile, England – who beat the Wallabies 30-6 last weekend, with Danny Care putting a sublime performance after coming off the bench – face Samoa, hoping to take Eddie Jones’s record to 22 wins from 23 as their coach. Expect Jones to ring the changes, with Henry Slade likely to be handed another opportunity at No 12 and Mike Brown returning to the side as full-back.  International Rugby Union: Wales v New Zealand  BBC Two, 4.45pm An unsuccessful three-match series in New Zealand this summer saw Wales return home still looking for a victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 1953. They have now lost 29 consecutive fixtures, 10 of which have been presided over by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland during his tenure. Wales head into this match on the back of a far-from-convincing 13-6 victory against Georgia. Granted, Gatland did put out an experimental team. Premier League Football: Liverpool v Chelsea BT Sport 1, 5.00pm Two of last Saturday’s star performers meet at Anfield in what should be a pulsating encounter. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice, while Chelsea, inspired by Eden Hazard, ran out 4-0 winners at West Brom. When these sides met in January here, Georginio Wijnaldum cancelled out David Luiz’s goal in a 1-1 draw.  Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.50pm With only three weeks left in the competition, the judges must try to separate the glitter from the paste. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are expected to make the final but it’s wide open as to who else joins them. This week, the couples can earn extra points in the “pasodoblathon”. The X Factor: The Semi Finals ITV, 7.30pm From surprise double eliminations to the extra sing-offs, this year’s X Factor has been derided for being a mess. This week, it can redeem itself as the contestants sing for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final.   Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Michael McIntyre’s attempt to single-handedly revive the variety show continues. This week, he’s joined by guests Gary Barlow, Russell Kane, Clean Bandit and Danny Dyer, who hands over his mobile phone for the Celebrity Send to All slot. Dad’s Army BBC Two, 8.30pm; not NI or Scotland  As Brexit edges nearer so Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s comedy about the Home Guard appears ever more relevant, not least because it pinpoints a certain kind of Englishness. This episode sees the bumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) pitch camp in the middle of an artillery exercise. SH Witnesses: A Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Another day, another atmospherically depressing European crime drama. But this French eight-part series, shown in double bills over the next four weeks, is really good. The Tunnel’s Marie Dompnier plays Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to a macabre case involving 15 frozen bodies on an abandoned bus. The dead men are all linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot), who disappeared three years earlier.   White Princess Drama, 9.00pm It might be hokum but this adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s bestseller is enjoyable largely thanks to the complicated relationship at its heart. The marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) is very much a dynastic contract between two people forced to find common cause. This episode sees them take steps towards that new understanding. SH Daddy Long Legs (1955) BBC Two, 2.10pm ★★★☆☆  Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron are paired for the first time in this Hollywood musical written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (parents of Nora) and loosely based on a 1912 novel. They bring charm and warmth to a story about the complications of a love affair between a young woman and a man 30 years her senior. The dance sequences are particularly striking, containing a rarity in Astaire’s choreography: a kiss. Lone Survivor (2013) Channel 4, 11.05pm ★★★☆☆  In this film based on true events, Mark Wahlberg gives a strong performance as sniper Marcus Luttrell, who, in 2005, was the head of a four-man team of Navy Seals, tasked with killing Taliban leader Ahmed Shah. An encounter with some goatherds gives the team a major moral dilemma. The film, directed by Peter Berg, is hampered by a lack of character exploration but it’s certainly action-packed. Albert Nobbs (2011) BBC Two, 11.35pm ★★★☆☆  Glenn Close toiled for 30 years to make an Albert Nobbs film after playing the part in a 1982 off-Broadway play. Close inhabits the role, of a woman disguised as a man to work as a waiter in a 19th-century hotel, with uncanny accuracy (she was rewarded with an Oscar nomination). The film reaches for something to say about sexual identity, but neither Close nor director Rodrigo García seem to know what it is. Sunday 26 November Ring of fire: Xand van Tulleken Credit: BBC Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm As is the wont of BBC documentaries about the natural world these days, the impact of humans can no longer be ignored – in fact, it’s central to the premise of this new two-parter in which geologist Chris Jackson and humanitarian doctor Xand van Tulleken journey to live volcanoes and the communities that live in their shadow.  Nyiragongo, in the Congo, last erupted in 2002, causing a mass evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, terrible loss of life and wholesale destruction of property. The pair’s expedition examines ways to predict its behaviour, especially since another eruption is almost inevitable. Van Tulleken focuses on disease prevention and healthcare, looking at how to avoid the spread of cholera that proved so catastrophic 15 years ago, while Jackson drops into the crater (the staggering camerawork and pounding soundtrack leave you in no doubt as to the potential peril of the venture) to assess the latest techniques for detecting sulphur dioxide and geological vibrations. By the end, problems have been diagnosed and solutions prescribed – it’s an admirable project whose success can only be judged, grimly, in the event of another disaster. Next week, they head to nearby Nyamuragira. Gabriel Tate Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4, noon & Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm He may have already been crowned champion but that didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton putting in a fine display in Brazil, starting in the pit lane under flawless Brazilian skies and finishing a mere five seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel. Let’s hope for a similarly exciting spectacle at the Yas Marina Circuit, as the curtain comes down on the 2017 season. Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm Every episode of this mesmerising series brings with it new wonders. This week’s venture into underwater forests, meadows and mangroves sniffs out creatures with unlikely names (the Pyjama Shark, the Garibaldi Damselfish) and even more outlandish strategies for survival. Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm It might be hard to see what Julie Walters can bring to this well-worn travelogue approach, despite all her charisma and appeal. But there is plenty to enjoy in her tour of the British Isles – tonight, she boards the “Harry Potter” train in the Highlands, guts herring and wrangles cattle. Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm Kenneth Lonergan’s restrained, affecting adaptation reachesa crunch point in relations between Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Henry (Matthew Macfadyen), driving a wedge between their two families; with the Basts approaching penury, a showdown looms. Guy Martin vs the Robocar Channel 4, 9.00pm Always up for a challenge, Guy Martin builds his own robotic Ford Transit to take on a “Roboracer” around Silverstone. But first he picks up a few tips from a “Level Five” autonomous vehicle in Budapest and Tesla’s latest models in Massachusetts. GT Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm and 10.00pm With every one of the €40 million budget up on screen, this adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Thirties-set policiers is one of the most handsome dramas of the year – and one of the most gripping. The first season reaches its climax with Lotte (Liv Lisa Fries) having a point to prove and Gereon (Volker Bruch) dealing both with ghosts from the past and chilling hints at what the future holds. Season two begins next week. Naples ’44: a Wartime Diary BBC Four, 11.00pm Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this gripping and cleverly structured Italian film, which blends archive footage, documentary and drama to tell the story of a city and its resilient citizens through the eyes of British officer Norman Lewis. Some of the imagery is powerful indeed (one sequence of cows being milked in the rubble of the city has a pungent surrealism) and the pacifist message is ultimately undeniable. GT Stalingrad (1994) History, 3.00pm ★★★☆☆  Joseph Vilsmaier’s film reconstructs the 1942 Siege of Stalingrad, in which Soviet forces successfully held back the German army. The battle proved to be a major turning point in the Second World War and claimed millions of lives – a point that the film rests on, showing the horrors of modern warfare in all its stomach-churning brutality. Dominique Horwitz and Thomas Kretschmann star as German soldiers. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) BBC Two, 6.45pm ★★★☆☆  Steve Carell has become a dab hand at making public embarrassment ridiculous and borderline tragic, and saves the day in this slight but entertaining comedy. Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), blows out a candle for his 12th birthday and initiates this fateful curse so that his family understand how it feels to have a purely maddening 24 hours. Fury (2014) Channel 5, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  David Ayer’s study of the habits and habitats of the American killer male is an astonishing drama. It’s Germany 1945, and Sgt Don “Wardaddy” Collie (Brad Pitt) and his team are grinding towards Berlin in a battered tank. There is no rescue mission, just an agonising rumble from one brush with death to the next. The set pieces are gripping, and the terror of war is blasted home. Monday 27 November Right to work: Tourette’s sufferer Ryan Credit: BBC Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm This moving series, which follows jobseekers determined to show that their disabilities shouldn’t prevent them working, returns for a new four-part run. There’s a persuasive double purpose to the programme – to highlight the disabilities themselves and to explore how those living with them fight against prejudice every day.  The opening episode showcases a wonderfully inspirational duo. We meet 52-year-old Andy, who was once the go-getting manager of a successful motorcycle business. Despite being left partially paralysed and struggling with speech after a life-threatening stroke, Andy wants to break into public speaking and motivate others with his story. Alongside him is turtle-mad Tourette’s sufferer Ryan, whose severe tics can leave him physically debilitated, but who nevertheless dreams of working with animals.  The pair’s will to succeed is humbling as they tackle longed-for job opportunities and the significant hurdles this entails. Helping them on the way is psychologist Nancy Doyle, who runs a pioneering scheme aimed at getting our hopefuls to promote their talents and for recruiters to see their considerable worth. Toby Dantzic Chinese Burn BBC Three, from 10.00am This comedy pilot, executive-produced by Ash Atalla (People Just Do Nothing), about three girls from China trying to make new lives in London is worth watching. Flatmates Elizabeth (Shin-Fei Chen), who’s chasing her dream job as a sommelier, and fiery struggling actress Jackie (Yennis Cheung) get a surprise visit from Elizabeth’s ultra-rich friend FuFu (Yuyu Rau). She’s an unwelcome guest, however, as Elizabeth hasn’t been honest with her parents.    Lost and Found Channel 4, 3.00pm Heartstrings are shamelessly tugged in this new series, which follows the sterling work of the Dogs Trust charity. The pooches featured in this episode include Ida, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that needs regular hydrotherapy, and a Labrador that has been missing for four days. Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Paul Hollywood fronts this new four-part series which combines personal anecdotes with his favourite recipes. The opening episode serves up footage of the gimlet-eyed bread expert’s original Great British Bake Off audition, along with a menu of his ultimate pizza and a Madeira celebration cake. Nigella: At My Table BBC Two, 8.30pm Here’s another eclectic selection of dishes from television’s glossiest gourmet. Her recipes include an intriguingly titled golden egg curry, and a feast of spiced lamb kofta followed by rose and pepper pavlova. Supershoppers Channel 4, 8.30pm The savvy consumer advice show returns with presenter Anna Richardson and newcomer Sabrina Grant investigating whether supermarkets’ standard own-label ranges are really any different to their cheaper value ranges. Beauty wipes and car insurance also get the once over. TD Last Men In Aleppo: Storyville BBC Four, 10.00pm This grim but absorbing documentary follows the work of the White Helmets, Syrian civilians who conduct search-and-rescue missions in the city of Aleppo. We follow a trio of volunteers that includes Khaled, who moves between scouring for missing people and searching out medicine for his malnourished daughter. The director Feras Fayyad’s stark camera style takes an unflinching approach to the horror. TD Die Another Day (2002) ITV4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond is also his least satisfying (although even Sean Connery might have struggled to look cool driving an invisible car). Dastardly Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) wants to provoke a war between the Koreas using a military satellite. Bond, aided by Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, must stop him. It’s all let down by an over-reliance on CGI, but there are some great set pieces. Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014) Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.25pm ★★★☆☆  A thundering performance by Benicio del Toro almost redeems this misjudged biopic of the Colombian crime lord. Seizing on the role with understated relish, he teeters adroitly between generous family man and murdering manipulator. What a shame, then, that he’s used so sparingly – the film renders the tyrant nothing more than a supporting character. The Road (2009) ITV4, 11.45pm ★★★☆☆  John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s exalted novel is as harrowing as its source material. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood as a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (the superb Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander the American wasteland after an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, Nick Cave’s wrenching score makes it a wholly chilling experience. Tuesday 28 November The rise of AI: robot Jess helps families with life’s challenges Credit: Channel 4 The Robot Will See You Now Channel 4, 10.00pm The Rise of the Robots season continues with this documentary exploring whether robots will ever be sophisticated enough to play the role of best friend and confidant, or even therapist, to humans. Some forms of artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are becoming more commonly involved in our home lives; cars are almost at the point where they drive themselves; and trials are afoot to test whether software can be used to perform medical and legal functions. A companionship robot has also been developed to keep astronauts’ spirits up during lengthy periods on the International Space Station. That’s all a long way from being able to substitute the life experience, and emotional, ethical and psychological support, for which we turn to friends, family, religion and counsellors. But maybe not for long.  This intriguing film focuses on a team from Manchester and Plymouth Universities racing to develop a humanoid robot called Jess, that uses AI-based analysis to offer counselling on problems to do with marriage, divorce, infidelity and other day-to-day traumas – with built-in sympathy and tissue dispenser, no doubt. Gerard O’Donovan Glitch Netflix, from today This Aussie drama about a lakeside town where the dead start coming back to life bore too great a resemblance to French chiller The Returned in its early stages, but it eventually took a different supernatural path with reasonable success. The second series kicks off with last season’s closing shock revelation still hanging in the air: Elisha (Genevieve O’Reilly), the medic who’s been helping the undead, has been one of them herself, all along. How to Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield ITV, 8.00pm This festive consumer series sees Phillip Schofield inviting celebrity guests to test and taste the “must have” food, drink and gift items of the season. This week, they look at the hottest toys of 2017 and how Father Christmas can get hold of them. The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Rebecca (Molly Wright) packs her parents off on a much-needed mini-break and drafts in Eddie (Greg McHugh) and Nicola (Vinette Robinson) to help care for seven-year-old Joe (Max Vento). Unsurprisingly, things don’t go entirely according to plan. MasterChef: The Professionals BBC Two, 9.00pm The standard has been unusually high this year and this week’s six nervous new candidates prove especially inventive in the signature round and a challenge to come up with a new take on flavoursome, filled pasta with an accompanying sauce. Grand Designs: House of the Year Channel 4, 9.00pm Which of the shortlisted super-dwellings will win the Riba prize for 2017’s House of the Year? Kevin McCloud can only announce the winner once the last two finalists have been chosen – from the predictably stunning nominees in the Minimalist and Modern category. GO Passions: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor by Chi-Chi Nwanoku Sky Arts, 9.00pm Bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku is the founder of Europe’s first black and ethnic minority classical orchestra. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the poet (that’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge, silly) she chooses as her hero but the similarly named mixed-race British composer born 100 years later, in a film praising black musicians who’ve overcome prejudice to succeed in the conservative world of classical music. GO Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Sky Cinema Superheroes, 5.50pm ★★★☆☆   Tim Burton’s Edwardian fairy tale, based on the first Miss Peregrine book by Ransom Riggs – feels oddly conventional. Adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), it’s a tale of an insular Florida lad, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), who visits an orphanage that figured in tales spun by his grandfather (Terence Stamp). Mars Attacks! (1996) ITV4, 10.50pm ★★★★☆  It may not be director Tim Burton’s best film but this surreal sci-fi comedy is still fun. The glitzy cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker, put on their best camp performances to fight seemingly peaceful Martians, who in fact want to destroy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all in the name of a good time. It’s a loving parody of Fifties’ science-fiction cinema. Runaway Train (1985) Movies4Men, 10.50pm ★★★☆☆  Jon Voight and Eric Roberts (both Oscar-nominated) star as a pair of convicts, whose dash for freedom from an Alaskan prison takes an unexpected turn when they find themselves on an out-of-control train. The officers on their heels are caught between stopping it and reclaiming the criminals. It’s all a bit ridiculous, but Voight brings an appealing manic energy to a fun premise. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars. Wednesday 29 November Ferrying around: those who work on the busy English Channel Credit: Channel 4 The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm Drunk passengers, frazzled families, fundraisers swimming in testing conditions, enormous ships trying to squeeze through a narrow body of water: it’s all in a day’s workfor those who police the waters of the English Channel, as this new documentary series makes clear.  Filmed last summer and with a heavy focus on the many changes that Brexit may bring to the Channel crossing, this opening episode concentrates largely on life on the ferries. “We’re already down on passengers and spending from last year,” notes one employee, pointing out that the collapse of the pound against the euro means that holidaymakers are less inclined to splash their cash. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we also follow a determined single mother who plans to swim the Channel to raise money and awareness of sickle cell disease, which both her sons have. Elsewhere, there are interesting statistics about the sheer numbers making the crossing – up to 400 ships passing through the 21-mile-wide Dover Strait each day – and captain Mark Miller and his crew have to deal with both a paralytic passenger and the tour company who intend to leave him behind. Sarah Hughes The Marvellous Mrs Maisel Amazon Prime Video, from today Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino returns with this effervescent tale set in Fifties New York. Our heroine is Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). On the surface she’s the perfect Jewish American Princess but underneath beats the soul of an acid-tongued comedian. Sherman-Palladino is clearly playing homage to the trailblazing likes of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller but her story still feels fresh thanks to a sharp script and Brosnahan’s wonderful timing. Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry continues her trawl through some of the UK’s grandest country houses. This week she’s in Scotland helping the inhabitants of Scone Palace, Lord and Lady Mansfield, prepare for dinner and a ceilidh while fitting in a bit of deer stalking and salmon fishing on the side.  Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm Steven Knight’s gangster drama is firing on all cylinders this series and never more so than in a tight, tense third episode which sees Polly (Helen McCrory) re-join the company and Arthur (the excellent Paul Anderson) wrestle with both his guilt and his God following John’s death.    Digging for Britain BBC Four, 9.00pm “Archaeology is adding flesh to the bare bones of people” announces Professor Alice Roberts as the second part of this series digging deep into Britain’s past heads to Kent. There we spend time following the excavation of the wreck of East India Company ship, the Rooswijk, before uncovering early evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in the shape of an ancient fort. SH Wallis: The Queen That Never Was Channel 5, 9.00pm Georgina Rich is the latest actress to play Wallis Simpson in this meld of drama and documentary. It’s not a format that ever works particularly well but, beyond the enactments, a complex portrait of the Duchess of Windsor emerges and one which sheds fresh light on the true nature of her marriages.   How to Build a Robot Channel 4, 10.35pm David Tennant narrates this entertaining documentary focusing on Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran. McGoran’s aim is to invent a robot that can truly interact with humans. SH The Riot Club (2014) Film4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Laura Wade’s 2010 play, Posh, dealt with a still-reported habit of trashing dining establishments by Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club. It reaches the screen as The Riot Club, starring a braying gang of silverspoon-reared Brits. The pungency of the play has been diluted, along with its political bite, but Holliday Grainger, Max Irons and Sam Claflin are perfectly cast in the main roles. Bronson (2008) London Live, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  A gripping character study of “Britain’s most notorious long-term prisoner”, Charles Bronson (who has recently wed), whose bloody bare-knuckle brawls have seen him moved from prison to prison 120 times. Tom Hardy (who now seems to specialise in complex, muscle-bound brawlers – Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, Taboo) ramps it up with disturbing intensity to delve inside the mind of the tormented personality. Life As We Know It (2010) 5STAR, 11.00pm ★★★☆☆  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star in this shrill domestic nightmare in which they raise their orphaned godchild. Heigl once again plays a beautifully groomed control freak, while Duhamel’s Messer – a philandering man-child – repeatedly lives up to his name. When they get together, it feels like something to do with careers, contracts and romcom necessity; nothing to do with life. Thursday 30 November Pushing the boat out: Prunella Scales and Timothy West Credit: Channel 4 Great Canal Journeys Channel 4, 8.00pm When they embarked on the first series of Great Canal Journeys in 2014, it’s doubtful whether Timothy West or Prunella Scales could have foreseen its longevity, in part given the niche material and also because of Scales’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Yet here they are, heading through Portugal for the first instalment in this eighth series, never passing up the opportunity to draw comparisons between long marriages and vintage fortified wines. It is another hour of gentle insights and pure, unaffected charm.  Their journey takes them from a river port 100 miles inland through to Porto along the Rio Douro, via several vineyards and, slightly less predictably, examples of ancient rock art and Europe’s deepest lock. Throughout is evidence of why Portugal remains England’s oldest ally (Brits are heavily involved in the contemporary port industry) and, more significantly, of a relationship of a strength and mutual affection to which we can all aspire. Scales credits her husband with “opening up the world”. For West’s part, he reckons that “she likes being with me and I like being with her. That’s the best we can hope for, and very nice too.” Gabriel Tate PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge Sky Sports Main Event, 6.30pm It’s the opening day at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas, where Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is the reigning champion.  Discovering: Richard Widmark Sky Arts, 8.00pm Always more than a mere journeyman but never quite leading man material either, Richard Widmark was one of Hollywood’s most consistent talents, his work spanning classic noirs (Panic in the Streets), westerns (Two Rode Together) and thrillers (Coma). Journalists and critics assemble to pay tribute in another breezy, concise profile. The Farthest: Voyager’s Interstellar Journey: Storyville BBC Four, 8.55pm The space programme perhaps best represents the dazzling possibilities of the human brain and our capacity to imagine. This characteristically excellent and absorbing Storyville celebrates the scientific achievements of the Voyager probes through those that planned, made and continue to monitor them as they leave our solar system for interstellar space. Their enthusiasm is undiminished and infectious. GT Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm; Scotland, 11.15pm This affecting series investigates the repercussions of a German bomb that destroyed two houses in Hull. The personal traumas were of course profound, but a series of essays written by the city’s children in 1941 also unwittingly encouraged Britain’s controversial urban bombing strategies later in the war. Trump: an American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm This enthralling series concludes with the future President rediscovering his mojo thanks to the influence of a new wife and advisors, before a combination of reality television and social media open an unlikely route to the White House. Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm A fine line-up launch a new run for the hardy stand-up perennial from Hammersmith, with quickfire Gary Delaney and rising Scottish comic Larry Dean on the agenda, introduced by Sara Pascoe. The Sex Robots Are Coming Channel 4, 10.00pm Nick Sweeney’s unsettling documentary follows the creation of Harmony, a prototype sexbot, and James, a potential purchaser. What do these technological advances mean for human relationships and the ever-present issue of objectification? GT Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Film4, 7.15pm ★★★☆☆  The furiously funny, and startling originality of disaster parody Airplane! makes this sequel, which is set in the future and takes place on a lunar shuttle, stick out like a sore thumb, especially since the original team had no involvement. There are some amusing spoofs of Rocky and E.T., but the jokes tread familiar ground. Cameos come from Raymond Burr and William Shatner. Cliffhanger (1993) Universal Channel, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Get Him to the Greek (2010) Comedy Central, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  Russell Brand plays himself (very well), thinly disguised as washed-up British rocker Aldous Snow who, desperate for a career revival, is called upon for a one-night show at LA venue The Greek. Despite trying too hard to shock, Brand’s famously crude humour lends this potentially humdrum American bromance some eccentricity and makes it, at times, a raucous comedy. Friday 1 December Life Thru a Lens: Robbie Williams is one of Norton’s guests Credit: Getty The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Graham Norton remains the best chat show host on British television, even if one or two of his line-ups this season have failed to generate much in the way of sparks. (The recent edition featuring only the cast of Ken Branagh’s new Agatha Christie movie Murder on the Orient Express could have been bottled and sold as a soporific, despite all of the star names on display.) Happily that’s unlikely to be a problem here as most of his guests are blessed with some of the biggest and most-often utilised mouths in showbiz.  Elton John is on hand to promote his latest greatest hits collection, and will perhaps have plenty to say about ITV’s recent poll of the British public’s 20 favourite songs from his rather extensive back catalogue. Stephen Fry will doubtless be as mesmerising as ever as he discusses his new book on Greek mythology; and Robbie Williams might make some noise about his new album, Under the Radar Volume 2, and upcoming Heavy Entertainment tour. All in all, you have to wonder how demure actress Carey Mulligan will manage to get a word in edgeways on the subject of her terrific new Netflix film Mudbound, although we’re confident she will. Gerard O’Donovan Dark Netflix, from today “The question is not where, or who, or how…but when?” This creepy time-bending thriller, about the disappearance of two German boys over a 30-year interval, plays with the idea of how fractured relationships repeat time and again. Voyeur Netflix, from today This controversial documentary explores one of veteran US writer Gay Talese’s most sensational pieces of “literary journalism”, The Voyeur’s Motel. It told the story of how, in the Eighties, Gerald Foos opened a motel supposedly for the sole purpose of peeping on guests. But how much of the tale was made up? Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm Singer Rita Ora joins regular presenters Greg James and Dotty as guest host at the BBC’s White City studios to introduce, among others, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood. Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales   In the series’ finale Mears ends his epic journey in the ancient Walpole Forest, a vast swathe of primordial wilderness in Western Australia. He’s in search of the forest’s famed giant tingle and karri trees but the smaller denizens – such as the elusive quokka – are just as amazing. Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s pier-end café goes fully vegetarian in honour of guest Joanna Lumley, who revives the tastes of her childhood by cooking the King of Malaysia’s favourite dish. Meanwhile, the childhood friends go on the road to champion British fava beans, and Doherty designs a vertical vegetable patch – perfect for the high-rise balcony. Britain’s Greatest Bridges Channel 5, 8.00pm The series concludes with the story of the feat of engineering that is the mile-long Severn Bridge and how its designer Bill Brown revolutionised modern bridge design with its aerodynamic box girder deck. GO Truth Tellers at the BBC BBC Four, 11.00pm Friday night is music night on BBC Four, and this new archive series adds depth to its line-up by showcasing clips of the most lyrically gifted songwriters to have performed on the BBC. These include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith. GO The King’s Speech (2010) More4, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  Tom Hooper’s film about the future George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer in the nation’s hour of need won multiple Oscars, including a deserved Best Actor gong for Colin Firth. But it’s his double-act with Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue that gives the film its heart, and the double-handers between them are fraught and fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps underused as the Duchess of York. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) ITV4, 11.40pm ★★★☆☆  This is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a revenge artist who wields his razors with merry abandon in 19th-century London with the help of the deliciously sinister Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). Alan Rickman plays the deplorable Judge Turpin. Wild (2014) Channel 4, 12.10am ★★★★☆  The Pacific Crest Trail, which runs up the entire western spine of the United States, is a challenge of fabled arduousness and rugged beauty. In 1995, aged 26, Cheryl Strayed (played by a superb Reese Witherspoon) walked it, to get clearance in her head after a decade of loss and personal meltdown. Wild powerfully reveals Strayed’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on the journey. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain and Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight

Thursday 23 November Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm It’s an eye-catching idea: identify individual bombs from among the millions that rained down on Britain during the Blitz, and select four that had greater impact than any others. So much so, they might even have had beneficial effects in the long run. The bomb featured in this opener, which hit 8 Martindale Road in London’s docklands on the first night of the Blitz in September 1940, didn’t actually explode. But the evacuation it prompted set in motion a series of events that led to horrific loss of life.  Public outrage at the authorities’ ineptitude, unpreparedness and apparent callous disregard for working people, boosted by campaigning journalist Peter Ritchie Calder, eventually led to Tory MP Henry Willink being appointed to organise a better response to the Blitz. He, in turn, wrote the first draft of the postwar White Paper, proposing what would eventually become the NHS. It really is a bit of a stretch (and may even be offensive to some) to suggest that a German bomb was what effectively led to the founding of the British welfare state. But the story makes for an intriguing slice of social and political history none the less. Gerard O’Donovan She’s Gotta Have It Netflix, from today Can the feted director Spike Lee recreate, 21 years on, the magic of his scintillating 1986 romcom in this much-anticipated new series? Lee’s plotline remains the same – the story of beautiful New Yorker Nola Darling’s (DeWanda Wise) highly entertaining efforts to decide which of her lovers she should settle down with permanently. But it is updated to reflect the mind-boggling choice of partners available to the 21st-century adventurer. As Nola confesses to one therapist: “As a sex-positive polyamorous pansexual, monogamy never seemed like a remote possibility for me.”  Harry and Meghan: A Royal Revolution? Tonight ITV, 7.30pm A fortnight since its relationship-tracking documentary Harry and Meghan: Truly, Madly, Deeply, ITV devotes another programme to the Royal engagement that hasn’t yet happened. Here reporter Fiona Foster considers what the rest of the Royal family think of the relationship. Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s moreish drama set in a Leeds registry office continues as Kate (Ashley Jensen) is forced to step down from her big promotion. And things go from bad to worse when Rob (Adrian Bower) turns up with worrying news about their daughter. Trump: An American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm The revealing review of the US President’s life story reaches the Nineties, with Donald Trump’s personal and business life in meltdown as his wife Ivana seeks a divorce (and a massive settlement) and his business empire teeters towards bankruptcy. John Bishop: in Conversation with Jeremy Corbyn W, 9.00pm In what is a last-minute addition to John Bishop’s intimate interview series, the Labour leader joins him for a frank discussion about his life and his politics, including his thoughts on President Trump and the Chilcott Enquiry, as well as the impact of the death of his brother. GO The Search for a Miracle Cure Channel 4, 10.00pm An emotionally charged documentary following lawyer Mark Lewis’s quest for a cure for multiple sclerosis. The degenerative disease was thought incurable but here Lewis embarks on a trial of a new stem-cell treatment that has shown remarkable results. GO Revolver (2005) 5STAR, 10.00pm ★★☆☆☆  After making the truly awful Swept Away with then-wife Madonna, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels… director Guy Ritchie returns to his suit-wearing gangster roots and his favourite star, Jason Statham. It’s stylishly shot but unfortunately this Ritchie/Luc Besson-penned tale of chess, revenge, con artists and assassins is weaved into such a complex, maze-like brain-teaser that it’s virtually incomprehensible. Limitless (2011) Film4, 11.15pm ★★★☆☆  Bradley Cooper stars in this thriller about a writer whose former brother-in-law slips him a pill that enables him to access 100 per cent of his brain. His book is finished in four days, so he goes back for more and this time nets himself a fortune on the stock market. Neil Burger directs at breakneck pace, but afterwards you wish that Cooper’s character had used that brainpower for something more interesting than making money. Hello Ladies: The Movie (2014) Sky Atlantic, 12.00midnight ★★☆☆☆  When HBO didn’t give Stephen Merchant’s sitcom a second series, he made this movie instead. It follows him in the role of Stuart, a geeky IT guy who’s looking for his soul mate in Los Angeles. When he learns that his ex-girlfriend is planning to visit, he sets out to impress her with his new lifestyle. Unfortunately, this style of cringe-making comedy has been done to death. Friday 24 November Chums: Jimmy Doherty, Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver Credit: Channel 4 Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and childhood mucker Jimmy Doherty return for another series of their hyperactive meld of cookery programme, food information and celebrity chat hosted at their Southend Pier caff. This series tends to stand or fall with the visiting celebrity but luckily this week it’s Simon Pegg, who gamely enters into the spirit of things by serving customers, cooking what looks like a pretty good tagine and admitting that he’s far more food conscious in these Mission: Impossible days (Tom Cruise is apparently the devil for pushing cakes on those trying to stay in shape). Friday Night Feast feels closer in tone to the early cookery shows that made Oliver’s name and Pegg enters into the cheeky-chappy spirit, mucking around with Doherty and dropping sardonic asides. “It’s fundamentally evil but at the same time beautiful,” he remarks of Oliver’s Provençal Bake, a calorific but clearly delicious mixture of pancakes, cheese, ham and tomatoes, which causes one customer to gush, “I never want it to end.” Elsewhere, Oliver and Doherty go on the road to uncover the joys of free-range duck, and Doherty builds a barbecue for the Stoke Mandeville wheelchair rugby team. Sarah Hughes Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm BBC One’s live music show is a great idea but so far has been a bit hit and miss. Presenters Greg James and Dotty are enthusiastic but more risks are needed when booking the live acts. Craig David co-hosts this episode, and there are performances from The Killers and Anne-Marie.  Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales Ray Mears’s laid-back excursion around Australia continues in South Australia’s Flinders mountain ranges, which provides a dramatic setting for three species of kangaroos and the country’s largest bird of prey. Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The personable Stephen Mangan takes the host’s chair for this episode of the satirical news-based panel game. He’s joined by business journalist Steph McGovern and comedian Jo Caulfield.  Extreme Wives with Kate Humble BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 9.30pm Kate Humble heads to the remote town of Shillong in north-east India to meet with the matrilineal Khasi people in the fascinating final episode. The Khasi pass everything, including property, down the female line and hand power to the youngest daughter in each family. SH Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Sky Arts, 9.00pm Anyone who has read Sticky Fingers, the recent biography of Rolling Stone supremo Jann Wenner, will realise that this Alex Gibney series is something of a puff piece in comparison. That said, it’s still very enjoyable. The focus here is on the kidnap of Patty Hearst and the way in which the counterculture slowly became mainstream. Gregory Porter’s Popular Voices BBC Four, 10.00pm Jazz musician Gregory Porter’s outstanding series continues with a focus on crooners. All the usual suspects – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the unbeatable Nat King Cole – are present but what makes this series so exceptional is the knowledge Porter brings to his subject. This episode dissects why Sinatra was “a little too presumptuous for the croon” as well as looking at how everyone from Iggy Pop to David Bowie used the technique. The real pleasure, however, comes from the music. SH Collateral Beauty (2016) Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm ★★☆☆☆  The plot of David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and Allan Loeb’s (Just Go with It) film is fantastically unhinged: Will Smith is an ad-exec who has lost his daughter to cancer, and in his grief is pestered on the streets of New York by the personifications of Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren) – “the three abstractions”. Dark Shadows (2012) W, 9.00pm ★★☆☆☆  Tim Burton’s film is at its best in the opening scenes, when it can afford to be all show and no tell. It’s Johnny Depp, naturally, who plays Barnabas Collins, an 18th-century Byronic rascal who is transformed into a vampire by a jealous witch (Eva Green) and wakes up in Nixon-era small-town America. Depp and Burton’s eighth film together brought them level with De Niro and Scorsese, although in numerical terms only. Boyhood (2014) Channel 4, 12.05am ★★★★★  Richard Linklater’s real-time depiction of a boy growing up over 12 years received the biggest Oscar snub of recent years, winning only one award, for Patricia Arquette as for Best Supporting Actress. From 2002, Linklater spent a few days each year filming the same actors to chart Mason’s (Ellar Coltrane) ordinary life – in what is an extraordinary, beautiful and moving string of small, everyday moments. Saturday 25 November In his words: the life of the Sixties playwright Joe Orton Credit: Hulton Archive Joe Orton Laid Bare BBC Two, 9.00pm “I realise it’s unforgivable doing this but I’m just unrepentant.” So announces a young Joe Orton in this suitably anarchic take on the playwright’s life, works and early, brutal death. It’s a sentence that entirely sums up Orton’s acidic take on life; he was a man who loved (and arguably lived) to shock and who enjoyed making people uncomfortable – “I felt snakes were writhing round my feet,” wrote one theatre critic after watching the bawdy Entertaining Mr Sloane – yet who was also possessed of enough wit, charm and intelligence to win over even the most mortally offended.  Making great use of Orton’s letters, diaries and plays – scenes from the latter acted by a cast that includes Antony Sher, Ben Miles and Jaime Winstone – the documentary does its best to pin its subject to the page with contributors including his sister Leonie, playwright Christopher Hampton and producer Michael Codron. There is (surprisingly) understanding too for the man who murdered Orton, his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who subsequently killed himself. Ultimately, however, what lingers is not the gory manner of Orton’s death but rather his wildly entertaining words. Sarah Hughes International Rugby Union: Scotland v Australia & England v Samoa  BBC One, 2.00pm & Sky Sports Main Event, 2.45pm Having fallen agonisingly close to pulling off the greatest result in their history – they lost 22-17 to New Zealand – Scotland host Australia at Murrayfield with their tails up. Meanwhile, England – who beat the Wallabies 30-6 last weekend, with Danny Care putting a sublime performance after coming off the bench – face Samoa, hoping to take Eddie Jones’s record to 22 wins from 23 as their coach. Expect Jones to ring the changes, with Henry Slade likely to be handed another opportunity at No 12 and Mike Brown returning to the side as full-back.  International Rugby Union: Wales v New Zealand  BBC Two, 4.45pm An unsuccessful three-match series in New Zealand this summer saw Wales return home still looking for a victory over the All Blacks for the first time since 1953. They have now lost 29 consecutive fixtures, 10 of which have been presided over by New Zealand coach Warren Gatland during his tenure. Wales head into this match on the back of a far-from-convincing 13-6 victory against Georgia. Granted, Gatland did put out an experimental team. Premier League Football: Liverpool v Chelsea BT Sport 1, 5.00pm Two of last Saturday’s star performers meet at Anfield in what should be a pulsating encounter. Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0, with Mohamed Salah scoring twice, while Chelsea, inspired by Eden Hazard, ran out 4-0 winners at West Brom. When these sides met in January here, Georginio Wijnaldum cancelled out David Luiz’s goal in a 1-1 draw.  Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.50pm With only three weeks left in the competition, the judges must try to separate the glitter from the paste. Alexandra Burke and Debbie McGee are expected to make the final but it’s wide open as to who else joins them. This week, the couples can earn extra points in the “pasodoblathon”. The X Factor: The Semi Finals ITV, 7.30pm From surprise double eliminations to the extra sing-offs, this year’s X Factor has been derided for being a mess. This week, it can redeem itself as the contestants sing for a place in next weekend’s Grand Final.   Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Michael McIntyre’s attempt to single-handedly revive the variety show continues. This week, he’s joined by guests Gary Barlow, Russell Kane, Clean Bandit and Danny Dyer, who hands over his mobile phone for the Celebrity Send to All slot. Dad’s Army BBC Two, 8.30pm; not NI or Scotland  As Brexit edges nearer so Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s comedy about the Home Guard appears ever more relevant, not least because it pinpoints a certain kind of Englishness. This episode sees the bumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) pitch camp in the middle of an artillery exercise. SH Witnesses: A Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Another day, another atmospherically depressing European crime drama. But this French eight-part series, shown in double bills over the next four weeks, is really good. The Tunnel’s Marie Dompnier plays Lieutenant Sandra Winckler, who is assigned to a macabre case involving 15 frozen bodies on an abandoned bus. The dead men are all linked to one woman, Catherine Keemer (Audrey Fleurot), who disappeared three years earlier.   White Princess Drama, 9.00pm It might be hokum but this adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s bestseller is enjoyable largely thanks to the complicated relationship at its heart. The marriage between Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) is very much a dynastic contract between two people forced to find common cause. This episode sees them take steps towards that new understanding. SH Daddy Long Legs (1955) BBC Two, 2.10pm ★★★☆☆  Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron are paired for the first time in this Hollywood musical written by Phoebe and Henry Ephron (parents of Nora) and loosely based on a 1912 novel. They bring charm and warmth to a story about the complications of a love affair between a young woman and a man 30 years her senior. The dance sequences are particularly striking, containing a rarity in Astaire’s choreography: a kiss. Lone Survivor (2013) Channel 4, 11.05pm ★★★☆☆  In this film based on true events, Mark Wahlberg gives a strong performance as sniper Marcus Luttrell, who, in 2005, was the head of a four-man team of Navy Seals, tasked with killing Taliban leader Ahmed Shah. An encounter with some goatherds gives the team a major moral dilemma. The film, directed by Peter Berg, is hampered by a lack of character exploration but it’s certainly action-packed. Albert Nobbs (2011) BBC Two, 11.35pm ★★★☆☆  Glenn Close toiled for 30 years to make an Albert Nobbs film after playing the part in a 1982 off-Broadway play. Close inhabits the role, of a woman disguised as a man to work as a waiter in a 19th-century hotel, with uncanny accuracy (she was rewarded with an Oscar nomination). The film reaches for something to say about sexual identity, but neither Close nor director Rodrigo García seem to know what it is. Sunday 26 November Ring of fire: Xand van Tulleken Credit: BBC Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm As is the wont of BBC documentaries about the natural world these days, the impact of humans can no longer be ignored – in fact, it’s central to the premise of this new two-parter in which geologist Chris Jackson and humanitarian doctor Xand van Tulleken journey to live volcanoes and the communities that live in their shadow.  Nyiragongo, in the Congo, last erupted in 2002, causing a mass evacuation of the nearby city of Goma, terrible loss of life and wholesale destruction of property. The pair’s expedition examines ways to predict its behaviour, especially since another eruption is almost inevitable. Van Tulleken focuses on disease prevention and healthcare, looking at how to avoid the spread of cholera that proved so catastrophic 15 years ago, while Jackson drops into the crater (the staggering camerawork and pounding soundtrack leave you in no doubt as to the potential peril of the venture) to assess the latest techniques for detecting sulphur dioxide and geological vibrations. By the end, problems have been diagnosed and solutions prescribed – it’s an admirable project whose success can only be judged, grimly, in the event of another disaster. Next week, they head to nearby Nyamuragira. Gabriel Tate Formula 1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Channel 4, noon & Sky Sports F1, 12.30pm He may have already been crowned champion but that didn’t stop Lewis Hamilton putting in a fine display in Brazil, starting in the pit lane under flawless Brazilian skies and finishing a mere five seconds adrift of winner Sebastian Vettel. Let’s hope for a similarly exciting spectacle at the Yas Marina Circuit, as the curtain comes down on the 2017 season. Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm Every episode of this mesmerising series brings with it new wonders. This week’s venture into underwater forests, meadows and mangroves sniffs out creatures with unlikely names (the Pyjama Shark, the Garibaldi Damselfish) and even more outlandish strategies for survival. Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm It might be hard to see what Julie Walters can bring to this well-worn travelogue approach, despite all her charisma and appeal. But there is plenty to enjoy in her tour of the British Isles – tonight, she boards the “Harry Potter” train in the Highlands, guts herring and wrangles cattle. Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm Kenneth Lonergan’s restrained, affecting adaptation reachesa crunch point in relations between Margaret (Hayley Atwell) and Henry (Matthew Macfadyen), driving a wedge between their two families; with the Basts approaching penury, a showdown looms. Guy Martin vs the Robocar Channel 4, 9.00pm Always up for a challenge, Guy Martin builds his own robotic Ford Transit to take on a “Roboracer” around Silverstone. But first he picks up a few tips from a “Level Five” autonomous vehicle in Budapest and Tesla’s latest models in Massachusetts. GT Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm and 10.00pm With every one of the €40 million budget up on screen, this adaptation of Volker Kutscher’s Thirties-set policiers is one of the most handsome dramas of the year – and one of the most gripping. The first season reaches its climax with Lotte (Liv Lisa Fries) having a point to prove and Gereon (Volker Bruch) dealing both with ghosts from the past and chilling hints at what the future holds. Season two begins next week. Naples ’44: a Wartime Diary BBC Four, 11.00pm Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this gripping and cleverly structured Italian film, which blends archive footage, documentary and drama to tell the story of a city and its resilient citizens through the eyes of British officer Norman Lewis. Some of the imagery is powerful indeed (one sequence of cows being milked in the rubble of the city has a pungent surrealism) and the pacifist message is ultimately undeniable. GT Stalingrad (1994) History, 3.00pm ★★★☆☆  Joseph Vilsmaier’s film reconstructs the 1942 Siege of Stalingrad, in which Soviet forces successfully held back the German army. The battle proved to be a major turning point in the Second World War and claimed millions of lives – a point that the film rests on, showing the horrors of modern warfare in all its stomach-churning brutality. Dominique Horwitz and Thomas Kretschmann star as German soldiers. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014) BBC Two, 6.45pm ★★★☆☆  Steve Carell has become a dab hand at making public embarrassment ridiculous and borderline tragic, and saves the day in this slight but entertaining comedy. Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), blows out a candle for his 12th birthday and initiates this fateful curse so that his family understand how it feels to have a purely maddening 24 hours. Fury (2014) Channel 5, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  David Ayer’s study of the habits and habitats of the American killer male is an astonishing drama. It’s Germany 1945, and Sgt Don “Wardaddy” Collie (Brad Pitt) and his team are grinding towards Berlin in a battered tank. There is no rescue mission, just an agonising rumble from one brush with death to the next. The set pieces are gripping, and the terror of war is blasted home. Monday 27 November Right to work: Tourette’s sufferer Ryan Credit: BBC Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm This moving series, which follows jobseekers determined to show that their disabilities shouldn’t prevent them working, returns for a new four-part run. There’s a persuasive double purpose to the programme – to highlight the disabilities themselves and to explore how those living with them fight against prejudice every day.  The opening episode showcases a wonderfully inspirational duo. We meet 52-year-old Andy, who was once the go-getting manager of a successful motorcycle business. Despite being left partially paralysed and struggling with speech after a life-threatening stroke, Andy wants to break into public speaking and motivate others with his story. Alongside him is turtle-mad Tourette’s sufferer Ryan, whose severe tics can leave him physically debilitated, but who nevertheless dreams of working with animals.  The pair’s will to succeed is humbling as they tackle longed-for job opportunities and the significant hurdles this entails. Helping them on the way is psychologist Nancy Doyle, who runs a pioneering scheme aimed at getting our hopefuls to promote their talents and for recruiters to see their considerable worth. Toby Dantzic Chinese Burn BBC Three, from 10.00am This comedy pilot, executive-produced by Ash Atalla (People Just Do Nothing), about three girls from China trying to make new lives in London is worth watching. Flatmates Elizabeth (Shin-Fei Chen), who’s chasing her dream job as a sommelier, and fiery struggling actress Jackie (Yennis Cheung) get a surprise visit from Elizabeth’s ultra-rich friend FuFu (Yuyu Rau). She’s an unwelcome guest, however, as Elizabeth hasn’t been honest with her parents.    Lost and Found Channel 4, 3.00pm Heartstrings are shamelessly tugged in this new series, which follows the sterling work of the Dogs Trust charity. The pooches featured in this episode include Ida, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that needs regular hydrotherapy, and a Labrador that has been missing for four days. Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Paul Hollywood fronts this new four-part series which combines personal anecdotes with his favourite recipes. The opening episode serves up footage of the gimlet-eyed bread expert’s original Great British Bake Off audition, along with a menu of his ultimate pizza and a Madeira celebration cake. Nigella: At My Table BBC Two, 8.30pm Here’s another eclectic selection of dishes from television’s glossiest gourmet. Her recipes include an intriguingly titled golden egg curry, and a feast of spiced lamb kofta followed by rose and pepper pavlova. Supershoppers Channel 4, 8.30pm The savvy consumer advice show returns with presenter Anna Richardson and newcomer Sabrina Grant investigating whether supermarkets’ standard own-label ranges are really any different to their cheaper value ranges. Beauty wipes and car insurance also get the once over. TD Last Men In Aleppo: Storyville BBC Four, 10.00pm This grim but absorbing documentary follows the work of the White Helmets, Syrian civilians who conduct search-and-rescue missions in the city of Aleppo. We follow a trio of volunteers that includes Khaled, who moves between scouring for missing people and searching out medicine for his malnourished daughter. The director Feras Fayyad’s stark camera style takes an unflinching approach to the horror. TD Die Another Day (2002) ITV4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Pierce Brosnan’s last outing as James Bond is also his least satisfying (although even Sean Connery might have struggled to look cool driving an invisible car). Dastardly Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) wants to provoke a war between the Koreas using a military satellite. Bond, aided by Halle Berry and Rosamund Pike, must stop him. It’s all let down by an over-reliance on CGI, but there are some great set pieces. Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014) Sky Cinema Premiere, 11.25pm ★★★☆☆  A thundering performance by Benicio del Toro almost redeems this misjudged biopic of the Colombian crime lord. Seizing on the role with understated relish, he teeters adroitly between generous family man and murdering manipulator. What a shame, then, that he’s used so sparingly – the film renders the tyrant nothing more than a supporting character. The Road (2009) ITV4, 11.45pm ★★★☆☆  John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s exalted novel is as harrowing as its source material. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood as a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (the superb Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander the American wasteland after an ecological disaster. Meanwhile, Nick Cave’s wrenching score makes it a wholly chilling experience. Tuesday 28 November The rise of AI: robot Jess helps families with life’s challenges Credit: Channel 4 The Robot Will See You Now Channel 4, 10.00pm The Rise of the Robots season continues with this documentary exploring whether robots will ever be sophisticated enough to play the role of best friend and confidant, or even therapist, to humans. Some forms of artificial intelligence, such as Amazon’s Alexa, are becoming more commonly involved in our home lives; cars are almost at the point where they drive themselves; and trials are afoot to test whether software can be used to perform medical and legal functions. A companionship robot has also been developed to keep astronauts’ spirits up during lengthy periods on the International Space Station. That’s all a long way from being able to substitute the life experience, and emotional, ethical and psychological support, for which we turn to friends, family, religion and counsellors. But maybe not for long.  This intriguing film focuses on a team from Manchester and Plymouth Universities racing to develop a humanoid robot called Jess, that uses AI-based analysis to offer counselling on problems to do with marriage, divorce, infidelity and other day-to-day traumas – with built-in sympathy and tissue dispenser, no doubt. Gerard O’Donovan Glitch Netflix, from today This Aussie drama about a lakeside town where the dead start coming back to life bore too great a resemblance to French chiller The Returned in its early stages, but it eventually took a different supernatural path with reasonable success. The second series kicks off with last season’s closing shock revelation still hanging in the air: Elisha (Genevieve O’Reilly), the medic who’s been helping the undead, has been one of them herself, all along. How to Spend It Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield ITV, 8.00pm This festive consumer series sees Phillip Schofield inviting celebrity guests to test and taste the “must have” food, drink and gift items of the season. This week, they look at the hottest toys of 2017 and how Father Christmas can get hold of them. The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Rebecca (Molly Wright) packs her parents off on a much-needed mini-break and drafts in Eddie (Greg McHugh) and Nicola (Vinette Robinson) to help care for seven-year-old Joe (Max Vento). Unsurprisingly, things don’t go entirely according to plan. MasterChef: The Professionals BBC Two, 9.00pm The standard has been unusually high this year and this week’s six nervous new candidates prove especially inventive in the signature round and a challenge to come up with a new take on flavoursome, filled pasta with an accompanying sauce. Grand Designs: House of the Year Channel 4, 9.00pm Which of the shortlisted super-dwellings will win the Riba prize for 2017’s House of the Year? Kevin McCloud can only announce the winner once the last two finalists have been chosen – from the predictably stunning nominees in the Minimalist and Modern category. GO Passions: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor by Chi-Chi Nwanoku Sky Arts, 9.00pm Bassist Chi-Chi Nwanoku is the founder of Europe’s first black and ethnic minority classical orchestra. So, unsurprisingly, it’s not the poet (that’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge, silly) she chooses as her hero but the similarly named mixed-race British composer born 100 years later, in a film praising black musicians who’ve overcome prejudice to succeed in the conservative world of classical music. GO Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Sky Cinema Superheroes, 5.50pm ★★★☆☆   Tim Burton’s Edwardian fairy tale, based on the first Miss Peregrine book by Ransom Riggs – feels oddly conventional. Adapted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), it’s a tale of an insular Florida lad, Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), who visits an orphanage that figured in tales spun by his grandfather (Terence Stamp). Mars Attacks! (1996) ITV4, 10.50pm ★★★★☆  It may not be director Tim Burton’s best film but this surreal sci-fi comedy is still fun. The glitzy cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker, put on their best camp performances to fight seemingly peaceful Martians, who in fact want to destroy Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal all in the name of a good time. It’s a loving parody of Fifties’ science-fiction cinema. Runaway Train (1985) Movies4Men, 10.50pm ★★★☆☆  Jon Voight and Eric Roberts (both Oscar-nominated) star as a pair of convicts, whose dash for freedom from an Alaskan prison takes an unexpected turn when they find themselves on an out-of-control train. The officers on their heels are caught between stopping it and reclaiming the criminals. It’s all a bit ridiculous, but Voight brings an appealing manic energy to a fun premise. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars. Wednesday 29 November Ferrying around: those who work on the busy English Channel Credit: Channel 4 The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm Drunk passengers, frazzled families, fundraisers swimming in testing conditions, enormous ships trying to squeeze through a narrow body of water: it’s all in a day’s workfor those who police the waters of the English Channel, as this new documentary series makes clear.  Filmed last summer and with a heavy focus on the many changes that Brexit may bring to the Channel crossing, this opening episode concentrates largely on life on the ferries. “We’re already down on passengers and spending from last year,” notes one employee, pointing out that the collapse of the pound against the euro means that holidaymakers are less inclined to splash their cash. It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as we also follow a determined single mother who plans to swim the Channel to raise money and awareness of sickle cell disease, which both her sons have. Elsewhere, there are interesting statistics about the sheer numbers making the crossing – up to 400 ships passing through the 21-mile-wide Dover Strait each day – and captain Mark Miller and his crew have to deal with both a paralytic passenger and the tour company who intend to leave him behind. Sarah Hughes The Marvellous Mrs Maisel Amazon Prime Video, from today Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino returns with this effervescent tale set in Fifties New York. Our heroine is Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan). On the surface she’s the perfect Jewish American Princess but underneath beats the soul of an acid-tongued comedian. Sherman-Palladino is clearly playing homage to the trailblazing likes of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller but her story still feels fresh thanks to a sharp script and Brosnahan’s wonderful timing. Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry continues her trawl through some of the UK’s grandest country houses. This week she’s in Scotland helping the inhabitants of Scone Palace, Lord and Lady Mansfield, prepare for dinner and a ceilidh while fitting in a bit of deer stalking and salmon fishing on the side.  Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm Steven Knight’s gangster drama is firing on all cylinders this series and never more so than in a tight, tense third episode which sees Polly (Helen McCrory) re-join the company and Arthur (the excellent Paul Anderson) wrestle with both his guilt and his God following John’s death.    Digging for Britain BBC Four, 9.00pm “Archaeology is adding flesh to the bare bones of people” announces Professor Alice Roberts as the second part of this series digging deep into Britain’s past heads to Kent. There we spend time following the excavation of the wreck of East India Company ship, the Rooswijk, before uncovering early evidence of Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain in the shape of an ancient fort. SH Wallis: The Queen That Never Was Channel 5, 9.00pm Georgina Rich is the latest actress to play Wallis Simpson in this meld of drama and documentary. It’s not a format that ever works particularly well but, beyond the enactments, a complex portrait of the Duchess of Windsor emerges and one which sheds fresh light on the true nature of her marriages.   How to Build a Robot Channel 4, 10.35pm David Tennant narrates this entertaining documentary focusing on Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran. McGoran’s aim is to invent a robot that can truly interact with humans. SH The Riot Club (2014) Film4, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Laura Wade’s 2010 play, Posh, dealt with a still-reported habit of trashing dining establishments by Oxford University’s notorious Bullingdon Club. It reaches the screen as The Riot Club, starring a braying gang of silverspoon-reared Brits. The pungency of the play has been diluted, along with its political bite, but Holliday Grainger, Max Irons and Sam Claflin are perfectly cast in the main roles. Bronson (2008) London Live, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  A gripping character study of “Britain’s most notorious long-term prisoner”, Charles Bronson (who has recently wed), whose bloody bare-knuckle brawls have seen him moved from prison to prison 120 times. Tom Hardy (who now seems to specialise in complex, muscle-bound brawlers – Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend, Taboo) ramps it up with disturbing intensity to delve inside the mind of the tormented personality. Life As We Know It (2010) 5STAR, 11.00pm ★★★☆☆  Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star in this shrill domestic nightmare in which they raise their orphaned godchild. Heigl once again plays a beautifully groomed control freak, while Duhamel’s Messer – a philandering man-child – repeatedly lives up to his name. When they get together, it feels like something to do with careers, contracts and romcom necessity; nothing to do with life. Thursday 30 November Pushing the boat out: Prunella Scales and Timothy West Credit: Channel 4 Great Canal Journeys Channel 4, 8.00pm When they embarked on the first series of Great Canal Journeys in 2014, it’s doubtful whether Timothy West or Prunella Scales could have foreseen its longevity, in part given the niche material and also because of Scales’s advancing Alzheimer’s disease. Yet here they are, heading through Portugal for the first instalment in this eighth series, never passing up the opportunity to draw comparisons between long marriages and vintage fortified wines. It is another hour of gentle insights and pure, unaffected charm.  Their journey takes them from a river port 100 miles inland through to Porto along the Rio Douro, via several vineyards and, slightly less predictably, examples of ancient rock art and Europe’s deepest lock. Throughout is evidence of why Portugal remains England’s oldest ally (Brits are heavily involved in the contemporary port industry) and, more significantly, of a relationship of a strength and mutual affection to which we can all aspire. Scales credits her husband with “opening up the world”. For West’s part, he reckons that “she likes being with me and I like being with her. That’s the best we can hope for, and very nice too.” Gabriel Tate PGA Tour Golf: The Hero World Challenge Sky Sports Main Event, 6.30pm It’s the opening day at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas, where Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is the reigning champion.  Discovering: Richard Widmark Sky Arts, 8.00pm Always more than a mere journeyman but never quite leading man material either, Richard Widmark was one of Hollywood’s most consistent talents, his work spanning classic noirs (Panic in the Streets), westerns (Two Rode Together) and thrillers (Coma). Journalists and critics assemble to pay tribute in another breezy, concise profile. The Farthest: Voyager’s Interstellar Journey: Storyville BBC Four, 8.55pm The space programme perhaps best represents the dazzling possibilities of the human brain and our capacity to imagine. This characteristically excellent and absorbing Storyville celebrates the scientific achievements of the Voyager probes through those that planned, made and continue to monitor them as they leave our solar system for interstellar space. Their enthusiasm is undiminished and infectious. GT Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm; Scotland, 11.15pm This affecting series investigates the repercussions of a German bomb that destroyed two houses in Hull. The personal traumas were of course profound, but a series of essays written by the city’s children in 1941 also unwittingly encouraged Britain’s controversial urban bombing strategies later in the war. Trump: an American Dream Channel 4, 9.00pm This enthralling series concludes with the future President rediscovering his mojo thanks to the influence of a new wife and advisors, before a combination of reality television and social media open an unlikely route to the White House. Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm A fine line-up launch a new run for the hardy stand-up perennial from Hammersmith, with quickfire Gary Delaney and rising Scottish comic Larry Dean on the agenda, introduced by Sara Pascoe. The Sex Robots Are Coming Channel 4, 10.00pm Nick Sweeney’s unsettling documentary follows the creation of Harmony, a prototype sexbot, and James, a potential purchaser. What do these technological advances mean for human relationships and the ever-present issue of objectification? GT Airplane II: The Sequel (1982) Film4, 7.15pm ★★★☆☆  The furiously funny, and startling originality of disaster parody Airplane! makes this sequel, which is set in the future and takes place on a lunar shuttle, stick out like a sore thumb, especially since the original team had no involvement. There are some amusing spoofs of Rocky and E.T., but the jokes tread familiar ground. Cameos come from Raymond Burr and William Shatner. Cliffhanger (1993) Universal Channel, 9.00pm ★★★☆☆  Living up to its title, Cliffhanger is a rollicking rollercoaster of a film. It stars Sylvester Stallone as a hotshot mountain climber, who becomes embroiled in a heist, along with Janine Turner. Set in the Rocky Mountains and featuring some stupendous stunts, it may be big-budget nonsense – but it’s entertaining big-budget nonsense with zesty lines and exhilarating cinematography. Get Him to the Greek (2010) Comedy Central, 10.00pm ★★★☆☆  Russell Brand plays himself (very well), thinly disguised as washed-up British rocker Aldous Snow who, desperate for a career revival, is called upon for a one-night show at LA venue The Greek. Despite trying too hard to shock, Brand’s famously crude humour lends this potentially humdrum American bromance some eccentricity and makes it, at times, a raucous comedy. Friday 1 December Life Thru a Lens: Robbie Williams is one of Norton’s guests Credit: Getty The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Graham Norton remains the best chat show host on British television, even if one or two of his line-ups this season have failed to generate much in the way of sparks. (The recent edition featuring only the cast of Ken Branagh’s new Agatha Christie movie Murder on the Orient Express could have been bottled and sold as a soporific, despite all of the star names on display.) Happily that’s unlikely to be a problem here as most of his guests are blessed with some of the biggest and most-often utilised mouths in showbiz.  Elton John is on hand to promote his latest greatest hits collection, and will perhaps have plenty to say about ITV’s recent poll of the British public’s 20 favourite songs from his rather extensive back catalogue. Stephen Fry will doubtless be as mesmerising as ever as he discusses his new book on Greek mythology; and Robbie Williams might make some noise about his new album, Under the Radar Volume 2, and upcoming Heavy Entertainment tour. All in all, you have to wonder how demure actress Carey Mulligan will manage to get a word in edgeways on the subject of her terrific new Netflix film Mudbound, although we’re confident she will. Gerard O’Donovan Dark Netflix, from today “The question is not where, or who, or how…but when?” This creepy time-bending thriller, about the disappearance of two German boys over a 30-year interval, plays with the idea of how fractured relationships repeat time and again. Voyeur Netflix, from today This controversial documentary explores one of veteran US writer Gay Talese’s most sensational pieces of “literary journalism”, The Voyeur’s Motel. It told the story of how, in the Eighties, Gerald Foos opened a motel supposedly for the sole purpose of peeping on guests. But how much of the tale was made up? Sounds Like Friday Night BBC One, 7.30pm Singer Rita Ora joins regular presenters Greg James and Dotty as guest host at the BBC’s White City studios to introduce, among others, Brighton rock duo Royal Blood. Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears ITV, 8.00pm; not STV, UTV or Wales   In the series’ finale Mears ends his epic journey in the ancient Walpole Forest, a vast swathe of primordial wilderness in Western Australia. He’s in search of the forest’s famed giant tingle and karri trees but the smaller denizens – such as the elusive quokka – are just as amazing. Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s pier-end café goes fully vegetarian in honour of guest Joanna Lumley, who revives the tastes of her childhood by cooking the King of Malaysia’s favourite dish. Meanwhile, the childhood friends go on the road to champion British fava beans, and Doherty designs a vertical vegetable patch – perfect for the high-rise balcony. Britain’s Greatest Bridges Channel 5, 8.00pm The series concludes with the story of the feat of engineering that is the mile-long Severn Bridge and how its designer Bill Brown revolutionised modern bridge design with its aerodynamic box girder deck. GO Truth Tellers at the BBC BBC Four, 11.00pm Friday night is music night on BBC Four, and this new archive series adds depth to its line-up by showcasing clips of the most lyrically gifted songwriters to have performed on the BBC. These include Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith. GO The King’s Speech (2010) More4, 9.00pm ★★★★☆  Tom Hooper’s film about the future George VI’s struggle to overcome his stammer in the nation’s hour of need won multiple Oscars, including a deserved Best Actor gong for Colin Firth. But it’s his double-act with Geoffrey Rush as his speech therapist Lionel Logue that gives the film its heart, and the double-handers between them are fraught and fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps underused as the Duchess of York. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) ITV4, 11.40pm ★★★☆☆  This is Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical about the demon barber of Fleet Street. Johnny Depp plays Benjamin Barker, a revenge artist who wields his razors with merry abandon in 19th-century London with the help of the deliciously sinister Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter). Alan Rickman plays the deplorable Judge Turpin. Wild (2014) Channel 4, 12.10am ★★★★☆  The Pacific Crest Trail, which runs up the entire western spine of the United States, is a challenge of fabled arduousness and rugged beauty. In 1995, aged 26, Cheryl Strayed (played by a superb Reese Witherspoon) walked it, to get clearance in her head after a decade of loss and personal meltdown. Wild powerfully reveals Strayed’s terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on the journey. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

Scotland rugby union coach Gregor Townsend speaks during a press conference at the team announcement in Sydney on June 15, 2017

Scotland rugby union coach Gregor Townsend speaks during a press conference at the team announcement in Sydney on June 15, 2017 Scotland plays Australia in a Test match in Sydney on June 17. (AFP Photo/WILLIAM WEST)

Scotland rugby union coach Gregor Townsend speaks during a press conference at the team announcement in Sydney on June 15, 2017

Scotland rugby union coach Gregor Townsend speaks during a press conference at the team announcement in Sydney on June 15, 2017 Scotland plays Australia in a Test match in Sydney on June 17

Scotland rugby union coach Gregor Townsend speaks during a press conference at the team announcement in Sydney on June 15, 2017

Scotland rugby union coach Gregor Townsend speaks during a press conference at the team announcement in Sydney on June 15, 2017 Scotland plays Australia in a Test match in Sydney on June 17

Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - Wales vs Australia

Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - Wales vs Australia - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - November 11, 2017 Wales' Jonathan Davies is tackled by Australia's Stephen Moore (R) Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Autumn Internationals - England vs Australia

Rugby Union - Autumn Internationals - England vs Australia - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 18, 2017 England’s Nathan Hughes during the national anthem REUTERS/Hannah McKay - RC19AA674F00

Australia's coach Michael Cheika checks out the conditions ahead of the international rugby union test match against England November 18, 2017

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