New Zealand RU

New Zealand slideshow

(L-R) Captains from Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, France, Ireland, England, Canada, Australia, US Wales and Spain pose with the trophy in Dublin ahead of the women's rugby union World Cup on August 6, 2017

(L-R) Captains from Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, France, Ireland, England, Canada, Australia, US Wales and Spain pose with the trophy in Dublin ahead of the women's rugby union World Cup on August 6, 2017

(L-R) Captains from Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, France, Ireland, England, Canada, Australia, US Wales and Spain pose with the trophy in Dublin ahead of the women's rugby union World Cup on August 6, 2017 (AFP Photo/Paul FAITH)

(L-R) Captains from Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, France, Ireland, England, Canada, Australia, US Wales and Spain pose with the trophy in Dublin ahead of the women's rugby union World Cup on August 6, 2017

Rugby union - All Blacks skipper Read faces four months out with back surgery

New Zealand captain Kieran Read earlier this year with the Bledisloe Cup (AFP Photo/Marty MELVILLE)

New Zealand Captains Run

Rugby Union - New Zealand Captains Run - Surenois Rugby Club, Suresnes, France - November 10, 2017 New Zealand's Kieran Read during the captains run. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau stretches for a loose ball during the Autumn international rugby union Test match against New Zealand at the November 25, 2017

Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau stretches for a loose ball during the Autumn international rugby union Test match against New Zealand at the November 25, 2017 (AFP Photo/ADRIAN DENNIS)

Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau stretches for a loose ball during the Autumn international rugby union Test match against New Zealand at the November 25, 2017

Wales' number 8 Taulupe Faletau stretches for a loose ball during the Autumn international rugby union Test match against New Zealand at the November 25, 2017

Rugby Union - Warburton set to miss Six Nations

New Zealand's No 8 Kieran Read (L) and British and Irish Lions blindside flanker Sam Warburton (R) shake hands in front of the trophy after the drawn test series following the third rugby union Test match between the British and Irish Lions and New Zealand All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland on July 8, 2017. (AFP Photo/MICHAEL BRADLEY)

What's on TV tonight: Peaky Blinders and Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets

Wednesday 6 December Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: Peaky Blinders and Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets

Wednesday 6 December Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: Find Me a Family and The A Word

Tuesday 5 December Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: Find Me a Family and The A Word

Tuesday 5 December Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: The Real Marigold on Tour and Armchair Detectives

Monday 4 December The Real Marigold on Tour BBC One, 9.00pm; Scotland, 10.45pm After two series in which celebrities of pensionable age ventured to India to assess its potential as a retirement destination, some of the same stars of The Real Marigold Hotel travel to China and, next week, Cuba, for a taste of life there for the elderly (or for elderly people of certain means, at least). Miriam Margolyes, Rosemary Shrager, Bobby George and Wayne Sleep are the quartet wrangled to the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, in a nation with 230 million over the age of 60. First impressions are dismayingly stereotypical – crazy traffic, linguistic entanglements, unenticing cuisine – but matters improve as they become more adventurous. Following a revelatory railway journey, they reach a country retreat and a Giant Panda sanctuary that proves transformative for some. After the poignancy and charm of the first two series proper, Real Marigold on Tour is a little underwhelming. The personality clashes are lacking and genuine insights are thin on the ground; if anything, there’s a slight jadedness to the whole enterprise. But the celebrities are by and large gracious guests and a pleasure to spend time with, for all their gleefully displayed foibles. Gabriel Tate Armchair Detectives BBC One, 2.15pm Susan Calman’s featherlight but entertaining take on Cluedo continues, as a team of amateur sleuths bid to solve the murder of a teacher in the town of Mortcliff. GT The Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas BBC One, 3.45pm Dave Myers and Si King are among the first television chefs of the year to jump on the festive bandwagon, beginning this new series with a few recipes for alternative Christmas treats: Austrian Linzertorte, roast goose and hazelnut chocolate brownie. GT Action Woman of the Year Awards BT Sport 2, 7.30pm Clare Balding hosts the fifth annual ceremony celebrating women in sport, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta and England footballer Jodie Taylor among the nominees for the night’s big award. GT Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm Two young people, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a visual impairment, seek the help of psychologist Nancy Doyle to gain the confidence to re-enter the jobs market after difficult past experiences. This is another stirring instalment in the award-winning documentary series. GT The Art that Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm In the first of a three-part documentary series, artist Alinka Echeverria examines the geographical forces that have shaped Mexican art, and in particular the different perspectives taken on the nation’s landscape from the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century through to independence in 1900. GT Concorde: Designing the Dream Channel 5, 9.00pm The Anglo-French venture beat the Soviets and Americans, at the peak of their Cold War rivalry, to build the first supersonic passenger airliner. This accessible, enjoyable two-part documentary traces the unlikely success story with the help of key players including Michael Heseltine. GT Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive PBS America, 9.00pm Kathleen Turner and Denis O’Hare are several cuts above this usual reconstruction hacks in this imaginative film exploring the troubled life and startling work of one of American literature’s most disturbing talents. GT The Untouchables (1987) ★★★★☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm Brian De Palma’s gripping Prohibition-era crime drama, based (loosely) on the memoirs of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), follows Ness’s attempts to stop the ruthless mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro, gaining 30 pounds for the role) and his gang of suave cronies. Luckily he also has incorruptible Irish cop Jimmy Malone, played by an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, on his side. The Maze Runner (2014) ★★★★☆ Film4, 9.00pm A group of teenage boys live in a meadow at the heart of a giant labyrinth: no one knows why they’re there, or what lies beyond the maze’s shifting walls, until the arrival of 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) precipitates a push for freedom. This lean, tense adaptation of James Dashner’s sci-fi series makes good on its wildly intriguing premise and has more than a hint of Lord of the Flies. Live and Let Die (1973) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm James Bond (Roger Moore) battles one of his more extraordinary opponents, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean criminal mastermind masquerading as a Harlem drug baron. The film was given lukewarm reviews on its release, but this is Moore-era Bond at its preposterous best. Highlights include 007’s voodoo snake ordeal and a thrilling speedboat chase through New Orleans. Tuesday 5 December Finding Me A Family: - Jo and Mark Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: The Real Marigold on Tour and Armchair Detectives

Monday 4 December The Real Marigold on Tour BBC One, 9.00pm; Scotland, 10.45pm After two series in which celebrities of pensionable age ventured to India to assess its potential as a retirement destination, some of the same stars of The Real Marigold Hotel travel to China and, next week, Cuba, for a taste of life there for the elderly (or for elderly people of certain means, at least). Miriam Margolyes, Rosemary Shrager, Bobby George and Wayne Sleep are the quartet wrangled to the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, in a nation with 230 million over the age of 60. First impressions are dismayingly stereotypical – crazy traffic, linguistic entanglements, unenticing cuisine – but matters improve as they become more adventurous. Following a revelatory railway journey, they reach a country retreat and a Giant Panda sanctuary that proves transformative for some. After the poignancy and charm of the first two series proper, Real Marigold on Tour is a little underwhelming. The personality clashes are lacking and genuine insights are thin on the ground; if anything, there’s a slight jadedness to the whole enterprise. But the celebrities are by and large gracious guests and a pleasure to spend time with, for all their gleefully displayed foibles. Gabriel Tate Armchair Detectives BBC One, 2.15pm Susan Calman’s featherlight but entertaining take on Cluedo continues, as a team of amateur sleuths bid to solve the murder of a teacher in the town of Mortcliff. GT The Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas BBC One, 3.45pm Dave Myers and Si King are among the first television chefs of the year to jump on the festive bandwagon, beginning this new series with a few recipes for alternative Christmas treats: Austrian Linzertorte, roast goose and hazelnut chocolate brownie. GT Action Woman of the Year Awards BT Sport 2, 7.30pm Clare Balding hosts the fifth annual ceremony celebrating women in sport, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta and England footballer Jodie Taylor among the nominees for the night’s big award. GT Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm Two young people, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a visual impairment, seek the help of psychologist Nancy Doyle to gain the confidence to re-enter the jobs market after difficult past experiences. This is another stirring instalment in the award-winning documentary series. GT The Art that Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm In the first of a three-part documentary series, artist Alinka Echeverria examines the geographical forces that have shaped Mexican art, and in particular the different perspectives taken on the nation’s landscape from the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century through to independence in 1900. GT Concorde: Designing the Dream Channel 5, 9.00pm The Anglo-French venture beat the Soviets and Americans, at the peak of their Cold War rivalry, to build the first supersonic passenger airliner. This accessible, enjoyable two-part documentary traces the unlikely success story with the help of key players including Michael Heseltine. GT Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive PBS America, 9.00pm Kathleen Turner and Denis O’Hare are several cuts above this usual reconstruction hacks in this imaginative film exploring the troubled life and startling work of one of American literature’s most disturbing talents. GT The Untouchables (1987) ★★★★☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm Brian De Palma’s gripping Prohibition-era crime drama, based (loosely) on the memoirs of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), follows Ness’s attempts to stop the ruthless mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro, gaining 30 pounds for the role) and his gang of suave cronies. Luckily he also has incorruptible Irish cop Jimmy Malone, played by an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, on his side. The Maze Runner (2014) ★★★★☆ Film4, 9.00pm A group of teenage boys live in a meadow at the heart of a giant labyrinth: no one knows why they’re there, or what lies beyond the maze’s shifting walls, until the arrival of 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) precipitates a push for freedom. This lean, tense adaptation of James Dashner’s sci-fi series makes good on its wildly intriguing premise and has more than a hint of Lord of the Flies. Live and Let Die (1973) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm James Bond (Roger Moore) battles one of his more extraordinary opponents, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean criminal mastermind masquerading as a Harlem drug baron. The film was given lukewarm reviews on its release, but this is Moore-era Bond at its preposterous best. Highlights include 007’s voodoo snake ordeal and a thrilling speedboat chase through New Orleans. Tuesday 5 December Finding Me A Family: - Jo and Mark Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: Howards End and Blue Planet

Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm The BBC’s adaptation of E M Forster’s classic comes to an end with a perfectly paced finale that remains true to its roots while also allowing us to see the story afresh. Much has already been said about Kenneth Lonergan’s astute take on Foster’s tale of the clash between the materialistic Wilcox family and the bohemian Schlegels, yet what really made this one such a joy to watch is his acute understanding of loneliness and unspoken yearning – something that is never clearer than in the beautifully restrained scenes between Matthew Macfadyen’s Henry Wilcox and Hayley Atwell’s Margaret Schlegel. Not that the triumph is Lonergan’s alone: Hettie McDonald directs with verve, making the old tale appear vibrant and fresh, while MacFadyen and Atwell are outstanding in the central roles. The cast as a whole has been wonderful, with praise reserved for Alex Lawther, who manages to make Tibby both irritating and admirable in his dedication to the hypochondriac life. If there is one complaint, it’s perhaps that the awkward Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn) remains underwritten to the end, with Lonergan more interested in the relationship between the Schlegel sisters than in the would-be protégé they befriend. Sarah Hughes Love and Drugs on the Streets BBC Three, from 10.00am This excellent BBC series about a group of homeless women has been unbearably sad at times. The concluding episode sees chill autumn winds hit Brighton, bringing with it a host of new problems, particularly for Paige, who is struggling to cope without her daughter. SH Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm As it visits the world’s coastlines, this episode of the nature series is among its most colourful yet. We see, among other things, sea lions demonstrate teamwork and follow leaping crabs as they try desperately to survive. As always, David Attenborough’s sonorous tones hold the whole thing together. SH Robot Wars BBC Two, 8.00pm   It’s the final on the robot destruction show, and we’re promised the series’ biggest ever battle, during which of the 10 robots return to fight for the last place in the final. The victor of the “robot rumble” will then face the episode winners to see which machine is crowned champion. SH Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm The actress heads to one of the UK’s most spectacular railway lines, the coastal stretch between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Walters is an engaging presence and, in addition to the gorgeous scenery, there are some fascinating facts, including the reason why the Balmoral Hotel’s clock runs slow. SH Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm   The final part of this enthralling documentary series sees the team head to volcano Nyamulagira in the Congo. The volcano erupts regularly but there is no monitoring of it, largely because militia groups have a heavy presence in the area. SH Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm & 10.00pm Series two of the big-budget take on Volker Kutscher’s novels begins, and things are not looking great for DI Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch), who finds himself increasingly alone in a city where it pays to have friends. SH The Frankenstein Chronicles ITV Encore, 10.00pm This rip-roaring adventure deserves a wider audience, not least because Sean Bean is on fine form as detective-turned-monster John Marlott. This week, Marlott receives the news he’s been waiting for: Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) is alive. SH The Dam Busters (1954, b/w) ★★★★☆ ITV4, 2.25pm This is a much-loved film version of the Second World War air raid. The RAF are struggling to destroy German dams so engineer Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave) dreams up a bomb that can do the job. And it’s rather left field – the bomb will be dropped from a plane and bounce along the water like a skimmed stone. Lord of the Rings’s Peter Jackson is producing a modern remake, which is written by Stephen Fry. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 9.00pm Tom Cruise rises to the challenge in this gravity-defying thrill ride. The plot surrounds Cruise with a gifted group of operatives, including faithful friend Benji (Simon Pegg), a lovely but platonic sidekick (Paula Patton), and an “enigmatic” new buddy (Jeremy Renner), who must collectively prevent a nuclear strike. Brad Bird directs. Taxi Tehran (2015) ★★★★☆ BBC Four, 11.00pm Jafar Panahi is one of Iran’s most newsworthy film-makers and this is one of his more playful pieces – not an example of firebrand activism, but a self-reflexive jeu d’esprit in which his smiling face anchors the tone. In a ride around the capital, Panahi likens the skills of a cabbie to those of a director keeping his film on course. There’s nods to other films but it’s an accessible entry-point to his work. Monday 4 December  The Real Marigold on Tour The Real Marigold on Tour BBC One, 9.00pm; Scotland, 10.45pm After two series inwhich celebrities of pensionable age ventured to India to assess its potential as a retirement destination, some of the same stars of The Real Marigold Hotel travel to China and, next week, Cuba, for a taste of life there for the elderly (or for elderly people of certain means, at least). Miriam Margolyes, Rosemary Shrager, Bobby George and Wayne Sleep are the quartet wrangled to the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, in a nation with 230 million over the age of 60. First impressions are dismayingly stereotypical – crazy traffic, linguistic entanglements, unenticing cuisine – but matters improve as they become more adventurous. Following a revelatory railway journey, they reach a country retreat and a Giant Panda sanctuary that proves transformative for some. After the poignancy and charm of the first two series proper, Real Marigold on Tour is a little underwhelming. The personality clashes are lacking and genuine insights are thin on the ground; if anything, there’s a slight jadedness to the whole enterprise. But the celebrities are by and large gracious guests and a pleasure to spend time with, for all their gleefully displayed foibles. Gabriel Tate Armchair Detectives BBC One, 2.15pm Susan Calman’s featherlight but entertaining take on Cluedo continues, as a team of amateur sleuths bid to solve the murder of a teacher in the town of Mortcliff. GT The Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas BBC One, 3.45pm Dave Myers and Si King are among the first television chefs of the year to jump on the festive bandwagon, beginning this new series with a few recipes for alternative Christmas treats: Austrian Linzertorte, roast goose and hazelnut chocolate brownie. GT Action Woman of the Year Awards BT Sport 2, 7.30pm Clare Balding hosts the fifth annual ceremony celebrating women in sport, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta and England footballer Jodie Taylor among the nominees for the night’s big award. GT Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm Two young people, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a visual impairment, seek the help of psychologist Nancy Doyle to gain the confidence to re-enter the jobs market after difficult past experiences. This is another stirring instalment in the award-winning documentary series. GT The Art that Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm In the first of a three-part documentary series, artist Alinka Echeverria examines the geographical forces that have shaped Mexican art, and in particular the different perspectives taken on the nation’s landscape from the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century through to independence in 1900. GT Concorde: Designing the Dream Channel 5, 9.00pm The Anglo-French venture beat the Soviets and Americans, at the peak of their Cold War rivalry, to build the first supersonic passenger airliner. This accessible, enjoyable two-part documentary traces the unlikely success story with the help of key players including Michael Heseltine. GT Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive PBS America, 9.00pm Kathleen Turner and Denis O’Hare are several cuts above this usual reconstruction hacks in this imaginative film exploring the troubled life and startling work of one of American literature’s most disturbing talents. GT The Untouchables (1987) ★★★★☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm Brian De Palma’s gripping Prohibition-era crime drama, based (loosely) on the memoirs of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), follows Ness’s attempts to stop the ruthless mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro, gaining 30 pounds for the role) and his gang of suave cronies. Luckily he also has incorruptible Irish cop Jimmy Malone, played by an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, on his side. The Maze Runner (2014) ★★★★☆ Film4, 9.00pm A group of teenage boys live in a meadow at the heart of a giant labyrinth: no one knows why they’re there, or what lies beyond the maze’s shifting walls, until the arrival of 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) precipitates a push for freedom. This lean, tense adaptation of James Dashner’s sci-fi series makes good on its wildly intriguing premise and has more than a hint of Lord of the Flies. Live and Let Die (1973) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm James Bond (Roger Moore) battles one of his more extraordinary opponents, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean criminal mastermind masquerading as a Harlem drug baron. The film was given lukewarm reviews on its release, but this is Moore-era Bond at its preposterous best. Highlights include 007’s voodoo snake ordeal and a thrilling speedboat chase through New Orleans. Tuesday 5 December Finding Me A Family: - Jo and Mark Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: Howards End and Blue Planet

Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm The BBC’s adaptation of E M Forster’s classic comes to an end with a perfectly paced finale that remains true to its roots while also allowing us to see the story afresh. Much has already been said about Kenneth Lonergan’s astute take on Foster’s tale of the clash between the materialistic Wilcox family and the bohemian Schlegels, yet what really made this one such a joy to watch is his acute understanding of loneliness and unspoken yearning – something that is never clearer than in the beautifully restrained scenes between Matthew Macfadyen’s Henry Wilcox and Hayley Atwell’s Margaret Schlegel. Not that the triumph is Lonergan’s alone: Hettie McDonald directs with verve, making the old tale appear vibrant and fresh, while MacFadyen and Atwell are outstanding in the central roles. The cast as a whole has been wonderful, with praise reserved for Alex Lawther, who manages to make Tibby both irritating and admirable in his dedication to the hypochondriac life. If there is one complaint, it’s perhaps that the awkward Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn) remains underwritten to the end, with Lonergan more interested in the relationship between the Schlegel sisters than in the would-be protégé they befriend. Sarah Hughes Love and Drugs on the Streets BBC Three, from 10.00am This excellent BBC series about a group of homeless women has been unbearably sad at times. The concluding episode sees chill autumn winds hit Brighton, bringing with it a host of new problems, particularly for Paige, who is struggling to cope without her daughter. SH Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm As it visits the world’s coastlines, this episode of the nature series is among its most colourful yet. We see, among other things, sea lions demonstrate teamwork and follow leaping crabs as they try desperately to survive. As always, David Attenborough’s sonorous tones hold the whole thing together. SH Robot Wars BBC Two, 8.00pm   It’s the final on the robot destruction show, and we’re promised the series’ biggest ever battle, during which of the 10 robots return to fight for the last place in the final. The victor of the “robot rumble” will then face the episode winners to see which machine is crowned champion. SH Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm The actress heads to one of the UK’s most spectacular railway lines, the coastal stretch between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Walters is an engaging presence and, in addition to the gorgeous scenery, there are some fascinating facts, including the reason why the Balmoral Hotel’s clock runs slow. SH Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm   The final part of this enthralling documentary series sees the team head to volcano Nyamulagira in the Congo. The volcano erupts regularly but there is no monitoring of it, largely because militia groups have a heavy presence in the area. SH Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm & 10.00pm Series two of the big-budget take on Volker Kutscher’s novels begins, and things are not looking great for DI Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch), who finds himself increasingly alone in a city where it pays to have friends. SH The Frankenstein Chronicles ITV Encore, 10.00pm This rip-roaring adventure deserves a wider audience, not least because Sean Bean is on fine form as detective-turned-monster John Marlott. This week, Marlott receives the news he’s been waiting for: Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) is alive. SH The Dam Busters (1954, b/w) ★★★★☆ ITV4, 2.25pm This is a much-loved film version of the Second World War air raid. The RAF are struggling to destroy German dams so engineer Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave) dreams up a bomb that can do the job. And it’s rather left field – the bomb will be dropped from a plane and bounce along the water like a skimmed stone. Lord of the Rings’s Peter Jackson is producing a modern remake, which is written by Stephen Fry. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 9.00pm Tom Cruise rises to the challenge in this gravity-defying thrill ride. The plot surrounds Cruise with a gifted group of operatives, including faithful friend Benji (Simon Pegg), a lovely but platonic sidekick (Paula Patton), and an “enigmatic” new buddy (Jeremy Renner), who must collectively prevent a nuclear strike. Brad Bird directs. Taxi Tehran (2015) ★★★★☆ BBC Four, 11.00pm Jafar Panahi is one of Iran’s most newsworthy film-makers and this is one of his more playful pieces – not an example of firebrand activism, but a self-reflexive jeu d’esprit in which his smiling face anchors the tone. In a ride around the capital, Panahi likens the skills of a cabbie to those of a director keeping his film on course. There’s nods to other films but it’s an accessible entry-point to his work. Monday 4 December  The Real Marigold on Tour The Real Marigold on Tour BBC One, 9.00pm; Scotland, 10.45pm After two series inwhich celebrities of pensionable age ventured to India to assess its potential as a retirement destination, some of the same stars of The Real Marigold Hotel travel to China and, next week, Cuba, for a taste of life there for the elderly (or for elderly people of certain means, at least). Miriam Margolyes, Rosemary Shrager, Bobby George and Wayne Sleep are the quartet wrangled to the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, in a nation with 230 million over the age of 60. First impressions are dismayingly stereotypical – crazy traffic, linguistic entanglements, unenticing cuisine – but matters improve as they become more adventurous. Following a revelatory railway journey, they reach a country retreat and a Giant Panda sanctuary that proves transformative for some. After the poignancy and charm of the first two series proper, Real Marigold on Tour is a little underwhelming. The personality clashes are lacking and genuine insights are thin on the ground; if anything, there’s a slight jadedness to the whole enterprise. But the celebrities are by and large gracious guests and a pleasure to spend time with, for all their gleefully displayed foibles. Gabriel Tate Armchair Detectives BBC One, 2.15pm Susan Calman’s featherlight but entertaining take on Cluedo continues, as a team of amateur sleuths bid to solve the murder of a teacher in the town of Mortcliff. GT The Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas BBC One, 3.45pm Dave Myers and Si King are among the first television chefs of the year to jump on the festive bandwagon, beginning this new series with a few recipes for alternative Christmas treats: Austrian Linzertorte, roast goose and hazelnut chocolate brownie. GT Action Woman of the Year Awards BT Sport 2, 7.30pm Clare Balding hosts the fifth annual ceremony celebrating women in sport, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta and England footballer Jodie Taylor among the nominees for the night’s big award. GT Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm Two young people, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a visual impairment, seek the help of psychologist Nancy Doyle to gain the confidence to re-enter the jobs market after difficult past experiences. This is another stirring instalment in the award-winning documentary series. GT The Art that Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm In the first of a three-part documentary series, artist Alinka Echeverria examines the geographical forces that have shaped Mexican art, and in particular the different perspectives taken on the nation’s landscape from the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century through to independence in 1900. GT Concorde: Designing the Dream Channel 5, 9.00pm The Anglo-French venture beat the Soviets and Americans, at the peak of their Cold War rivalry, to build the first supersonic passenger airliner. This accessible, enjoyable two-part documentary traces the unlikely success story with the help of key players including Michael Heseltine. GT Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive PBS America, 9.00pm Kathleen Turner and Denis O’Hare are several cuts above this usual reconstruction hacks in this imaginative film exploring the troubled life and startling work of one of American literature’s most disturbing talents. GT The Untouchables (1987) ★★★★☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm Brian De Palma’s gripping Prohibition-era crime drama, based (loosely) on the memoirs of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), follows Ness’s attempts to stop the ruthless mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro, gaining 30 pounds for the role) and his gang of suave cronies. Luckily he also has incorruptible Irish cop Jimmy Malone, played by an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, on his side. The Maze Runner (2014) ★★★★☆ Film4, 9.00pm A group of teenage boys live in a meadow at the heart of a giant labyrinth: no one knows why they’re there, or what lies beyond the maze’s shifting walls, until the arrival of 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) precipitates a push for freedom. This lean, tense adaptation of James Dashner’s sci-fi series makes good on its wildly intriguing premise and has more than a hint of Lord of the Flies. Live and Let Die (1973) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm James Bond (Roger Moore) battles one of his more extraordinary opponents, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean criminal mastermind masquerading as a Harlem drug baron. The film was given lukewarm reviews on its release, but this is Moore-era Bond at its preposterous best. Highlights include 007’s voodoo snake ordeal and a thrilling speedboat chase through New Orleans. Tuesday 5 December Finding Me A Family: - Jo and Mark Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: Strictly, The X Factor final and Imagine: Rachel Whiteread

Saturday 2 December Imagine: Rachel Whiteread: Ghost in the Room BBC Two, 9.00pm Rachel Whiteread is an artist whose work, more than most, does not come across especially well on television given that it is about things that cannot be seen, dealing in negative spaces, absences and the intangibleness of memory. Now, 25 years after she made an impact alongside Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and other Young British Artists, Whiteread is indisputably one of Britain’s most highly regarded sculptors. Her signature style, which usually take the form of concrete casts, remains one of the most recognisable in British art. Here, Alan Yentob takes the opportunity afforded by an ongoing major retrospective at the Tate to consider Whiteread’s artistic output. He pays particular attention to the controversy surrounding her 1993 Turner-winning piece, House – a full-scale “reproduction” of the interior volumes of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End. That remains, perhaps, Whiteread’s best-known work but there’s also an assessment of her wider impact, notably in representing Britain at the Venice Biennale, and her evocative “Nameless Library” Holocaust memorial in Vienna. Gerard O’Donovan Can We Live with Robots? Channel 4, 7.00pm One of the more intriguing films in the Rise of the Robots season sees choreographer Akram Khan research cutting-edge robotics in order to create a dance piece about “how humans and robots might come to share our world”. Well, it’s something different. GO Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 7.05pm It is musicals week, and the six remaining contestants will be keen to make a big impression in what is traditionally one of the more ambitious Strictly rounds. There will, no doubt, be some razzle dazzle on the performances, and even the judges might take to the dance floor. GO The X Factor: Live final ITV, 7.05pm With its viewing figures dipping, it is perhaps foolhardy to kick off the final in the same time as Strictly. Still, that won’t stunt the excitement on stage as the finalists compete to be one of two acts put through to tomorrow’s deciding vote. GO Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Stereophonics and Jessie J join McIntyre at the Theatre Royal, while former England footballer Alan Shearer gets to cringe from the sidelines as the comedian sends out a mortifying text message to all of the contacts in his phone. GO Hamilton: Building America History, 9.00pm Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s more overlooked founding fathers until Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genre-busting musical Hamilton conquered not only Broadway but the world. This two-hour recap of Hamilton’s life is considerably more ponderous than the musical, but it’s an absorbing account of a man who rose from a penniless West Indies’ orphan to be one of the most influential figures in George Washington’s fledgling US administration. GO Toots & the Maytals: From the Roots Sky Arts, 9.00pm The story of Jamaican musician Toots Hibbert (one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest singers) who, with his pioneering band The Maytals, laid the foundations of reggae in the Sixties with hits such as Do the Reggay and, more widely, in albums such as the Seventies’ From the Roots. A terrific story with some great archive recordings. GO Live Premier League Football: Chelsea v Newcastle Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am After a blip, which saw manager Antonio Conte’s job come under scrutiny, Chelsea’s form has improved in recent weeks (they have lost just one match in the last six in all competitions). And they will be looking to continue this form as they host Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. Newcastle winger Christian Atsu has been denied the chance to play against his former club after being ruled out with a thigh injury. This, along with the fact that the Magpies are also without captain Jamaal Lascelles and left-back Paul Dummett, could spell trouble for manager Rafa Benítez. The pressure is already mounting on the Spaniard as his inconsistent side are without a win in five matches, but he is confident that his team are turning things around. CM International Rugby Union: Wales v South Africa Saturday, BBC One, 2.00pm The autumn internationals come to an end at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as Wales take on South Africa. Wales began their series with defeat to Australia, but showed glimpses of a new attacking style. They will be out to show this in full flow, especially now that they can utilise loose forward Taulupe Faletau, who has been released by his club Bath to play. With this boost, they are confident of defeating the Springboks side. CM Annie Claus Is Coming to Town (2011, TVM) ★★☆☆☆  Channel 5, 3.35pm This sweet made-for-TV movie borrows heavily from Elf and Enchanted, as Santa’s daughter Annie (Maria Thayer) leaves her home in the North Pole to discover the world. Landing in Los Angeles, she gets a job at an ailing toy shop, uses her cheer to turn the business around and falls for boss Ted (Samuel Page). Will he end up meeting her under the mistletoe? Wayne’s World (1992) ★★★★☆ Comedy Central, 6.00pm The wonder of Wayne’s World is the presence of the lovably idiotic duo Wayne and Garth (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey), who host an inept cable TV show and are exploited by a crooked businessman (Rob Lowe). The plot is a negligible ingredient: it’s all about the goofy repartee (“Schwing!”) – and the unforgettable in-car mime to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 8.00pm Seven senior citizens (Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy among them) travel from Britain to Jaipur, where they find the promised Exotic Marigold Hotel, run by Dev Patel, isn’t quite what they were expecting. The film is encumbered by too many interwoven stories and falls down on some wince-inducing clichés, but it’s hard to resist this cast of national treasures. Sunday 3 December Hayley Atwell in 'Howard's End' Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm The BBC’s adaptation of E M Forster’s classic comes to an end with a perfectly paced finale that remains true to its roots while also allowing us to see the story afresh. Much has already been said about Kenneth Lonergan’s astute take on Foster’s tale of the clash between the materialistic Wilcox family and the bohemian Schlegels, yet what really made this one such a joy to watch is his acute understanding of loneliness and unspoken yearning – something that is never clearer than in the beautifully restrained scenes between Matthew Macfadyen’s Henry Wilcox and Hayley Atwell’s Margaret Schlegel. Not that the triumph is Lonergan’s alone: Hettie McDonald directs with verve, making the old tale appear vibrant and fresh, while MacFadyen and Atwell are outstanding in the central roles. The cast as a whole has been wonderful, with praise reserved for Alex Lawther, who manages to make Tibby both irritating and admirable in his dedication to the hypochondriac life. If there is one complaint, it’s perhaps that the awkward Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn) remains underwritten to the end, with Lonergan more interested in the relationship between the Schlegel sisters than in the would-be protégé they befriend. Sarah Hughes Love and Drugs on the Streets BBC Three, from 10.00am This excellent BBC series about a group of homeless women has been unbearably sad at times. The concluding episode sees chill autumn winds hit Brighton, bringing with it a host of new problems, particularly for Paige, who is struggling to cope without her daughter. SH Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm As it visits the world’s coastlines, this episode of the nature series is among its most colourful yet. We see, among other things, sea lions demonstrate teamwork and follow leaping crabs as they try desperately to survive. As always, David Attenborough’s sonorous tones hold the whole thing together. SH Robot Wars BBC Two, 8.00pm   It’s the final on the robot destruction show, and we’re promised the series’ biggest ever battle, during which of the 10 robots return to fight for the last place in the final. The victor of the “robot rumble” will then face the episode winners to see which machine is crowned champion. SH Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm The actress heads to one of the UK’s most spectacular railway lines, the coastal stretch between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Walters is an engaging presence and, in addition to the gorgeous scenery, there are some fascinating facts, including the reason why the Balmoral Hotel’s clock runs slow. SH Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm   The final part of this enthralling documentary series sees the team head to volcano Nyamulagira in the Congo. The volcano erupts regularly but there is no monitoring of it, largely because militia groups have a heavy presence in the area. SH Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm & 10.00pm Series two of the big-budget take on Volker Kutscher’s novels begins, and things are not looking great for DI Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch), who finds himself increasingly alone in a city where it pays to have friends. SH The Frankenstein Chronicles ITV Encore, 10.00pm This rip-roaring adventure deserves a wider audience, not least because Sean Bean is on fine form as detective-turned-monster John Marlott. This week, Marlott receives the news he’s been waiting for: Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) is alive. SH The Dam Busters (1954, b/w) ★★★★☆ ITV4, 2.25pm This is a much-loved film version of the Second World War air raid. The RAF are struggling to destroy German dams so engineer Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave) dreams up a bomb that can do the job. And it’s rather left field – the bomb will be dropped from a plane and bounce along the water like a skimmed stone. Lord of the Rings’s Peter Jackson is producing a modern remake, which is written by Stephen Fry. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 9.00pm Tom Cruise rises to the challenge in this gravity-defying thrill ride. The plot surrounds Cruise with a gifted group of operatives, including faithful friend Benji (Simon Pegg), a lovely but platonic sidekick (Paula Patton), and an “enigmatic” new buddy (Jeremy Renner), who must collectively prevent a nuclear strike. Brad Bird directs. Taxi Tehran (2015) ★★★★☆ BBC Four, 11.00pm Jafar Panahi is one of Iran’s most newsworthy film-makers and this is one of his more playful pieces – not an example of firebrand activism, but a self-reflexive jeu d’esprit in which his smiling face anchors the tone. In a ride around the capital, Panahi likens the skills of a cabbie to those of a director keeping his film on course. There’s nods to other films but it’s an accessible entry-point to his work. Monday 4 December  The Real Marigold on Tour The Real Marigold on Tour BBC One, 9.00pm; Scotland, 10.45pm After two series inwhich celebrities of pensionable age ventured to India to assess its potential as a retirement destination, some of the same stars of The Real Marigold Hotel travel to China and, next week, Cuba, for a taste of life there for the elderly (or for elderly people of certain means, at least). Miriam Margolyes, Rosemary Shrager, Bobby George and Wayne Sleep are the quartet wrangled to the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, in a nation with 230 million over the age of 60. First impressions are dismayingly stereotypical – crazy traffic, linguistic entanglements, unenticing cuisine – but matters improve as they become more adventurous. Following a revelatory railway journey, they reach a country retreat and a Giant Panda sanctuary that proves transformative for some. After the poignancy and charm of the first two series proper, Real Marigold on Tour is a little underwhelming. The personality clashes are lacking and genuine insights are thin on the ground; if anything, there’s a slight jadedness to the whole enterprise. But the celebrities are by and large gracious guests and a pleasure to spend time with, for all their gleefully displayed foibles. Gabriel Tate Armchair Detectives BBC One, 2.15pm Susan Calman’s featherlight but entertaining take on Cluedo continues, as a team of amateur sleuths bid to solve the murder of a teacher in the town of Mortcliff. GT The Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas BBC One, 3.45pm Dave Myers and Si King are among the first television chefs of the year to jump on the festive bandwagon, beginning this new series with a few recipes for alternative Christmas treats: Austrian Linzertorte, roast goose and hazelnut chocolate brownie. GT Action Woman of the Year Awards BT Sport 2, 7.30pm Clare Balding hosts the fifth annual ceremony celebrating women in sport, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta and England footballer Jodie Taylor among the nominees for the night’s big award. GT Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm Two young people, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a visual impairment, seek the help of psychologist Nancy Doyle to gain the confidence to re-enter the jobs market after difficult past experiences. This is another stirring instalment in the award-winning documentary series. GT The Art that Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm In the first of a three-part documentary series, artist Alinka Echeverria examines the geographical forces that have shaped Mexican art, and in particular the different perspectives taken on the nation’s landscape from the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century through to independence in 1900. GT Concorde: Designing the Dream Channel 5, 9.00pm The Anglo-French venture beat the Soviets and Americans, at the peak of their Cold War rivalry, to build the first supersonic passenger airliner. This accessible, enjoyable two-part documentary traces the unlikely success story with the help of key players including Michael Heseltine. GT Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive PBS America, 9.00pm Kathleen Turner and Denis O’Hare are several cuts above this usual reconstruction hacks in this imaginative film exploring the troubled life and startling work of one of American literature’s most disturbing talents. GT The Untouchables (1987) ★★★★☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm Brian De Palma’s gripping Prohibition-era crime drama, based (loosely) on the memoirs of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), follows Ness’s attempts to stop the ruthless mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro, gaining 30 pounds for the role) and his gang of suave cronies. Luckily he also has incorruptible Irish cop Jimmy Malone, played by an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, on his side. The Maze Runner (2014) ★★★★☆ Film4, 9.00pm A group of teenage boys live in a meadow at the heart of a giant labyrinth: no one knows why they’re there, or what lies beyond the maze’s shifting walls, until the arrival of 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) precipitates a push for freedom. This lean, tense adaptation of James Dashner’s sci-fi series makes good on its wildly intriguing premise and has more than a hint of Lord of the Flies. Live and Let Die (1973) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm James Bond (Roger Moore) battles one of his more extraordinary opponents, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean criminal mastermind masquerading as a Harlem drug baron. The film was given lukewarm reviews on its release, but this is Moore-era Bond at its preposterous best. Highlights include 007’s voodoo snake ordeal and a thrilling speedboat chase through New Orleans. Tuesday 5 December Finding Me A Family: - Jo and Mark Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: Strictly, The X Factor final and Imagine: Rachel Whiteread

Saturday 2 December Imagine: Rachel Whiteread: Ghost in the Room BBC Two, 9.00pm Rachel Whiteread is an artist whose work, more than most, does not come across especially well on television given that it is about things that cannot be seen, dealing in negative spaces, absences and the intangibleness of memory. Now, 25 years after she made an impact alongside Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and other Young British Artists, Whiteread is indisputably one of Britain’s most highly regarded sculptors. Her signature style, which usually take the form of concrete casts, remains one of the most recognisable in British art. Here, Alan Yentob takes the opportunity afforded by an ongoing major retrospective at the Tate to consider Whiteread’s artistic output. He pays particular attention to the controversy surrounding her 1993 Turner-winning piece, House – a full-scale “reproduction” of the interior volumes of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End. That remains, perhaps, Whiteread’s best-known work but there’s also an assessment of her wider impact, notably in representing Britain at the Venice Biennale, and her evocative “Nameless Library” Holocaust memorial in Vienna. Gerard O’Donovan Can We Live with Robots? Channel 4, 7.00pm One of the more intriguing films in the Rise of the Robots season sees choreographer Akram Khan research cutting-edge robotics in order to create a dance piece about “how humans and robots might come to share our world”. Well, it’s something different. GO Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 7.05pm It is musicals week, and the six remaining contestants will be keen to make a big impression in what is traditionally one of the more ambitious Strictly rounds. There will, no doubt, be some razzle dazzle on the performances, and even the judges might take to the dance floor. GO The X Factor: Live final ITV, 7.05pm With its viewing figures dipping, it is perhaps foolhardy to kick off the final in the same time as Strictly. Still, that won’t stunt the excitement on stage as the finalists compete to be one of two acts put through to tomorrow’s deciding vote. GO Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Stereophonics and Jessie J join McIntyre at the Theatre Royal, while former England footballer Alan Shearer gets to cringe from the sidelines as the comedian sends out a mortifying text message to all of the contacts in his phone. GO Hamilton: Building America History, 9.00pm Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s more overlooked founding fathers until Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genre-busting musical Hamilton conquered not only Broadway but the world. This two-hour recap of Hamilton’s life is considerably more ponderous than the musical, but it’s an absorbing account of a man who rose from a penniless West Indies’ orphan to be one of the most influential figures in George Washington’s fledgling US administration. GO Toots & the Maytals: From the Roots Sky Arts, 9.00pm The story of Jamaican musician Toots Hibbert (one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest singers) who, with his pioneering band The Maytals, laid the foundations of reggae in the Sixties with hits such as Do the Reggay and, more widely, in albums such as the Seventies’ From the Roots. A terrific story with some great archive recordings. GO Live Premier League Football: Chelsea v Newcastle Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am After a blip, which saw manager Antonio Conte’s job come under scrutiny, Chelsea’s form has improved in recent weeks (they have lost just one match in the last six in all competitions). And they will be looking to continue this form as they host Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. Newcastle winger Christian Atsu has been denied the chance to play against his former club after being ruled out with a thigh injury. This, along with the fact that the Magpies are also without captain Jamaal Lascelles and left-back Paul Dummett, could spell trouble for manager Rafa Benítez. The pressure is already mounting on the Spaniard as his inconsistent side are without a win in five matches, but he is confident that his team are turning things around. CM International Rugby Union: Wales v South Africa Saturday, BBC One, 2.00pm The autumn internationals come to an end at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as Wales take on South Africa. Wales began their series with defeat to Australia, but showed glimpses of a new attacking style. They will be out to show this in full flow, especially now that they can utilise loose forward Taulupe Faletau, who has been released by his club Bath to play. With this boost, they are confident of defeating the Springboks side. CM Annie Claus Is Coming to Town (2011, TVM) ★★☆☆☆  Channel 5, 3.35pm This sweet made-for-TV movie borrows heavily from Elf and Enchanted, as Santa’s daughter Annie (Maria Thayer) leaves her home in the North Pole to discover the world. Landing in Los Angeles, she gets a job at an ailing toy shop, uses her cheer to turn the business around and falls for boss Ted (Samuel Page). Will he end up meeting her under the mistletoe? Wayne’s World (1992) ★★★★☆ Comedy Central, 6.00pm The wonder of Wayne’s World is the presence of the lovably idiotic duo Wayne and Garth (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey), who host an inept cable TV show and are exploited by a crooked businessman (Rob Lowe). The plot is a negligible ingredient: it’s all about the goofy repartee (“Schwing!”) – and the unforgettable in-car mime to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 8.00pm Seven senior citizens (Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy among them) travel from Britain to Jaipur, where they find the promised Exotic Marigold Hotel, run by Dev Patel, isn’t quite what they were expecting. The film is encumbered by too many interwoven stories and falls down on some wince-inducing clichés, but it’s hard to resist this cast of national treasures. Sunday 3 December Hayley Atwell in 'Howard's End' Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm The BBC’s adaptation of E M Forster’s classic comes to an end with a perfectly paced finale that remains true to its roots while also allowing us to see the story afresh. Much has already been said about Kenneth Lonergan’s astute take on Foster’s tale of the clash between the materialistic Wilcox family and the bohemian Schlegels, yet what really made this one such a joy to watch is his acute understanding of loneliness and unspoken yearning – something that is never clearer than in the beautifully restrained scenes between Matthew Macfadyen’s Henry Wilcox and Hayley Atwell’s Margaret Schlegel. Not that the triumph is Lonergan’s alone: Hettie McDonald directs with verve, making the old tale appear vibrant and fresh, while MacFadyen and Atwell are outstanding in the central roles. The cast as a whole has been wonderful, with praise reserved for Alex Lawther, who manages to make Tibby both irritating and admirable in his dedication to the hypochondriac life. If there is one complaint, it’s perhaps that the awkward Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn) remains underwritten to the end, with Lonergan more interested in the relationship between the Schlegel sisters than in the would-be protégé they befriend. Sarah Hughes Love and Drugs on the Streets BBC Three, from 10.00am This excellent BBC series about a group of homeless women has been unbearably sad at times. The concluding episode sees chill autumn winds hit Brighton, bringing with it a host of new problems, particularly for Paige, who is struggling to cope without her daughter. SH Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm As it visits the world’s coastlines, this episode of the nature series is among its most colourful yet. We see, among other things, sea lions demonstrate teamwork and follow leaping crabs as they try desperately to survive. As always, David Attenborough’s sonorous tones hold the whole thing together. SH Robot Wars BBC Two, 8.00pm   It’s the final on the robot destruction show, and we’re promised the series’ biggest ever battle, during which of the 10 robots return to fight for the last place in the final. The victor of the “robot rumble” will then face the episode winners to see which machine is crowned champion. SH Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm The actress heads to one of the UK’s most spectacular railway lines, the coastal stretch between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Walters is an engaging presence and, in addition to the gorgeous scenery, there are some fascinating facts, including the reason why the Balmoral Hotel’s clock runs slow. SH Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm   The final part of this enthralling documentary series sees the team head to volcano Nyamulagira in the Congo. The volcano erupts regularly but there is no monitoring of it, largely because militia groups have a heavy presence in the area. SH Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm & 10.00pm Series two of the big-budget take on Volker Kutscher’s novels begins, and things are not looking great for DI Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch), who finds himself increasingly alone in a city where it pays to have friends. SH The Frankenstein Chronicles ITV Encore, 10.00pm This rip-roaring adventure deserves a wider audience, not least because Sean Bean is on fine form as detective-turned-monster John Marlott. This week, Marlott receives the news he’s been waiting for: Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) is alive. SH The Dam Busters (1954, b/w) ★★★★☆ ITV4, 2.25pm This is a much-loved film version of the Second World War air raid. The RAF are struggling to destroy German dams so engineer Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave) dreams up a bomb that can do the job. And it’s rather left field – the bomb will be dropped from a plane and bounce along the water like a skimmed stone. Lord of the Rings’s Peter Jackson is producing a modern remake, which is written by Stephen Fry. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 9.00pm Tom Cruise rises to the challenge in this gravity-defying thrill ride. The plot surrounds Cruise with a gifted group of operatives, including faithful friend Benji (Simon Pegg), a lovely but platonic sidekick (Paula Patton), and an “enigmatic” new buddy (Jeremy Renner), who must collectively prevent a nuclear strike. Brad Bird directs. Taxi Tehran (2015) ★★★★☆ BBC Four, 11.00pm Jafar Panahi is one of Iran’s most newsworthy film-makers and this is one of his more playful pieces – not an example of firebrand activism, but a self-reflexive jeu d’esprit in which his smiling face anchors the tone. In a ride around the capital, Panahi likens the skills of a cabbie to those of a director keeping his film on course. There’s nods to other films but it’s an accessible entry-point to his work. Monday 4 December  The Real Marigold on Tour The Real Marigold on Tour BBC One, 9.00pm; Scotland, 10.45pm After two series inwhich celebrities of pensionable age ventured to India to assess its potential as a retirement destination, some of the same stars of The Real Marigold Hotel travel to China and, next week, Cuba, for a taste of life there for the elderly (or for elderly people of certain means, at least). Miriam Margolyes, Rosemary Shrager, Bobby George and Wayne Sleep are the quartet wrangled to the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, in a nation with 230 million over the age of 60. First impressions are dismayingly stereotypical – crazy traffic, linguistic entanglements, unenticing cuisine – but matters improve as they become more adventurous. Following a revelatory railway journey, they reach a country retreat and a Giant Panda sanctuary that proves transformative for some. After the poignancy and charm of the first two series proper, Real Marigold on Tour is a little underwhelming. The personality clashes are lacking and genuine insights are thin on the ground; if anything, there’s a slight jadedness to the whole enterprise. But the celebrities are by and large gracious guests and a pleasure to spend time with, for all their gleefully displayed foibles. Gabriel Tate Armchair Detectives BBC One, 2.15pm Susan Calman’s featherlight but entertaining take on Cluedo continues, as a team of amateur sleuths bid to solve the murder of a teacher in the town of Mortcliff. GT The Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas BBC One, 3.45pm Dave Myers and Si King are among the first television chefs of the year to jump on the festive bandwagon, beginning this new series with a few recipes for alternative Christmas treats: Austrian Linzertorte, roast goose and hazelnut chocolate brownie. GT Action Woman of the Year Awards BT Sport 2, 7.30pm Clare Balding hosts the fifth annual ceremony celebrating women in sport, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta and England footballer Jodie Taylor among the nominees for the night’s big award. GT Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm Two young people, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a visual impairment, seek the help of psychologist Nancy Doyle to gain the confidence to re-enter the jobs market after difficult past experiences. This is another stirring instalment in the award-winning documentary series. GT The Art that Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm In the first of a three-part documentary series, artist Alinka Echeverria examines the geographical forces that have shaped Mexican art, and in particular the different perspectives taken on the nation’s landscape from the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century through to independence in 1900. GT Concorde: Designing the Dream Channel 5, 9.00pm The Anglo-French venture beat the Soviets and Americans, at the peak of their Cold War rivalry, to build the first supersonic passenger airliner. This accessible, enjoyable two-part documentary traces the unlikely success story with the help of key players including Michael Heseltine. GT Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive PBS America, 9.00pm Kathleen Turner and Denis O’Hare are several cuts above this usual reconstruction hacks in this imaginative film exploring the troubled life and startling work of one of American literature’s most disturbing talents. GT The Untouchables (1987) ★★★★☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm Brian De Palma’s gripping Prohibition-era crime drama, based (loosely) on the memoirs of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), follows Ness’s attempts to stop the ruthless mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro, gaining 30 pounds for the role) and his gang of suave cronies. Luckily he also has incorruptible Irish cop Jimmy Malone, played by an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, on his side. The Maze Runner (2014) ★★★★☆ Film4, 9.00pm A group of teenage boys live in a meadow at the heart of a giant labyrinth: no one knows why they’re there, or what lies beyond the maze’s shifting walls, until the arrival of 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) precipitates a push for freedom. This lean, tense adaptation of James Dashner’s sci-fi series makes good on its wildly intriguing premise and has more than a hint of Lord of the Flies. Live and Let Die (1973) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm James Bond (Roger Moore) battles one of his more extraordinary opponents, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean criminal mastermind masquerading as a Harlem drug baron. The film was given lukewarm reviews on its release, but this is Moore-era Bond at its preposterous best. Highlights include 007’s voodoo snake ordeal and a thrilling speedboat chase through New Orleans. Tuesday 5 December Finding Me A Family: - Jo and Mark Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: The Graham Norton Show and Sounds Like Friday Night

Friday 1 December 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. Saturday 2 December Artist Rachel Whiteread Credit: Dan Kitwood Imagine: Rachel Whiteread: Ghost in the Room BBC Two, 9.00pm Rachel Whiteread is an artist whose work, more than most, does not come across especially well on television given that it is about things that cannot be seen, dealing in negative spaces, absences and the intangibleness of memory. Now, 25 years after she made an impact alongside Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and other Young British Artists, Whiteread is indisputably one of Britain’s most highly regarded sculptors. Her signature style, which usually take the form of concrete casts, remains one of the most recognisable in British art. Here, Alan Yentob takes the opportunity afforded by an ongoing major retrospective at the Tate to consider Whiteread’s artistic output. He pays particular attention to the controversy surrounding her 1993 Turner-winning piece, House – a full-scale “reproduction” of the interior volumes of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End. That remains, perhaps, Whiteread’s best-known work but there’s also an assessment of her wider impact, notably in representing Britain at the Venice Biennale, and her evocative “Nameless Library” Holocaust memorial in Vienna. Gerard O’Donovan Can We Live with Robots? Channel 4, 7.00pm One of the more intriguing films in the Rise of the Robots season sees choreographer Akram Khan research cutting-edge robotics in order to create a dance piece about “how humans and robots might come to share our world”. Well, it’s something different. GO Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 7.05pm It is musicals week, and the six remaining contestants will be keen to make a big impression in what is traditionally one of the more ambitious Strictly rounds. There will, no doubt, be some razzle dazzle on the performances, and even the judges might take to the dance floor. GO The X Factor: Live final ITV, 7.05pm With its viewing figures dipping, it is perhaps foolhardy to kick off the final in the same time as Strictly. Still, that won’t stunt the excitement on stage as the finalists compete to be one of two acts put through to tomorrow’s deciding vote. GO Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Stereophonics and Jessie J join McIntyre at the Theatre Royal, while former England footballer Alan Shearer gets to cringe from the sidelines as the comedian sends out a mortifying text message to all of the contacts in his phone. GO Hamilton: Building America History, 9.00pm Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s more overlooked founding fathers until Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genre-busting musical Hamilton conquered not only Broadway but the world. This two-hour recap of Hamilton’s life is considerably more ponderous than the musical, but it’s an absorbing account of a man who rose from a penniless West Indies’ orphan to be one of the most influential figures in George Washington’s fledgling US administration. GO Toots & the Maytals: From the Roots Sky Arts, 9.00pm The story of Jamaican musician Toots Hibbert (one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest singers) who, with his pioneering band The Maytals, laid the foundations of reggae in the Sixties with hits such as Do the Reggay and, more widely, in albums such as the Seventies’ From the Roots. A terrific story with some great archive recordings. GO Live Premier League Football: Chelsea v Newcastle Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am After a blip, which saw manager Antonio Conte’s job come under scrutiny, Chelsea’s form has improved in recent weeks (they have lost just one match in the last six in all competitions). And they will be looking to continue this form as they host Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. Newcastle winger Christian Atsu has been denied the chance to play against his former club after being ruled out with a thigh injury. This, along with the fact that the Magpies are also without captain Jamaal Lascelles and left-back Paul Dummett, could spell trouble for manager Rafa Benítez. The pressure is already mounting on the Spaniard as his inconsistent side are without a win in five matches, but he is confident that his team are turning things around. CM International Rugby Union: Wales v South Africa Saturday, BBC One, 2.00pm The autumn internationals come to an end at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as Wales take on South Africa. Wales began their series with defeat to Australia, but showed glimpses of a new attacking style. They will be out to show this in full flow, especially now that they can utilise loose forward Taulupe Faletau, who has been released by his club Bath to play. With this boost, they are confident of defeating the Springboks side. CM Annie Claus Is Coming to Town (2011, TVM) ★★☆☆☆  Channel 5, 3.35pm This sweet made-for-TV movie borrows heavily from Elf and Enchanted, as Santa’s daughter Annie (Maria Thayer) leaves her home in the North Pole to discover the world. Landing in Los Angeles, she gets a job at an ailing toy shop, uses her cheer to turn the business around and falls for boss Ted (Samuel Page). Will he end up meeting her under the mistletoe? Wayne’s World (1992) ★★★★☆ Comedy Central, 6.00pm The wonder of Wayne’s World is the presence of the lovably idiotic duo Wayne and Garth (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey), who host an inept cable TV show and are exploited by a crooked businessman (Rob Lowe). The plot is a negligible ingredient: it’s all about the goofy repartee (“Schwing!”) – and the unforgettable in-car mime to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 8.00pm Seven senior citizens (Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy among them) travel from Britain to Jaipur, where they find the promised Exotic Marigold Hotel, run by Dev Patel, isn’t quite what they were expecting. The film is encumbered by too many interwoven stories and falls down on some wince-inducing clichés, but it’s hard to resist this cast of national treasures. Sunday 3 December Hayley Atwell in 'Howard's End' Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm The BBC’s adaptation of E M Forster’s classic comes to an end with a perfectly paced finale that remains true to its roots while also allowing us to see the story afresh. Much has already been said about Kenneth Lonergan’s astute take on Foster’s tale of the clash between the materialistic Wilcox family and the bohemian Schlegels, yet what really made this one such a joy to watch is his acute understanding of loneliness and unspoken yearning – something that is never clearer than in the beautifully restrained scenes between Matthew Macfadyen’s Henry Wilcox and Hayley Atwell’s Margaret Schlegel. Not that the triumph is Lonergan’s alone: Hettie McDonald directs with verve, making the old tale appear vibrant and fresh, while MacFadyen and Atwell are outstanding in the central roles. The cast as a whole has been wonderful, with praise reserved for Alex Lawther, who manages to make Tibby both irritating and admirable in his dedication to the hypochondriac life. If there is one complaint, it’s perhaps that the awkward Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn) remains underwritten to the end, with Lonergan more interested in the relationship between the Schlegel sisters than in the would-be protégé they befriend. Sarah Hughes Love and Drugs on the Streets BBC Three, from 10.00am This excellent BBC series about a group of homeless women has been unbearably sad at times. The concluding episode sees chill autumn winds hit Brighton, bringing with it a host of new problems, particularly for Paige, who is struggling to cope without her daughter. SH Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm As it visits the world’s coastlines, this episode of the nature series is among its most colourful yet. We see, among other things, sea lions demonstrate teamwork and follow leaping crabs as they try desperately to survive. As always, David Attenborough’s sonorous tones hold the whole thing together. SH Robot Wars BBC Two, 8.00pm   It’s the final on the robot destruction show, and we’re promised the series’ biggest ever battle, during which of the 10 robots return to fight for the last place in the final. The victor of the “robot rumble” will then face the episode winners to see which machine is crowned champion. SH Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm The actress heads to one of the UK’s most spectacular railway lines, the coastal stretch between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Walters is an engaging presence and, in addition to the gorgeous scenery, there are some fascinating facts, including the reason why the Balmoral Hotel’s clock runs slow. SH Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm   The final part of this enthralling documentary series sees the team head to volcano Nyamulagira in the Congo. The volcano erupts regularly but there is no monitoring of it, largely because militia groups have a heavy presence in the area. SH Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm & 10.00pm Series two of the big-budget take on Volker Kutscher’s novels begins, and things are not looking great for DI Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch), who finds himself increasingly alone in a city where it pays to have friends. SH The Frankenstein Chronicles ITV Encore, 10.00pm This rip-roaring adventure deserves a wider audience, not least because Sean Bean is on fine form as detective-turned-monster John Marlott. This week, Marlott receives the news he’s been waiting for: Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) is alive. SH The Dam Busters (1954, b/w) ★★★★☆ ITV4, 2.25pm This is a much-loved film version of the Second World War air raid. The RAF are struggling to destroy German dams so engineer Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave) dreams up a bomb that can do the job. And it’s rather left field – the bomb will be dropped from a plane and bounce along the water like a skimmed stone. Lord of the Rings’s Peter Jackson is producing a modern remake, which is written by Stephen Fry. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 9.00pm Tom Cruise rises to the challenge in this gravity-defying thrill ride. The plot surrounds Cruise with a gifted group of operatives, including faithful friend Benji (Simon Pegg), a lovely but platonic sidekick (Paula Patton), and an “enigmatic” new buddy (Jeremy Renner), who must collectively prevent a nuclear strike. Brad Bird directs. Taxi Tehran (2015) ★★★★☆ BBC Four, 11.00pm Jafar Panahi is one of Iran’s most newsworthy film-makers and this is one of his more playful pieces – not an example of firebrand activism, but a self-reflexive jeu d’esprit in which his smiling face anchors the tone. In a ride around the capital, Panahi likens the skills of a cabbie to those of a director keeping his film on course. There’s nods to other films but it’s an accessible entry-point to his work. Monday 4 December  The Real Marigold on Tour The Real Marigold on Tour BBC One, 9.00pm; Scotland, 10.45pm After two series inwhich celebrities of pensionable age ventured to India to assess its potential as a retirement destination, some of the same stars of The Real Marigold Hotel travel to China and, next week, Cuba, for a taste of life there for the elderly (or for elderly people of certain means, at least). Miriam Margolyes, Rosemary Shrager, Bobby George and Wayne Sleep are the quartet wrangled to the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, in a nation with 230 million over the age of 60. First impressions are dismayingly stereotypical – crazy traffic, linguistic entanglements, unenticing cuisine – but matters improve as they become more adventurous. Following a revelatory railway journey, they reach a country retreat and a Giant Panda sanctuary that proves transformative for some. After the poignancy and charm of the first two series proper, Real Marigold on Tour is a little underwhelming. The personality clashes are lacking and genuine insights are thin on the ground; if anything, there’s a slight jadedness to the whole enterprise. But the celebrities are by and large gracious guests and a pleasure to spend time with, for all their gleefully displayed foibles. Gabriel Tate Armchair Detectives BBC One, 2.15pm Susan Calman’s featherlight but entertaining take on Cluedo continues, as a team of amateur sleuths bid to solve the murder of a teacher in the town of Mortcliff. GT The Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas BBC One, 3.45pm Dave Myers and Si King are among the first television chefs of the year to jump on the festive bandwagon, beginning this new series with a few recipes for alternative Christmas treats: Austrian Linzertorte, roast goose and hazelnut chocolate brownie. GT Action Woman of the Year Awards BT Sport 2, 7.30pm Clare Balding hosts the fifth annual ceremony celebrating women in sport, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta and England footballer Jodie Taylor among the nominees for the night’s big award. GT Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm Two young people, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a visual impairment, seek the help of psychologist Nancy Doyle to gain the confidence to re-enter the jobs market after difficult past experiences. This is another stirring instalment in the award-winning documentary series. GT The Art that Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm In the first of a three-part documentary series, artist Alinka Echeverria examines the geographical forces that have shaped Mexican art, and in particular the different perspectives taken on the nation’s landscape from the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century through to independence in 1900. GT Concorde: Designing the Dream Channel 5, 9.00pm The Anglo-French venture beat the Soviets and Americans, at the peak of their Cold War rivalry, to build the first supersonic passenger airliner. This accessible, enjoyable two-part documentary traces the unlikely success story with the help of key players including Michael Heseltine. GT Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive PBS America, 9.00pm Kathleen Turner and Denis O’Hare are several cuts above this usual reconstruction hacks in this imaginative film exploring the troubled life and startling work of one of American literature’s most disturbing talents. GT The Untouchables (1987) ★★★★☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm Brian De Palma’s gripping Prohibition-era crime drama, based (loosely) on the memoirs of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), follows Ness’s attempts to stop the ruthless mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro, gaining 30 pounds for the role) and his gang of suave cronies. Luckily he also has incorruptible Irish cop Jimmy Malone, played by an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, on his side. The Maze Runner (2014) ★★★★☆ Film4, 9.00pm A group of teenage boys live in a meadow at the heart of a giant labyrinth: no one knows why they’re there, or what lies beyond the maze’s shifting walls, until the arrival of 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) precipitates a push for freedom. This lean, tense adaptation of James Dashner’s sci-fi series makes good on its wildly intriguing premise and has more than a hint of Lord of the Flies. Live and Let Die (1973) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm James Bond (Roger Moore) battles one of his more extraordinary opponents, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean criminal mastermind masquerading as a Harlem drug baron. The film was given lukewarm reviews on its release, but this is Moore-era Bond at its preposterous best. Highlights include 007’s voodoo snake ordeal and a thrilling speedboat chase through New Orleans. Tuesday 5 December Finding Me A Family: - Jo and Mark Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. 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: The Graham Norton Show and Sounds Like Friday Night

Friday 1 December 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. Saturday 2 December Artist Rachel Whiteread Credit: Dan Kitwood Imagine: Rachel Whiteread: Ghost in the Room BBC Two, 9.00pm Rachel Whiteread is an artist whose work, more than most, does not come across especially well on television given that it is about things that cannot be seen, dealing in negative spaces, absences and the intangibleness of memory. Now, 25 years after she made an impact alongside Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and other Young British Artists, Whiteread is indisputably one of Britain’s most highly regarded sculptors. Her signature style, which usually take the form of concrete casts, remains one of the most recognisable in British art. Here, Alan Yentob takes the opportunity afforded by an ongoing major retrospective at the Tate to consider Whiteread’s artistic output. He pays particular attention to the controversy surrounding her 1993 Turner-winning piece, House – a full-scale “reproduction” of the interior volumes of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End. That remains, perhaps, Whiteread’s best-known work but there’s also an assessment of her wider impact, notably in representing Britain at the Venice Biennale, and her evocative “Nameless Library” Holocaust memorial in Vienna. Gerard O’Donovan Can We Live with Robots? Channel 4, 7.00pm One of the more intriguing films in the Rise of the Robots season sees choreographer Akram Khan research cutting-edge robotics in order to create a dance piece about “how humans and robots might come to share our world”. Well, it’s something different. GO Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 7.05pm It is musicals week, and the six remaining contestants will be keen to make a big impression in what is traditionally one of the more ambitious Strictly rounds. There will, no doubt, be some razzle dazzle on the performances, and even the judges might take to the dance floor. GO The X Factor: Live final ITV, 7.05pm With its viewing figures dipping, it is perhaps foolhardy to kick off the final in the same time as Strictly. Still, that won’t stunt the excitement on stage as the finalists compete to be one of two acts put through to tomorrow’s deciding vote. GO Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.10pm Stereophonics and Jessie J join McIntyre at the Theatre Royal, while former England footballer Alan Shearer gets to cringe from the sidelines as the comedian sends out a mortifying text message to all of the contacts in his phone. GO Hamilton: Building America History, 9.00pm Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s more overlooked founding fathers until Lin-Manuel Miranda’s genre-busting musical Hamilton conquered not only Broadway but the world. This two-hour recap of Hamilton’s life is considerably more ponderous than the musical, but it’s an absorbing account of a man who rose from a penniless West Indies’ orphan to be one of the most influential figures in George Washington’s fledgling US administration. GO Toots & the Maytals: From the Roots Sky Arts, 9.00pm The story of Jamaican musician Toots Hibbert (one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest singers) who, with his pioneering band The Maytals, laid the foundations of reggae in the Sixties with hits such as Do the Reggay and, more widely, in albums such as the Seventies’ From the Roots. A terrific story with some great archive recordings. GO Live Premier League Football: Chelsea v Newcastle Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am After a blip, which saw manager Antonio Conte’s job come under scrutiny, Chelsea’s form has improved in recent weeks (they have lost just one match in the last six in all competitions). And they will be looking to continue this form as they host Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. Newcastle winger Christian Atsu has been denied the chance to play against his former club after being ruled out with a thigh injury. This, along with the fact that the Magpies are also without captain Jamaal Lascelles and left-back Paul Dummett, could spell trouble for manager Rafa Benítez. The pressure is already mounting on the Spaniard as his inconsistent side are without a win in five matches, but he is confident that his team are turning things around. CM International Rugby Union: Wales v South Africa Saturday, BBC One, 2.00pm The autumn internationals come to an end at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as Wales take on South Africa. Wales began their series with defeat to Australia, but showed glimpses of a new attacking style. They will be out to show this in full flow, especially now that they can utilise loose forward Taulupe Faletau, who has been released by his club Bath to play. With this boost, they are confident of defeating the Springboks side. CM Annie Claus Is Coming to Town (2011, TVM) ★★☆☆☆  Channel 5, 3.35pm This sweet made-for-TV movie borrows heavily from Elf and Enchanted, as Santa’s daughter Annie (Maria Thayer) leaves her home in the North Pole to discover the world. Landing in Los Angeles, she gets a job at an ailing toy shop, uses her cheer to turn the business around and falls for boss Ted (Samuel Page). Will he end up meeting her under the mistletoe? Wayne’s World (1992) ★★★★☆ Comedy Central, 6.00pm The wonder of Wayne’s World is the presence of the lovably idiotic duo Wayne and Garth (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey), who host an inept cable TV show and are exploited by a crooked businessman (Rob Lowe). The plot is a negligible ingredient: it’s all about the goofy repartee (“Schwing!”) – and the unforgettable in-car mime to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 8.00pm Seven senior citizens (Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy among them) travel from Britain to Jaipur, where they find the promised Exotic Marigold Hotel, run by Dev Patel, isn’t quite what they were expecting. The film is encumbered by too many interwoven stories and falls down on some wince-inducing clichés, but it’s hard to resist this cast of national treasures. Sunday 3 December Hayley Atwell in 'Howard's End' Howards End BBC One, 9.00pm The BBC’s adaptation of E M Forster’s classic comes to an end with a perfectly paced finale that remains true to its roots while also allowing us to see the story afresh. Much has already been said about Kenneth Lonergan’s astute take on Foster’s tale of the clash between the materialistic Wilcox family and the bohemian Schlegels, yet what really made this one such a joy to watch is his acute understanding of loneliness and unspoken yearning – something that is never clearer than in the beautifully restrained scenes between Matthew Macfadyen’s Henry Wilcox and Hayley Atwell’s Margaret Schlegel. Not that the triumph is Lonergan’s alone: Hettie McDonald directs with verve, making the old tale appear vibrant and fresh, while MacFadyen and Atwell are outstanding in the central roles. The cast as a whole has been wonderful, with praise reserved for Alex Lawther, who manages to make Tibby both irritating and admirable in his dedication to the hypochondriac life. If there is one complaint, it’s perhaps that the awkward Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn) remains underwritten to the end, with Lonergan more interested in the relationship between the Schlegel sisters than in the would-be protégé they befriend. Sarah Hughes Love and Drugs on the Streets BBC Three, from 10.00am This excellent BBC series about a group of homeless women has been unbearably sad at times. The concluding episode sees chill autumn winds hit Brighton, bringing with it a host of new problems, particularly for Paige, who is struggling to cope without her daughter. SH Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm As it visits the world’s coastlines, this episode of the nature series is among its most colourful yet. We see, among other things, sea lions demonstrate teamwork and follow leaping crabs as they try desperately to survive. As always, David Attenborough’s sonorous tones hold the whole thing together. SH Robot Wars BBC Two, 8.00pm   It’s the final on the robot destruction show, and we’re promised the series’ biggest ever battle, during which of the 10 robots return to fight for the last place in the final. The victor of the “robot rumble” will then face the episode winners to see which machine is crowned champion. SH Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm The actress heads to one of the UK’s most spectacular railway lines, the coastal stretch between Newcastle and Edinburgh. Walters is an engaging presence and, in addition to the gorgeous scenery, there are some fascinating facts, including the reason why the Balmoral Hotel’s clock runs slow. SH Expedition Volcano BBC Two, 9.00pm   The final part of this enthralling documentary series sees the team head to volcano Nyamulagira in the Congo. The volcano erupts regularly but there is no monitoring of it, largely because militia groups have a heavy presence in the area. SH Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm & 10.00pm Series two of the big-budget take on Volker Kutscher’s novels begins, and things are not looking great for DI Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch), who finds himself increasingly alone in a city where it pays to have friends. SH The Frankenstein Chronicles ITV Encore, 10.00pm This rip-roaring adventure deserves a wider audience, not least because Sean Bean is on fine form as detective-turned-monster John Marlott. This week, Marlott receives the news he’s been waiting for: Daniel Hervey (Ed Stoppard) is alive. SH The Dam Busters (1954, b/w) ★★★★☆ ITV4, 2.25pm This is a much-loved film version of the Second World War air raid. The RAF are struggling to destroy German dams so engineer Barnes Wallis (Michael Redgrave) dreams up a bomb that can do the job. And it’s rather left field – the bomb will be dropped from a plane and bounce along the water like a skimmed stone. Lord of the Rings’s Peter Jackson is producing a modern remake, which is written by Stephen Fry. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) ★★★☆☆ Channel 4, 9.00pm Tom Cruise rises to the challenge in this gravity-defying thrill ride. The plot surrounds Cruise with a gifted group of operatives, including faithful friend Benji (Simon Pegg), a lovely but platonic sidekick (Paula Patton), and an “enigmatic” new buddy (Jeremy Renner), who must collectively prevent a nuclear strike. Brad Bird directs. Taxi Tehran (2015) ★★★★☆ BBC Four, 11.00pm Jafar Panahi is one of Iran’s most newsworthy film-makers and this is one of his more playful pieces – not an example of firebrand activism, but a self-reflexive jeu d’esprit in which his smiling face anchors the tone. In a ride around the capital, Panahi likens the skills of a cabbie to those of a director keeping his film on course. There’s nods to other films but it’s an accessible entry-point to his work. Monday 4 December  The Real Marigold on Tour The Real Marigold on Tour BBC One, 9.00pm; Scotland, 10.45pm After two series inwhich celebrities of pensionable age ventured to India to assess its potential as a retirement destination, some of the same stars of The Real Marigold Hotel travel to China and, next week, Cuba, for a taste of life there for the elderly (or for elderly people of certain means, at least). Miriam Margolyes, Rosemary Shrager, Bobby George and Wayne Sleep are the quartet wrangled to the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, in a nation with 230 million over the age of 60. First impressions are dismayingly stereotypical – crazy traffic, linguistic entanglements, unenticing cuisine – but matters improve as they become more adventurous. Following a revelatory railway journey, they reach a country retreat and a Giant Panda sanctuary that proves transformative for some. After the poignancy and charm of the first two series proper, Real Marigold on Tour is a little underwhelming. The personality clashes are lacking and genuine insights are thin on the ground; if anything, there’s a slight jadedness to the whole enterprise. But the celebrities are by and large gracious guests and a pleasure to spend time with, for all their gleefully displayed foibles. Gabriel Tate Armchair Detectives BBC One, 2.15pm Susan Calman’s featherlight but entertaining take on Cluedo continues, as a team of amateur sleuths bid to solve the murder of a teacher in the town of Mortcliff. GT The Hairy Bikers Home for Christmas BBC One, 3.45pm Dave Myers and Si King are among the first television chefs of the year to jump on the festive bandwagon, beginning this new series with a few recipes for alternative Christmas treats: Austrian Linzertorte, roast goose and hazelnut chocolate brownie. GT Action Woman of the Year Awards BT Sport 2, 7.30pm Clare Balding hosts the fifth annual ceremony celebrating women in sport, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Johanna Konta and England footballer Jodie Taylor among the nominees for the night’s big award. GT Employable Me BBC Two, 9.00pm Two young people, one with cerebral palsy and the other with a visual impairment, seek the help of psychologist Nancy Doyle to gain the confidence to re-enter the jobs market after difficult past experiences. This is another stirring instalment in the award-winning documentary series. GT The Art that Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm In the first of a three-part documentary series, artist Alinka Echeverria examines the geographical forces that have shaped Mexican art, and in particular the different perspectives taken on the nation’s landscape from the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century through to independence in 1900. GT Concorde: Designing the Dream Channel 5, 9.00pm The Anglo-French venture beat the Soviets and Americans, at the peak of their Cold War rivalry, to build the first supersonic passenger airliner. This accessible, enjoyable two-part documentary traces the unlikely success story with the help of key players including Michael Heseltine. GT Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive PBS America, 9.00pm Kathleen Turner and Denis O’Hare are several cuts above this usual reconstruction hacks in this imaginative film exploring the troubled life and startling work of one of American literature’s most disturbing talents. GT The Untouchables (1987) ★★★★☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm Brian De Palma’s gripping Prohibition-era crime drama, based (loosely) on the memoirs of FBI agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), follows Ness’s attempts to stop the ruthless mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro, gaining 30 pounds for the role) and his gang of suave cronies. Luckily he also has incorruptible Irish cop Jimmy Malone, played by an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, on his side. The Maze Runner (2014) ★★★★☆ Film4, 9.00pm A group of teenage boys live in a meadow at the heart of a giant labyrinth: no one knows why they’re there, or what lies beyond the maze’s shifting walls, until the arrival of 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) precipitates a push for freedom. This lean, tense adaptation of James Dashner’s sci-fi series makes good on its wildly intriguing premise and has more than a hint of Lord of the Flies. Live and Let Die (1973) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm James Bond (Roger Moore) battles one of his more extraordinary opponents, Kananga (Yaphet Kotto), a Caribbean criminal mastermind masquerading as a Harlem drug baron. The film was given lukewarm reviews on its release, but this is Moore-era Bond at its preposterous best. Highlights include 007’s voodoo snake ordeal and a thrilling speedboat chase through New Orleans. Tuesday 5 December Finding Me A Family: - Jo and Mark Find Me a Family Channel 4, 9.00pm Having started in the US, adoption activity days began in the UK six years ago with the idea of allowing potential parents to meet children waiting to be adopted. But many have also been concerned that the events were little more than “beauty pageants” that would make the children feel rejected if they weren’t chosen (traditionally children are matched via written descriptions and photos). This rewarding documentary follows an event in the Midlands organised by the charity Coram. With more than 2,000 children on the adoption register in the UK, it’s clear from this heart-tugging film that every option is worth exploring ­­­­­– and the days are now seen as a success with one in four of the children being adopted. It follows 13 prospective adopters (who are advised “not cry in front of the kids”) and 10 children – and their remarkable foster carers – as they meet at a jungle-themed party. Among them are six-year-old Demi and her three younger brothers (sibling groups are more difficult to place – so this may be their last chance of remaining together), and Mark and Jo, who have six children of their own but feel that “If we’ve got it to offer, why can’t we offer it to children that need it?” SH Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Channel 4, 8.00pm How you do make sure your Christmas presents, food and decorations “outstrip the smuggest Instagrammer”? Kirstie Allsopp has some suggestions as she shows how to make everything from “schmaltzy, upcycled” diorama tree baubles to miniature Danish cakes. SH The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm In the penultimate episode of Peter Bowker’s skilful and well-rounded drama, Paul (Lee Ingleby) has issues with a video made about his son (Max Vento) by his ex-sister-in-law, nurse Nicola (Vinette Robinson) which attempts to show the spectrum of his autism. SH Invasion! With Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm In historian Sam Willis’s entertaining three-parter, he explores the battles for Britain over the millennia from the Romans, Saxons and Vikings to the “ones you’ve heard of”. It’s a story of myth, reality, climate change and DNA allied to a question of whether there has ever been a “true British people”. Willis begins with the farming invasion 6,000 years ago. SH David Jason’s Secret Service More4, 9.00pm The world evoked by John Buchan, John le Carré and Len Deighton is examined by actor and espionage enthusiast David Jason in this new three-part series about real-life spooks and spies. In the opener, Jason looks back to the beginnings of the British Secret Service in the early 20th century, learning of undercover missions and crack spies. He hears too of the role of a maverick spymaster during the First World War and the Belgian refugees who were Britain’s first secret agents. SH Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm; NI, 11.15pm Trying to win a coveting spot in a school-run car pool, the rights and wrongs of potpourri and a revelation about a threesome are all thrown into the mix in this episode of this bitingly observant series. As ever, put-upon mother Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) is at the forefront. Extraordinary Teens: My Gay Life Channel 4, 10.00pm Billy, who realised he was gay at the age of seven, began documenting his life after attending Gay Pride in Brighton as Lady Gaga when he was 11. Six years later, this resulting documentary is a revealing insight into the highs and lows of growing up in Billy’s world. SH The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) ★★★★☆ TCM, 6.30pm English actor Robert Stephens makes a louche, witty Holmes, Colin Blakely a delightful Watson while Geneviève Page adds a tingle of sex appeal as an Irene Adler-like femme fatale to whom the great consulting detective becomes dangerously attracted. Billy Wilder’s endearing film, ostensibly a parody, is seen by many as an important influence on the BBC’s Sherlock series. The Choir (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 6.55pm Dustin Hoffman gives a wonderfully minor-key performance as a tough-love choirmaster in François Girard’s affecting drama. It’s a triumph-over-adversity picture, the adversity being the disadvantaged background of a gifted 11-year-old called Stet (newcomer Garrett Wareing), whose alcoholic single mother in Odessa, Texas dies in a first-reel car crash. Eddie Izzard and Kathy Bates co-star. Bullitt (1968) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm This is the film that made Steve McQueen a superstar and revolutionised the car chase with its 10-minute split-screen, edge-of-your-seat race through San Francisco. McQueen plays hard-nosed, icy-cool cop Frank Bullitt, who is assigned to protect Mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), until a pair of hit men scupper his plans. The final pursuit at the airport inspired a similar sequence in Michael Mann’s Heat. Wednesday 6 December Paul Anderson in 'Peaky Blinders' Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm We’re midway through the fourth series and Peaky Blinders seems set on going down the path of self-parody, such is the high tide of blood, violence and criminality that it’s unleashed so far. Gore-spattered, finely choreographed excess, however, has always been a large part of its appeal, and this series’ addition of a to-the-death vendetta with Italian-American mafiosi on the mean streets of Birmingham certainly allows such excess to be delivered by the bucketload. If Adrien Brody, channelling the mumbling ghost of Don Corleone in his portrayal of the toothpick-sucking mafia boss Luca Changretta, teeters on the brink of pantomime, at least the devil’s deal that he brokered with Polly (Helen McCrory) in last week’s climactic moments captured the spine-tingling shiver of betrayal that it needed to convince.   That’s where this week’s action-packed episode picks up, with the Shelby gang breaking out the weaponry again ahead of another suspected ambush, while Tommy’s (Cillian Murphy) efforts to find a regular bedmate focus on May Carleton (Charlotte Riley). And his new sideline as a boxing promoter, prompts the reappearance of old rival Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Gerard O’Donovan Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm On her third stately home excursion Mary Berry visits Powderham Castle, Devon, to spend time with a recently moved in family reinventing their family seat for the 21st century, and to cook up some mouthwatering woodland-inspired treats for a magical Midsummer’s Eve party. GO The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm One of Chester’s onagers (or wild asses, if you prefer) gets over-excited when, after two years waiting, he’s allowed near the females during mating season. And turtle Charlie is showing signs of stress despite his seemingly leisurely pace of life. GO Machines of War Yesterday, 8.00pm The first in a new three-part series unpicking some of the most advanced military hardware on the planet explores the technology behind the devastatingly deadly Tomahawk Cruise missile. It’s a weapon that, after decades on the design bench, has become the West’s remote weapon of choice, capable of striking targets up to 2,500 kilometres away with terrifying accuracy. GO The Apprentice BBC One, 9.00pm It’s the candidates’ last chance to impress before next week’s terrifying interview round. And what an opportunity to shine, when they’re asked to organise a high-end catwalk show and come up with a cover feature to show off the work of up-and-coming fashion designers. GO The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm It’s not so much life on the ocean wave as under the seabed in this episode focusing on the complex work of the engineers responsible for keeping rail traffic moving through the Channel Tunnel safely and efficiently. GO Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist National Geographic, 9.00pm Pieced together from Dian Fossey’s own writings and over 40 hours of film footage, this terrific documentary looks back over the life and legacy of the dedicated American primatologist and conservationist who did so much – even to the point of being murdered – to save the Rwandan mountain gorilla from extinction. Fossey’s words are voiced by Sigourney Weaver, who brought her work to prominence in the award-winning 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist. GO Champions League Football: Liverpool v Spartak Moscow BT Sport 2, 7.45pm Liverpool and Spartak Moscow go head to head with a place in the Champions League knockout stages up for grabs. Liverpool have the advantage, knowing that they only need one point to qualify from Group E and that victory will guarantee them the top spot, regardless of how Sevilla get on against Maribor. Spartak must go all out for the win and despite the loss of Russian international Dmitri Kombarov, Massimo Carrera’s side will be buoyed by a gutsy victory over Zenit which extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. CM Prometheus (2012) ★★★★☆ E4, 9.00pm Ridley Scott finds ways to push a genre into queasy new places with this majestic, lime-splattered, blood-spurting science-fiction adventure – a prequel to his 1979 Alien. After discovering cave paintings which point to a location in space, archaeologists Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) lead a mission to discover our ancestors. Michael Fassbender co-stars as an enigmatic android. Legally Blonde (2001) ★★★★☆ 5STAR, 11.00pm This was the moment that Reese Witherspoon entered global consciousness, and no amount of Oscar-winning turns will separate her from ditsy blonde sorority girl Elle Woods. Of course, Elle isn’t really ditsy, she turns out to be a legal eagle, which is the whole point of Australian director Robert Luketic’s first film: the revelatory observation that blondes can also have brains. The dialogue is fabulously sharp-edged. Boy (2010) ★★★★☆ Film4, 11.20pm New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has just directed Hollywood blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok, but this tender coming-of-age comedy was the indie debut that cemented his reputation for being a smart and funny talent. Set in 1984, it follows Boy (James Rolleston), an 11-year-old dreamer in a deprived rural community who worships his criminal father (Waititi) and imagines that he is a close relation of his other hero, Michael Jackson. Thursday 7 December 'Catching a Killer' Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

Wales' No. 8 Taulupe Faletau stretches for a loose ball during their rugby union Test match against New Zealand, at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, on November 25, 2017

Wales' No. 8 Taulupe Faletau stretches for a loose ball during their rugby union Test match against New Zealand, at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, on November 25, 2017 (AFP Photo/Adrian DENNIS)

Wales' No. 8 Taulupe Faletau stretches for a loose ball during their rugby union Test match against New Zealand, at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, on November 25, 2017

Wales' No. 8 Taulupe Faletau stretches for a loose ball during their rugby union Test match against New Zealand, at the Principality stadium in Cardiff, on November 25, 2017

Rugby Union - Championship - South Africa v New Zealand

Rugby Union - Championship - South Africa v New Zealand - Newlands Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - October 7, 2017 - South Africa's Malcolm Marx tackles New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings - RC1E64896850

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