Best of the Week's TV (Saturday, July 20- Friday 26)

Highlights include John Creedon's retracing of Michael Collins's final day.

Best of the Week's TV (Saturday, July 20- Friday 26)


Top Of The Lake

BBC Two, 9.10pm

Despite the lavish praise from British critics, we found the first episode of Jane Campion’s crime thriller to be quite patchy. It did have enough to bring us back for more, however, and in tonight’s episode, Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) risks her own life as she searches for pregnant 12-year-old Tui (Jacqueline Joe).

Micro Monsters With David Attenborough

Sky 1, 8pm

The final episode of the series looks at the incredibly complex colonies formed by such creatures as bees, termites and ants.


Racing from the Curragh includes the Irish Oaks (RTÉ Two, 6.15pm), while there’s also coverage of the second-last day of the Open Championship (BBC One, 11am; BBC Two, 5.45pm) from Muirfield. Action from the All-Ireland football qualifiers features Kildare v Tyrone (RTÉ Two, throw-in 7pm). Today’s

penultimate stage in the  Tour de France (TG4, 12.25pm) is the 125km run from Annecy to Semnoz, finishing with a category H climb.


Great Irish Journeys

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

John Creedon is on home territory as he

ventures from Cork city to the west of the county while tracing the last journey of Michael Collins before he was shot dead at Beal na Bláth on Aug 22, 1922. A replica of the convoy was assembled for the programme.

Celebrity Masterchef Ireland

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Gary Cooke was eliminated last week, and the remaining seven contestants will now be split into teams as they cater for a dinner party hosted by Gavin Duffy of Dragon’s Den and his wife Orlaith Carmody.


A busy day in sport includes the final round of The Open (BBC One, 11am) from Muirfield and the concluding stage of the Tour de France (TG4, Eurosport, ITV4; times vary) from Paris. In football, a double bill of games on TV3 includes Mayo v London (throw-in 2pm) and Donegal v Monaghan (throw-in 4pm).



BBC One, 8.30pm

Another decent international affairs offering. While army-led efforts in Brazil to curb illegal deforestation have been in the news recently, this show focuses on the timber trail from Africa to Europe. It shows loggers working in the Congo cutting down irreplaceable swathes of rainforest for £2.50 a day, and explains how many of the trees are ending up in products sold in this part of the world.

Burton And Taylor

BBC Four, 9pm

Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West star in this account of the events surrounding Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s appearance in a Broadway production of Private Lives in 1983. We see Taylor fluffing her lines for earlier rehearsals and getting panned by the critics for her performance when the play opens, but audiences love the parallels they see in the superstar couple’s own dynamic and the plot of Noel Coward’s play.

Person of Interest

RTÉ Two, 9.30pm

Double bill finale has Reese doing his best to evade capture as the FBI get closer than ever.


Cracking Crime — Cold Cases

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

New series looking back on old murders in the hope that putting them in the public eye again may help to solve the cases. First up is the case of 83-year-old Eddie Fitzmaurice in Bellaghy, Co Sligo, who froze to death after being tied up during a robbery at his home in 1998.

Imagine... Woody Allen: A Documentary

BBC One, 10.35pm

Described as the “definitive biography” of the filmmaker by his close friend Robert B Weide, many people will be interested to see whether Allen’s “candid” revelations stretch to his

relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, the daughter of his ex-partner Mia Farrow.

The Walking Dead

RTÉ Two, 9.50pm

It’s often a good sign of a TV show that it’s willing to sacrifice a major character to upset viewers’ expectations and  propel the plot forward. Tonight’s huge episode is brilliantly executed by all involved and is possibly the best bit of drama you’ll see all year.


Summer Suppers

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

If you are one of the many people who never caught the cookery segments in the Today Show, this series brings them all together for an evening viewing. First up is the theme of comfort food, with Kevin Dundon cooking up a meatloaf; Paul Flynn preparing leek and bacon bake and Catherine Fulvio cooking a ham, pea and potato frittata.

Fair City

RTÉ One, 8pm

Niamh finds out about Callum’s part in the accident and lets rip at him. Luke and Leo are two other characters whose problems take a turn for the worse in tonight’s episode.

Bayern Munich v Barcelona

Sky Sports 1, 7.30pm

It’s only a pre-season friendly, but the presence of Pep Guardiola as home team manager gives the game between Europe’s two top teams a fascinating sub-plot.


Science Club  

BBC Two, 8pm

Dara Ó Briain begins another season of accessible science fare. The first episode looks at whether mind reading is possible and wonders if humans can form an emotional bond with computers.

Taking Care Of Business

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

New series in which two ‘financial trouble-shooters’, Sean Dunne and Tommy Murphy, try to help people who got into debt during the Celtic Tiger years. The first person to receive their advice is James Fegan, right, the third-generation owner of his family’s food business. He’s struggling to repay over 3m in debts, the result of borrowings to build a new warehouse and a family home during the bubble.


TG4, 10pm

Repeat of Philip King’s enjoyable documentary on Jimmy Crowley and his 1977 album, The Boys of Fairhill.


Springwatch Guide to Butterflies

BBC Two, 9pm

After two disastrously wet summers, hopefully the recent good weather will help the recovery of butterfly species in this part of the world. This one-off special shows how you can create a haven for them in your garden.

The Hit

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

New talent-show series that gives an emerging songwriter a chance to have their work performed by an established act. It’s also a battle between the stars as they try to choose a song that could provide an elusive hit. Nicky Byrne and Aidan Power are on presentation duties, while the Stunning and Julie Feeney perform tonight’s songs.


RTÉ Two, 9pm

The repeats of series two continues with another double bill of episodes. John Boy and Fran are at loggerheads as all-out gang warfare erupts.

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