What to watch on TV this week

Dara O’Briain hangs out with Stephen Hawking on BBC One on Tuesday.

What to watch on TV this week


Orange is the New Black Netflix

The entire third season of the women’s prison drama is now available for streaming.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ITV, 7pm

The first of Peter Jackson’s three-part take on JRR Tolkien’s book. In terms of plot and characters, the New Zealand director had far less to work with than Lord of the Rings, and wringing three films from the tale always seemed like an indulgence. It rarely hit the heights of the previous trilogy, but does make for entertaining fare, with some spectacular cinematography.

The Amazing Spider-Man RTÉ2, 8pm

Decent reboot from 2012 starring Andrew Garfield as the webbed crusader.

Agnes Browne RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Fans of Mrs Brown‘s Boys who haven’t seen this 1999 film should probably lower their expectations. The plot was based on Brendan O’Carroll’s book, The Mammy, but is an entirely different viewing experience. Anjelica Huston plays the cash-strapped mother of seven.


Lords And Ladles RTÉ One, 6.30pm

The trio of chefs visit Tullynally Castle in Co Westmeath, the largest house in private ownership in Ireland. Originally given to British soldier Henry Pakenham in lieu of owed wages in post-Cromwell Ireland in 1665, the estate is now owned by Thomas and Valerie Pakenham (Lord and Lady Longford). Tonight’s meal is from 1809, however, and includes such ingredients as perch, boilded turkeys and lamb testicles.

Protecting Our Foster Kids: Jesse’s Home BBC Two, 10pm

In Ireland, it’s illegal for media outlets to identify children in care. The UK has a different approach, with some children even featuring in TV series such as this. Identification and its consequences are a debatable issue, but these shows often provide insight and publicity for a very important pillar of child welfare. In this episode we follow Jesse from when he first comes into emergency foster care as a four month-old, to his first birthday. As well as Jesse’s experienced foster carers, we also meet his birth mother Natasha, struggling with post-natal depression and aware of the increasingly difficult decisions to be made the longer her son stays in care.

Ken Loach in Conversation with Cillian Murphy BBC Four, 12.05pm

Repeat of the conversation the Cork actor had with the director he worked with on The Wind That Shakes the Barley.


The £100K House: The Final Fix BBC Two, 8pm

We’d previously seen architects Piers Taylor and Kieran Long help people build their houses for less than £100,000. Over the next two weeks, they’ll revisit those homes and help the owners put the finishing touches on the interior.

Game of Thrones Sky Atlantic, 9pm

The final episode of season five has come around far too quickly, and we know it’s going to leave us longing for series six. Stannis is on the march, Daenerys finds herself surrounded by strangers and Cersei is in the unusual position of asking for forgiveness.

The Met: Policing London BBC One, 9pm

The second episode of the documentary series goes behind the scenes at the policing operation for the Notting Hill Carnival, and also features a detective on the hunt of a sex offender who has been targeting Muslim women.


An Hour to Save Your Life BBC Two, 9pm

The final episode of the current instalment of the excellent medical series focuses on the immediate response to two incidents: a cyclist run over by a lorry, and a woman who collapsed in the street and her heart has stopped.

Dara O’Briain Meets Stephen Hawking BBC One, 10.35pm

The Irish comedian hangs out with his childhood hero at the great scientist’s home and place of work. He’ll also chat to Hawking’s two children, Lucy and Tim.

The Walking Dead RTÉ2, 10.50pm

Veteran viewers of this show had presumed they could no longer be disgusted by the flesh-eating zombies and those humans trying to avoid them. How wrong we were. Series five has upped the yeuch factor again, while still managing to include some of the best drama on TV right now.


Napoleon BBC Two, 9pm

Episode two picks up the story in 1805, with Napoleon already crowned King of Italy and about to embark on further wars as he expanded his empire.

Mairéad Farrell — Comhrá nár Chríochnaigh TG4, 9.30pm

Repeat of the fascinating documentary on Mairéad Farrell, the IRA member who was killed by the SAS in Gibraltar in 1988, along with two more of her colleagues in an active service unit. It includes an interview with Carmen Proetta, the unfortunate local woman who witnessed the killings and was smeared by a number of British newspapers for giving an honest accocunt of what she saw.

Shutter Island RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in a twisty offering from Martin Scorsese that divided audiences when it was released in 2010.

The Session TG4, 10.30pm

The late 1980s was a time of much speculation in Ireland about the next band to ‘make it’ from the huge crop of Irish bands that seemed to following in U2’s wake. Tonight’s show features three of the aspirants: In Tua Nua, Paul Cleary & The Partisans and Light a Big Fire.


Catching History’s Criminals: The Forensics Story BBC Four, 9pm

New documentary series that’ll appeal to CSI and Sherlock fans. Surgeon and writer Gabriel Weston uses real cases from history to explore the evolution of criminal forensics. First up is the issue of identifying a body and the killer in four breakthrough murder cases.

Celebrity MasterChef BBC One, 9pm

Another crop of celebrities, including Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding and singer Chesney Hawkes, show off their culinary skills as they try to impress the judges


Kate Humble: Living with Nomads BBC Two, 9pm

The final part of the series follows Humble during her time in the Gobi desert with a family of herders and their flocks of cashmere goat and yak.

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