What to watch on TV this week

Francis Brennan’s Grand Indian Tour begins tomorrow on RTÉ One.

What to watch on TV this week


Star Trek 

Channel 4, 7pm

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto star in the 2009 prequel that has the young Kirk and Spock doing their best to dodge a vengeful time traveller.

Pat Shortt’s Music From D’Telly 

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

For anybody who missed the series when it was broadcast on Friday nights earlier in the year, this re-run is well worth catching.

The simple concept that works so well involves Shortt raiding the RTÉ archives, and the opening nostalgia-fest includes an appearance from The Jam in 1978 performing ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’.


BBC Four, 9pm

Nordic detective action has our hero Martin Beck looking into the world of art fraud following the murder of a bidder at an auction

Saturday Night With Miriam

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

The second episode of the seasonal show features more light chat with an eclectic mix of guests.


The Lion King

Channel 4, 6.15pm

Has it really taken 22 years for this Disney classic to get its TV premiere in this part of the world?

At first glance, this animated tale of deceit, family murder and revenge looks most unsuitable for children, but they’ll probably love it.

The Hunt

RTÉ One, 6.30pm

A look at the game of life and death played out on various coastlines around the world includes an array of opportunistic predators, including dolphins and octopuses that briefly leave the safety of the sea; wolves that have learned how to fish; and the largest gathering of humpback whales on the planet.

As ever, there are some excellent scenes from a show previously seen on the BBC.

Fair City

RTÉ One, 8pm

Robbie is at the heart of a lot of the action this week as his past comes back to haunt him.

Dermot also has a lot on his plate as his sentencing hearing looms, but there’s good news for Dolores as she gets to look at life afresh.

The Secret Agent

BBC One, 9pm

Toby Jones and Ian Hart feature among an impressive cast for this new three-part drama set in 19th century London.

Verloc (Jones) the Russian spy is told by his masters to set up a bombing that they hoped will be blamed on a local anarchist cell.

K2: The Killer Summit: Storyville

BBC Four, 10pm

Another chance to see the moving documentary on Irish climber Ger McDonnell’s tragic expedition on K2 in Pakistan in 2008, when he became one of 11 people to die on the mountain that day.



Channel 4, 9pm

New documentary series following the efforts of 23 men and women to abandon 21st century life and set up a new society in the Highlands of Scotland. Can they really get back to basics?

Panorama: Trump’s Angry America

BBC One, 8.30pm

Bakersfield in California is a racially divided town that has become further polarised with the emergence of Donald Trump as the Republican front-runner for the US presidential race.

Hilary Andersson spends time there talking to those who feel Trump reflects their outlook on life, and others who fear for the future.

The Somme 1916 — From Both Sides of the Wire 

BBC Two, 9pm

We’ve had a lot of shows about the infamous WWI battle in recent times, but this series aims to bring something new to the table by looking at the tragic conflict from both a German and British perspective.

Historian presenter Peter Barton also promises to contradict much of the received wisdom about the battle.

First up is a look at a first day that claimed more than 20,000 lives on the British side alone


Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

BBC Two, 8pm

There’s a smorgasboard of medico presenters on this show, with Gabriel Weston checking out the effectiveness of sun creams; Chris van Tulleken investigating whether high intensity exercise is really as beneficial as recent claims suggest; and, perhaps most interestingly, Michael Mosley looking ways of getting the benefits of exercise without actually doing any.


BBC Two, 8pm

With the Olympics on the horizon, Dr Xand van Tulleken (his twin Chris is on BBC Two at the same time) takes a look at the kidney damage, cognitive impairment and gonad shrinkage that can be caused with performance enhancing drugs.

Is it worth it? Plenty elite sportspeople would vote yes.

Follow Donal

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Croatia is an increasingly popular destination for Irish tourists, and Donal Skehan looks at some of the delicious food they might find on offer there.

The country’s seafood tradition is apparent in the preparation of a black cuttlefish risotto, while there’s also Italian influence at play as Skehan makes fresh pasta.

The Job Interview

Channel 4, 9pm

A vet firm is looking for a ‘pedigree’ receptionist.

Facing the fairly ruthless managing director are a former teacher, and a 24-year-old under pressure to support his family.

The Search

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

While the Industrial School system in Ireland doesn’t seem to hit the headlines as much as when it was first exposed 20 years ago, many people are still dealing with its legacy.

This documentary follows two men of mixed race parentage as they try to trace their family story.

Gerry Moran is in now his 50s and was placed in an institution when he was four months.

Much of what he thought he knew about his family is revealed to be untrue as he follows a trail to America.

Colin Brennan is about the same age and was placed in care at the age of five, eventually being sent to different foster families than his two brothers.

He heads to Liverpool to try to find out more about the circumstances of his mother’s death.

Inside Obama’s White House

RTÉ One, 11.45pm

The excellent documentary series continues with a look at an episode of American political life that stunned many of us on this side of the world.

Obama tries to introduce a health care system that would remove some of the emphasis on profit-making, and instead make it more accessible to millions of less wealthy people. Who could object?

Actually loads of vested interests and an unfortunate amount of people who stood to benefit from the new system. We see the US president castigated as some sort of mad Leninist by the Tea Party and others.

There’s also a look at how Sister Carol Keehan mobilised almost 60,000 nuns against bishops who were trying to kill an abortion bill.


The Joy of Data

BBC Four, 9pm

Data has become a major component of 21st century life and in this fascinating documentary, Dr Hannah Fry tells how it is captured and used, and looks at some of those who drove the advances in the technology and analysis.


Master of Photography

Sky Arts, 8pm

Worthwhile viewing for anyone with an interest in photography. Over the next eight weeks, Isabella Rossellini will follow the 12 finalists battling to win the prize of €150,000.


People’s History Of Pop

BBC Four, 9.30pm

The second episode of the series has plenty of Bowie and Bob Marley as it looks at the decade from 1966 to ’76 through the eyes of music fans.

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