What to watch this week

Des O’Driscoll looks ahead to this week’s viewing schedule.

What to watch this week


Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy salute to the music of The Bee Gees

RTÉ2, 10.35pm

John Travolta hosts a tribute to the group who provided him with so much groovy music to dance to in Saturday Night Fever.

Barry Gibb is the only surviving member of the trio, and before his performance at the end, we get covers from the likes of Ed Sheeran, Stevie Wonder and Nick Jonas.

Das Boot

RTÉ2, 12.25am

Classic submarine film from 1981 tells the partly-true tale of life aboard the German predator during WWII.




Is this film the new Babe? The tale of a huge genetically-modified pig and its friendship with a little girl got rave reviews when it premiered at Cannes recently, and has already become essential family viewing on the streaming network.

Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal also star.



This new 10-part series has Naomi Watts playing a therapist who takes things that bit too far by getting involved with some of the people in her patients’ lives.

Another slow-moving show from the streaming network.


Dunkirk: The New Evidence

Channel 4, 8pm

The upcoming film starring Cillian Murphy and Harry Styles means we’ll be hearing a lot about the retreat from the French port in 1940.

This documentary looks at the little-known tale of how many British servicemen involved in the action were resentful of the RAF for not providing them with enough protection from German planes.

We hear that this was a somewhat unfair appraisal of the British airforce, as given the meagre resources they had, the RAF did an amazing job in keeping the Luftwaffe at bay.


BBC Two, 9pm


We’re all very familiar with George Best’s story, but Daniel Gordon’s film is still well worth a watch for its account of the self-destructive footballing genius.

Between the soccer success and the beautiful women, the Belfast man’s life could have been the stuff of dreams, but it’s the poignancy of his battle with alcohol that shines through here.

Where did it all go wrong, indeed.



RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Episode three has Dara Ó Cinnéide returning to his home club of An Ghaeltacht in Co Kerry to see the sense of pride the club evokes in the parish, and to assess whether the widespread use of technology and sports science is making an impact.

The former star also goes to Leitir Móir in Connemara where he witnesses how the club is using GPS technology to monitor player performance.


Better Call Saul


Depending on your opinion, this Breaking Bad offshoot is either a slow-burning slab of brilliance, or a self-indulgent yawn-fest.

Those of the former opinion will be saddened to hear that the final episode of season three is released today.


BBC Two, 9pm

The NHS might be a far superior health system compared to what we have in this country, but it’s certainly not perfect.

One of the issues we see in tonight’s episode that has similarities to Ireland is the rise in people going to emergency departments, even though it’s not the proper place for them.

For instance, one woman with serious mental health issues has to be kept for 29 hours before a psychiatric bed becomes available.

Another unfortunate man is brought to the A&E when his dementia causes him to become aggressive at home.

First Dates

Channel 4, 10pm

The diners on tonight’s show include a 65-year-old dominatrix who says she wants to grow old disgracefully.


Missing You

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

More video calls from Irish emigrants has Emma Doyle — who recently gave birth to her first child — calling home with the prognosis on her partner Paul’s skin cancer, which had spread to his brain. Has the treatment been successful?

There are also medical issues for the family of Sinead Fraser, living in New Zealand.

Her mother in Co Wicklow is on regular dialysis, and two of her brothers have kidney disease.

Joanna Lumley’s India

ITV, 9pm

The 71-year-old actress goes back to the country where she was born during the last days of British rule. Her father was a major in the Gurkha Rifles, and Lumley’s mother also had strong ties to the country.

She begins the new three-part series in Tamil Nadu in the south, and works her way north, touching on both the traditional and modern aspects of a country that still has massive poverty, despite its burgeoning IT sector and a multi-billion dollar space programme.


Liveline: Call Back

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Like any Irish organisation, especially those with republican leanings, it was only a matter of time before the Wolf Tones would split.

Tonight’s episode follows up on the 2009 radio show when group member Derek Warfield came on to talk about leaving the band, only for his brother Brian to also ring in to give his side of the story as an argument ensued live on air.

We also hear from a woman who buried her daughter’s ashes in the family’s garden, an act that would contravene the Pope’s instructions to Catholics that people must be buried in consecrated ground.

Vermeer, Beyond Time

RTÉ One, 10.15pm

The National Gallery in Dublin currently has a major exhibition on Johannes Vermeer, part of which is this documentary on the 17th century Dutch artist.

We see how he died in poverty at the age of 45, before being rediscovered 200 years later, as his genius and innovative techniques with colour, light and perspective were finally appreciated.


Rock ‘n’ Roll Guns For Hire: The untold story of the Sideman

BBC Four, 9pm

David Bowie’s longterm collaborator Earl Slick interviews Keith Richards and some of the other famous sidemen to show their strange existence in the world of rock.

Top of the Lake

BBC Two, 11.05pm

With the second series coming later in July, this repeat of the first season has Elisabeth Moss as the detective dealing with all sorts of strange scenarios in her New Zealand home town.

It was a series that split viewers, so it’ll be interesting to see how the new Sydney-set outing will be received.

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