TV not to miss

SATURDAY

Boardwalk Empire

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

The final episode of season three sees Nucky’s grip on power continuing to slip. New York gangster Gyp Rosetti is being supported by the mafia, and the tensions mount to a point where war seems inevitable.

The Killing

BBC Four, 9pm

The final two episodes in what we are told is the last ever series of The Killing. Election day looms and the kidnapped Emilie’s fate is still uncertain. Can Sarah Lund save the day?

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Channel 4, 9pm

In the third installment in the franchise, Bella is in a dilemma over whether to run with the vampires or the werewolf hounds. Meanwhile, a horde of new vampires are unleashed by an old enemy to settle a score with Bella and Edward.

SUNDAY

Survival With Ray Mears

RTÉ Two, 8pm

The biggest boy scout in the world goes tracking wolves in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho.

Ó Cuisine

TG4, 8.30pm

New cookery series in which Pádraig Ó Sé meets up with different chefs around the country who prepare a three-course meal each week. First up is Orla Talbot from the Talbot Hotel in Belmullet. She’s doing an alternative Christmas dinner of figs filled with parma ham and mascarpone; the main course isloin of venison; and meringue for dessert.

MONDAY

Baby Jake Loves Christmas

CBeebies, 4.50pm

THe Irish-made cartoon features Baby Jake and Pengy Quin as they set off on a magical snowy adventure to find decorations, joined by Nibbles the Rabbit, the Hamsternauts and Sydney the Monkey.

Béile na Féile i Washington le Cathal Armstrong

RTÉ One, 7.30pm

Former Dublin minor hurler Cathal Armstrong has built quite a reputation as a chef in the United States. As well as running the Eve restaurant in Virginia, Armstrong also features on the White House website and is part of Michelle Obama’s campaign to get Americans eating healthier. This show goes behind the scenes at his restaurant as he joins an ever-growing list of chefs over the next few weeks showing us how to cook the perfect turkey.

Panorama

BBC One, 9pm

It will come as no surprise to most people to hear that the British state ran alegal death squads in the North during the Troubles. Panorama often reported on such dark deeds in the 1970s and ‘80s, and this show features interviews with three operatives who were involved in extrajudicial executions and other such acts. They claim that their killing of terrorists actually helped to save lives, but reporter John Ware shows how innocent civilians may also have suffered from the actions of their squad.

Girls

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Season finale of the debut run of the hit series. Chris O’Dowd’s character is still on the scene and is at the centre of one of the big surprises in tonight’s episode. Watch out for season two of the series from Monday, Jan 14.

Coal, Frankenstein And Mirror… An Irish Nativity

RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Many schools are rehearsing Nativity plays at the moment, and this documentary follows four of them as they prepare for the big day. Among those featured in the show are Scoil Mhuire, Ballyboden, Dublin, and St. Columba’s girls national school in Douglas, Cork.

The Mario Rosenstock Show

RTÉ One, 9.30pm

The final episode in a series that has been somewhat overshadowed by the sharper work of Irish Pictorial Weekly. Rosenstock is an excellent impressionist, however, and has produced a few laughs through the series.

TUESDAY

The Snapper

TV3, 9pm

Colm Meaney and co are well worth another watch in this 1993 adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s book.

Stripped

RTÉ Two, 10.35pm

Documentary on 29-year-old Sligo man, Joe Gallagher, as he turns to stripping as a new career.

WEDNESDAY

The Twins Who Share A Body

Channel 4, 10pm

Documentary on nine-year-old Indian conjoined twins Sohna and Mohna who have only one body but have two separate heads. Each twin controls a different side of their body, and they can even sleep at different times.

The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

RTÉ Two, 11.40pm

Moving film adapted from the memoir of journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby, the former editor of French Elle magazine. At the age of 43 he suffered a massive stroke and was left with locked in syndrome, the experience of which takes up most of the film.

THURSDAY

Springwatch

BBC Two, 8pm

A special show on the otter, a magnificent animal whose numbers are increasing here and in Britain, thanks to the banning of some pesticides and other conservation measures. Great footage of the river creature is combined with plenty of fascinating facts.

Bású

TG4, 9.30pm

Tonight’s episode of tales from the Civil War is the sad story of Dick Barrett from Hollyhill in Cork. A former leading member of the West Cork Brigade, he would have been a close friend of leading Free State figures Michael Collins and Sean Hales. His execution was part of a reprisal for the killing of the latter figure by anti-Treaty forces.

The Works

RTÉ One, 11.05pm

Theatre director Joe Dowling has been receiving a lot of praise for his adaptation of James Joyce’s story ‘The Dead’, currently running at the Abbey, and he talks about the play on tonight’s show. Beth Orton is also interviewed in advance of her Dublin show.

FRIDAY

Ulster v Leinster

RTÉ Two, ko 7.05pm

Live rugby action from Ravenhill in the Rabodirect Pro12.

The Wire

Sky Atlantic, 10.15pm

The first episode of series five sees new mayor Tommy Carcetti (Aidan Gillen) trying to make difficult decisions on budgets for education and policing. Overall, this final season was probably the weakest, but it would still rank far ahead of most other TV dramas.


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