TV not to miss

SATURDAY

The Pacific

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Episode six of the gripping WWII drama and our heroes are in the midst of the fight for Peleliu, a tiny island in the Pacific. The show is mainly taken up with a lengthy battle sequence that seeks to recreate what was later described as the most bitter the US Marines fought in the war. It was also to prove controversial, with many questioning whether this five mile patch of sand and jungle was really worth the lives of more than 1,200 from the Corps.

Killer Algae

RTÉ Two, 6pm

Looks at efforts by Irish and German scientists to combat a deadly species of algae that can be fatal if ingested in seafood. It was only discovered in recent years, following the hospitalisation of several people who had eaten it.

Britain’s Got Talent

TV3, 8pm

The auditions continue for one more week before the judges have to choose their semi-finalists. Normal service resumes next week when Simon Cowell returns.

SUNDAY

Vera

UTV, 8pm

Final episode of the detective series starring Brenda Blethyn, right, in the title role. Tonight the answer to a brutal attack lies within the memory of a child found in an icy pond.

Feargal Quinn’s Retail Therapy

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

The Superquinn founder is back for another series giving advice to retailers who may be finding it difficult to survive in the current economic climate. First up are Laz and Frances Molloy in Edenderry, Co Offaly, who run a gift store inherited from Frances’s father.

Faoi Lán Cheoil

TG4, 8.45pm

Repeat of the documentary following Jeremy Irons’ efforts to play at the Fiddle Fair Festival in Baltimore. As he learns the instrument, the west Cork-based actor goes along to the Willie Clancy Summer School and to Bantry House for a performance by Martin Hayes. Presenter Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh also travels to Mexico to watch Irons on the set of his film, Apaloosa.

Louis Theroux — Miami Megajail (pictured)

BBC Two, 9pm

First of a two-part series in which the disarmingly geeky filmmaker spends time in a prison in Miami. Unlike his recent show from San Quentin, this huge facility is a temporary home for those who haven’t been convicted yet. The old refrain about innocent until proven guilty doesn’t quite hold up here, as some of the prisoners have been waiting years to even get to trial. We see the large cages where up to 24 inmates at a time are housed, and hear about a prison regime where they only get out for exercise twice a week. Not surprisingly, violence is a part of everyday life, with organised and impromptu fights for food and status, and just to relieve the boredom.

The Unforgiven

TG4, 12.05am

This classic western from 1960 was directed by John Huston and is not to be confused with the similarly-titled Clint Eastwood outing. The director dismissed it as his “least satisfying” film and had to face numerous behind-the-scenes problems on set, not least Audrey Hepburn breaking her back in rehearsals when she fell off a horse. Burt Lancaster stars as a member of a frontier family who are ostracised when it is revealed one of them is a member of the Kiowa tribe, stolen during a raid when she was a baby. Notable for its unusually sympathetic portrayal of Native Americans.

MONDAY

Wild Week Live

BBC One, 7pm

There’s a week of Irish wildlife from BBC Northern Ireland, and in tonight’s show, Donna Traynor and Darryl Grimason are in Antrim checking out the puffins and seals of Church Bay, and the hares of Rathlin Island.

Story of Ireland

BBC Two, 7pm

If you didn’t see the series earlier in the year on RTÉ, Fergal Keane’s look at Irish history is well worth a look, even if at times he tries too hard to show his revisionist credentials. This second episode looks at the tumultuous period from the Norman invasion of 1169 up to the reign of Elizabeth I and the destruction of the old gaelic order.

Panorama

BBC One, 8.30pm

With the FIFA presidential election coming up on June 1, Panorama again focuses on the dodgy dealings of soccer’s governing body. Current president Sepp Blatter, 75, is up against Qatari candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam, but reporter Andrew Jennings questions whether it’ll make a difference as to who gets elected.

TUESDAY

Britain’s Next Big Thing

BBC Two, 7pm

Final episode of Theo Paphitis’s (pictured opposite) excellent show. The remaining designers and inventors find out if their products will make it to the shelves of Boots, Habitat or Liberty. Needless to say, it’s not all plain sailing as numerous issues arise — from production problems to safety issues.

Four Rooms

Channel 4, 8pm

New series for art and antiques buffs has members of the public trying to sell their possessions to four of Britain’s top dealers. Among the items up for grabs in the first show is a collection of Christmas cards from Princess Diana to her personal chef, a cigar owned by Winston Churchill, and a Francis Bacon portrait that was nearly destroyed by the artist.

Behind Bars

TV3, 9pm

This episode of Donal MacIntyre’s series on prisons in Ireland deals with some of the famous escapes that have occurred through the decades. Among them are the 1973 helicopter escape from Mountjoy, and the 1983 escape from the Maze by 38 republican prisoners. Good show that unfortunately will be missed by many because of its scheduling against the RTÉ News.

WEDNESDAY

Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland

Sky Sports 1, ko 7.45pm

This is a game that always comes with a lot of off-the-pitch baggage, and the prospect of an all-Ireland team are as remote as ever. While the Republic manager Giovanni Trapattoni, right, has said he wants to win this quasi-friendly tournament, it’s likely that he’ll be more inclined to use it as part of the preparations for the European qualifier against Macedonia on June 4. Highlights on RTÉ Two at 10.50pm.

Lust, Caution

RTÉ Two, 12.30am

Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, etc) is on director duties for this superb drama set in Shanghai during the second world war. Unfortunately for the Taiwanese-American filmmaker, some of the scenes were considered too racey for Asian audiences, and controversy ensued as cut and uncut versions were released. Lee had considered the sex scenes as being an essential part of the film, and had reportedly spent 100 hours filming the 10 minutes of bedroom action.

THURSDAY

Misbehaving Mums To Be

BBC Three, 9pm

Final episode has the NHS midwives meeting the last of the pregnant women who don’t follow the official health advice. Asthmatic Anne has just two months to go to delivery and is still smoking; while Zara is surviving on a diet of junk food. Will they change their ways?

FRIDAY

Unreported World

Channel 4, 7.30pm

When the Unreported World team travelled to the Ivory Coast a few weeks ago, they thought they were going to film an escalating political crisis. Instead all hell broke loose as they found themselves in the midst of a civil war. They are one of the few crews who were on hand to film the advance on the presidential palace.


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