TV tonight: James Nesbitt locks horns with Joely Richardson in new thriller | Television & radio


9pm, Channel 4

James Nesbitt is doing his familiar detective bit again, but otherwise there’s nothing generic about this intriguing thriller which takes the form of eight tightly written two-handers. Nesbitt is Danny Frater, a veteran cop who turns up for a routine mortuary check only to find his daughter Christina on the slab. Danny’s initial anguish is quickly overridden by what must be a defence mechanism; his professionalism. He’s convinced Christina was murdered. But why? The opener sees Nesbitt lock horns with Joely Richardson’s brisk pathologist Jackie. Subsequent episodes introduce, one by one, an impressive cast which includes Anne-Marie Duff, Richard E Grant and Sacha Dhawan. Phil Harrison

Glastonbury: 50 Years and Counting

9pm, BBC Two

As Worthy Farm gears up for its first proper festival since 2019, this freewheeling film hopscotches through Glasto history to try and unlock what makes it so magical. What emerges from the artful mix of A-list talking heads (including Stormzy, Thom Yorke and Florence Welch) and a goldmine of archive footage is a utopian alternate vision of the UK: one where activism, equality and creativity thrive. Graeme Virtue

McDonald & Dodds

8pm, ITV

The dream team of Jason Watkins and Tala Gouveia return as the mismatched detectives, getting into yet more hot water in Bath. Here they investigate the death in broad daylight of a woman in a busy park. A possible trail leads to an anthropologist (Alan Davies) and his eccentric mother (Sian Phillips), dwelling, Grey Gardens-style, in a ramshackle mansion … Ali Catterall

Tutankhamun: Secrets of the Tomb

8pm, Channel 4

This year marks a century since King Tut’s treasure-filled tomb was uncovered in Egypt, and the legend of the “pharaoh’s curse” still lingers. Why did people who entered the tomb meet mysterious ends? And what do their deaths have to do with another supposedly cursed shrine in Kraków, Poland? Paleoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi investigates. Ellen E Jones

The Outlaws

9pm, BBC One

As overwhelmed dealers Christian and Rani recruit Bristol schoolkids as drug runners, Stephen Merchant’s community service comedy is starting to look like Bristol’s answer to the Wire. But after the stressful second series opener, even the zingers can’t shake off a growing sense of dread. GV

The Cruise

9pm, Channel 5

Sheridan Smith narrates this new show shadowing staff and guests on Virgin Voyages cruise ships. It begins in Miami on an anxious day for the flagship Scarlet Lady. As the captain weighs up the weather, greeter Ryan leads a “grog walk” of the swankiest bars on board. GV

Film choice

Philomena, 10.30pm, BBC One

Judi Dench and Steeve Coogan in Philomena.
Judi Dench and Steeve Coogan in Philomena. Photograph: Bbc Films/Allstar

A devastating true story gave rise to this terrifically moving drama, featuring Steve Coogan as co-writer and co-star. He plays former BBC journalist and spin doctor Martin Sixsmith, who escapes work woes by taking up the case of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench). Fifty years earlier, she was an unmarried teenage mother stuck in a Catholic convent laundry in Ireland when her son was sold for adoption – against her wishes. She still hasn’t found him, so Martin agrees to join her search. The revelations that follow are skilfully drip-fed by director Stephen Frears, while the two leads are a wonderful study in contrasts, debating faith, loss and forgiveness with some pain but plenty of humour. Simon Wardell

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, 12.05pm, 8pm, Sky Cinema Premiere

In his TV dramas Flowers and Landscapers, writer-director Will Sharpe has given a sympathetic ear to loners and eccentrics. His stylish, and at times trippy, new film adds another to the canon: the Edwardian illustrator known for his pictures of big-eyed, anthropomorphised cats. Benedict Cumberbatch is sad and endearing as Louis, who keeps his mental health troubles – and extreme championing of felines – just about within the realms of social acceptability, while supporting his mother, five sisters and wife Emily (Claire Foy). SW

Moana, 4pm, BBC One

Moana. Photograph: Walt Disney Pictures/Allstar

Ron Clements and John Musker’s animation weaves the art, music and myths of Polynesia into an entertaining coming-of-age drama/eco-parable/origin story for the region’s seafaring people. Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), daughter of an island chief, is forbidden to explore beyond the reef, but when she hears that the theft of a nature goddess’s heart stone by demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson) is leading to climate disaster, she sets sails to return it to its owner. A Mad Max: Fury Road homage and an imbecilic rooster are just two highlights of this accomplished Disney film. SW

The Searchers, 6.30pm, TCM Movies

As with Citizen Kane, just because John Ford’s 1956 western is forever being rolled out as one of the greatest films ever doesn’t mean it isn’t. It’s also John Wayne’s finest hour – he plays Ethan Edwards, a Confederate veteran brutalised by war who rediscovers his humanity and sense of community in his obsessive search for a niece abducted by Comanche raiders. Ford surrounds Ethan with vivid characters and epic Monument Valley landscapes in a film more profound than it lets on. SW

Like Father, Like Son, 1.30am, Film4

The sharp end of the nature v nurture debate hits two families hard in Hirokazu Kore-eda’s poignant 2013 drama. Masaharu Fukuyama’s Ryota is a city architect whose drive to succeed at work means he neglects his wife Midori (Machiko Ono) and young son Keita. Then they discover Keita was swapped at birth with Ryusei, eldest son of small-town shopworkers Yudai (Lily Franky) and Yukari (Yōko Maki). The difference between the easygoing, playful Yudai and the pushy, emotionally repressed Ryota is clear as the four parents negotiate their new reality – some with more compassion than others. SW

Live sport

One-Day International Cricket: Netherlands v England, 10am, Sky Sports Main Event The second ODI in the series at VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen. The third one-dayer is on Wed at 10am.

F1 Canadian Grand Prix, 6.55pm, Sky Sports Main Event Round nine at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.

Leave a Comment