There is a sad prologue to this adventure documentary from 2013. It doesn’t have to do with any of the previous expeditions Ben Fogle and James Cracknell had undertaken together, including an almost 5000km rowing race across the Atlantic and the re-enactment of the historic 1911 race between Amundsen and Scott across the Antarctic. It is actually about an accident, the long road to recovery, and repairing a friendship. A few years before filming this three part series, Cracknell was knocked from his bicycle and suffered a near-fatal brain injury. During his recovery he reportedly experienced personality changes and sometimes violent outbursts. “I’m just not the same person I was before it, and I probably never will be,” Cracknell, a former Allow the host Greg Davies to introduce this new show in his own words: “I make some accomplished but needy comedians do stupid things for me.” So there. Season one, episode one features the comedians Frank Skinner, Josh Widdicombe, Roisin Conaty, Romesh Ranganathan and Tim Keyes. Three seasons of this series have already been shown in Britain, and there will be two more this year. So if you like it, there’s plenty more to come. Animals Monday, 10.10pm, Comedy If you think rats, pigeons and other vermin having Animals existential crises and emotional problems is funny — how could you not? — then this series from creators Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano is for you. The show uses largely improvised dialogue from Matarese, Luciano and a huge cast of famous comedians, voicing pigeons, rats, cats, dogs, fleas and squirrels, with the resulting dialogue then animated. In this episode, a teen pigeon goes on a “spirit quest” to learn about courage. He encounters a certain character from Family Guy, in a surprising and hilarious cameo. With Jeff Nichols’s Loving starring Joel Edgerton in cinemas now, check out his previous film Midnight Special (Tuesday, 8.30pm, Premiere), where he first encountered the Australian actor. Also starring Michael Shannon, Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver, it tells the story of a father and son on the run from multiple parties who want to exploit the boy’s supernatural powers. Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is forced by a government ban into ever more ingenious ways of continuing his craft. In the past, he has made a film titled This is Not a Film, which featured him sitting around his apartment discussing his legal troubles on the phone, among other mundane activities. (The film was entered at Cannes, reportedly smuggled there on a USB drive inside a cake.) In the same vein Tehran Taxi (Tuesday, 11.50am, World Movies) features Panahi driving around the streets of his city, picking up passengers and striking up candid conversations. A film that for all its lack of sophistication has always left me pondering its deeper meanings is The Legend of Bagger Vance (Tuesday, 10.10pm, Masterpiece). Directed by Robert Redford, it stars Matt Damon and Charlize Theron, with Will Smith as the title character.
Rats discuss their problems in