The best on the box
James Croot’s television picks for the week ahead.
A United Kingdom, 8.30pm, Saturday, Rialto
While the political machinations of this 2016 based-on-fact drama intrigue, it’s the central love story of Amma Asante’s drama that compels, thanks largely to two magnificent performances from Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo. The pair’s chemistry is palpable, while their character’s individual strengths and weaknesses are apparent. Elegant, intelligent, evocative and emotion-inducing cinema
Whisky Galore, 8.30pm, Sunday, Rialto
Gillies McKinnon’s 2016 update of the 1949 Ealing Studios’ classic (itself based on the real-life grounding of the SS Politician) is far from subtle, but from Eddie Izzard’s constantly black-affronted army man to Gregor Fisher’s scheming postmaster there are plenty of panto-style characters to stir the emotions. At times, the subplot of the latter’s two daughters and their prospective marriages threatens to overwhelm proceedings, but once the search for the smugglers’ ill-gotten gains begins, this alcohol-fuelled farce starts to catch alight.
In the Dark, 9.30pm, Monday, UKTV
New four-part adaptation of Mark Billingham’s novels Time of Death and In The Dark about a Manchester police detective who becomes involved in a case in which the husband of her childhood best friend is accused of kidnapping two young girls, before dealing with an unexpected tragedy.
Being Evel, 8.30pm, Tuesday, Ma¯ori TV
Born in Butte, Montana in 1938, Robert Craig ‘‘Evel’’ Knievel became a hero to millions around the world through his motorcycle feats in the 1960s and 70s. Using interviewees and archival footage, director Daniel Junge charts the daredevil’s rise from petty crime in his hometown, to a man who held the world’s attention with an increasingly insane series of stunts – he was the man who first attempted to ‘‘jump the shark’’. Highlights of this 2015 documentary include the infamous Snake River Canyon jump, so brilliantly parodied on The Simpsons.
Imposters, 9.30pm, Wednesday, TVNZ2
Dark US comedy that focuses on a female con artist who marries people and then disappears with their money. ‘‘It’s a shaggy, ridiculous, tonally inconsistent show, and in the first two episodes, its pacing leaves something to be desired. But it owns its own nuttiness, which allows the audience to adjust its expectations accordingly – and makes for a fun, unexpected journey,’’ wrote Variety‘ s Sonia Saraiya
Dancer, 8.30pm, Thursday, Rialto
This 2016 documentary is about Sergei Polunin, a prodigious ballet talent who questions his existence and his commitment to dance just as he is about to become a legend. ‘‘A gentle inquiry into how a gifted performer disrupts his life in order to test his passion,’’ wrote the Los Angeles Times’ Michael Rechtschaffen.
Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo star in A United Kingdom.