Pick of the Day The River
Channel 4, 10.35pm
The latest Scandi-noir to reach British screens is a slow-burning Norwegian drama set on the snowy Russian border, where little girl Silja finds a severed hand beside a frozen river. Detectives are called in to investigate, but soon Silja disappears and the race is on to find her in a sub-zero wilderness where a killer may be lurking. To make matters more difficult, much of the search area is off limits owing to a military exercise. Stark but intriguing – your patience will be rewarded.
Based on Justin Cronin’s popular trilogy, this ambitious US drama concerns a secret medical facility where scientists are developing a virus that could either cure all disease or wipe out the human race. When a young orphan (Saniyya Sidney) is chosen to be a test subject, a federal agent is ordered to bring her in, but winds up becoming her surrogate father. Aw shucks. Worth watching for Sidney alone.
Is This Sexual Harassment?
BBC One, 10.45pm
In the wake of the “Weinstein Effect”, which saw the downfall of famous names accused of sexual misconduct, Ben Zand hosts a thoughtprovoking social experiment in which 20 people aged 18-30 are brought together to see whether they understand the rules of behaviour in the workplace. Intelligent television. MB
Field of Dreams
(Phil Alden Robinson, 1989)
Sky Cinema Greats, 9.55am & 6pm
Pure American corn, quite literally. Kevin Costner plays an Iowa farmer facing hard times who finds himself haunted by the ghost of a baseball legend, and pursues his dream of building a ballpark in his cornfield. Its calculated naivety and relentlessly affirmative cod-spirituality make it the epitome of “Hollywood New Age”, yet the conviction with which writer-director Robinson tells this simple, if preposterous story, together with Costner’s muscular sincerity, make for a strangely compelling magic. They don’t make ’em like this any more – perhaps just as well – but as an affirmation of nostalgia-driven American values, it’s compelling and revealing. Co-starring Burt Lancaster in his final role. JR