The very best of the week ahead

The Sunday Telegraph - - Television & Radio - ot s ut­ing, rk ng or­mat e es hey es ying ll s, Bowie, Char­lie Chap­lin and Bil­lie Hol­i­day. GT This is a fas­ci­nat­ing ac­count of the rise

Today Call the Mid­wife BBC ONE, 8.00PM

It might be en­ter­ing its eighth se­ries, but Call the Mid­wife shows no signs of flag­ging with a beau­ti­fully paced open­ing episode that com­bines its trade­mark mix­ture of heart-warm­ing and hard-hit­ting events to solid ef­fect. It’s the spring of 1964, and Non­na­tus House is aflut­ter about the im­mi­nent ar­rival of the Queen’s baby (the fu­ture Prince Ed­ward). Un­for­tu­nately, the in­creas­ingly con­fused Sis­ter Mon­ica Joan (Judy Parfitt) takes a more per­sonal in­ter­est in the royal birth, and goes Awol, much to the dis­tress of the other nuns. Those nuns in­clude two new ad­di­tions – the jolly-hock­ey­sticks Sis­ter Hilda (Fenella Wool­gar) and the wet-be­hind-the-ears Sis­ter Frances (Ella Bruc­co­leri), both of whom spend the episode ad­just­ing to their new sur­round­ings. The real ac­tion, how­ever, hap­pens else­where as Nurse Va­lerie (Jen­nifer Kirby) has to make a dif­fi­cult decision when an un­ex­pected pa­tient ar­rives at Non­na­tus. Sarah Hughes

Vera ITV, 8.00PM

There’s a lot to be said for a crime se­ries that con­cen­trates on telling a solid story rather than try­ing to rein­vent the wheel. That’s part of the ap­peal of Vera, along with a lovely performance from Brenda Blethyn. This opener is a well-plot­ted tale of mis­placed trust as DCI Stan­hope hunts for the killer of a young woman. SH

Mon­day Cold Feet ITV, 9.00PM

The suc­cess­ful re­boot of the much-loved Nineties se­ries re­turns for a third out­ing, of­fer­ing its trade­mark warmth and wit while stick­ing firmly to the com­edy-drama for­mat that made it such a hit in the first place. With wel­come ease, we slip back into the lives of the five friends, as they ne­go­ti­ate the va­garies of mid­dle age – though, ad­mit­tedly, with vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess. Adam (James Nes­bitt) is still bent on rolling back the years, dy­ing his grey­ing hair and flirt­ing with a young barista (Tala Gou­veia) at his lo­cal cof­fee shop. Mean­while, romance is flour­ish­ing in Jenny (Fay Ri­p­ley) and Pete’s (John Thom­son) mar­riage, un­til some un­ex­pected med­i­cal news threat­ens to skewer their pas­sion. And fi­nally, Karen (Hermione Nor­ris) and ex-hus­band David (Robert Bathurst) can’t seem to agree over the fu­ture of son Josh (Cal­lum Wood­house), who wants to drop out of his uni­ver­sity course. Toby Dantzic

True De­tec­tive SKY AT­LANTIC, 9.00PM

After a dodgy second s run, Nic Piz­zo­latto’s grim gr crime drama re­turns on sur surer ground. Os­car­win­ner Mahe Ma­her­shala Ali stars as Wayne Hays, a an Arkansas de­tec­tive look look­ing into a child mur­der tha that hap­pened in the Eight­ies Eight­ies. Like the feted first se­ries se­ries, the ac­tion cuts acros across eras and uses in­ter in­ter­views with pro pro­tag­o­nists to frame the orig­i­nal in in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the re re­open­ing of the ca case and how a doc doc­u­men­tary was made about the killing. A mes­meric Ali knits to­gether the three strands in style. TD

Tuesday Catas­tro­phe CHAN­NEL 4, 10.00PM

On the strength of the open­ing episodes of this fourth se­ries, when Rob De­laney and Sharon Hor­gan’s glo­ri­ous sit­com bows out later this year, it will be do­ing so at the top. While its very hard­est edges have been slightly smoothed off and its predica­ments are a lit­tle less ex­cru­ci­at­ing, the lives of Rob (De­laney) and Sharon (Hor­gan) are hardly dra­maor cri­sis-free. The second episode finds Sharon eye­ing a chance to “re­ally shine” when she locks horns with a pupil who wets him­self, while Rob’s out­wardly serene sis­ter Sid­ney (Michaela Watkins) comes to visit him dur­ing his re­cov­ery from al­co­holism. Al­ways sharp, funny and brim­ming with hard-won em­pa­thy for its overtly flawed char­ac­ters, who are so well writ­ten and un­der­stood, Catas­tro­phe has ma­tured into one of the most per­cep­tive relationship come­dies for many years. Gabriel Tate

Icons BBC TWO, 9.00PM

In the lat­est episode of this se­ries ex­plor­ing 20th-cen­tury icons, Kath­leen Turner cel­e­brates en­ter­tain­ers Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, David

Wed­nes­day Rev­o­lu­tion in Ru­ins: The Hugo Chávez Story

BBC TWO, 9.00PM and fall of Venezuela’s charis­matic for­mer pres­i­dent Hugo Chávez, who died six years ago, and whose 12 years in power left the coun­try in a se­vere eco­nomic cri­sis, with poverty levels now among the worst in the world – de­spite the fact that Venezuela, with the largest oil re­serves on the planet and a pop­u­la­tion of just 30mil­lion, should be one of the rich­est. Di­rec­tor Ruth Mayer traces Chávez’s as­cent from a tra­di­tional ru­ral back­ground through the ranks of the mil­i­tary, un­til he led a failed coup in 1992. She in­ves­ti­gates how his ide­al­ism, nat­u­ral gift for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and de­sire to share out the fruits of Venezuela’s wealth en­sured that it was a tem­po­rary set­back; he rode to the pres­i­dency in 1998 on a wave of pop­u­lar feel­ing. As so of­ten hap­pens, how­ever, po­lit­i­cal para­noia and an ob­ses­sion with re­main­ing in power swiftly set in, and the dream be­gan to fall apart. In the end, this is a doc­u­men­tary that raises more ques­tions than it an­swers; nev­er­the­less, as a broad-brush re­minder of the per­ils of al­low­ing pop­ulist politi­cians – whether from the left or the right – to wield too much power, it of­fers lots of food for thought. Ger­ard O’Dono­van

Bradley Walsh & Son: Break­ing Dad ITV, 8.00PM

The Walsh fam­ily road trip moves on to Texas, as the father and son ar­rive in the Lone Star State, where they visit a space cen­tre, play with very big guns at a tank fir­ing range, and look into al­leged alien sight­ings with UFO in­ves­ti­ga­tors from Hous­ton. GO

Thurs­day Hospi­tal BBC TWO, 9.00PM

Be warned: this second episode of the fly-on-the-wall se­ries is a real weepy as the cam­eras head to Liver­pool’s Wal­ton Cen­tre, the UK’s only ded­i­cated spine, brain and pain man­age­ment hospi­tal. The fo­cus is on three pa­tients: 18-year-old Tom, who sus­tained se­ri­ous brain in­juries fol­low­ing a car ac­ci­dent, 22-year-old So­phie, who has been there for nine months fol­low­ing an un­ex­plained in­flam­ma­tion of the brain, and Michaela, 30, who has had four brain op­er­a­tions in a year and is pin­ning her hopes on an­other. It all adds up to an emo­tional episode which makes some im­por­tant points about un­der­fund­ing and the pres­sures placed on all in­volved: med­i­cal staff, pa­tients and their fam­i­lies. SH

Amer­i­can His­tory’s Big­gest Fibs with Lucy Wors­ley

BBC FOUR, 9.00PM

The ir­re­press­ible his­to­rian Lucy Wors­ley dons her finest stars-and­stripes dress for this new, three-part se­ries look­ing at some of Amer­i­can his­tory’s most (in)fa­mous mo­ments. First up is the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion where Wors­ley ex­am­ines how Paul Revere be­came a hero, the truth be­hind the Bos­ton Tea Party and the leg­end of Ge­orge Washington’s troops as plucky un­der­dogs, be­fore head­ing to Broad­way to see how Lin-Manuel Mi­randa cre­ated a whole new mythol­ogy with his hit mu­si­cal Hamil­ton. SH

Fri­day Grantch­ester ITV, 9.00PM

After a brief in­tro­duc­tion to Tom Brit­tney’s in­com­ing crime-fight­ing vicar Will Daven­port last week, nor­mal ser­vice is re­sumed with Sid­ney (James Nor­ton) en­dur­ing a long, dark night of the soul, Ge­ordie (Rob­son Green) grum­bling about the chang­ing times, and an­other dead body turn­ing up. Yet all three tropes are this time con­nected: Sid­ney was the last per­son known to have seen the vic­tim alive, while the prime sus­pect is a Ge­ordie bête noire, Ru­pert Simp­son (Ni­cholas Rowe), a man both of im­pec­ca­bly aw­ful char­ac­ter and with a knack for greas­ing the right palms at the ap­pro­pri­ate mo­ments. The re­al­ity, of course, is rather more com­plex, in­volv­ing Pa­trick Bal­adi’s su­per­cil­ious coun­sel­lor and the un­ex­pected re­turn of a fa­mil­iar face. GT

On Bass: Tina Wey­mouth! BBC FOUR, 9.00PM

Tina Wey­mouth was, along with David Byrne, a linch­pin of Talk­ing Heads. Here she sings the praises of fel­low bassists, from Funk Broth­ers reg­u­lar James Jamerson to Paul Mc­Cart­ney and Peter Hook. GT

Cold Feet re­turns for a new se­ries (above); He­len Ge­orge stars as Trixie in Call the Mid­wife (be­low, left)

Amer­i­can His­tory’s Big­gest Fibs: Wors­ley

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