You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

What's on TV tonight: The Apprentice continues and Back

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 11/10/2017 By Telegraph Reporters

© Provided by The Telegraph

Wednesday 11 October


Channel 4, 10.00pm

The ratings may have been a little underwhelming, but in contrast to David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s tonally uncertain and muddled Ambassadors, Back has been a triumph.

Simon Blackwell’s often brutal, witheringly funny script has granted the leading men roles that riff on their Peep Show personas of Mark and Jez without ever becoming beholden to them. Prodigal foster son Andrew’s (Webb) victory over biological offspring Stephen (Mitchell) is apparently complete, as the former struts around his flourishing gastropub, bragging about his chef’s clafoutis while the latter moulders in a caravan. “He’s stolen my life and he’s living it better than me,” Stephen fumes, impotently.

Their father’s memorial party – and the associated speeches – offer Stephen one final shot at redemption: when a clutch of other returning foster children eclipse Andrew’s efforts to ingratiate himself, Stephen has a revelation that sends him on a demented trip of vengeance to fill the gaps in his rival’s life story. Finding profound bathos in often gasp-inducing misanthropy and reuniting the best British double act around (pace Vic and Bob), Back undoubtedly merits a return. Gabriel Tate

The Apprentice

BBC One, 9.00pm

Enjoying a new lease of life after a disappointing series last year, reality TV’s version of an extended job interview this week unleashes the candidates’ aesthetic pretensions by asking them to turn interior designers at a five-star hotel. The mind boggles at the bills that needed settling at the end of this particular stay.

The Detectives: Murder on the Streets

BBC Two, 9.00pm

This utterly involving and consistently impressive documentary series comes to a climax with the arrival of the trial in the case of the murder of young homeless man Daniel Smith. This is true crime of the most empathetic and socially responsible kind.

Britain’s Lost Masterpieces

© BBC/Tern Television/Laura Radford

BBC Four, 9.00pm

Dr Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri visit Carmathenshire County Museum, home to a damaged portrait of a 16th-century Earl whose provenance is disputed.

Doc Martin

ITV, 9.00pm

Receptionist Morwenna’s (Jessica Ransom) parents pay her a surprise visit and present Doc Martin (Martin Clunes) with a dilemma as the amiable comedy drama ambles through another hour.

Ray Donovan

Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm

Susan Sarandon has been both a welcome addition and much-needed counterpart to this occasionally testosterone-heavy series, with Liev Schreiber’s eponymous heavy facing the repercussions of years of making enemies in high places.


Channel 4, 10.35pm

The titular Danish industrial port is blighted by a drug problem. Enter ace detective Tom Noack (Thomas Levin), an old acquaintance of the city’s mayor to clean the place up and, inevitably, disturb a few ghosts. It’s a slick Nordic noir – the whole series will be available on C4’s online service Walter Presents after this episode airs. GT

Inside Birmingham Children’s Hospital

More4, 10.00pm

The BBC and Channel 4 continue to match each other, blow for blow, with medical documentaries. This latest series follows a girl diagnosed with a life-changing condition, a boy with leukaemia and a five-year-old whose epilepsy is proving increasingly hard to manage. As so often, their stoicism and resilience are humbling and very affecting. GT

Charade (1963) ★★★★

Film4, 4.35pm

Audrey Hepburn as a temperamental-but-alluring damsel in distress and Cary Grant as a shadowy charmer are characters that the two actors played over and over during their careers. But they do so exceptionally in this suspense comedy from Stanley Donen, often referred to as the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made. Hepburn is the widow being trailed by four men hunting for her late husband’s stolen fortune.

Starship Troopers (1997) ★★★★

Syfy, 10.00pm 

On first appearances, this Oscar-nominated sci-fi action thriller looks distressingly silly: in the distant future, a group of American high-school friends join the armed forces to do intergalactic war with some malicious insectoid aliens, or “Bugs”. The whole of humanity is at risk. Thankfully director Paul Verhoeven deftly underpins the whole thing with wicked satirical verve and no-nonsense action.

Dying Laughing (2016) ★★★★

Sky Arts, 10.30pm 

Dozens of stand-up comics, including Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer, contribute to this understated but rather wonderful documentary film about the infrequent highs and relentless lows of trying to make people laugh. It can be painful – one anecdote about “bombing” on stage is particularly uncomfortable – but then a comic will recall that first great gig and you can just tell that all the anguish has been worth it.

Thursday 12 October

© Provided by The Telegraph

An Hour to Catch a Killer with Trevor McDonald

ITV, 9.00pm

Trevor McDonald’s abiding fascination with such murky matters as serial murder and organised crime, especially in the United States, is well established. For the first programme in ITV’s new Crime and Punishment season, McDonald examines a key concept of modern crime detection: how the decisions made by investigating officers in the so-called “Golden Hour” – the first 60 minutes of a murder inquiry – have a vital impact on whether or not a killer is caught and successfully prosecuted. And here he examines a case much closer to home.

With full access to the Northumbria Police Homicide Unit’s investigation into the murder of 24-year-old graduate Alice Ruggles last October, the film follows the case from the moment the murder was reported, through every layer of the investigation as it develops, to the moment the all-too-obvious prime suspect is located and charged. 

Later in this series, Susannah Reid, Piers Morgan, Ross Kemp and, more randomly, Gordon Ramsay will present reports on subjects as diverse as the lucrative international cocaine trade and gang warfare inside the notorious Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow. Gerard O’Donovan

Mr Robot

Amazon Prime, from today

Techno-paranoia is still the name of the game as the US hacker drama returns for a much-anticipated third series. With 10 new episodes to get through, clearly the first thing to sort out is the fate of the not-always-reliable narrator Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), who was shot in last season’s cliffhanger.


Netflix, from today

As in the original, bling, bubbles and bonking dominate this 22-episode reboot of one of the Eighties’ silliest US soap operas. Once again it follows the boardroom and bedroom escapades of Denver’s super-rich Carrington clan. 

PGA Tour Golf: The CIMB Classic

Sky Sports Main Event, 6.00am

Coverage of the opening day’s play at the annual event from the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club in Malaysia, where Justin Thomas has won the last two titles. 

Council House Crackdown

BBC One, 8.00pm

Michelle Ackerley uncovers more tales of social housing fraud as council investigators stake out a woman suspected of faking a disability and a tenant alleged to be illegally subletting housing association property.


BBC One, 9.00pm; BBC Two Wales, 9.00pm

The final programme in this affecting series again focuses on the tough decisions the London Ambulance Service faces when its slim resources are stretched to capacity and calls must be prioritised.

Russia with Simon Reeve

© BBC/Jonathan Young

BBC Two, 9.00pm; Wales, 11.15pm

This is by far the best travelogue Reeve has done for a while, and for this final leg, the adventurer starts in Crimea, where he weighs up the political and economic costs of its annexation by Russia. From there, he travels north through the vast plains of western Russia to where the country’s real power has always resided, Moscow and St Petersburg. 

Educating Greater Manchester

Channel 4, 9.00pm

In tonight’s episode, it’s Valentine’s Day and romance is in the air for even the school’s youngest pupils. Plus, a recently qualified teacher who’s come to Harrop Fold looking for a new challenge gets more than he bargained for. GO

The History of Comedy

Sky Arts, 9.00pm

This new documentary has an overambitious title for a series that focuses almost entirely on US comedy of fairly recent vintage. Still, it’s an interesting thematic survey of how certain types of laughter making have evolved in the last century. GO

Titanic (1997) ★★★★

Film4, 9.00pm

Eleven Oscars won and more than a billion dollars taken worldwide in ticket sales. James Cameron deserved his success with this opulent blockbuster about the sinking of the RMS Titanic, a story that has a grand romance between penniless artist Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and rich American girl Rose (Kate Winslet) at its heart. Even viewers determined to find it soppy are liable to be swept along by the emotion.

Heist (2001) ★★★★

Sony Movie Channel, 10.50pm 

Prepare to be triple-crossed, duped and bewildered by this piece of con-artistry, which pulls the rug out from under your feet with such regularity that it’s tempting just to give up and lie down. Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito and Rebecca Pidgeon set out to steal some gold; needless to say, it does not go smoothly. There are excellent performances, plus endless twists and cracking dialogue.

Just Go with It (2011) ★★☆☆☆

5STAR, 11.00pm 

Adam Sandler stars in this remake of the 1971 comedy Cactus Flower (itself adapted from a Broadway stage play by Abe Burrows), as Danny, a single plastic surgeon in Los Angeles who feigns an unhappy marriage in order to have no-strings-attached flings with women. What follows is a complex low-grade romantic farce which is saved by a sparky performance from Jennifer Aniston as Danny’s office manager and best friend.

Friday 13 October

© Provided by The Telegraph

Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears

ITV, 8.00pm; not STV/UTV/Wales

The great appeal of Ray Mears’s wildlife documentaries is his no-nonsense approach. Where other presenters rush around telling you how exciting and amazing and wonderful everything is, Mears tends to amble gently through it, explaining a few facts and otherwise allowing you to gaze at the beauty unfurling across your TV screen. It’s an approach that pays high dividends in this new series about the Australian wilderness, a landscape that is vast, beautiful and oddly eerie. 

The opening episode focuses more on sea than land (although there is time for a quick trek through rocky desert towards the Indian Ocean) as Mears dives on Ningaloo Reef, the longest fringing coral reef in the world. After a pleasant meeting with some friendly stingrays and a few “wish you were here” shots of the turquoise sea, the real star of the show heaves into sight as Mears and his companions find themselves swimming alongside a passing whale shark, the largest fish in the world. “This is what we’ve all been waiting for,” says Mears as the fish floats into view. It’s a breathtaking, beautiful moment and one which manages to shake even Mears out of his habitual calm. Sarah Hughes


Amazon Prime, from today

Not for the faint of heart, this disquieting new documentary series is based on Aaron Mahnke’s popular podcast of the same name, with each episode exploring the story behind pop culture’s most legendary horror myths, from vampires and werewolves to possessed dolls. 


Netflix, from today

Imagine Se7en crossed with Zodiac and Silence of the Lambs and you’ll get the gist of this excellent new detective drama executive produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron. Based on the non-fiction book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit and set in the late Seventies, it follows a pair of FBI agents (Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) who interview and analyse imprisoned mass murderers in order to better understand serial killers. The first episode, which is shot by master of murk Fincher, moves languidly – but is no less absorbing. PS

International T20 Cricket: India v Australia

Friday, Sky Sports Main Event, 2.20pm

The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad is the setting as India and Australia contest the final game in a three-match T20 series.

Unreported World

Channel 4, 7.30pm

On August 14, a mudslide in Sierra Leone, caused by torrential rain, destroyed the small town of Regent on the outskirts of the capital, Freetown. Hundreds lost their lives. In this affecting report, Seyi Rhodes talks to the survivors and the rescue teams desperately trying to find those still missing. 

Crystal Maze/Have I Got News for You

Channel 4, 8.00pm / BBC One, 9.00pm

Richard Ayoade fans, rejoice: tonight you can see him twice – somewhat fitting given that he once wrote and directed a black comedy called The Double. First up, he continues to add warmth and irony to a rousing revamp of The Crystal Maze, as the current series concludes. Then, in HIGNFY, he puts that bone-dry wit to good use yet again, as he guest presents the long-running news quiz. 

Cold Feet

ITV, 9.00pm

Affectionate writing and a great ensemble are the foundations on which Mark Bullen’s middle-aged comedy drama are built. Tonight, as this Nineties-show revival continues, Adam (James Nesbitt) and Pete (John Thomson) throw a joint 50th birthday dinner. 


© BBC Studios

BBC One, 9.30pm 

On the subject of revivals, this sort-of sequel to the classic Seventies comedy continues to be so-so. Tonight, there’s a new prison officer on the scene. Patrick Smith

The Meyerowitz Stories (2017) ★★★★

Netflix, from today 

It’s been a long time coming but Adam Sandler is finally in a good film. He plays Danny, a New Yorker whose unemployment and divorce has left him defined purely in terms of his bloodline. The narrative arc is about Danny, sister Jean and half-brother Matthew reconciling themselves with their curmudgeon father Harold (Dustin Hoffman). Emma Thompson is woozily uproarious as Harold’s wife.

Lion (2016) ★★★★

Amazon Prime, from today

Derived from a 2012 memoir by the grown Saroo Brierley, called A Long Way Home, this is the story of a lost boy: a five-year-old Indian who grew up in the Eighties in the area around Khandwa. With no paper trail or family name, he becomes a lost cause, eventually shipped off to kindly foster parents in Tasmania, played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham. The excellent script, by Luke Davies, sticks rigidly to Saroo’s own point of view.

Good Will Hunting (1997) ★★★★

W, 9.00pm 

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won an Oscar for Best Screenplay with this stirring if occasionally gloopy story. Will Hunting (Damon) is a hot-headed, 20-year-old janitor with a photographic memory and an untapped genius for mathematics. Robin Williams plays the inspiring therapist who channels Will’s rage into solving quadratics, and Minnie Driver is his brainy, Harvard graduate love interest.

Television previewers: Catherine Gee, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward


More from The Telegraph

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon