TV guide: 23 of the best shows to watch this week, beginning tonight

The Ipcress File, The Way We Were, Witchfinder, Tango with Putin, The Adam Project

The Great Pottery Throw Down: The Final
Sunday, Channel 4, 7.45pm
Just three potters are still in the running, and as you'd expect, they're facing their toughest challenges yet. First up, they must create a garden totem sculpture that tells their own life story, followed by a regal devil's work challenge set by Rich Miller. However, he and fellow judge Keith Brymer Jones aren't getting off easily either: they have the difficult job of picking the winner.

Céad Seans – Na Cruacha
Sunday, TG4, 10pm

This documentary explores the rich musical landscape of Na Cruacha, a remote valley nestled in the Blue Stack Mountains of southwest Donegal. Despite its rugged and mountainous terrain, a community of some 200 people once lived here. This community spoke only the Irish language, had no electricity or running water, and relied on their music, song and dance for entertainment. The famous collector Sean Ó hEochaidh visited Na Cruacha in 1947 to record what was left of its dying heritage. With the help of Ó hEochaidh’s diaries, presenter Iarfhlaith Ó Domhnaill, uncovers what happened to Na Cruacha.

The Ipcress File
Sunday, ITV, 9pm


Len Deighton’s 1962 spy thriller sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and spawned a hit 1965 film starring Michael Caine as a wide-boy secret agent. Joe Cole now takes on the mantle – and the mackintosh and NHS specs – of Deighton’s iconic Harry Palmer in a new six-part series set during the height of the cold war. Palmer is a British army sergeant doing a nice sideline in smuggling and other illegal activities, until the top brass catch him and throw him into military prison for eight years. But a man from British intelligence offers him an unlikely way out. A nuclear scientist has been kidnapped, and Harry has the contacts and network to find their missing boffin and avert a nuclear disaster. We’ll be at the edge of our seats, of course, watching closely for cool 1960s style.

The Way We Were
Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Do you cringe when you look back at your younger self? Prepare for a national cringe-fest, as a new season of the social history doc series looks back on our collective past and the outdated attitudes that permeated Irish life in the 20th century. Going back over old ground can be a bit of a minefield, but several brave celebrities will be on hand to wax nostalgic about old Ireland and ask, Jaysus, what were we like? Among them are broadcasters Mike Murphy, Joe Duffy, John Creedon, Ciara Kelly and Brendan Courtney; comedians Ardal O’Hanlon, Colm O’Regan and Katherine Lynch; musical artists Mary Coughlan, Philomena Begley and Jerry Fish; entertainers Alan Amsby (aka Mr Pussy) and Eileen Reid; journalists Michael Harding and Damian Corless; and politican Mary O’Rourke. Each of the four episodes will focus on a different aspect of Irish past life that has changed irrevocably: love and sex, home ownership, fashion, and leisure pursuits.

Our House
Monday, ITV, 9pm

Not another home improvement show, groans you. Our House is nothing so cosy. Imagine a show where all your furniture and belongings are mysteriously removed and a bunch of total strangers move into your home. That's the scene that greets Fiona (Downton Abbey's Tuppence Middleton) in this four-part thriller based on the novel by Louise Candlish. Fi must find out why her house has been sold under her nose, but she can't get through to her estranged husband, Bram (Martin Compston from Line of Duty). All will become clear over the course of a number of flashbacks to the couple's life together, the circumstances around their break-up, and their new relationships.

Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next
Monday, BBC One, 9pm
Last year's documentary Harvey and Me provided an insight into the life of the former glamour model and her disabled son, and perhaps surprised some viewers by being so moving and touching. This time, as Harvey turns 19, Price deals with a big change in their lives when he leaves home to attend National Star, a specialist college that will help him transition into adulthood. We learn about the establishment's work, but as we see, it's Katie herself who needs help after a car crash brings to light some of her personal issues. Thankfully her family are on hand to offer support and assistance.

The Real Peaky Blinders
Monday, BBC Two, 9pm

The final series of the BBC’s much-admired period crime drama began last week, and although millions of viewers are caught up in the lives of the Shelby family, relatively few know much about the real-life people who inspired their creation. In this two-part documentary, Prof Carl Chinn, a historian at Birmingham University who is an expert on the city’s gangland past, takes a look at the origins of certain groups in the 1860s who are the forebears of telly’s Peaky Blinders.

An Diabhal Inti/The Devil's in Her
Tuesday, TG4, 10pm
Premiering on International Women's Day, TG4's new series is set against the backdrop of the great European witch hunts that spanned two centuries and stretched as far as America. An Diabhal Inti examines in visually arresting ways the reasons why thousands of women were branded witches, hunted down and executed over two centuries, victims of a demonic level of misogyny, fear and ignorance. The series features actor Olwen Fouéré and dancer-choreographer Aoife McAtamney, who will explore themes of femininity and witchcraft as they tell the stories of women through the ages who were accused of being in cahoots with the Devil, including Alice Kyteler from Kilkenny, Florence Newton ("the witch of Youghal") and Goody Glover, an Irishwoman hung in puritanical Boston.

The Witchfinder
Tuesday, BBC Two, 10pm

More witches! In merrie olde Englande, an incompetent witchfinder must transport a suspected witch through perils and pitfalls, and deliver her safely so she can face trial. Yes, it’s the plot of the Robert De Niro movie Midnight Run transplanted to the 17th century. It’s boomtime for the witchfinding industry, as the whole country is in terror of witchcraft, and looking to burn anyone with the slightest skin blemish at the stake. Tim Key stars as self-appointed witchfinder Gideon Bannister, who’s not doing as well as he should be and hopes that his prisoner, Thomasina Gooch (Daisy May Cooper), will change his fortunes. Can he withstand her witchy wiles as they travel through war- and plague-ridden East Anglia? With a cast that includes Reece Shearsmith, Julian Barrett and Ricky Tomlinson, this sounds like a mad mash-up of Upstart Crow and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Tuesday, TG4, 10.30pm

This three-part drama (broadast originally in October 2018 on ITV) is about the challenges of separated parenthood. Vicky and Stephen are no longer together – it’s complicated. Their youngest child, Max, is approaching puberty – and it’s even more complicated. Max identifies as a girl and is ready to make the transition to Maxine, but are Vicky and Stephen ready for this? Neither can agree on the best way to deal with Maxine’s feelings or their own, and when Stephen moves back into the family home in the hope of bringing a male influence to bear, he faces a serious challenge to his fundamental family values, while Vicky struggles to protect Maxine’s mental wellbeing. Anna Friel, Amy Huberman, Alison Steadman and Sean McGinley star.

Mary Berry's Fantastic Feasts
Wednesday, BBC One, 8pm
So, when it comes to cooking, you're a bit of a peasant (revolting). Time to call in the queen of the kitchen herself – well, a dame at least – to help lift your cooking skills and turn you into culinary royalty. In this new series, Marty Berry will wave her wand – or spatula – over a group of amateurs, and show them how to magic up a feast worthy of the great halls of the world. Her first students are Thaer, Mark and Callum from Cardiff, who want to lay on a special afternoon tea in honour of local youth charity worker Soraya. These guys can barely heat up baked beans without turning them into charred coals, so how are they going to manage cheese and chive tartlets, mini-scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, and a four-tier clementine cake? Prepare to be amazed as these kitchen dunces are transformed into gourmet wizards.

Ireland's Dirty Laundry
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
The concluding episode is about getting out of the laundries (from escape plots and runaways to being dumped, unprepared and vulnerable, in the outside world), and then life afterwards. Again, the emphasis is on the women's own stories; we will see and hear how lasting the damage has been for them and for the next generations. This episode also introduces present-day ramifications, as one of the principal witnesses, Elizabeth Coppin, is pursuing legal action to have what she experienced in the laundries recognised internationally as torture facilitated by the Irish State. The outcome of that case is imminent.

Tango with Putin: Storyville
Wednesday, BBC Four, 10pm

In 2008, former music radio producer Natasha Sindeeva dreamed of becoming famous and decided to build her own independent TV station, Dozhd (Rain), in Putin’s Russia. The plan was to focus on pop culture, but it soon turned into something different. Building an open-minded team of outcasts, many of them gay and opponents of the president, Dozhd began covering the biggest stories of the day: from the war in Ukraine to anti-corruption investigations and state propaganda. Vera Krichevskaya’s film tells the story of how a television station changed in the face of authoritarianism.

Stacey Dooley: Inside the Convent
Wednesday, BBC One, 12.05am
As you'll know if you ever seen one of her documentaries, or even her winning stint on Strictly Come Dancing, presenter Stacey Dooley throws herself into her work. However, it seems she's wondering what it might be like to embrace a slower pace of life, one that gives her more time for contemplation. So, for her latest documentary, Dooley spends 10 days living in alongside the nuns of St Hilda's Priory Order of the Holy Paraclete in Whitby. She discovers that little has changed at the convent in the 115 years since its foundation. But with fewer women being called to the vocation, it's a way of life that's dying out. Can the sisters, who have taken vows of poverty, obedience and celibacy, give Stacey a new insight into her own, very different life? And how will she adjust to their strict timetable, which includes eating meals in silence?

Louise Minchin: The Truth About Stalking – Tonight
Thursday, ITV, 8.30pm
For its many thousands of victims, most of them women, stalking is a terrifying ordeal, sometimes violent and occasionally deadly. Former BBC Breakfast host Louise Minchin was subjected to a campaign of threats and harassment online in July 2020, with former soldier Carl Davies sentenced to two years and eight months in prison in December for posting "intimidating" messages "intended to maximise fear and distress" to Minchin and her teenage daughter Mia. Here the presenter asks if enough is being done to tackle the crime.

A Country Life for Half the Price with Kate Humble
Thursday, Channel 5, 7pm
Humble begins a new series by meeting Kathryn and Steve, who along with their six children are upping sticks and leaving Solihull for the Welsh borders. They've bought a dilapidated house in dire need of upgrading, currently two dwellings they need to turn back into one big house with enough bedrooms for all the children. As well as the house, there's 1¼ acres of land to make habitable for their ducks, chickens, rabbits and two little pigs. Will this tenacious couple manage to do everything they hope to, and within budget?

Crufts 2022
Thursday, Channel 4, 8pm
One of the signs that we are finally emerging from the pandemic is the large-scale events finally returning. And dog lovers in particular will be looking forward to the the comeback of Crufts. This year marks the event's 130th anniversary, which makes the occasion even more special. Clare Balding, Sophie Morgan and Radzi Chinyanganya are on hand to present coverage from the NEC in Birmingham. Today's theme is Dog Wellbeing, and aside from live Flyball action in the Main Arena, there are features on doggy daycare, how to tell if a canine is happy and the best kinds of dog food for various breeds.

Jason Quigley: Lift Your Heels
Thursday, Virgin Two, 10.30pm
High-access documentary following Ireland's middleweight boxing hero, as he fights for a world title. Quigley faces the fearsome champion Demetrius Andrade. The fighter allows cameras into his training camp, family home and talks openly about his struggles with mental health.

Friday, ITV, 9pm
The sixth season only ended in the autumn and we are already being treated to another batch of episodes. The last time we saw Geordie, he was wrestling with his personal demons, while Will was wondering about his future in the church. We rejoin the duo in the long hot summer of 1959, with wedding season in full swing in the Cambridgeshire village. Among Will's many brides-to-be is Adele Fitzgerald, who lives on declining Fitzgerald Estate with her green-fingered spinster sister Maude. The body of a dead man is found in the grounds and is quickly identified as the sisters' errant brother. Meanwhile, it looks like romance might be on the cards for Will when he meets an enigmatic woman at a jazz club, while Geordie has a plan to win back Cathy.


Women's Health Lessons
From Monday, RTÉ Player

On International Women’s Day, Cork GP Dr Monica Oikeh presents a series of short, essential health lessons for women. Covering everyday tips such as how to take care of your downstairs and working with your menstrual cycle, and important information on your cervical screening test and how to do a self breast exam in a clear, concise, and friendly manner!

From Frriday, Amazon Prime
Season two of the sci-fi satire promises even more crazy gadgets, apps and tech innovations with dubious benefits for humankind. Upload is set in a future even more technologically advanced than today (if that's possible). Robbie Amell stars as Nathan, who has died and gone to techie heaven – ie he's been uploaded into a virtual afterlife, a pixellated paradise known as Lakeview. But afterlife in Lakeview can, like most tech, be a bit frustrating, and things get even more complicated when Nathan's girlfriend Ingrid is unexpectedly uploaded. Meanwhile, Nathan's customer service angel Nora – from whom he has a bit a grá – has gone off the grid and joined anti-tech activists The Ludds. Any way Nathan can power off and power on again? Nothing's that simple.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
From Friday, Apple TV+

Based on the novel by Walter Mosley, this new limited series stars Samuel L Jackson as Ptolemy Grey, a lonely nonagenarian whose failing, dementia-addled memory leaves him feeling detached and confused. However the arrival of orphaned teen carer (Dominique Fishback) coincides with a new treatment that temporarily restores some clarity for the old man – leading to more questions than answers as a decades-old mystery re-emerges. Before long the pair are embroiled in a personal investigation into the death of Grey’s nephew long in the past.

The Adam Project
From Friday, Netflix

In this big-budget sci-fi fantasy adventure, Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) travels back in time to enlist the help of his younger self (played credibly – uncannily, even – by Walker Scobell, a 12-year-old making his movie debut). The stakes? Adam wants to help his late father (Mark Ruffalo). Usually, where time-travel are involved, it’s about saving the world/galaxy from comic-book supervillains, but this offering from director Shawn Levy is a surprisingly tender and moving family melodrama, in which the mind-bending sci-fi elements are secondary to the human story at its heart. Also starring Jennifer Garner, Catherine Keener and Zoe Saldana.

Contributing: PA