TV preview: seven things to watch on television this week

Three hapless Dubliners time-travel to the Easter Rising, three judges pick Ireland’s best garden designer, and three dragons light up Game of Thrones season six

Wrecking the Rising
Saturday, Sunday and Monday, TG4, 9.30pm
If you could go back in time to 1916, what would you do? When three hapless Dublin lads are whisked back 100 years to the eve of the Easter Rising, they inadvertently put the whole operation in jeopardy, in this new three-part time-travel drama (which began last night - find it on the TG4 website). In their quest to put things right and avoid changing history, our three Dubs encounter the leaders of the Rising and have to find some heroic reserves within themselves. Shown on three consecutive nights, the series (Bachelor's Walk meets Insurrection?) stars Peter Coonan, Owen McDonnell, Sean T O'Meallaigh, Jeanne O'Connor and Enda Oates.

Voices 16 – "Rising"
Sunday, BBC One, 8pm
A new 1916 documentary looks at the Rising from a Northern Irish perspective. Voices 16 – "Rising" tells the story of the Northern Irish people who played key roles in the Rising, among them James Connolly's Belfast-born secretary Winifred Carney, and Jack Carrothers from Fermanagh. The first of two documentaries (the second will be broadcast in summer and focuses on the Battle of the Somme), "Rising" features eyewitness testimony along with documents and letters, with actors Seainin Brennan (The Fall) and Patrick FitzSymons (Game of Thrones) playing some of the real-life characters.

Game of Thrones
Monday, Sky Atlantic, 2am/9pm
Game of Thrones returns for its hugely anticipated sixth season, with the promise of more battles, bloodshed and bedroom shenanigans. Fans of swords and sorcery often have to suspend disbelief, but even the most ardent GoT fans still find it hard to believe that Jon Snow is really dead. Sure, they watched the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch walk into a fatal trap at the end of season five, and they saw him cut down at knifepoint and left lying in the snow with his lifeblood ebbing away, but still . . . nothing a quick plot twist can't fix, eh? The show's creators have insisted that Snow is dead as a doornail – they even warned celebrity GoT fan Barack Obama not to get his hopes up. Still, most us are certain this is a big red herring. No, really.

Home Ground
Monday, BBC One, 7.30pm
Rural affairs in the Republic are well covered by Ear to the Ground, and now Northern Ireland has its own rural series. Home Ground , presented by Jo Scott and Gavin Andrews, with roving reporter Ruth Sanderson, celebrates the richness of rural life in the North. The six-part series will explore dry stonewalling in the Mourne Mountains, moving cattle on a barge in Strangford Lough, and searching for the elusive dipper bird on the Glenarm river.


Super Garden
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm
It's hedge-trimmers at dawn in Ireland's gardening world, as five garden designers go head to head in a new series of Super Garden . Expect the muck to fly as they race to create a fabulous, homeowner-friendly garden in five weeks on a budget of just €5,000, with the winner getting the chance to showcase their skills at this year's Bloom festival. Judges Roisin Lafferty, Gary Graham and Leonie Cornelius will be looking for "a garden that takes a bit of a risk in terms of design". The new mentor is garden designer and lecturer Monica Alvarez.

American Crime
Thursday, RTÉ Two, 11.30pm
Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton return for a second series of acclaimed drama series American Crime, but here's a strange thing: they're playing completely different characters in a completely different setting and storyline. For new arrivals to this series, which tackles issues of race, class and gender with a trial at its centre, it means you don't need to have watched the first season to be up to speed. This time, Huffman is a manipulative headmistress at an elite private school in Indiana, and Hutton is the school's basketball coach. The school's uppercrust veneer is dented when explicit photos of a working class boy from another school are posted online, and the boy accuses two privileged players on the basketball team of drugging and assaulting him.

The Secret
Friday, UTV Ireland, 9pm
Coleraine dentist Colin Howell was a respectable member of the community, a family man and a devout Baptist. When he began an affair with fellow Baptist Hazel Buchanan, however, he turned from loving husband to callous killer, murdering his wife and Buchanan's husband, and making it look like a double suicide. The Secret is a four-part drama starring James Nesbitt as Howell, who kept his crime hidden for nearly 20 years before finally confessing in 2010.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist