TV guide: 12 of the best shows to watch this week, beginning tonight

From the world’s first social media trial in Depp V Heard to a retelling of the Troubles in Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland

North Atlantic: The Dark Ocean

Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm

Underwater cameraman Ken O’Sullivan’s stunning documentary continues, as he roams the Atlantic waters off the Irish coast in search of amazing creatures, getting never-before-seen footage of marine life in this vast oceanic environment. In this second episode, O’Sullivan goes in search of one of the largest creatures ever seen, the mighty fin whale. O’Sullivan gets perilously close to these elusive leviathans to learn more about their feeding habits and migratory behaviour.

Depp v Heard

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Channel 4, 9pm

It was the world’s first TikTok trial, played out on social media, on TV and on the global stage, providing endless water cooler moments and keeping Twitter a-flutter for three months in 2022. Now, Bafta-nominated director Emma Cooper has made a three-part documentary series about this sensational courtroom battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, which saw both sides accusing each other of domestic violence and delivering an abundance of memes in the process.

Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland

Monday, BBC Two, 9pm

The Beeb takes the brave step of attempting a balanced retelling of the North’s recent history from both sides of the sectarian divide. The story is told through the eyes of ordinary people who have lived through the Troubles, and for whom violence was a daily occurrence. The series begins with the civil unrest of the late 1960s and ends with the Belfast Agreement in 1998. Episode one charts the rise of the civil rights movement, the arrival of the British army on the streets of Northern Ireland, and the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry.


Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, UTV, 9pm

Actor Suranne Jones is co-creator, along with screenwriter Anne-Marie O’Connor, of this three-part drama about two sisters who have drifted apart but whose lives collide again when their mother’s body is found on the Isle of Man. Jones plays Becca, with Eve Best as her sister Rosaline; neither has any idea why their mum was on the island, but the search for answers will soon bring long-hidden family secrets to the fore.


Grey’s Anatomy

Tuesday, RTÉ2, 10.35pm

The 19th season of the hugely popular medical drama is coming to its finale in the US, with a medical breakthrough and a big reunion in store, but now we can settle in and rejoin the staff and patients of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle at a time of huge change. A team of new, talented interns take up their posts at Grey Sloan, and they’re immediately put to the test when they have to treat victims of a tornado. Ellen Pompeo returns as Dr Meredith Grey, but for this season she’s taking a back seat and letting other characters take centre stable. The good news for fans is that the series has been renewed for a nice, round 20th season.

Rain Dogs

Tuesday, BBC One, 11.10pm

The dark comedy-drama series comes to an end as messed-up single mum Costello (Daisy May Cooper) is dealing with the crushing disappointment of losing the book deal she hoped would lift her and her daughter Irish (Fleur Tashjian) out of the endless circle of poverty hell. Meanwhile Selby, remorseful over his appalling behaviour, embarks on a road trip in a bid to reunite with Costello and Iris, but his choice of travelling companions would make you question his judgment.

Reds na hÉireann

Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm

Ireland may have been 40 shades of green, but there was an unseen streak of red running through society, and this documentary uncovers the hidden world of Irish communism. For years, right up to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ireland’s communists were dreaming of a workers’ utopia in Ireland and looking forward to the overthrow of capitalism. The revolution never came, but the documentary uses archive footage and interviews to recall the days when Irish communists looked to Moscow and not Washington for their future glory.

Peaky Blinders

Wednesday, RTÉ Two, 9.35pm

Cillian Murphy’s career is about to go nuclear with his starring turn in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, but here’s a chance to catch the sixth and final season of the gangland family drama set in Birmingham in the early 20th century. It’s 1933, fascism is on the rise in England and gang leader Tommy Shelby (Murphy) must try to keep fascist leader Oswald Mosley on side while dealing with trouble from a rival Irish mob and threats from the IRA. Fans are now patiently awaiting the promised Peaky Blinders movie in 2024.

Men’s Sheds

Thursday, TG4, 8pm

For many Irish men dealing with loneliness, isolation or mental health issues, men’s sheds have been a lifeline, giving them a new connection with their community along with new interests and pursuits. In this new series, men from all four corners of the country tell their personal stories about how they’ve been saved by the sheds, and how they dealt with the disappointment of seeing the sheds shut down during Covid. In this episode, the Armagh shed is preparing for a Christmas fair after reopening, and the Cahersiveen shed is hosting a long-delayed evening of musical entertainment.

The Peninsula Nurses

Thursday, BBC Two, 10pm

This two-part factual series, made by Tyrone Productions, follows the busy lives of a team of district and community nurses working in the idyllic setting of Ards peninsula in Co Down. These nurses travel all over the peninsula daily, looking after people in their homes, including Kirsty from Portaferry, who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer while also singing with local women’s sea-shanty group The Selkies, and elderly couple Rea and Ruth, who are dealing with diabetes and dementia.

Treasures of the National Trust

Friday, BBC Two, 9pm

Britain’s National Trust not only works to preserve historic monuments, it also looks after ordinary houses with significant historic value, and in episode three of this fly-on-the-medieval-wall series, we get to visit the childhood home of Paul McCartney in 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool, known as “the birthplace of the Beatles”. The programme will take us into the hallowed former council house to see the piano where Paul wrote When I’m 64 when he was just 14.

The Late Late Show

Friday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm

Ryan Tubridy wasn’t joking – he’s definitely handing over the Late Late Show baton to another plucky presenter, and tonight will be the very last time he informs us that there’s one for everyone in the audience. Whoever takes over hosting duties in the autumn, I’m sure Patrick Kielty will do a great job, but there are going to be a few kiddie (and adult) tears when Toy Show time comes around and Tubs is not there. No idea what Tubridy is planning for his farewell show, but I suspect it will be suitably understated, like the man himself.