Pick of the week:
DR1, Sat 20:00
When you’re hot, you’re hot, and Julian Fellowes, free of the shackles of dreaming up more implausible story-lines for the Crawley family, has wasted no time in adapting Anthony Trollope’s much-loved novel Doctor Thorne, which premiered on Britain’s ITV in March.
Doctor Thorne is set in the fictional country of Barsetshire during the mid-19th century. It follows the life of penniless Mary Thorne (Stefanie Martini), who grows up with her uncle Dr Thorne (Tom Hollander), and her relationship with her family.
The series has received ample attention following the success of Downton Abbey with the Guardian calling it “awash with heaving-bosom action and cut-glass accents”.
Only time will tell if Doctor Thorne can emulate the success of Downton Abbey. (GD)
This week’s TV choice is like a journey through life from Nine Months that Made You (DR2, Sat 20:00) to The Secret Life of Teens (DR3, Fri 17:05) and finally The Stranger on the Bridge (DR2, Wed 23:50), in which a filmmaker tracks down the man who talked him out of committing suicide.
Talking of heroes, we’ve got biodocs on Jesse Owens (DRK, Mon 22:45), Neil Armstrong (SVT2, Thu 18:00) and Magic Johnson (SVT2, Mon 22:15), while everyone’s favourite Irish comic meets his in Dara O’Briain meets Stephen Hawking to discuss some of the subjects covered in Cosmonauts (SVT2, Mon 18:05) and The Art of Hubble (DR3, Sun 20:00).
Elsewhere, there’s another chance to see Mary: The Making of a Princess (K4, Mon 22:00) and the first ever episodes of Vikings (SVT4, Mon 00:55) and Veep (SVT2, Wed 22:45); Adele missed the Billboard Music Awards (DR3, Sat 21:00), but you needn’t; Swedish serial killer doc The Confessions of Thomas Quick (DR2, Tue 20:45) has its moments; Building the World Cup (K6, Sat 14:00) joins the countdown to Brazil; and US thriller series The Family (K5, Tue 21:55) is a cross between Homeland and Boss that was cancelled after one season. (BH)
Exploding onto our screens via Netflix this month, Lady Dynamite, with a massive 85 on Metacritic, is “blowing up the traditional sitcom”, claims the San Francisco Chronicle.
Partially based on the real life of its star, the bipolar comedian/actress Maria Bamford, it is “cheerful, dark, surreal, profane, aspirational and meta-fictional”, applauds the LA Times.
We follow Maria as she moves back to LA to resume her life again.
Presented in different timelines, it uses flashbacks to explore Maria’s backstory with angst and humour. (AP)
Sport of the Week:
The Madrid derby or Hull vs Sheffield Wednesday: what’s the bigger game? The former’s worth an extra 5 million euros, the other £120 million. You do the maths. Elsewhere, we’ve got the Monaco Grand Prix (3+, Sun 12:30); the final stage of Giro d’Italia (TV2, Sun 14:30); the French Open (all week Eurosport), the Diamond League and England vs Australia (K6, Fri 20:30). (BH)
Film of the Week:
In Britain, Songs of Praise. In Denmark on a Sunday at 17:55 it’s a scene in which a German soldier’s penis is bitten off: more like dong’s malaise. Sam Peckinpath’s Cross of Iron could teach the likes of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit a thing or two, like when to blow off a dead franchise. Fortunately Contraband learned that lesson the hard way at the box office. (BH)