TV this Week: The locale’s different, and so is Loki

Pick of the week:
The night manager

DR1, sun 20:00
Danish television gobbles up anything with a home-grown pulse, so it’s no surprise to see they’ve blown their April budget on acquiring this Susanne Bier-directed spy miniseries, which has been universally popular with critics and fans alike.

Based on John Le Carré’s book, this is by far the best adaptation yet. Updated so it’s set duing the events leading up to and during the Arab Spring in Cairo, the six-episode series is the full package, offering great action and sparkling performances by a star-studded cast.

Tom Hiddleston, as the deep-voiced and heart-meltingly handsome night manager, Jonathan Pine, is stealing the plaudits and maybe even making a strong case to be the next James Bond (Aidan Turner is a better choice though).

Le Carré, now 84, certainly approved, telling the Guardian that all the changes in the adaptation work really well. (NØ)

Also New:
It might very well be that Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to ‘Off the Wall’ (SVT1, Fri 22:00) has the least catchy title in the history of documentary, but director Spike Lee has crafted a fair effort, even though he only had access to the B-list of the Jackson family, some new footage of Marlon and Joe Jackson and host of celebrity interviews – still sycophants years after his death.

The documentary-fest continues with The Human Face of Big Data (DR2, Tue 23:05), which examines the importance of the digital world. You don’t say.

Still, it probably has more action in it than Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railways (DR 3 Wed 20:10), which must appeal to someone.

Well, he can always phone a friend, but he’ll probably be busy being Swallowed by a Black Hole (DR3, Sun 19:10), one of science’s strangest phenomena.

But is it any weirder than the erotic world of rope? Luckily for you, The Pleasure of Rope (DRK, Thu 01:00) will tie up any loose ends in your knowledge.

For less risqué evening viewing, 1970’s miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man (DR1, Thu 01:25) is re-airing this week, and Mr Selfridge (SVTI, Sat 21:30) is back with a fourth season. It’s old rope but quickly becoming a fixture. (AJ)

Coming soon:
The girlfriend
Scoring an impressive 80 on Metacritic, this has been hailed as “one of the best shows of the year” by entertainment newssite Vulture.

Law student Christine Reade (Riley Keough) has multiple sugar daddies, providing them all with the girlfriend experience, an all-too familiar scenario across US campuses today.

Executively produced by Steven Soderbergh, this is the TV adaptation of his 2009 film of the same name.

With strong support from Paul Sparks (Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards), the entire 13-episode first season premiered on 10 April. (JQ)

Sport of the week:
It’s not well timed, the Snooker World Championship (Eurosport, from Sat 20:00). Just when we should be venturing outside, along comes 2 million hours of action. Maybe football’s two-hour distraction is a better bet, with EPL action courtesy of Leicester City vs West Ham (TV3 S2, Sun 14:25) and Norwich City vs Sunderland (K6, Sat 13:00). Elsewhere, F1 is roaring back with the Chinese Grand Prix (3+, Sun 06:30). (BH)

Film of the week:
Once an Oscar cert, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (SVT4, Sat 21:30) hit the cinemas like a made-for-TV movie. Idris Elba is ably supported by Naomie Harris as Winnie, but there’s something amiss in the final hour. Homefront (TV3, Sun 21:00), with Jason Statham miscast as a former DEA agent, has its moments, while Electrick Children (SVT1, Tue 23:35) offers a quaint tale of immaculate conception, Mormon-style. (BH)