Your day-by-day guide to all the best shows and films you don’t want to miss
Fire and Blood, Sunday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm
When I was at school, our understanding of the Vikings was relatively basic: they came from the sea, roaring and swilling beer, to lay waste to the jewels of Celtic Christianity, storming round towers, skewering monks and having their way with unfortunate females.
And, of course, the Norsemen were plunderers, intent on smashing and grabbing anything they could. But only initially, and the truth may well have been more complicated.
This new two-part docudrama uses recent discoveries to shed new light on the Vikings, and challenge what we think we know about them. Because although they took, they also gave, and in Ireland a Viking dynasty would build an empire and change the course of our nation’s history.
This first episode considers the initial Viking incursions, when opportunistic raiders from Norway and Denmark realised they had stumbled on a fertile land. We find out how a 2018 discovery on Rathlin Island offered new perspectives on these first Viking invaders, and in Dublin, in 2020, the remains of a huge Viking harbour revealed the sophistication of a later age. We also hear about King Ivar. From about 850 AD, he and his descendants controlled Dublin, Waterford and their hinterlands. But in 902, a surprise victory ended their domination.
Wednesday, BBC1, 10.40pm
Saul Dibb’s vastly entertaining period drama is set in late 18th-century England and based on the extraordinary story of Georgiana Spencer, ancestor of Diana, and equally ill-starred. At the age of 17, Georgiana (Keira Knightley) becomes a much-talked about socialite when she marries William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes), and the richest man in England. But the duke has the manners of a goat, and expects his young wife to be devoted and faithful while he takes lovers all over the place. One of them, Lady Elizabeth Foster (Hayley Atwell), will form an unlikely friendship with Georgiana as they battle the iniquities of a stuffy patriarchal society.
Sky Sports Main Event, 5pm
As the Premier League season gets underway, Everton begin with the potentially challenging visit of Chelsea to Goodison Park. Kick-off at 5.30pm.
John Wick: Chapter 3
Channel 4, 9pm
John Wick is on the run, with a $14m bounty on his head and every assassin of note on his tail. But John is hard to kill, and has resourceful allies. With Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Halle Berry.
Lost Treasures of Rome
Channel 4, 7pm
At the height of his despotic reign Nero built an elaborate palace in honour of, well, himself. Buried beneath the streets of modern Rome, it’s now been found, and has much to reveal about its creator.
The Sunday Game Live
Antrim face Armagh in the All-Ireland Junior Camogie final at Croke Park, which will be followed by Cork v Galway in the Intermediate Final, and Cork v Kilkenny in the Senior final. Marie Crowe presents.
RTÉ One, 9.30pm
When a bomb rips through the heart of MI6’s London HQ, 007 realises that someone is out to get his beloved boss, M. Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Javier Bardem star.
The Real Windsors
Channel 4, 8pm
With observers predicting a rocky future for the House of Windsor when the present monarch passes on, this documentary explores the possibility for an existential royal crisis.
24 Hours in A&E
Channel 4, 9pm
A man who’s already missing an arm is admitted to casualty having badly cut his hand in a blender. As he’s treated, he tells the remarkable story of how he lost his arm, and emigrated to the UK.
Mel Gibson’s gruelling epic is based on the true story of Desmond Doss, a pacifist who became a US army medic and won the Medal of Honour for his heroism during the Battle of Okinawa. Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington star.
Dr Eva’s Great Escape
RTÉ One, 9.35pm
We catch up with Eva Orsmond and her husband Wyatt to find out if they’ve managed to overcome various obstacles and complete their luxury wellness hotel in Portugal.
Live Carabao Cup
Sky Sports Main Event, 7pm
In the first round of the League Cup, Bradford City face Hull City at the Utilita Energy Stadium. The game gets underway at 7.45pm.
Virgin Media Two, 11.30pm
Thriller sequel in which Soldado agent Matt Graver re-teams with Alejandro Gillick to fight enemy forces involved in the drug war on the US-Mexico border after a terrorist bombing in Kansas. With Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.
Illegal to Be Me
Olympic diving champion Tom Daley visits countries which are part of the British Commonwealth where homosexuality is outlawed and sometimes even punishable by death.
Channel 4, 8pm
As a new season begins, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Whinnie Williams bring their creative flair to bear on neighbouring living rooms in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Film Four, 9pm
Flashy thriller starring Charlize Theron as and MI6 agent who arrives in Berlin shortly before the fall of the wall to investigate the suspicious death of a colleague. With James McAvoy, John Goodman.
When a vulnerable young man goes missing and his scooter is found abandoned, Perez becomes intrigued by the reasons why his family moving to the Shetland Islands in the first place. Douglas Henshall stars.
Love Island star Faye Winter, comedian Kae Kurd and Danny Jones of McFly are among the celebrity contestants as John Torode and Gregg Wallace kick off a new season of the cooking show.
Drama based on Salman Rushdie’s novel charting the upheaval that ensued following India’s break from colonial rule and the partitioning of the country. With Shriya Saran.
It’s a Sin
It’s December, 1983, and despite growing reports of gay men dying from Aids, Ritchie remains firmly in denial and believes that the idea of a disease that infects only homosexuals is absurd.
Peter Collins introduces live coverage of all the day’s big events at the 2022 European Championships in Munich.
Walk the Line
RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Powerful biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix as a young Johnny Cash, whose childhood guilt and various addictions are challenged by the arrival of a new woman in his life. Reese Witherspoon plays June Carter, and Robert Patrick co-stars.
Channel 4, 8pm
Veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick welcomes more distressed pets to his clinic, which uses cutting-edge technology to cure debilitating ailments.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Netflix
Forgive me. I’m a child of the ‘90s. Considering the proliferation of TMNT output over the last 30 years, I also feel compelled to inform you that this newest offering doesn’t involve any prostheses. In fact, it’s thoroughly 2D and has a bang of Teen Titans Go! emanating off it. Continuing from the hit Nickelodeon series, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Donatello are back in action and up to atypical teen antics in this comedic adventure that raises the stakes higher than ever before. The Turtles are put to the test when a mysterious stranger named Casey Jones arrives from the future to warn the mutant brothers of an impending invasion of the most dangerous alien force in the galaxy. You might have heard of them — the Kraang! What unfolds is being touted as the most epic story told of TMNT. Big claim. Big. Huge. So it better not let me, I mean ‘us’, down.
Netflix, streaming now
Two months into a deadly pandemic (we’ve all been there — only this one originated from the DMZ that has devastated the US and North Korea specifically), “Carter” awakens. While he has no recollections of his past, he does have a suspect device in his brain, a lethal bomb in his mouth, and a strange voice dispensing orders in his ears. Given his gob bomb could detonate any moment, he focuses on rescuing a girl (that old chestnut) who happens to be the sole antidote to the virus. With both the CIA and a North Korean coup hot on his heels, “Carter’s” fight for survival unfolds in this one-scene action thriller.
Prime Video, streaming now
In this one-of-a-kind social experiment (as opposed to all the other ones), four individuals attempt to find their perfect spouse via astrological matchmaking. Bear with us; Gen Z is BIG into all things astral. Each individual represents one of the four elements of astrology (Air, Fire, Water, Earth) and their romantic adventure takes place at a retreat run by the Astro Chamber. So, it’s Love Island but with fewer bikinis and more faff. Contestants mingle, match, date, eliminate, and eventually make the biggest decision of their lives — will they marry based solely on astrology? Again, Mystic Meg was waaaay ahead of her time.
Netflix, streaming now
A blend of modern myth and dark fantasy brings contemporary fiction, and historical drama seamlessly interwoven, The Sandman follows the people and places affected by the Dream King, as he mends the cosmic — and human — mistakes he’s made during his existence. You may find it more interesting than it sounds.
I Just Killed My Dad
As titles go, this one is clearly on the loaded side. Anthony Templet shot his father and never even tried denying it. But why he did it is obviously a complex question with profound implications that go far beyond just one family dynamic. This three-episode documentary series explores the psyche of Anthony leading up to the events of June 3, 2019, and the journey of his mental and emotional aftermath.
I Am Groot
The series of original shorts — follows Baby Groot’s glory days growing up, and getting into trouble among the stars.
Lock & Keye
From Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel) and Meredith Averill (Haunting of Hill House), season 3 of this coming-of-age mystery is an adaptation of the best-selling comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.
Instant Dream Home
The Americans are pitching this as an entirely new format when it’s a reboot of 60 Minute Makeover...