Alan Dee’s guide to the TV week ahead
Casualty (BBC One, 8.45pm)
After 25 years on air, the BBC’s leading medical drama is still going strong, though this two-part episode marks the final chapter for one of its most memorable characters, Ruth Winters.
Black Mirror: The National Anthem (Channel 4, 9pm)
Back in 2008, TV critic Charlie Brooker seized on our love of reality shows and gave us the zombie drama Dead Set.
Now, he’s examining our reliance on technology, and the result is Black Mirror, a series of three stand-alone thrillers. While they may not feature the undead – as far as we know – it’s set to be every bit as creepy.
Future instalments will include an episode set in a dystopian future where the only way of escaping a life of physical drudgery is to enter a talent show.
The third, penned by Peep Show co-creator Jesse Armstrong, suggests that in the future we’ll be able to rewind and replay our own personal visual feed for other people.
But the first explores the dangers of social media as Prime Minister Michael Callow faces a shocking dilemma when much-loved royal Princess Susannah is kidnapped.
An impressive cast includes Rory Kinnear, Anna Wilson-Jones and Lindsay Duncan.
The Great British Property Scandal (Channel 4, 9pm)
Almost two million British families are currently on the waiting lists for social housing, and thousands live in unsuitable temporary accommodation or struggle with soaring rents. Architect and TV presenter George Clarke is aiming to do for social housing what Jamie Oliver has done for healthy eating. He says: “It’s a crying shame that there are 350,000 long-term empty properties in the UK while 2 million families desperately need a home.”
The Million Pound Drop Live (Channel 4, 10pm)
This appealing live game show sees two contestants – usually a young couple or two friends – given a million pounds from the off. But if they want to keep it, they have to place it over trapdoors which correspond to multiple-choice answers to general knowledge quiz questions.
Frozen Planet (BBC One, 9pm)
The final episode examines how the planet’s rising temperatures are taking their toll on the Poles, and the implications that may have for their inhabitants. Attenborough himself stands at the North Pole on ice several metres thick, and reveals that scientists think the same spot could be open water within the next few decades.
Without You (ITV, 9pm)
Anna Friel is back on our screens in this three-parter based on Nicci French’s novel, What to Do When Someone Dies. She stars as a happily married teacher left reeling when police arrive to tell her that her husband has died in a car accident along with his mystery female passenger.
The Nation’s Favourite Bee Gees Song (ITV1, 9pm)
An all-star tribute to Manchester-born siblings Barry, Robin and the much missed Maurice Gibb, singer songwriters who created the soundtrack of the disco era, with celebrity contributions galore.