Tuesday 12th July

Today’s previews by Terry Ramsey

The Night Watch

9pm, BBC2 ★ ★ ★ ★

This intriguing drama follows the romantic lives of four young women during the Second World War, reminding us of the sexual conventions of the time. And the liberation that some people found in defying them.


The story is told backwards. We start in 1947, when Helen and Viv (Claire Foy and Jodie Whittaker) run a marriage bureau, Viv’s brother Duncan (Harry Treadaway) is in a fragile state and wartime ambulance driver Kay (Anna Maxwell Martin) is wandering the streets, brooding over an emotional loss. Then we travel back through the war years to show the key events that brought them to this position.

Fans of Sarah Walters’ complex novel might feel this 90-minute version (adapted by Paula Milne) lacks the depth of the original (you have to wonder if maybe it would have been better as a series strung out over a few parts). For most viewers, though, it will be a vivid and haunting drama, featuring fine performances from some of our best actresses: Anna Maxwell Martin, Claire Foy and Jodie Whittaker.

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Falling Skies

9pm, FX ★ ★ ★

After the exposition-heavy first episode, the Steven Spielberg-produced drama about people scrabbling to survive after an alien invasion decimates humanity settles down to just telling a story this week. Thankfully…


Off to investigate an armoury, professor-turned soldier Tom (Noah Wylie) and his squad run into a slightly less high-minded bunch of survivors, namely a pack of scavengers led by ex-con John Pope (Colin Cunningham). The clash between the two, more than any encounter with clanking alien robots or skittering spider critters, gives the episode some oomph.

So far, Falling Skies hasn’t been bad, but it does have a strong whiff of the worthy about it, especially since hero Tom is prone to meander off into lectures about historical events and lengthy ponders on the human condition. Cunningham’s sly, mad-eyed bad-lad Pope gives the whole thing a refreshing boot up the backside. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him. (Ceri Thomas)

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In this week’s chunk of high-brow documentary, Imagine (10.45pm, BBC1) sees Alan Yentob examine “John Lennon, The New York Years” – the period when, following the Beatles’ split-up and a growing disenchantment with life in the UK, the former moptop (that’s Lennon, not Yentob) moved to the USA and ‘found himself’. Or, depending on your view, went slightly off the rails, fell in with some revolutionary weirdos and produced some very half-baked albums. Whatever your view, there’s plenty of archive footage (including rare musical stuff) to support either case.

Meanwhile over on
Undercover Boss (9pm, Channel 4), Andrew Withers of the Southern Fried Chicken fast-food chain decides to make secret visits to the chain’s stores and is shocked to discover that a lot of their customers are drunk. Really? That’s a surprise to him? He needs to get out more . . .

Tuesday evening regulars include
Holby City (8pm, BBC1), Restoration Home (8pm, BBC2) and repeats of viewers’ favourite episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (9pm, 10pm, 11pm, Channel 5). It’s all about departures this evening, with the double-episode exit of William Petersen from the series and the final appearance of Gary Dourdan as Warwick Brown.
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Animal Kingdom – 7.30pm, ITV1

Four Rooms – 8pm, Channel 4

Crimewatch – 9pm, BBC1

Homes From Hell – 9pm, ITV1 New Series

Perfume – 9pm, BBC4

Smallville – 9pm, E4

Nurse Jackie… – 10pm, Sky Atlantic

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Emmerdale – 7pm, ITV1

Another day, another enraged bit of storming out from Nicola. Today it’s after she spots the hapless Jimmy buying Gennie an apologetic breakfast in the pub. Will the two ever be able to reconcile? It’s kind of hard to care… Actually, there’s a surplus of storm-outs on Emmerdale tonight. Charity is at the flouncing-out-in-anger game too. She does hers after an argument with Jai. The end result? Nicola’s edges it on technical merit, but you have to give more style points to Charity… (Ceri Thomas)

EastEnders – 7.30pm, BBC1

Mercy decides the best thing to do is to pack her bags and leave Walford for Nigeria, without telling Fatboy. Can someone warn him what she’s doing in time to stop her? Well, as the task requires speed and it falls to Dot, there has to be quite a lot of doubt… Still, at least romance appears to be blossoming elsewhere: Eddie (that’s David Essex to you and me) has managed to win himself a new admirer. Perhaps he deserves a little good fortune and happiness. Ah, but his adoring fan is Jean. Bad luck Eddie. (Terry Ramsey)

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Primal Fear– 11pm, Sky Crime/Thriller


Richard Gere and Edward Norton headline this glossy but effective legal drama. Gere’s the slick confident defence attorney who takes on the case of an altar boy (Norton) accused of killing an archbishop. The lawyer thinks he can manipulate the case and the media into upping his own profile but there are other puppet masters at work in the background too… Gere’s predictably good as the smarmy shyster, but it’s Norton – in one of his first high-profile roles – who is a revelation here. (Ceri Thomas)

Worth A Look…

Grown Ups – 8pm, Sky Premiere

The Blind Side – 8pm, Sky Drama/Romance

Batman Begins – 9pm, TCM

The Departed – 9pm, Film4

Armageddon – 9pm, Sky1

Green Zone – 9pm, Sky Crime/Thriller

Crank – 10.35pm, Sky Premiere

The Pelican Brief – 11pm, ITV2

The Beach – 11.50pm, Film4

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