Life can be tough, so don’t strain yourself — let Nickie Shobeiry dictate your TV channels for you.
Saturday, August 16
Great War Diaries (BBC2 - 8.15pm)
A proverbial telescope, the Great War Diaries — soon coming to its much-dreaded end — has allowed its audience to peak into the lives of others during the war.
In this episode, we follow an Australian pianist in his efforts to leave enemy lines and go home. Meanwhile, there’s a riot in a metal institution, sparked by an Italian-American, while a German soldier joins the rebellious spirit on his own turf. Of course, that’s not all — there’s a suicidal schoolgirl, an English journalist disgusted by the Allies’ behaviour, and the Russian Revolution, seen from the eyes of a Cossak woman.
Having spent years in production, this series reels in audiences with its haunting historical accuracy, international outlook and inevitable tragedies.
Andrew Marr's Great Scots (BBC2 - 9.15pm)
Scotland. Will they or won’t they?
Now I’ve got the obligatory politics out of the way, let me tell you about James Boswell — or, rather, let Andrew Marr tell you about James Boswell, the 18th century Edinburghian (shut up, that’s a word) lawyer and author, who juggled his nagging patriotism and itchy feet — the kind caused by the want of fame and foreign adventure. His penning of Samuel Johnson’s biography pushed the genre forward, and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes*, made a sneaky reference to Mr Boswell in one of his works (first person to name the title gets a prize…**).
Watch as Marr unfolds Boswell’s story, starting from his strict-and-starched childhood in Ayrshire to the less-than-powdery streets of London, and all the way to the Western Isles.
*What? Didn’t Benedict Cumberbatch write that?
**… in the form of a smiley emoticon.
The Walking Dead (5* - 10pm)
Here’s a rotting question for you: if the rate of zombie to human is 10:1, and there’s a 50/50 chance that hope (a.k.a. antibiotics) are 50 miles away at a university, what percentage of time will you spend clinging to the edge of your seat?
In this episode of the raved-about horror series, Maggie and Glenn dig graves for their lovely undead visitors, Tyreese is convinced Karen and David were killed, and Daryl, Michonne and Bob pool their aforementioned hope onto the university’s veterinary department.
Needless to say, you should leave the lights on this Saturday night.
Sunday, August 17
James May's Cars of the People (BBC2 - 9pm)
While ‘microcar’ and ‘classy’ may not be used in the same sentence too often, James May pops over to Japan to ogle new-fangled micro sports cars, comparing them to the world’s top sellers.
Also, he explores why vehicles like micro-cars and infamous three-wheelers were whipped up in the first place (short version: congestion worries + European manufactures = interesting results).
Join May as he discusses the most socially significant cars of the 20th century.
Richard III: The New Evidence (Channel 4 - 9pm)
You’ll find lots of things in a car park, but finding the skeleton of a past monarch — let alone a warrior king, leading his army into the Battle of Bosworth — is not quite on par with your average McDonald’s cup.
Painfully intelligent types at the University of Leicester have been studying the skeleton, trying to figure out how a man rumoured to have been a hunchback — and now with a curved spine on a table in Leicester to confirm it — could have achieved such physical feats.
While experts continue to suss out the King’s diet and lifestyle, Dominic Smee — a man with the same scoliosis as Richard III — takes a more hands-on approach with series of physical tasks, including horse riding, sword wielding and armour wearing, in an effort to find out how old Rich’s condition affected his kingly duties.
The Village (BBC1 - 9pm)
An acclaimed drama, The Village — set in Derbyshire in the 20th century — returns this Sunday with plenty of expected hardship.
Yet, it’s not all gloom and doom in this take on British social history; Bert has a shaky romance with the stationmaster’s daughter (“but what about Martha?!” I hear fans cry), Agnes discovers she’s pregnant, Martha slips away to the Big House, Clem susses out Edmund’s sexuality, all while Grace joins a cycling club (don’t be fooled — she’s not all that innocent).
Watch The Village and tell yourself you’re being educated. They wear period costumes and everything!
Family Guy (BBC3 - 10pm)
Even those who don’t watch Family Guy know by now that the talking dog was killed off. To be more precise, Brian was squished by a car in a surprisingly teary episode, leaving fans to wonder whether he’d somehow come back from the dead (since South Park’s “oh my God! They killed Kenny!” never had much of a permanent influence).
But now the series is moving on without the return of their deep-voiced canine, a new question blooms: will Vinny, the Other Dog, walk in Brian’s paw-prints? (I feel you cringing at the puns, and I’m not sorry).
In this episode, its wintertime and Quahog and Stewie have a pooch-filled plan, while Peter tries to save the town’s carnival.