Top specials of the TV week

Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads (BBC 1, Wednesday 7.30pm)

Widely celebrated as the playwright’s masterpiece, his multi-award-winning Talking Heads were filmed during lockdown, with a new generation of actors starring in 10 classic scripts. Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer (above) is one of them.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (Sky Atlantic, Wednesday 9pm)

Natalie Dormer, Nathan Lane and Daniel Zovatto star in a new series set in Los Angeles, 1938. Two LAPD detectives investigate a murder while the city sits on the brink of social upheaval. At City Hall, the construction of California’s first freeway brings crooked politics onto the asphalt.

Summer At Seven (RTÉ 1, Thursday 7pm)

Sinéad Kennedy and Kevin McGahern take an upbeat look at ‘the way we live now’, love and dating, mental health and venturing back out into the world after Covid 19. How to staycation, how to fly, how to get your hair cut, and what a trip to a restaurant or pub will involve now.

Wild Cuba With Colin Stafford-Johnson (RTÉ 1, Sunday 6.30pm)

Colin’s life-long obsession with wildlife was sparked by a Cuban stamp collection he found in his grandfather’s Dublin attic featuring exotic creatures straight out of a fairy-tale. He is fascinated by the Irish connections with Cuba, from Che Guevara’s Irish grandmother fuelling the revolutionary spark in that family, to the stories behind the Havana mansions still bearing names like O’Farrell and O’Reilly.

Yellowstone (RTÉ 2, Tuesday 9.30pm)

This new series set in the Wild West sees the always reliable Kevin Costner playing John Dutton, head of a pioneering family who never back down from a fight, whether they’re up against land developers, politicians or even each other.

MOVIES OF THE WEEK

San Andreas (RTÉ 2, Friday 9.35pm)

Dwayne Johnson does his heroic thing in the aftermath of a massive California earthquake as a rescue-chopper pilot making a dangerous journey across the state to rescue his daughter.

Frozen 2 (Sky Cinema, from Friday)

There’s no letting go of the box office smash that was Frozen, but now it’s time for an all new adventure as Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf set out on a dangerous journey to find the source of Elsa’s icy powers.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (RTÉ 2, Saturday 9.10pm)

Three decades after the Empire’s defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. Defected stormtrooper Finn and the scavenger Rey are caught up in the Resistance’s search for Luke Skywalker.

The Goldfinch (Sky Cinema, from Saturday)

This adaptation of the globally acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name by Donna Tartt follows Theodore “Theo” Decker who was 13 years old when his mother was killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - a tragedy that changes his life.

CLASSIC MOVIE

Crocodile Dundee (RTÉ 2, Sunday 6.10pm)

Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski co-star in this comedy tale about an American reporter who goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City. Hilarious.

KIDS STUFF

Long John Silver (Sony Movies, Thursday 9.30am)

The infamous pirate sets out on a return voyage to Treasure Island, armed with more clues to the whereabouts of its hidden booty.

Rich Kids Go Skint (MTV, Friday 10am)

The son of two millionaires moves in with an ordinary couple and attempts to organise a birthday party on a budget. Soon though he is challenged by the kids on how much he does for charity.

The Simpsons (Sky 1, Friday 10.30am)

Moe steals Homer’s idea for a new cocktail called a Flaming Moe and uses it to revive his tavern’s flagging fortunes. It works - attracting rock band Aerosmith, who make Moe’s their official hang-out.

Air Warriors (Smithsonian, Friday 4pm)

How the British Harrier jump jet and gunships such as the fearsome A-10 Thunderbolt, known as the `Warthog’, give close air support to ground troops, by blasting targets and striking terror in the enemy.

ON DEMAND

Athlete A (Netflix)

Bonnie Cohen and Jon Shenk’s documentary account of the paedophile Dr Larry Nassar and how he preyed on US gymnastics stars until a number of brave women who eventually came forward to send him to prison.

The Gallows Act 2 (Amazon Prime)

When aspiring actress Auna Rue logs onto a sinister website, she’s soon trapped in the malevolent world of a cursed stage play, The Gallows - before receiving a twisted challenge from a deadly spirit.

People Just Do Nothing (Netflix)

A ‘mockumentary’ sitcom that follows the lives of MC Grindah, DJ Beats and their friends, who run Kurupt FM, a pirate radio station broadcasting UK garage and drum and bass music from Brentford in west London.

7500 (Amazon Prime)

A title that derives from air traffic-control code-lingo for ‘hijacking’ - on a Berlin to Paris airliner piloted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Intense and dramatic.

Six Feet Under Seasons 1 - 5

Oscar-winning screenwriter Alan Ball’s breakout series takes a darkly comic look at members of a dysfunctional LA family who run a funeral business.

TOP SUMMER PODCASTS

My Creative Life

A celebration of creativity in young people - from music to writing, to visual art and acrobatics. Made to celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg, Ireland’s national day of free creativity for children and young people.

Brainstorm

Ideas, insights and new thinking giving the bigger picture on Ireland and the world around us. From RTÉ in co-operation with Irish universities and the Irish Research Council.

THE SHOW MUST GO ONLINE

Les Blancs (National Theatre)

An African country teeters on the edge of civil war as its society prepares to drive out its colonial present and claim an independent future. Tshembe, returned home from England for his father’s funeral, finds himself in the eye of the storm. July 2 to 9.

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