Easter TV: The best on the box this bank holiday weekend

A look ahead at the most enjoyable shows and films on TV this Easter

If Christmas seems like a distant memory and you can’t remember the last time you had a day off, an Easter sat in front of the TV could be just what you're after.

While broadcasters don’t go to town making “Easter specials”, there are a fair few new drama series and one-off shows to look out for this bank holiday weekend.

The Coen brothers’ TV adaptation of Fargo starring Martin Freeman kicks off on Easter Sunday, followed by Jamaica Inn with Downton’s Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) on Bank Holiday Monday.

University Challenge fans can indulge in a Champion of Champions episode this Saturday to mark the show’s 50th birthday as Magdalen, Oxford goes head-to-head with Manchester University.

Top film picks include Toy Story, Trainspotting and The Graduate (see below).

 

Good Friday, 18 April

TV pick: Doctor Who - Farewell to Matt Smith (see above)

Natural World: Honey Badgers – Masters of Mayhem
9pm, BBC 2

Honey badgers are nature’s most fearless scrappers. They are unlikely to become wildlife superstars like meerkats, but they do have their champions – and this film follows three of them as they seek to better the critters.

Unreported World
7.30pm, Channel 4

Evan Williams travels to Baghdad to meet the young dancers and musicians at Iraq’s only music and ballet school, who are battling to keep their art alive against the rising tide of sectarian violence.

Mammon
9pm, More4

Peter’s investigations are taking him ever closer to the centre of power in this generally engrossing, occasionally perplexing, Norwegian-noir drama.

The Trip To Italy
10pm, BBC4

Brydon and travel companion Steve Coogan visit the beach where Shelley’s body was burned by his friends in 1822.

Easter Saturday, 19 April

TV pick: University Challenge: Champion of Champions, BBC 2 (see above)

Britain’s Favourite Detectives 
9.25pm, Channel 5

List shows have their place – and that place is usually on a Saturday night. This particular countdown has been voted on by Channel 5 viewers, and suspicions that discernment levels are not of the highest calibre will be confirmed if Joan Hickson’s Miss Marple doesn’t make the top five. 

Pop Goes
10.30pm, BBC2

Joni Mitchell singing “Chelsea Morning”, Leonard Cohen duetting with Julie Felix in 1967, Pulp performing “Common People”, Soft Cell on The Oxford Road Show and John Martyn on Rock Goes to College (remember that?) are among “50 treats... in no particular order”.

Easter Sunday, 20 April

TV pick: Fargo, Channel 4 (see above)

Endeavour
8pm, ITV

The current series of the Inspector Morse prequel concludes with the case of a boy from a broken home who has disappeared. Morse (Shaun Evans) is, meanwhile, having second thoughts about his chosen career.

The Simpsons
8pm, Sky1

A Homeland pastiche kicks off the 25th season of the still peerless animated sitcom as Lisa is cast as Dana.

The Crimson Field 
9pm, BBC1

This week, Thomas is struggling with a growing attraction to Kitty, although he is having much more success on the wards with a pioneering system for the treatment of wounds.

Perspectives: the Magic of Houdini with Alan Davies
10pm, ITV

“Lifelong” Harry Houdini fan Alan Davies treads in the escapologist’s footsteps as he tries to find out how young Weisz managed to transform himself into “the world’s handcuff king”.

Bank Holiday Monday, 21 April

TV pick: Jamaica Inn, BBC 1 (see above)

Game of Thrones 
9pm & 12.30am, Sky Atlantic

Crikey, that Daenerys is taking her time about claiming her birthright – too much time petting those dragons, methinks. Anyway, she chooses her champion this week, while in another of the countless storylines, Arya continues her road trip with unlikely travelling companion the Hound.

Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This 
9pm, ITV

With a private life as shambolic as his magic act, Tommy Cooper (played by David Threlfall, above, with Jason Manford) was ripe for the biopic treatment, which Simon Nye delivers with an ear for Cooper’s immortal one-liners.

Amazon’s Retail Revolution:  Business Boomers 
9pm, BBC2

Charts the fortunes of  a certain online company that Jeff Bezos started in  his garage 20 years ago.

Rev
10pm, BBC2

The return of Ralph Fiennes as the Bishop of London, as Adam is shocked when he discovers that Nigel has reported him to the bishop for conduct unbecoming to a vicar.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Arts and Entertainment
Sergeant pfeffer: Beatles in 1963
booksA song-by-song survey of the Beatles’ lyrics
Arts and Entertainment
music'I didn't even know who I was'
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl was left in a conundrum with too much talent and too few seats during the six-chair challenge stage
tvReview: It was tension central at boot camp as the ex-Girls Aloud singer whittled down the hopefuls
Arts and Entertainment
Kalen Hollomon's Anna Wintour collage

art
Arts and Entertainment

TV Grace Dent on TV
Arts and Entertainment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

music
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer is believed to be playing a zombie wife in Patient Zero

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Gatiss says Benedict Cumberbatch oozes sex appeal with his 'Byronic looks' and Sherlock coat
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Clothing items bearing the badge have become popular among music aficionados
musicAuthorities rule 'clenched fist' logo cannot be copyrighted
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson will star in Seth MacFarlane's highly-anticipated Ted 2

film
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in 'Gone Girl'

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?