Television choices: Echoes of lost children play on the mind in creepy house


TV pick of the week

The Secret of Crickley Hall

Sunday 9pm BBC1

Originally scheduled for Halloween, but presumably held back because its theme of child abuse was deemed too sensitive in the immediate aftermath of the Jimmy Savile revelations – Joe Ahearne's three-part adaptation of James Herbert's haunted-house novel should satisfy both horror fans and those with a Downton Abbey-shaped hole in their Sunday evenings. Tom Ellis and the increasingly impressive Suranne Jones play the parents of an abducted child who move into a mansion that was once an orphanage for wartime evacuees. Flipping between 1943 and the present, David Warner, Douglas Henshall and Sarah Smart support – Smart in an uncharacteristic role as the sort of childminder whose credo is "food is a reward, not a right".

The Killing III

Saturday 9pm & 10pm BBC4

The ongoing economic crisis forms the backdrop to the third and final series of the subtitled Danish police drama starring Sofie Grabol as jumper-sporting cop Sarah Lund. Except Lund is in high heels and a skirt as we become reacquainted, angling for promotion to a desk-job – and who can blame her? The death of a sailor at Copenhagen's port changes all that.

Stephen Fry: Gadget Man

Monday 8.30pm Channel 4

Sporting a very 19th-century beard (more the past than the future), "gadget-freak" Stephen Fry and celebrity chums (this week, an equally hirsute Jonathan Ross) test new inventions, including an amphibious London taxi, an air-conditioned jacket and (Bradley Wiggins take note) a helmet for cyclists that is worn like a scarf but inflates like an airbag.

Imagine: the Many Lives of William Klein

Tuesday 10.35pm BBC1

The polymath artist William Klein is a street photography pioneer and creator of some of the 20th century's most striking fashion images – as well as the first documentary of Muhammad Ali, and the 1966 fashion satire Who Are You, Polly Magoo? Yentob takes Klein back to New York, and visits his studio in his adopted home of Paris.

Secret State

Wednesday 10pm Channel 4

Gabriel Byrne, as PM Tom Dawkins, is doing a great job portraying a politician visibly growing backbone, as this week he faces Iran's allegation that the drone strike was an act of war, and PetroFex's threat to move to Poland. Meanwhile, boozy-truculent Tony Fossett (Douglas Hodge) spots something fishy about the former PM's plane crash.

The Aristocrats: Blenheim Palace

Thursday 9pm Channel 4

Blenheim Palace is Britain's largest stately home – currently in the care of the punctillious 11th Duke, but destined for his son, known to tabloid readers as ex-drug addict and jailbird Jamie Blandford. This film looks at the relationship between fat-her and son – while Blandford's relationship with his groundsman is pure Ted and Ralph.

Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild

Friday 9pm BBC2

The cornucopia that is the BBC's David Attenborough archive continues to be harvested, as this week the great man reflects on how the way in which the natural world is viewed has changed in his lifetime. The classic clips include Atters being charged by armed New Guinea tribesmen, and introducing new wildife superstars: the meerkat.

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Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)


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