Television choices: History proves fertile soil for Moffat's British Heimat

 

TV pick of the week: The Village

Sunday 9pm BBC1

It was always a tall order for BBC1 to make a British version of Heimat, Edgar Reitz's masterpiece following one German village from 1919 onwards, but Peter Moffat (Silk) may be a clever enough writer to crack it. The Village begins with standard-issue rural poverty in pre-First World War Derbyshire (drunken father, cowed wife and kiddies), but eventually veers off in unexpected directions. Stars include John Simm, Maxine Peake and Juliet Stevenson – as the chatelaine of the very un-Downton-esque big house (the servants face the wall when the master passes) – but it's the newcomers who impress, including 13-year-old Bill Jones as the farmer Simm's youngest son, and Charlie Murphy as a suffragette preacher's daughter. Very promising.

Doctor Who

Saturday 6.15pm BBC1

"People's souls are being uploaded into the Wi-Fi," deduces Matt Smith's Doctor, or as the arch-baddie (Celia Imrie) in Steven Moffat's half-series opener puts it: "It's like immortality, only fatal". A breezy slice of internet-dystopia, with a good joke about Twitter, a stunt involving the Shard, and an appealing full debut for new companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman).

Game of Thrones

monday 9pm sky atlantic

Any available British actor who hasn't been called to HBO's returning epic fantasy has every right be to be miffed, since the vast cast seems to include our entire thespian community, with Diana Rigg and Mackenzie Crook just two newcomers to the third season. But it's American Peter Dinklage, as Tyrion Lannister, trying to win back influence, who is again the most compelling.

The Great British Sewing Bee

Tuesday 8pm BBC2

The makers of The Great British Bake Off apply the formula to sewing, with eight amateur needleworkers (this week) making an A-line skirt, transforming a top by altering the neckline and producing a made-to-measure dress for a model. Claudia Winkleman hosts, and the judges are May Martin from the Women's Institute and the Savile Row designer Patrick Grant.

Scott & Bailey

Wednesday 9pm ITV

Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp return as Manchester's answer to Cagney and Lacey – except these coppers have a female boss (the excellent Amelia Bullmore). Enjoyable stuff, even if the men are all bastards, feckless or worse, including Bailey's new husband, with whom she's bored already. The first case involves a decapitated pensioner and suspected child abuse.

Dogging Tales

Thursday 10pm Channel 4

Nothing to do with Crufts, but the practice of heading to woodland to have (or just watch) sex with strangers. This eye-popping documentary has gained the trust of seasoned "doggers", all disguised beneath animal masks. "Undertakers, vicars, solicitors, weirdos… we get the lot," says Les from beneath his owl's mask, while a lorry driver estimates that 70 per cent of truckers are at it.

How to Win the Grand National

Friday 8pm Channel 4

Having captured the world's most famous steeplechase from the BBC, Channel 4 begin their Aintree build-up with Mark Evans exploring what it takes to claim victory, drawing on the testimony of jockeys, finding out what qualities separate the winner from the also-rans – and anatomising the race from start to finish.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Mitch Winehouse is releasing a new album

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

music
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

film
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz