Television Choices: Mothers unite to highlight the scourge of malaria


TV pick of the week: Mary and Martha

Friday 8.30pm BBC1

Richard Curtis, whose 2005 television drama, The Girl in the Café, was part of the Make Poverty History campaign, now addresses the scourge of malaria in the run up to Comic Relief's Red Nose Day. His new, Phillip Noyce-directed drama stars Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn as two very different women (Swank's Mary is a chic American designer, while Blethyn's Martha is a reprise of her tremulous Mike Leigh cockney) who are thrown together by the deaths of their mosquito-bitten sons. Mary has taken her boy on an "adventure" in Africa, while Martha's grown-up son has volunteered at an orphanage in Mozambique. The women's "epic journey to make a difference" (to quote the BBC) is leavened by trademark Curtis humour.

A Wolf Called Storm: Natural World Special

Saturday 8.30pm BBC2

It's a repeat, but also a bit of a wildlife classic that follows the pack of wolves which featured in David Attenborough's Frozen Planet. The cameraman Jeff Turner spent a year in northern Canada filming the pack and its leader as they hunt bison – stand-offs that can last days as the wolves patiently pick off their unlikely one-ton prey.

A Great British Air Disaster

Sunday 8pm Channel 4

The rise and fall of the De Havilland Comet, the world's first passenger jet airliner, once considered a triumph for the British aviation industry. Designed during the Second World War, it proved a hit with the public when it came into service in 1952, but then, in the space of four months in 1954, two aircraft blew up in mid-air, killing all passengers and crew.

Black Mirror

Monday 10pm Channel 4

In the last of his trilogy of dystopian fables Charlie Brooker turns his attention to the current disenchantment with party politics. Daniel Rigby plays a failed comedian who appears on a late-night topical show in the form of an anarchic blue bear and is asked by producers to stand at a by-election as his animated character.

Heading Out

Tuesday 10pm BBC2

If there are indeed 101 uses for a dead cat, Sue Perkins finds most of them with a running gag in the opening episode of her new Sapphic sitcom about the life and loves of closeted lesbian (to her parents at least) vet Sara (Perkins). Dawn French, Joanna Scanlan and Mark Heap (as the owner of a pet crematorium) co-star, while Shelley Con plays the love interest.

Child of Our Time

Wednesday 9pm BBC1

BBC1's answer to ITV's time-lapse series 7 Up, following the lives of 25 millennium babies and designed to shed light on the nature versus nurture conundrum, has appeared fitfully since 2008 (so fitfully that it led to the threat of resignation of presenter Lord Robert Winston). It now returns with a two-part special that meets the children as they enter adolescence.

Bank of Dave: Fighting the Fat Cats

Thursday 10pm Channel 4

Or Bank on Dave!, as the minibus dealer David Fishwick's business is called to circumvent the Financial Services Authority's unwillingness to grant him a banking licence. The FSA might not have liked his scheme to offer a better service than his competitors, but would savers and small-business borrowers? A follow-up documentary finds out.

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine