Television choices: Network is out to despoil the stunning cast's perfect world
TV pick of the week: Utopia
Tuesday 10pm Channel 4
Alexandra Roach (Hunderby), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits) and Adeel Akhtar (Four Lions) play young online forum members who decide to meet up to discuss their obsession about a legendary graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments – unaware that a shadowy and extremely violent organisation, the Network, also has an interest in the comic book. Filmed in an unsettling hyper-realist style by the director Marc Munden (The Devil's Whore), the nimble, keep-them-guessing script is by Dennis Kelly, Sharon Horgan's partner on BBC3's Pulling and more recently, the co-creator of the West End smash musical Matilda. Terrific stuff, with deluxe support from James Fox, Stephen Rea, Geraldine James and Simon McBurney.
World Without End
Saturday 9pm Channel 4
A sequel to Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth begins 200 years after the end of that cathedral-building saga, in an England beset by the Hundred Years War and the Black Death. Filmed in various central European locations (hence the unbroken blue skies and no rain) Charlotte Riley leads the serfs, while Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon trades Jimmy Choos for sackcloth.
Sunday 6.30pm BBC1
Dust down your PG Wodehouse compendia, for Plum fans will need cheering up after this travesty. It's virtually impossible to capture the author's masterful comic tone, but this turns the tales of Lord Emsworth (Timothy Spall; Jennifer Saunders plays his formidable sister Connie) and his pig into a cartoonish misfire that even the show's teatime slot can't justify.
My Mad Fat Diary
Monday 10pm & 2.20am E4
"Sixteen stone, 16 years old and from Lincolnshire..." Sharon Rooney is terrific as the self-harming, binge-eating chronicler newly freed from a mental health ward into the era of Cool Britannia, and finding it hard to cope. Rae Earl's real-life diaries are skilfully and sympathetically adapted by Tom Bidwell, with a fresh young cast boosted by Claire Rushbrook as Rae's mum.
Saving Face: True Stories
Wednesday 10pm Channel 4
The plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad made headlines after his constructive surgery on the model Katie Piper, who had been disfigured in an acid attack. This Oscar-winning film follows Jawad to Pakistan, where 100 such acid attacks on young women are reported every year, as he treats two victims, 39-year-old Zakia and 23-year-old Rukhsana.
Inside Death Row with Trevor McDonald
Thursday 9pm ITV1
While Werner Herzog's extraordinary television series On Death Row is the gold standard for this sort of documentary, Trevor McDonald manages to capture one or two telling moments as he ventures inside Indiana State Prison, meeting 12 condemned men awaiting execution and some of the other inmates in the maximum security facility.
Glen Campbell: the Rhinestone Cowboy
Friday 9pm & 12.50am BBC4
In 2011 it was announced that the country star Glen Campbell was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. This enjoyable tribute follows the Republican-leaning share-cropper's son from Arkansas to session musician work with the legendary "Wrecking Crew" and a stint in the Beach Boys. Jimmy Webb is among the contributors.
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Naomi Wolf reacts to Isis 'conspiracy theories' critism after she questions whether beheading videos are real
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The golden age of TV comedy is here
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
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From Marvel to Star Wars: The rise of cinema’s shared universes
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'