Television choices: On hand to help the families living with murder

  • @GerardVGilbert

TV pick of the week: The Murder Workers

Thursday 9pm Channel 4

Thanks to The Killing and Broadchurch, the fashion in television crime drama seems to be for the grieving loved ones of murder victims to share equal billing with the perpetrators. Now, this Cutting Edge documentary concentrates wholly on the bereaved, following Victim Support's National Homicide Service as they work with the human fallout of the 700 or so unlawful killings each year in the UK. Their services range from trauma-counselling to practical advice about funerals and legal proceedings – such as attending to Marie (left), whose son was murdered in Germany, and who must now travel to the country for the trial. They also meet a grandmother who suddenly finds herself caring for her murdered daughter's children.

Doctor Who

Saturday 7pm BBC1

Neil Gaiman was asked "to make the Cybermen scary again", and, while these things are relative (I'm not nine years old, after all), he has succeeded. "Nightmare in Silver" takes place in the biggest amusement park in the universe, where Cybermen (are there no Cyberwomen?) are relics used as dumb chess partners. Warwick Davis guest stars.

British Academy Television Awards

Sunday 8pm BBC1

Or the BAFTAs, as they're known to you and me. Graham Norton hosts as well as being nominated, and while there are several shoo-ins (the Olympic Opening Ceremony, for example) it looks mostly like an open field. One of the more interesting categories is the international one, where Girls takes on The Bridge and Homeland.

The Fall

Monday 9pm BBC2

Gillian Anderson has her Helen Mirren moment, playing a London detective superintendent sent to Belfast to take over a stalled investigation into murders perpetrated by a pervy serial killer played by Jamie Dornan (don't worry, this isn't a whodunit). "No-one knows what goes on in another's head," he tells his wife, in Allan Cubitt's muted and well-measured five-parter.


Tuesday 9pm BBC1

It's Call the District Nurse, albeit not set in the Fifties, or a British Nurse Jackie, albeit without the black humour. Eva Myles makes an appealing presence in Lucy Gannon's drama about a dedicated Bristol health worker with a wonky personal life. The first cases involve a pensioner with suspected dementia and the heavily pregnant wife of a serving soldier.


Wednesday 9pm BBC2

You'd have thought that bankers would have stopped taking risks – but then, JP Morgan were unscathed in 2008, and, as Daniel Kahneman says, surveying the bank's "whale trade" that lost them $6bn in 2012: "You will be lucky... and that makes you a real menace." This also looks at the search for mathematical mastery of risk – and how risky that is.

Pappano's Essential Ring Cycle

Friday 7.30pm & 2.30am BBC4

"Mark well my new poem – it contains the beginning and end of the world!" So Richard Wagner described his "Ring Cycle" of four operas, which Antonio Pappano has twice conducted. In this Wagner-bicentenary documentary, Pappano explains Wagner's epic, with help from Bryn Terfel and the Wagner specialist Keith Warner.