Television choices: On the frontline of the fight against Assad

 

TV pick of the week: Syria: Across the Lines - Channel 4 Dispatches

Wednesday 10pm Channel 4

A vivid behind-the-headlines account of the civil war in Syria, the documentary-maker Olly Lambert having spent five weeks on either side of the Orontes River that divides the (mainly) Sunni insurgents from the loyalist troops of Bashar al-Assad.

Seen from this rural frontline, the conflict seems to be congealing into unwinnable sectarian strife, as the Free Syrian Army – unaided by the West – struggles to use weaponry looted from government forces, and Lambert joins a rebel attack across the Orontes, the raiders only having 80 bullets between them. Assad's men have plenty of rockets with which to retaliate – and they do. "There will be vendettas for 50 years as a result of these crimes," says an old man.

Doctor Who

Saturday 6pm BBC1

If, as has been reported, Matt Smith is to leave the show, may I suggest that it might be a good thing. It's not Smith's fault, but the remorseless larkiness of the scripts that feed into his way of playing the Doctor are beginning to rob the series of any genuine tension. Or so it seems to me, as the Time Lord and Clara are on a stricken Soviet submarine in 1983.

Endeavour

Sunday 8pm ITV

Return of the Inspector Morse prequel, set in 1965 Oxford and again starring Shaun Evans as the rather priggish young detective. Anton Lesser is a welcome addition to the cast, playing Morse's antagonistic new martinet of a boss, as a series of gas meter swindles and post-office raids is put into the shade by the murder of a respectable GP in a public lavatory.

The Hoarder Next Door

Monday 9pm Channel 4

More than a million people in the UK are now hoarding. Really? Either way, there are enough to provide case studies for a second series of this show, in which the psychotherapist Stelios Kiosses helps hoarders de-clutter in just six weeks. First up for a quick fix is the primary-school teacher Jo, 62, who has managed to fill her home with text books, toys and magazines.

Royal Paintbox

Tuesday 10.35pm ITV

Prince Charles is in amiable buffer mode as he guides viewers around works of art created by his ancestors. It's who made them, rather than the works themselves, that are of interest, because the Duke of Edinburgh's painting of the Queen eating breakfast, the Queen's juvenile lino-cut of a horse, and Queen Victoria's various watercolours are, frankly, not up to much.

Maureen Lipman: If Memory Serves Me Right

Thursday 9pm BBC1

Deeply affected by how the loss of her father's short-term memory changed him ("He lost his ess-ence," she says of the former Hull shopkeeper), the actor Maureen Lipman says that she constantly worries about losing her own power of recall – especially given her need to learn lines. But how does memory work? And is there any way of improving it?

The Ice Cream Girls

Friday 9pm ITV

Another ITV thriller set in a seaside town, but this adaptation of Dorothy Koomson's bestseller promises a tighter grip than Broadchurch. It switches between 1995, when two teenage girls are accused of murdering their schoolteacher, and the present, when the less pretty and popular one (Jodhi May) leaves prison for the crime she insists she didn't commit.

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Arts and Entertainment
Bono throws water at the crowd while the Edge watches as they perform in the band's first concert of their new world tour in Vancouver

MusicThey're running their own restaurants

Voices
The main entrance to the BBC headquarters in London
TV & Radio
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

    Solved after 200 years

    The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

    Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

    Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
    Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

    Sunken sub

    Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

    Age of the selfie

    Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
    Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

    Not so square

    How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
    Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

    Still carrying the torch

    The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

    The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

    ...but history suggests otherwise
    The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

    The bald truth

    How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
    Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

    Tour de France 2015

    Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
    Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

    A new beginning for supersonic flight?

    Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
    I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

    I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

    Latest on the Labour leadership contest
    Froome seals second Tour de France victory

    Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

    Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
    Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

    The uses of sarcasm

    'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
    A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

    No vanity, but lots of flair

    A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
    Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

    In praise of foraging

    How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food