There’s a lot riding on the bank holiday TV schedules and luckily they deliver. Here’s what we recommend watching for whatever mood you’re in.
The Easter Bank Holiday weekend isn’t looking like any of us expected. No drawn out meals with family or friends, no lounging around in parks drinking gins in tins, no doing exactly what we please for four glorious days. And for those on the front line of the NHS and the valuable key workers who are keeping us fed, watered and clean, these are the most testing of times. But we’re trying to find any bright lights we can, and we’re glad at least to tell you there’s plenty to watch on TV this weekend. Here’s our pick …
How to Fix a Drug Scandal
Another week, another epic Netflix documentary to absorb us. This riveting four parter is based around a chemist – Sonja Farak - working in a drug laboratory in Massachusetts testing evidence collected by the police. Over nine years she became addicted to drugs brought to the lab and also falsified evidence, leading to her eventual arrest. Her imprisonment raises the possibility that many, many cases that led to prison sentences for possession could be overturned. Whatsmore, only six months earlier another chemist, Annie Dookhan, was convicted with forging thousands of drug tests. It’s a scandal that could have affected many thousands of people, and it’s a fascinating look at these women, and the people impacted by them.
It’s not a bank holiday weekend, without hunkering down in front of a cosy feel-good film, and they don’t come more heart-warming than Paddington. The utterly charming 2014 film tells the story of how a marmalade loving bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) came to live with the Brown family [which includes Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, and HRH Julie Walters] and the adventures he has in London along the way - particularly at the hands of dastardly Millicent [Nicole Kidman]. At its heart this is a film about community and belonging; a virtual bear hug for those of us feeling alone, if you’ll forgive the cliché.
Film4 at 5.00pm on Saturday, 11th
Starting on Bank Holiday Monday this highly enjoyable three part drama, stripped across three nights, tells the fascinating story of Major Charles Ingram, who won a million pounds in Who Wants to be a Millionaire in 2001, then had it all taken away after he and wife Diana were accused of conspiring to cheat in a coughing scandal. Funny and prescient, the cast is equally brilliant, starring Sian Clifford – our beloved Claire from Fleabag, Matthew Macfadyen, fresh from his excellent turn as Tom in Succession and Michael Sheen as quizmaster Chris Tarrant.
ITV at 9pm on 13, 14 and 15th April
This weekend sees the last two episodes – shown on Sunday and Monday night – of brilliant BBC thriller The Nest. Written by Three Girls’ Nicole Taylor it explores what happens when a couple [played by Peaky Blinders’ Sophie Rundle and Line of Duty’s Martin Compston] pay a young woman £50,000 to be their surrogate, as they are unable to have a baby. Last episode saw Kaya, give birth prematurely after an explosive evening at the school prom and things are set to get even more dramatic. Expect revelations, family trauma, personal trauma and hopefully to discover whether Kaya is able to give the baby to Emily and Dan after everything they’ve all been through.
BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 12 and Monday 13 April
Series two of Killing Eve ended with… A WARNING! STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T CAUGHT UP YET. YES NOW. THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE… Eve (Sandra Oh) left for dead in Rome at the hands of Vilanelle (Jodie Comer). Only Vilanelle’s murderous attempt wasn’t totally successful - in fact Eve is still alive and trying to get back to her own life, which she hopes won’t involve her ‘nemesis’. Who’s going to tell her?
Not only is Fiona Shaw back as MI6 agent Carolyn Martens there’s more brilliant women joining the cast in the shape of Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones) and Dame Harriet Walter (The Crown). And as has now become tradition, the show has been handed over to Suzanne Heathcote after flourishing under the care of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Emerald Fennell. That’s Easter Monday sorted then…
BBC iPlayer from 6.00am, Monday 13 April then repeated on BBC One on Sunday 19 April
Images: BBC, ITV, Netflix, Studio Canal