Film & TV

On TV This Week…(May 4th)

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

If you’ve overdosed on Newsnight and Question Time in anticipation of the election, enjoy some escapism with this week’s TV highlights!

Eva Green faces off against the terrors that stalk the night in the return of Penny Dreadful; the creators of Shameless are back to muddy our screens, this time taking a look at the right side of the law and Graham Norton takes us through the best of British telly in The British Academy Television Awards.

Sherlock (Season 1 *Repeat*)
Monday, 4 May – BBC Three, 8.30pm

Another chance to catch the internationally adored, modern re-imagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective from the very beginning!

A combination of Benedict Cumberbatch’s magnetic portrayal of the socially inept super-sleuth, his compelling “bromance” with Dr Watson (Martin Freeman, The Office) and the razor sharp script delivered by Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen) and Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) makes this show simply unmissable.

Those of you lucky enough to be watching for the first time will likely be the envy of all of us on our second (or even third!) go around. Either way, the game is afoot!

No Offence (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Tuesday, 5 May – C4, 9pm

From the creators of cracking council estate comedy, Shameless, comes this cop drama with a generous helping of the same wicked sense of humour that made the residents of the Chatsworth Estate so entertaining.

The girls and boys in blue realise they’ve got a twisted serial killer on their hands when DC Dinah Kowalskwa (Elaine Cassidy) discovers a pattern in the deaths of several local girls. It’s up to the rag-tag squad at Friday Street Station to crack the case before another victim is claimed.

Penny Dreadful (Season 2 *Premiere*)
Tuesday, 5 May – Sky Atlantic, 10pm

Various oddities and monsters made famous by the Gothic horror novels of the late 19th Century come together in Victorian London with this monster mash-up!

Eva Green, Timothy Dalton and Josh Hartnett team up once again to take on the creatures of the night following some gruesome revelations last season. Meanwhile, Dr Frankenstein continues his grotesque experiments.

Considering the premise of this one, it would have been easy to take a few wrong steps and end up in “hammy” horror territory. But, choosing instead to build on the strength of its characters as opposed to relying on the week’s creature cameo to draw in audiences makes this an impressively well-executed entry.

Murder in Successville (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Wednesday, 6 May – BBC Three, 10pm

Welcome to Successville – a town populated entirely by celebrities…sort of.

When someone starts picking off the residents one by one, Chief of Police Gordon Ramsey puts the hard-boiled DI Sleets on the trail of the mysterious murderer. To aid in the effort, Sleet enlists the help of Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing – ironically the only real celebrity to be found in Successville!

A curious mixture of noir detective spoof, celebrity impressions and reality comedy makes this one hard to define but very funny nonetheless. Silly doesn’t even begin to describe it…

Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night
Thursday, 7 May – C4, 9pm

Jeremy Paxman and comedian David Mitchell (Peep Show) kick off Channel 4’s election coverage, which promises to take a far more satirical look at the big day than traditionally offered by other broadcasters.

The entire evening will be dedicated to monitoring the votes as they come in with commentary from the Channel 4 news team placed in key constituencies throughout the country and running up to the final count at 6am.

To keep proceedings from getting too dry, the reports will be broken up with special GE editions of some of your favourite C4 shows featuring celebrity guests and comedians. The perfect remedy to BBC’s decidedly more conventional coverage.

American Gangster (2007)
Saturday, 9 May – ITV, 10.20pm

Denzel Washington (Training Day) stars in this true-crime tale of drugs smuggling in 1970’s New York.

Following the death of his mentor, Frank Lucas (Washington) seizes the opportunity to rise through the ranks and solidify his position as no.1 distributor of heroin in the US. But, his notoriety makes him the target of Russell Crowe’s Newark detective, who soon becomes determined to bring him down.

The British Academy Television Awards 2015
Sunday, 10 May – BBC One, 8pm

Graham Norton hosts the annual ceremony celebrating the very best of British telly live from the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

With British TV enjoying something of a renaissance in recent years, the calibre of shows up for the prestigious award this time around is exceptionally high, including the likes of Sherlock, Peaky Blinders, The Missing, Line of Duty, Happy Valley and many more.

This year, legendary Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow will also be honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship for his 40 years of service to journalism.