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WHAT TO WATCH 25-31 March

This week's best telly includes Steven Knight's highly anticipated adaptation of Great Expectations, the start of the fourth and final season of Succession, more wise tales from Billy Connolly, a new comedy starring Chris O'Dowd and three brand new dramas.

Here are 7 TV shows you can't miss this week...

1. Great Expectations

Sunday 26th March at 9pm on BBC One

Charles Dickens's Great Adaptations is once again being adapted for television, this time by Steven Knight for BBC and FX. It's the coming-of-age story of Pip, an orphan who yearns for a greater lot in life until a twist of fate introduces him to the mysterious and eccentric Miss Havisham and Estella, showing him a dark world of possibilities.

Under the great expectations placed upon him, Pip will have to work out the cost of this new world and whether it will truly make him the man he wishes to be.

It stars Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham, Fionn Whitehead as Pip, Shalom Brune-Franklin as Estella, Ashley Thomas as Mr Jaggers as well as Johnny Harris, Hayley Squires, Owen McDonnell, Laurie Ogden, Matt Berry, Trystan Gravelle and Rudi Dharmalingam.

1/6 Continues weekly

2. Blue Lights

Monday 27th March at 9pm on BBC One

Written by Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson who brought us The Salisbury Poisonings, comes Blue Lights, a new six-part drama for BBC One which follows three rookie police officers working in Belfast, a uniquely dangerous place to be a police officer.

It stars Siân Brooke as Grace, a mother of a teenage boy who has made the decision in her 40s to leave her steady job as a social worker to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Having previously worked in social care she straddles a fine line between the personal and professional. It’s the biggest gamble of her life, and just a few weeks into the job, she’s making so many mistakes that her decision no longer looks like a winning bet.

Her fellow rookies are Annie, played by Katherine Devlin, who struggles with the fact that her chosen path may mean having to leave everything she’s ever known behind, and Tommy, played by Nathan Braniff, who is desperate to prove himself, despite being disastrously inept at the practical side of frontline response policing.

All three are new police officers in their probation period with the PSNI, the odds are at least one of them isn’t going to last. The pressure is immense, but if they succumb to it, they won’t survive.

Often the rookie officers don’t know the extent of the peril they are in, or who they can trust. What’s it like to have to hide your job from neighbours, friends and even family? How do you distinguish between who needs your help and who wants you dead simply because of the uniform you wear?

1/6 Continues weekly.

3. Succession

Monday 27th March at 9pm on Sky Atlantic

They say that all good things must come to an end, which sadly means that the fourth season of Succession, Jesse Armstrong's series about power and family dynamics, will be its last.

But before patriarch Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox, and his four grown children, Kendall played by Jeremy Strong, Siobhan played by Sarah Snook, Roman played Kieran Culkin and Connor played by Alan Ruck, say goodbye for good, the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson moves ever closer.

The prospect of this seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys as they anticipate what their lives will look like once the deal is complete. A power struggle ensues as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is severely curtailed.

1/10 Continues weekly. Available each week from 2am

4. The Big Door Prize

Wednesday 29th March on Apple TV+

With Ted Lasso back for a third (and possibly final) season, Apple TV are wasting no time in launching their new comedy The Big Door Prize. Based on M.O. Walsh’s novel of the same name, it tells the story of a small town that is forever changed when a mysterious machine appears in the general store, promising to reveal each resident’s true life potential.

Chris O'Dowd stars as Dusty Hubbard, a seemingly content, cheerful family man and high school teacher, who watches everyone around him reevaluate their life choices and ambitions, based on the machine's printouts, and is forced to question whether he is truly as happy as he once thought.

While he remains skeptical of the machine, his wife, Cass, played by Gabrielle Dennis, indulges in the dream that there's something bigger out there for her. Like many of Deerfield's residents, the couple has lived a relatively safe, uncomplicated life, until the arrival of the Morpho machine. However, all of that is about to change when the community is forced to reconcile with their unfulfilled achievements in pursuit of a better future.

1-3/10 Continues weekly

5. Six Four

Thursday 30th March on ITVX

Adapted by Gregory Burke from Hideo Yokoyama's novel of the same name, ITVX's new four-part crime thriller Six Four tells a dark and compelling story of kidnap, corruption and betrayal when Chris and Michelle O’Neill’s teenage daughter goes missing as well as an uncompromising search for the truth.

Set primarily in Glasgow, Kevin McKidd plays Chris, a serving police detective who is provided with a startling revelation about an infamous, unsolved case that once divided the police when a local girl called Julie Mackie disappeared.

Now, reeling from the news that his own daughter has gone missing, Chris is approached by a journalist who tells him that fatal mistakes were covered-up in Julie’s disappearance. Revisiting the case, Chris uncovers a series of undeniable errors, corruption and unbridled ambition.

As Chris fights to make sense of what he’s discovered, his wife Michelle, played by Vinette Robinson, takes matters into her own hands in search of their daughter. Using skills she learned as a former undercover officer, Michelle takes ever-increasing risks as she follows a trail of clues into the criminal underworld she previously escaped from, where vice and extortion had the power to reach to the top of the political establishment.

While Chris and Michelle do everything they can to get to the truth, the daughter of the Justice Minister is suddenly kidnapped, just as the minister is on the cusp of achieving a political election victory. The kidnap has unnerving similarities to the Mackie case. Is the past repeating itself, or is the explosive truth of what really happened to Julie Mackie about to be revealed?

1-4/4 All episodes available at launch

6. Billy Connolly Does...

Thursday 30th March at 9pm on Gold

The Big Yin is back with a second series of Billy Connolly Does... on Gold, in which comedian Billy Connolly tells delightful shaggy dog tales interspersed with 50 years’ worth of hilarious stand-up and deeply touching personal recollections.

In the first episode, Billy tackles heroes and villains, both public and personal. As ever with Billy, you rarely get what you expect. The Swiss and their expletive-inducing ‘neutrality’ come in for a ferociously funny kicking.

Legendary Scotland football manager Jock Stein is remembered with huge affection alongside memories of being at Wembley with Rod Stewart in 1977, the day the ‘Tartan Army’ famously invaded the pitch following England’s 2-1 defeat to sing Doris Day’s Que Sera Sera. But it’s the memories of his sister, his greatest hero, protecting him from bullies in school that stays with you long after the show ends.

Elsewhere in the series, the Big Yin will tell us what he thinks about fame and showbiz and growing old disgracefully.

1/3 Continues weekly

7. The Power

Friday 31st March on Prime Video

Based on her award-winning science fiction novel of the same name, Naomi Alderman has adapted The Power into a brand new Prime Video 9-part series. It tells the story of what happens when suddenly, and without warning, all teenage girls in the world develop the power to electrocute people at will. It's hereditary, it's inbuilt, and it can't be taken away from them.

The series features a cast of remarkable characters from London to Seattle, Nigeria to Eastern Europe, as the Power evolves from a tingle in teenagers' collarbones to a complete reversal of the power balance of the world.

Coming alive to the thrill of pure power: the ability to hurt or even kill by releasing electrical jolts from their fingertips, they rapidly learn they can awaken the Power in older women. Soon enough nearly every woman in the world can do it. And then everything is different.

It stars Toni Collette as Mayor Margot Cleary-Lopez, alongside John Leguizamo as Rob Lopez, Auli'i Cravalho as Jos Cleary-Lopez, Toheeb Jimoh as Tunde Ojo, Josh Charles as Daniel Dandon, Eddie Marsan as Bernie Monke, Ria Zmitrowicz as Roxy Monke, Zrinka Cvitešić as Tatiana Moskalev, Halle Bush as Allie Montgomery and more.

1-3/9 Continues weekly


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