From compelling medieval drama The Last Duel to acclaimed Polish murder mystery Angel Of Death, the best on demand TV to watch this week
Netflix, Disney+, NOW, Amazon & Apple TV+
The Last Duel
In 14th Century France, Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer) accuses the squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of raping her. Marguerite’s knight husband, Sir Jean (Matt Damon), will fight his one-time friend to the death in trial by combat.
But if he loses, it means that Marguerite has made a false accusation and, as a consequence, will be burned at the stake.
The story is told from the differing perspectives of the three main characters, and if it’s not quite in the first rank of Ridley Scott films, it still makes for a compelling drama. Disney+, from Wednesday
Matt Damon (above) plays Marguerite’s knight husband, Sir Jean, who will fight his one-time friend to the death in trial by combat
Oscar-winning husband-and-wife documentary-makers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s latest production tells the story of the nail-biting, daring rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand in 2018.
The duo behind the rock-climbing film Free Solo use never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews to reveal what happened underground. Disney+, from Friday
Robbo: The Bryan Robson Story
Ian McShane – a die-hard Manchester United fan – narrates a fascinating insight into the man once dubbed Captain Marvel.
The documentary charts Bryan Robson’s (above) career, from his early days at West Brom to his amazing spell at the Red Devils, as well as his appearances for England
It charts his career, from his early days at West Brom to his amazing spell at the Red Devils, as well as his appearances for England.
There’s also a look at his up-and-down managerial career. David Beckham, Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona offer their views, as do members of Robson’s family. Sky Store, from Monday
Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues
Mariah Carey is back to spread her traditional holiday cheer.
Mariah Carey (above) will be spreading her traditional festive cheer by singing some seasonal favourites and sharing holiday memories
Alongside a performance of her new festive single, Fall In Love At Christmas, Mariah will be singing some seasonal favourites and sharing holiday memories alongside her ten-year-old twins. Apple TV+, from Friday
Any crime movie that has Dolly Parton on the soundtrack and two squeaky-clean suburban women as its heroines can’t be altogether serious.
But despite its light touch, Queenpins tells the deadly serious real-life story of a multi-million dollar fraud involving forged cereal coupons devised by the pair, played by Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste. It’s a steal. Amazon, available now
The Spanish heist drama is back for a final, five-part instalment, to the delight of fans who have stuck with it for the past four years.
Úrsula Corberó (above) stars in this Spanish heist drama, which is back for a final, five-part instalment to the delight of fans
Can the gang finally make it out of the bank with the gold? Stars Úrsula Corberó. Netflix, from Friday
The Power Of The Dog
Benedict Cumberbatch dons chaps and stetson to play a cowboy in this intriguing, unorthodox western from director Jane Campion, still best known for The Piano.
This is her first new feature film for 12 years. But it’s London-born Cumberbatch who shines as a cantankerous Montana rancher whose bachelor life is disrupted for ever when his brother unexpectedly brings home a new wife and stepson.
Netflix, from Wednesday
John (James Norton) is a quiet, unassuming man in the throes of terminal illness who would do anything to give his son the life he deserves.
As John (James Norton, above right) searches for a new family to adopt Michael (Daniel Lamont, above left), he questions how well he knows his son
As he searches for a new family to adopt Michael (Daniel Lamont), he questions how well he knows his son. A heartbreaking film touching on themes of love and loss. Sky/NOW, from Wednesday
Why is there such a buzz about..?
There’s the Edinburgh promoted by VisitScotland: a stunning, culturally rich Unesco World Heritage Site.
And then there’s Irvine Welsh’s Edinburgh: a dark city peopled by shuffling junkies and cocaine crazed cops, perverts and dead-eyed psychopaths.
Dougray Scott (above) plays DI Ray Lennox in the bracingly old-school drama
Crime, a drama co-scripted by Welsh and inspired by his novel of the same name, is bracingly old-school.
It’s not having any truck with the recently fashionable trope of the ‘sexy’ serial killer. John Simm’s bad guy is a repulsive monster who will make your flesh creep.
And it features the sort of ‘traditional’ coppering where detectives would rather give a nonce a slap than politely enquire about their preferred pronouns.
Where even the young detective sergeant, Amanda Drummond (Joanna Vanderham), who lectures her intense partner DI Ray Lennox (Dougray Scott) on his unconscious sexism, can enjoy the simple pleasure of flinging a pan of boiling stock in a wrong ’un’s face.
This all-too-short six-episode series leaves you hoping for more.
iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub, UKTV Player
Angel Of Death
Police suspect that the ritualistic murder of a young girl is the work of a serial killer.
But where this differs from the usual kind of crime thriller is that viewers already know who the culprit is, because we’re introduced to him quite early on in the drama.
He is a popular lecturer and an expert in religious matters, leading an apparently respectable middle-class life, but who is already planning to murder again.
Emma Giegzno (above) co-stars in Angel Of Death, which differs from the usual kind of crime thriller because viewers already know who the culprit is
The police officers on his trail in this acclaimed Polish drama are smart Warsaw detective Agnieszka Polkowska and local cop Tomasz Mrowiec, whom Agnieszka regards as being provincial and distinctly sub-par and resents being saddled with.
Will the ill-matched pair work out the killer’s motivation in time to prevent the next death? Co-starring Emma Giegzno as Jola Polkowska. All 4, from Friday
An Inspector Calls
J. B. Priestley’s play has been adapted many times, and this feature-length 2015 production is one of the best. David Thewlis stars as Inspector Goole, a mysterious figure who arrives at the home of the Birling family in 1912.
He’s investigating the death of a working-class girl with links to each of the clan. Sophie Rundle, Miranda Richardson and Ken Stott also appear. UKTV Player, from Thursday
Francis Ford Coppola’s classic 1974 thriller. Gene Hackman is Harry Caul, a bugging expert who fears that a couple he has been hired to spy on are to be murdered. Features future Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford in an early role.
BBC iPlayer, from Wednesday
The final episode of Ben Richards’s drama about the murder of a student is on BBC1 tonight. If you’ve missed this, a good reason to catch up is Céline Buckens’s terrific performance as the obnoxious accused, spoiled daughter of a rich entrepreneur.
Céline Buckens (above) gives a terrific performance as the obnoxious accused, spoiled daughter of a rich entrepreneur
There’s good work, too, from Tracy Ifeachor as her defence lawyer and Sinéad Keenan as a decidedly biased cop. BBC iPlayer, available now
This Life, about five twentysomethings trying to kick their law careers into gear, was a huge cult hit, starring Andrew Lincoln, Jack Davenport, Daniela Nardini and Amita Dhiri.
Fun fact – we’re now further in time from the This Life reunion special (2007) than that was from the original series (1996). BBC iPlayer, from Tuesday
Keeping Up Appearances
Patricia Routledge stars as snobbish Hyacinth Bucket, determined to climb the social ladder, to the constant chagrin of her long-suffering husband Richard (Clive Swift). BBC iPlayer, available now
Victoria Wood’s 1998 sitcom revolves around the staff of the canteen at a Manchester factory.
Victoria Wood’s (above, as deputy manager Brenda Furlong) 1998 sitcom revolves around the staff of the canteen at a Manchester factory
Wood plays the deputy manager Brenda Furlong and, over the 16 episodes comprising the two series, the cast included Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Maxine Peake, Shobna Gulati and Anne Reid. BBC iPlayer, from Monday
Although the stories are no longer adapted from Ann Cleeves’s novels, the series continues to be a must-see for crime-drama fans.
The latest tale – which concluded its run on BBC1 last week – follows Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and his team as they try to figure out who murdered a local lawyer. BBC iPlayer, available now
Joanne Froggatt plays the title character, a devoted wife and mother whose husband is abusive and controlling.
However, a chance meeting inspires Angela to fight back. ITV Hub, available now