UK TV programmes to watch this week : 06/02/2016

The X Files - 08-02-2016 - YouView appCall the Midwife (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 7th February 2016)

As the modern world begins to encroach on traditional Poplar life, everyone is starting to notice the changes. On secondment at a busy local hospital, Sister Julienne is impressed by the medical advances that are saving the lives of mothers and babies. But a traumatic birth raises moral questions for her which she struggles to answer. As the medical world is changing, so is society at large, with opportunities in education increasingly open to all. Despite his working class background, Ian is overjoyed to be accepted into university and embraces his chance to escape Poplar, much to the disappointment of his more traditional mother Sadie. But his plans appear to be in ruins when girlfriend Linda falls pregnant. Trixie and Tom help the family, which begins to break apart under the pressure of this unplanned pregnancy.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Monday 8th February 2016)

Michael heads west through New York State. He has a lightbulb moment in Schenectady, when he discovers how Thomas Edison’s General Electric Company also leads the way in modern rail technology. In Utica, he investigates Lock 20 of 57 along the early 19th-century Erie Canal – 325 miles of waterway which connected the Great Lakes with the Atlantic coast via the Hudson River. A yellow brick road beckons Michael to Chittenango, where a Kansas farm girl introduces him to a lion and a tin man. On a hillside near Palmyra, Michael finds out about a farm boy, Joseph Smith, and his Book of Mormon, from one of the 15 million believers who follow his religion today. Further west in Rochester, Michael discovers the story behind another famous 19th-century name still trading today: George Eastman, who launched mass market photography with his Eastman Kodak company.

Griff’s Great Britain (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Monday 8th February 2016)

In this episode, he is in the Lake District where he meets the man who made the longest Cumberland sausage in the world. He also attempts to speed along the steepest road in Britain, crosses the terrifying Infinity Bridge before attempting to break the record for the slowest water ski in history.

The X Files (Channel 5 | 8:30pm to 9:00pm | Monday 8th February 2016)

An exciting look behind the scenes of the thrilling return of the series. Chris Carter, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and all the key players reveal secrets from the set and take you on the journey of bringing the beloved series back to TV.

The X Files (Channel 5 | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 8th February 2016)

Revival of the classic sci-fi drama. Mulder and Scully are reunited after the collapse of their relationship when a TV host contacts them, believing he has uncovered a significant government conspiracy.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 9th February 2016)

Michael braves the awesome power and drenching spray of Niagara Falls on the Maid of the Mist to share what artists, daredevils and millions of tourists have billed as one of the most spectacular experiences on the planet. Reaching Buffalo, he lunches on the city’s famous buffalo wings and discovers it was once the centre of the world’s grain trade. Touring Silo City, Michael learns about the invention which propelled the port of Buffalo into its dominant position – the grain elevator – and how the railroads sealed the deal. Awe-inspiring engineering is revealed at the 12-acre Colonel Ward water-pumping station, the largest construction ever built on the Great Lakes, and capable of delivering 30 million gallons of water per day to the city of Buffalo.

Back in Time for the Weekend (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Tuesday 9th February 2016)

The Ashby Hawkins family give up their 21st-century technology and travel back in time to discover the radical transformation of our leisure time since 1950. Guided by presenters Giles Coren and social historian Polly Russell, the family’s entire experience is underpinned by The Family Expenditure Survey, a government study which ran from the 50s right through to 1999. The survey gives us the best clue as to what families were doing with their leisure time across the five decades. As they enter the 60s, they get first-hand experience of the radical spirit of the age as Giles encourages the family to get rid of their piano in smashing 60s style. Special guests help the decade go with a swing. Sir Trevor Brooking joins dad Rob and son Seth for a game of Subbuteo in the dining room, proving that he’s a demon on felt as well as grass. Daisy and mum Steph meet Sandie Shaw to discover how the decade’s daring fashions reflected the growing freedoms and confidence enjoyed by young people.

The Secret Life of the Zoo (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Tuesday 9th February 2016)

The Secret Life of the Zoo captures in incredible detail the remarkable behaviour of the animals at Chester Zoo and their close relationships with their keepers. Chester’s Penguin Island is home to one of the most enduring love stories in the zoo. Rud, at 22, is the oldest penguin on the island. He has been with his partner, Spike, for over 15 years and they’re inseparable. However, keepers are concerned that Rud’s arthritic hip could be affecting his quality of life, and if an x-ray shows his condition has deteriorated, his future with Spike might be in jeopardy. Meanwhile, one of the zoo’s most dangerous families are on the move. The Sumatran tigers are upgrading to a luxury new enclosure on the other side of the zoo as part of Chester’s huge expansion. But they’ve lived in their home for most of their lives so it’s not going to be an easy move. Little tiger cub Kasarna is especially nervous, and keepers must do all they can to settle the family into their new home.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 10th February 2016)

Michael embarks on a new railroad journey from the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, south to the first permanent English colonial settlement in North America, Jamestown. He feasts on a gargantuan Philly cheesesteak, then looks to work off the calories with a run past the city’s famous landmarks, in homage to one of Philadelphia’s most famous sons, Rocky Balboa. All pumped up, he heads to Pennsylvania cbd shop University to tackle the football team under the instruction of its fearsome coach. In the cradle of American independence, Michael discovers how, in 1776, liberty was proclaimed throughout the land yet millions remained enslaved. Alone in a cell, Michael reflects on the 19th-century Pennsylvania system of incarceration at the Eastern State Penitentiary, before heading to the gambling resort of Atlantic City and its famous boardwalk.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Thursday 11th February 2016)

Michael hitches a ride with the Amish in a horse-drawn buggy through rich countryside settled in the 18th century by religiously oppressed Europeans. Charmed by their modest way of life, he watches as they sell their beautiful quilts at auction. In Strasburg, known as Traintown USA, Michael joins the crew of the oldest continuously operated railroad in the United States. After oiling the magnificent engine, he rides on the footplate of the vintage steam locomotive. His last stop on this leg is Gettysburg, the most famous battlefield of the American Civil War, where, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made a momentous speech.

Cats v Dogs: Which is Best? (BBC 2/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Thursday 11th February 2016)

Chris Packham and Liz Bonnin battle it out to find the definitive answer to the burning question – which are best, cats or dogs? Based at one of Britain’s largest cat and dog veterinary centres, Chris and Liz test different aspects of each animal. Round two looks at communication. Chris knows that humans can understand most dog barks, but how well do cat owners understand cat meows? In round three, Liz runs her version of the ‘stress factor’ where, along with a team of researchers, she finds out which is better at reducing stress, a cat or a dog? Round four is about independence. Liz meets Bob, a cheeky roving cat with several owners. Closer to home, Chris is dismayed to see his own poodles display signs of anxiety when he leaves the house. The final round looks at the big question: do our cats and dogs really love us?

Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 11th February 2016)

The team enter the high-pressure world of fine dining when a well-known chef is murdered in his own restaurant. Florence has one final lesson on love for DI Goodman and Dwayne gets a chance to repay an old debt.

Great American Railroad Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 12th February 2016)

Michael reaches a milestone on his American journey: the boundary between the northern and southern states, known as the Mason-Dixon line. He discovers the origins of what became for black Americans the border between slavery and freedom, in an 18th-century English dispute over land. On the Wilmington and Western Railroad, Michael meets the passenger train Phoebe Snow, created by the railroads at the turn of the 20th century to reassure passengers that clean burning coal wouldn’t make their clothes dirty. Michael uncovers the explosive history of gunpowder production in Delaware, begun by a Frenchman, whose chateau still stands. He then takes a boat trip up the Susquehanna River following the route taken by one of the first English settlers, John Smith.

Walks Around Britain (Community Channel | 9:00pm to 9:30pm | Friday 12th February 2016)

Series featuring inspirational walks from around Britain. Andrew White treks up The Great Orme in North Wales and beside a railway in West Yorkshire.

The Last Leg (Channel 4/HD | 10:00pm to 11:05pm | Friday 12th February 2016)

The critically acclaimed award-winning show returns with its unique brand of irreverent satire for a seventh series. Adam Hills hosts alongside co-hosts Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker, who tear into the weird and wonderful talking points of the week. A celebrity guest will join the team each week in front of a live studio audience.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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