UK TV programmes to watch this week : 06/01/2018

Attenborough and the Sea Dragon (BBC 1/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 7th January 2018)

Documentary following David Attenborough as he attempts to animate the life of the ichthyosaur whose 200-million-year-old fossil remains were found on Britain’s Jurassic coast. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology and CGI, the team reconstruct the skeleton and create the most detailed animation of an ichthyosaur ever made. Along the way, they stumble into a 200-million-year-old murder mystery – and only painstaking forensic investigation can unravel the story of this extraordinary creature’s fate.

The Biggest Little Railway in the World (Channel 4/HD | 8:00pm to 9:00pm | Sunday 7th January 2018)

Engineer Dick Strawbridge leads a team of model railway enthusiasts as they attempt to build the longest model railway in the world, 71 miles across Scotland, from Fort William on the west coast to Inverness on the east coast. It’s a route the Victorians never managed, so building this miniature railway will be an epic challenge. Dick briefs the nervous but excited volunteers and selects four team leaders – debt collector Lawrence Robbins, science fiction writer Jenny Kirk, school caretaker Charlie Fox-Wilson and apprentice project manager Paul Burkitt-Gray. He also selects two teams who will build especially challenging constructions such as bridges and viaducts. The volunteers get stuck in straight away.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Monday 8th January 2018)

Michael Portillo embarks on an adventure from the coalfields of south Wales to the southernmost tip of Cornwall. His first stop is Whitland in Carmarthenshire, where in the early 20th century, thrill-seekers gathered on Pendine Sands to indulge their need for speed. In Llanelli, Michael retraces the fateful events of a national rail strike in 1911 and is stirred by the sound of a male voice choir as they sing the town’s unofficial anthem. At Loughor, he discovers a passionate preacher, who led a religious revival which gripped Edwardian Wales and had profound implications for the nation’s established church. In a suburban semi-detached house in the ‘sprawling, crawling town of Swansea’, Michael discovers the restored home of the poet Dylan Thomas, and the tiny bedroom in which he wrote two thirds of his published work.

The Forest (BBC 1 Scotland/HD & BBC iPlayer only | Monday 8th January 2018)

Mark Bonnar narrates a new series revealing the hidden world of Galloway Forest, the country’s largest afforested area. In this episode, the Forestry Commission’s recreation team is tasked with rebuilding steps on a well-worn pathway at Fairy Knowe, but the steps are up a 330-foot hill. Getting hunks of granite rock to the remote hill is one problem and digging them in by hand is another. A team of specialist contractors from Wales arrive in Galloway Forest to harvest timber from the most inaccessible areas using a massive system of cables and winches called the skyline. Deep in the forest, conservationists Bill and Christine breed and hand rear hyacinth macaws, the world’s largest flying parrot. And on a remote peatbog the size of 32 football pitches, Graeme Little operates his own customised mulching machine.

Best Walks with a View with Julia Bradbury (itv/HD | 8:00pm to 8:30pm | Monday 8th January 2018)

Julia Bradbury chooses some of her favourite and most accessible family treks from across the UK. In this episode, she sets off on her favourite coastal walk to one of the most famous landmarks on the Jurassic Coast: Old Harry Rocks. Taking in miles of golden sandy beaches and the dramatic history of the bay, Julia’s walk offers a fantastic example of the British coastline at its best.

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Monday 8th January 2018)

Forensic crime drama series. As the team investigate the death of a man found in a remote reservoir, Nikki and Jack must deal with the aftermath of their Mexico ordeal.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Tuesday 9th January 2018)

Armed with his Edwardian Bradshaw’s guide, Michael strikes gold at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, where after much frisking, he gains access to the inner vaults. At Cardiff Arms Park, Michael revisits the scene of a triumphant Welsh victory over the fearsome All Blacks and hears from Welsh international Gerald Davies. In Cardiff Bay, Michael discovers the departure point for one of the Edwardian era’s most famous expeditions – Scott’s ill-fated voyage to the Antarctic. Aboard the racing yacht Challenge Wales, Michael meets young sailors training for a Tall Ships Race.

Silent Witness (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Tuesday 9th January 2018)

Forensic crime drama series. Nikki’s suspicions about David Cannon are aroused further when she discovers blood in the boot of his car. With Thomas’s support, she takes samples to process – does it belong to Sally Vaughn? The uncovering of a family murder from the past shines the spotlight on three people who went to the same school.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Wednesday 10th January 2018)

Michael Portillo discovers the birthplace of British aviation in Bristol and prepares an Airbus 380 for a smooth landing at Filton. In Newport, he uncovers the heroism of a young boy who rescued a workman from a dock disaster, in which many died. Michael discovers the home of a forward-thinking Edwardian family at Eagle House in Batheaston. Frieda Roberts remembers the suffragettes who campaigned for votes for women in the early 20th century and found refuge at the house after their release from prison. And in Clevedon, Michael goes to the movies in a perfectly preserved cinema dating from 1912 and hears about the first film to be shown there.

The Storm That Saved a City (BBC 1 Scotland/HD & BBC iPlayer only | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Wednesday 10th January 2018)

Documentary about the consequences of the devastating 1968 storm that tore through the central belt, which caused a rethink in the redesigning of Glasgow. In the wake of the storm on January 15, which killed 20 people, a group of young architects and some strong-willed residents came together to save their city, bringing forward the transformation of Glasgow – from Britain’s biggest slum to the cultural capital of Europe.

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Thursday 11th January 2018)

With purple, green and yellow ribbons flying, and sporting ankle bells, Michael Portillo is led a merry dance in Stogumber – all in the name of fertility. He visits a celebrated Edwardian garden at Hestercombe to discover the fruits of an unusual partnership and learns how to deadhead the roses. There is a trip aboard the longest heritage line in England and the chance to ring in the new era at Exeter Cathedral before dining out in style on King Edward VII’s coronation gala dinner at Bovey Castle.

Death in Paradise (BBC 1/HD | 9:00pm to 10:00pm | Thursday 11th January 2018)

Detective drama series set on a Caribbean island. DI Mooney and the team enter the high-stakes world of poker when a finalist is poisoned during the Caribbean Poker Masters tournament. The only suspects are sat round the table. When even a twitch of an eye can reveal a player’s hand, just how did the killer commit murder?

Great British Railway Journeys (BBC 2/HD | 6:30pm to 7:00pm | Friday 12th January 2018)

Steered by his early 20th-century Bradshaw’s railway guide, Michael Portillo boldly goes to the moon by way of the Cornish Riviera Express. On the trail of an historic achievement made at the dawn of the Edwardian era, he investigates the first radio signal to be sent across the Atlantic. In Plymouth, Michael uncovers what happened to surviving crew members of the most famous ocean liner in history, the Titanic. And at Fowey, he rediscovers a lost literary figure known as Q, who immortalised the town in his novels.

All TV guide information taken from DigiGuide —

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