The 10 best TV shows to watch this week, from The Sandman on Netflix to Celebrity Masterchef


The Sandman

From Friday 5 August, Netflix

Tom Sturridge as Dream (Photo: Netflix)

If you’re familiar with Neil Gaiman’s 90s comic book series, you’ll no doubt already be excited for this long-awaited adaptation. For the rest of us, it is a tricky concept to grasp, as the story takes place between our world and a mythical realm known as the Dreaming. When the King of that dimension, Dream, escapes the prison he has been kept in for almost 100 years, he returns to find his kingdom crumbling.

Van der Valk

Sunday 7 August, 8pm, ITV

Marc Warren as Van Der Valk (Photo: ITV)

Marc Warren returns for his second outing as the Dutch detective, 50 years after he first arrived on ITV. His latest case is the stomach-churning murder of a solicitor whose body is found strung up in a wind farm with an X sliced ​​into her torso. His only clue is a cryptic note found inside the victim’s coat.

Good Grief with Reverend Richard Coles

Monday, August 8, 10pm, Channel 4

Rev Richard Coles (Photo: James Beck/Channel 4)

In his everyday life as a vicar, death was a routine part of the Rev Richard Coles’s life, but when his husband David died in 2019, grief hit him harder than he imagined it would. In a bid to understand his own torment, he sets out to interrogate the nature of bereavement, meeting others who have gone through the same struggles and trying various activities designed to ease the pain, from laughter yoga to a “grief cruise”.

Tom Daley: Illegal to Be Me

Tuesday 9 August, 9pm, BBC One

Tom Daley (Photo: BBC/Zinc Television London Ltd/Luke Korzun Martin)

At the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, Tom Daley entered the Alexander Stadium flanked by Pride flags. It was a bold move – it is still illegal to be anything other than heterosexual in more than half of the member states. Here, Daley goes on a tour of those countries to meet gay athletes who face extreme persecution, sometimes even death, on a daily basis – and sets out to find out how the Games can help.

Secrets of the Spies

Tuesday 9 August, 9pm, ITV

Writer Frederick Forsyth (Photo: Alamy Stock Photo/ITV)

Ever fancied yourself a spy? This new three-part docuseries will tell you all you need to know about the qualities and expertise of a good secret agent. Introducing famous spies from both real life and fiction, including Roman Czerniawski, aka Brutus, a Polish double agent who played a major part in the D-Day landings, and al-Qaeda member turned MI6 agent Aimen Dean.

Celebrity Master Chef

Wednesday 10 August, 8pm, BBC One

Danny Jones, Nancy Dell’Olio, Paul Chuckle, Faye Winter and Kae Kurd (Photo: BBC/Shine)

It’s a cracking lineup this year. First up to the plate are Danny Jones of McFly, Love Island star Faye Winter, lawyer (and former girlfriend of one-time England football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson) Nancy Dell’Olio and comedians Paul Chuckle and Kae Kurd. The celebs are tasked with recreating popular Korean street food and preparing their ultimate dinner-party dish.

Shetland

Wednesday 10 August, 9pm, BBC One

Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez (Photo: BBC/Silverprint Pictures/Mark Mainz)

It is Douglas Henshall’s last series as DI Jimmy Perez, after an impressive nine years on the Shetland shores (fans, don’t panic, the series will be continuing without him). His last case is one of a missing boy, who has disappeared from the B&B owned by his parents.

The Fringe, Fame and Me

Wednesday 10 August, 9pm, BBC Two

Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Photo: BBC/Oxford Films)

Not only has the Fringe Festival returned to its full potential after two years of cancellations and reduced numbers, but it’s also celebrating its 75th anniversary. This documentary charts the history of how what started out as a small arts festival transformed into one of the world’s greatest comedy and arts showcases. Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Michael Palin, Frankie Boyle, Stephen K Amos and Miriam Margoyles are among the famous faces who share their memories.

Football Dreams: The Academy

Thursday 11 August, 9pm, Channel 4

Kayen with his brothers (Photo: Ian Tuttle/Channel 4)

We may be focused on girls’ rights to play football at school at the moment, but this docuseries follows a group of talented boys attending one of the country’s most prestigious football institutes, the Crystal Palace FC Academy. Over 12 months, the boys – aged eight to 18 – are continuously tested and assessed to see whether they have what it takes to play at the highest level, giving an insight into the grit, skill and determination it takes to get to the top of Britain’s favorite sport.

The Rap Game

Thursday 11 August, 9pm, BBC Three

Krept, Konan and DJ Target (Photo: BBC/NAKED/Trevaughn Omari/Matt Burlem)

Four series in and this talent contest hasn’t created any rap superstars, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. DJ Target and Krept and Konan are back in Manchester to put six new fresh-faced artists to the ultimate test, challenging them to prove to industry heavyweights that they have the bars to be the next big thing. And this year, there’s a game-changing twist.

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