The end of the heatwave has marked a return to more traditional British weather. You know, grey skies and strong gales. You could always stay indoors, there’s lots of great TV to watch this summer – The Great British Bake Off, Ripper Street, and Parks and Recreation to name a few. So put the brolly down, pick up the remote, and press record because you won’t want to miss a thing.
Ripper Street (Friday 31 July at 21:00, BBC One)
Picnics in the park, BBQs in the garden, all good things come to an end. Well, not Ripper Street – it’s back. The crime drama has come full circle and returned to its original home on the BBC. Aunty cancelled the acclaimed show after two seasons, however, a fans petition urged for a revival – and Amazon Prime duly obliged with a further three seasons. BBC One has decided to resurrect the third season, so no subscriptions here.
Ripper Street follows the adventures of three policemen in the crime-ridden streets of East London. The series begins with Whitechapel Terminus, when a sizeable train crashes kills 55 civilians in Leman Street. With the local area devastated, Reid, Drake and Jackson reunite after a long period of estrangement to investigate the cause of the tragedy.
Humans (Sunday 2 August at 21:00, Channel 4)
Batting off pesky seagulls as you eat fish and chips isn’t our idea of fun. Try Humans instead, it’s become Channel 4’s biggest drama in 20 years, raking in more six million viewers in its opening episode alone. It’s easy to see why people are hooked, Humans is an intelligent and gripping sci-fi thriller that explores the blurring of the lines between humans and machines, so-called domestic “Synths”. There’s a stellar cast including William Hurt, Gemma Chan, and Katherine Parkinson. Remember, if you missed the first few episodes, you can watch them on All 4.
In a gripping finale, the Synths are imprisoned. Hobb sets about extracting the secrets of creating human-like artificial intelligence from their brains. But there’s a final piece of the jigsaw missing – and not even Leo knows where it can be found. The Hawkins family come to realise how much Mia means to them and resolve to rescue the synths from a life of captivity.
The Great British Bake Off (Wednesday 5 August at 20:00, BBC 1)
Get ready to salivate with envy as the BBC serve up a sixth series of the insanely popular The Great British Bake Off. A dozen contestants, including The Dalami Lama’s personal photographer and a Lithuanian bodybuilder, will be vying for the approval of the show’s judges: master bakers Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Comic duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins return to host the show – be warned, cheesy double entendres will come thick and fast.
The first episode begins with cake week. And the bakers’ first challenge will be to bake the classic Madeira cake. Next up will be the technical challenge and a crack at Mary Berry’s frosted walnut cake covered with sweet meringue. And the final task? A reinvention of the black forest gâteau.
Partners in Crime (Sunday 2 August at 21:00, BBC One)
David Walliams is a great comic actor, right? So we can’t possibly take him seriously in a drama, right? Well, let’s not be too hasty. After all, the guy’s pretty talented. Actually, both Walliams and Jessica Raine excel in Partners in Crime: a six-part adaption of Agatha Christie’s N or M? and The Secret Adversary. This whimsical mystery follows Tommy and Tuppence, a married couple who turn crime-fighting duo after stumbling upon a story of intrigue and adventure on a return train from Paris to London.
This week’s episode sees Tommy and Tuppence search for the missing Jane Finn. Things get dangerous when the pair go undercover: Tommy infiltrates Brown’s gang, while Tuppence becomes a maid to a potential suspect.
Parks and Recreation (Monday 3 August at 20:00, Dave)
It’s taken a long time, but Parks and Recreation has finally reached British shores. It’s a real coup for Dave, who have snapped up the rights for the fourth series of the acclaimed US comedy. This warm-hearted show follows the everyday lives of a team of public officials in an Indiana town as they try and make their city a better place. The hilarious ensemble reads like a who’s who of US comedy: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Chris Pratt, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe and Aziz Ansari, all feature.
In episode three, Leslie (Poehler) learns the truth about her roots having been accused of not being born in her beloved Pawnee. Tom’s flirting with Joan takes a dark turn, while Ann strives fruitlessly to make Ron and April enjoy chatting with her.
Nature Nuts with Julian Clary (Wednesday 5 August at 19:00, ITV)
Since settling down to a quiet life in the country, one of Britain’s best-loved comedians Julian Clary has become passionate about nature. In this new series, he goes in search of the country’s most fanatical wildlife lovers, who he affectionately describes as his Nature Nuts. Julian’s crew boasts some of the UK’s most talented natural history cameramen and women – so get ready to see some pretty spectacular shots.
In episode one, Julian and the team travel to Walsall in the West Midlands to visit Joan Lockley, who has rehabilitated and released over 5,000 hedgehogs back in the wild. With the help of expert Dr Richard Yarnell and his technological back-up, Julian and the team are able to track the progress of one of Joan’s patients after he is released.
A Very British Brothel (Monday 3 August at 22:00, Channel 4)
Most documentaries set in Sheffield are probably about steel or Def Leppard – surprisingly, this one’s about sex. The title might sound seedy, but A Very British Brothel is actually a fascinating insight into a hidden world, with unprecedented access to all areas of an unusual family business.
City Sauna on Sheffield’s “Golden Mile of Sex” is run by Kath and her daughter Jennie. But this not your average brothel, sometimes punters just pop in for a cuppa. But go upstairs and there’s working girls who are often single mums just trying to make a living.