Life is full of the weird and wonderful – and when the cameras are turned on the real world instead of actors, it can make for the most compelling TV of all. Whether you want your brows high, fair-to-middling or down to Earth, we’ve got some documentary and reality for you.
Trial: A Murder in the Family
Sunday 21 May – Thursday 25 May at 9pm
We all love a courtroom drama, but here’s something different. The accused and eyewitnesses are actors, but the barristers and the judge are real. Over five nights, they’ll stage a fictional trial and then a jury composed of members of the public will decide whether the defendant is guilty of murdering his wife. Once the verdict has been delivered, viewers will see a dramatic reconstruction of what actually happened.
Inside the Gang: Girl Gangstas
Monday 22 May at 9pm
The final episode of Channel 5’s chilling series on gangs focuses on girl gangsters. It’s an unsettling insight into the extreme lengths some young women will go to, to find their own identities in a male-dominated culture. For girl gangsters, violence, crime and manipulation are just a way of life.
Horizon: Space Volcanoes
Tuesday 23 May at 9pm
Remember that unpronounceable Icelandic volcano that cleared our skies of air traffic in 2010? Well, that was a mere puff of smoke compared to the violent eruptions elsewhere in the solar system. Be prepared for some whizzy computer graphics as a team of scientists explore what a 25km-high volcano on Mars and icy geysers from one of Saturn’s moons, could teach us about volcanoes here on Earth.
Keeping up with the Kardashians
Monday 22 May, Tuesday 23 May, Thursday 25 May at 8pm
From volcanoes in space, it’s just a short leap onto ‘Planet Kardashian’. Life with this famous family is never dull, and this week there’s trouble as Kim and Kris encounter racism on a trip to Europe. Back at home, Scott unveils his latest luxury vehicle – expect eruptions from Kourtney…
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Monday 22 May at 9pm
Feuding, rumours, secrets and gossip: it’s all part of life for the ladies of the Southern California gated community, where glamour and drama go hand in hand. This week, there’s an explosive climax to a party when Tamra is pushed to her limit.
Life Below Zero
Saturday 20 May to Thursday 25 May at 10pm
Wrap up warm, because Life Below Zero will take you to the very depths of winter. The series follows six people struggling to survive in the wilderness of Alaska. From fixing a generator to constructing snow shoes, hunting caribou to building a freight sled, they’ll do what it takes to make a living north of the Arctic circle.
Secrets of the Super Elements
Wednesday 24 May at 9pm
You might not have heard of indium and rhenium, but they’re the raw materials for many of the things we take for granted, such as smartphones and jet engines. In this documentary – the first to be filmed using only smartphones – Professor Mark Miodownik looks at these extraordinary materials and considers what can be done to stop them running out.
OJ: Made in American
Finally, if you have Freeview Play or a smart TV, there is still a chance to catch up with the superlative, Oscar winning, OJ: Made in America on BBC iPlayer.
The twists and turns of this epic documentary will take your breath away.