A round-up of this week’s highlights.
(Channel 4, 9pm)
DRAWING on expert advice and meticulous research, Blackout follows the first five days of a catastrophic nationwide power cut, caused by cyber attack on the national electricity grid. Understandably, the event has huge implications for everything from law and order to transport, not to mention the hospitals forced to carry on without power. What makes the drama feel even more real is the use of found footage as the cast, which comprises professional actors alongside members of the public, are filmed on mobile phones, laptops and camcorders.
Top Boy (Channel 4, 9pm)
BRITAIN’S answer to The Wire thunders towards the end of its current run, and remarkably, its second series has been even better than the first. This dramatic conclusion sees former friends Dushane and Sully teaming up again - albeit in a rather uneasy alliance - and the police cranking up the pressure in their hunt for Kamale’s killer, making Summerhouse a more dangerous place than ever.
The Wipers Times
(BBC Two, 9pm)
THE events depicted in this drama are true and focus on Captain Fred Roberts and Lieutenant Jack Pearson who, in 1916, launched The Wipers Times, a newspaper that turned the horrors of warfare into black comedy and satire, raising the morale of the British Tommys who read it in the process. This feature-length drama has been something of a labour of love for its writers, Private Eye alumni Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, but their hard work has paid off - this is a wonderful tale featuring a strong cast as some amazing characters.
(BBC Two, 9pm)
THE title may sound comedic, but Peaky Blinders is anything but. Written by Steven Knight (who also penned the screenplay for Dirty Pretty Things) and set immediately after the First World War in 1919, it was inspired by a real-life Midlands gang who sewed razor blades into the peaks of their flat caps so they could use them as weapons during any altercations with rivals. It’s a gripping and stylish project that could end up being a modern classic - it was certainly impressive enough to persuade Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory and Sam Neill to sign up for it.
Brit Icon - Elton John
A TRIBUTE to Reginald Kenneth Dwight, the Middlesex-born star who decided to pursue a career in the music industry at 17. You didn’t need this prestigious new award show to remind you that Elton John, as he’s better known the world over, is a national icon, but here’s one anyway, and it’s fronted by Dermot O’Leary.
X Factor (STV, 8pm)
FUN, laughter, tears, mischief and madness are guaranteed as Sharon Osbourne, Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh search for the nation’s next big singing sensation. Presented by Dermot O’Leary - again.
(BBC One, 9pm)
THE four-part drama comes to a thrilling conclusion. With the residents of Coulthard Street moving on and the inquest into Melissa’s death now complete, Len finds it hard to let go. With time ticking he determines to uncover the truth even if no one else will, unable to allow Melissa’s death to go unnoticed as she did in life.