Telly Today: football, gritty drama and the macabre

Today’s telly top picks with ATV Today Editor Doug Lambert.

Friday and the weekend starts here with some TV highlights.

ITV tonight is sport all the way with World Cup Live: Malta v England at 7.15pm. Mark Pougatch presents ITV’s live coverage as England travel to Malta, to play their first 2018 World Cup qualifier of the season against the minnows of the group.

Ian Wright and Ryan Giggs provide match analysis, while commentary comes from Clive Tyldesley and Glenn Hoddle. England won the reverse fixture 2-0 at Wembley in October and are on top of group F with 14 points, with Slovakia second on 12, Slovenia third on 11, Scotland fourth on 8, Lithuania fifth on 5 and Malta sixth on ‘nul points’.

England manger Gareth Southgate’s first game in charge was the home game against Malta last October and two first-half goals were enough to see off the defensive-minded Maltese. Southgate has yet to announce his squad for the match and the qualifier against Slovakia at Wembley four days later, but he will be using most of the Euro 2016 squad who have regained their confidence after the traumatic experience in France. Last season, Harry Kane and Dele Alli of Tottenham showed great form in attack, with Kane winning the Golden Boot as the Premier League’s leading scorer for the second season in a row. Raheem Sterling also had had his best season thanks to coaching from Manchester City’s new manager Pep Guardiola.

Netflix today bring us Narcos. This raw, gritty series chronicles the gripping real-life stories of the drug kingpins of the late 1980s and the corroborative efforts of law enforcement to meet them head on in brutal, bloody conflict. It details the many, often-conflicting forces – legal, political, police, military and civilian – that clash in the effort to control cocaine, one of the world’s most valuable commodities. From today, September 1st, Netflix members can watch all ten episodes of the third outing for the show.

In its explosive third season, Narcos explores how eliminating one notorious drug kingpin – Pablo Escobar – only makes room for four more to take his place. With the Cali Cartel, all rules have changed, and the DEA must prepare for the ultimate takedown. This run finds Peña promoted to a managerial position in Miami, though it’s not long before he’s back on the ground in Colombia.
“I think Season 3 is very different than season one and season two for our audience and for the surviving characters involved,” – actor Pedro Pascal, who returns as DEA agent Javier Peña.
Narcos returns today to Netflix

Sky Arts bring us the first in an ten part series, Rock and Roll. The first edition focuses on ‘Death’ at 9pm.

The documentary series draws on vintage concert films, fly-on-the-wall tour chronicles and archive interviews to tell the definitive story of rock’n’roll. From the birth of the blues in the Mississippi Delta to the evolution of heavy metal in Birmingham, rock’n’roll has always walked a line between heaven and hell, and sin and redemption. But where does this fascination with the dark side originate?

With music and interviews from Jerry Lee Lewis, Black Sabbath, Eric Burdon, Rick Rubin, Joy Division, Steve Earle, Johnny Cash, Chelsea Wolfe, Mayhem and Blixa Bargeld, this episode uncovers rock’n’roll’s inseparable links with the macabre.

Channel 4 continues with the ‘regular’ episodes of The Crystal Maze tonight at 8pm. With teams chosen from some of the 30,000 applicants from across the nation only a few made it to the Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol to take part in the restored iconic show.

Maze Master Richard Ayoade guides the teams of five intrepid adventurers through the epic game show adventure via four fantastical zones: Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Futuristic. This time, a team of air cadets bring a bravado bonanza to the Maze. Led by captain Leon, this is a team who are certainly not short of confidence and they begin the night predicting big things. But can they deliver? 

Sky Cinema has on offer from today Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Harry Potter veteran David Yates takes the reins for a charming fantasy adventure set in 1920s, Prohibition-era New York Eddie Redmayne is Newt Scamander, the author of the titular Hogwarts textbook who arrives in America with a battered and seemingly bottomless suitcase containing all manner of extraordinary creatures.

Naturally they escape, so Newt finds himself teaming up with out-of-favour Magical Congress worker Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and Muggle/No-Maj Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). It’s not all fun and games, though. There are dark forces at play in the Big Apple, and Samantha Morton’s venom-spitting anti-witch activist seems to have some kind of connection with top Congress agent Percival Graves (Colin Farrell). The movie can be seen via Sky Cinema on demand and Sky Cinema Premiere.

Share Button