Thursday telly highlights for September 28th with ATV Today Editor Doug Lambert.
Russia With Simon Reeve, BBC Two, 10pm
In this new three-part series, Simon Reeve travels across the world’s biggest country, Russia.
On the first leg of his journey Simon travels across Russia’s far east, from the rugged snow covered mountains of Kamchatka to Yakutia, the coldest inhabited region in the world. He finds himself surrounded by erupting volcanoes and in an extreme climate where the only people making a living are reindeer herders in temperatures as low as -30C. Simon meets the indigenous people whose way of life is now threatened by changes to the climate.
Outside Vladivostok, Russia’s great eastern port, Simon investigates the growing influence of China in the area. But in this hugely sensitive region the crew soon realise they are being followed. More than once they are stopped by police and later detained without explanation.
Passing through the Boreal Forest, which is one of the lungs of the planet and home to the Amur Tiger, Simon meets the inspirational conservationist who runs a sanctuary to protect this endangered and iconic Russian predator. Whilst in a town at the centre of the timber trade, Simon learns that Russia is said to have the largest hidden deforestation in the world – however the crew’s exit from the region ends up being a little sooner than expected when the Russian authorities once again take a close interest in filming.
Simon’s final destination is the heart of Siberia and the remote Batagay Crater, a giant mega slump that has appeared in the thawing permafrost. As it thaws it releases large amounts of methane, a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. If, as scientists fear, the melting permafrost across Russia and the Arctic releases large amounts of methane into the atmosphere, it could have a devastating impact on our world.
Safe House, ITV, UTV and STV, 9pm
The drama starring Stephen Moyer as ex-police office Tom and Zoe Tapper as his partner Sam, concludes tonight. During his time on the force, Tom was responsible for capturing a serial killer referred to as the Crow – but he does not believe the right man is in prison. When a woman called Julie Delaney is abducted, Tom is certain the Crow has returned, and he and Sam take Julie’s partner and daughter to their safe house.
In the final episode, Sam confronts Tom and he confesses his real reasons for leaving the police force. As the truth begins to shatter the image Sam has of the man she loves, she needs to decide if she will be able to forgive Tom for all his lies. With Roger Lane at large, Simon and Liam Duke are potentially in danger.
The Duke’s arrive at the safe house, but it is no longer secure and the threat follows them. Jane and Vedder will need to put the pieces together intime, as Tom faces his adversary and attempts to stop the Crow once and for all.
All Star Driving School, E4, 7.30pm
In the ninth edition of ASDS the series brings the day of the dreaded mock test and after just four days on the road, our celebs are panicking that they’re not ready. Tattoo Fixers’ Sketch performs well in his test until the last minute. He gets really depressed when he finds out he’s failed and threatens not to turn up to the real test. Nathan Henry cracks under the pressure and fails his mock too.
His boyfriend and best mate come along as back-seat drivers but he shouts at them to get out of the car when it all gets too much. Vicky Pattison, who has struggled all week, also fails her mock and cries at the end of it. Things pick up for Vicky during the Speedway Race Track Challenge, in which the celebs have to prove they can maintain a consistent speed. She is announced joint winner with Sketch, leaving Nathan to come last. However, at the end of the challenge, Vicky has an important announcement to make…
Ballers – Yay Area, Sky Atlantic, 10pm
It’s the series finale of the hit sports comedy starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
With things not looking great for Spencer and Joe’s hopes of bringing an NFL team to Las Vegas, they get a late-game ‘Hail Mary’ when they get some assistance in winning over the team owners.
Meanwhile, after doing some soul searching, Ricky maps out a new future for himself, while Charles gets one more crack at his dream job.
Safe House reaches its conclusion tonight at 9pm on ITV. Including STV and UTV.