TV Highlights: From pet communication to real life trial controversy

Telly Today choices for January 11th…

All gone to the dogs…

Owners everywhere have an instinctive urge to communicate with their beloved pets, but the holy grail is to truly understand what they are saying to us and discover what they think and how they feel.

Now, with the help of brand-new science, ES we discover how every animal has their own unique way of expressing itself, and the incredible new technology that’s helping us to understand them.

From the dog communicating with his owner using a system of buttons to the parrots fooling Alexa into adding their favourite treats to the weekly shop, the rats constantly chatting away just above our hearing range, the guinea pigs born communicating, the rabbit helping an autistic child and the sniffer dog communicating with his owner to help to save the last Northern White Rhino on earth.

ITV explore the extraordinary science behind interspecies communication in the first episode of this four-part series.

The Secret Life of our Pets, ITV, 8 pm


Game on…

A brutal death at her workplace forces Chief Operating Officer Sam (Maxine Peake) to unpick the events that led to this moment, starting with the arrival of their newly hired HR Director, Maya (Rakhee Thakrar).

When Maya queries the work culture at Fly, Sam is adamant that nothing needs to change and that Maya’s focus should be on the upcoming stock market floatation. However, when an employee of Fly recalls the historic toxic behaviour at the company, Maya is shocked and becomes determined to uncover the truth.

Rules of the Game, BBC One, 9 pm


Eye spy..

Successful financial advisor, Laila Maxton, calls the Private Eyes team for help when she suspects her high-tech smart house has developed a mind of its own.

After Shade and Angie are nearly steamed to death, they suspect someone is hacking into her smart home system and delve into a surprisingly long line of suspects. Meanwhile, Shade and Jada struggle with their relationship when Shade discovers just how uncomfortable Jada has become about the dangers involved in the career he loves.

Private Eyes (Smart Home Alone), Sky Witness, 9 pm


Justice on the scales…

The murder trial of British au pair Louise Woodward was televised live in the UK, transfixing viewers and splitting public opinion about whether she was guilty or innocent.

Twenty-five years later, this series re-examines the evidence with unprecedented access to witnesses, the defence team, the prosecution and members of the jury who decided her fate. On 4 February 1997, Louise, a 19-year-old au pair from Cheshire, called 911 in Boston, saying she was trying to revive eight-month-old Matthew Eappen, who was unresponsive.

Within days, she was arrested and charged with his murder. We ask if Louise Woodward really did shake baby Matthew to death, or whether she was a victim of bogus science. Told over three parts, this is the most comprehensive and well-informed exploration of a case that still haunts all those involved in it, including jury members who now reveal how they made up their minds. Key moments of the trial, including Louise’s own testimony on the stand, make for electrifying viewing, as do new interviews with the scientist who’s changed his mind since testifying against her, the detective who still believes that Louise was to blame, and supporters who still harbour doubts.

This episode explores the shock and horror of the Louise Woodward trial that continued for months after the verdict. Those caught up in the twists and turns reveal how the case still affects them today. Key prosecution witness Dr Patrick Barnes tells us why he’s changed his mind about the science. Was the victim, eight-month-old Matthew Eappen, forgotten in all the hysteria?

The Killer Nanny: Did she do it?, Channel 4, 9 pm

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