The Trouble with Dad
Channel 4, 9pm
David Baddiel’s brilliant black humour about his parents has fuelled a hit stand-up show, several magazine articles and now this touching documentary.
He introduces us to his father, Colin Baddiel, who has a type of dementia called Pick’s disease. We gather Colin was always sweary, funny and inclined to communicate with his sons via what David calls “abusive banter”, but now the Pick’s has ramped those traits up: “A f***ing idiot. Total tit… you’re a pain in the arse” Colin tells David, in one of his milder outbursts.
Baddiel junior is keen to address the common problem of losing someone to dementia and we see the cruelty of the process as the film goes on, as Colin gradually becomes mellower and less like his former self. “We’re chasing after the fragments of my dad that are still in there,” says David, and in a sense the film works as a tribute to a defiantly difficult man.
If you can think way, way back to the first few minutes of the very first episode of The Halcyon, you’ll recall how the series must end. If not, then hang on, you’re in for a bumpy night.
First, we must prepare for a splendid party as the five-star hotel celebrates its 50th birthday amid the horrors of the war. There’s champagne, a big cake and lots of sparkle and glitter. But the celebrations are rudely, even brutally, interrupted.
There are strands of unfinished business that must be neatly tied before we leave this stylish, though strangely soulless, place. There’s the suave Lucian D’Abberville (Charles Edwards), a polished, oily worm who’s blackmailing gay Toby Hamilton for wartime Government secrets.
Leave it to all-round fixer, hotel manager Richard Garland, to have a plan when everything goes horribly wrong for the Hamilton family.
Sky Atlantic, 10pm
Hannah begrudgingly joins Desi and Marnie on the drive to a show in Poughkeepsie, in order to, as she tells the pair, “protect you and your house of lies, you morons”. But their overnight pit stop takes a horror-movie turn when Desi and Marnie predictably implode, and Hannah is forced to arm herself with a spatula.
Elsewhere, Shoshanna persuades Elijah to join her at a Women Entrepreneurs Meet Up Now (aka WEMUN) meet-up. Jessa also wrangles an invite, but when Shoshanna comes face to face with her college-friends-turned-nemeses, Jessa’s attempt to support her cousin (yes, I forgot they were cousins, too) doesn’t go down well.
SAS: Rogue Warriors
Extraordinary characters populate Ben Macintyre’s account of the SAS’s early years. In the 1987 archive interviews, gimlet-eyed, ruddy-faced Reg Seekings – known in his youth as the hardest man in the unit – comes across as someone who weathered incredible blows, particularly during the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.
Seekings describes horrifying incidents there – having to shoot a wounded civilian, or seeing a friend burnt to death – with a steely quality that can’t quite hide his emotion. The bigger narrative is of how the SAS went from being desert raiders to conducting sabotage missions across France prior to D-Day.
Listen out for a postscript from their founder on what he did when he got back to London after being in Colditz: “By 12 o’clock that evening I was in a nightclub; by two o’clock I was having my first roger for years.”
Jon Richardson: How to Survive the End of the World
Channel 4, 10pm
Comedian Jon Richardson is a man full of fear. He sees peril everywhere, from Isis to sausages, and here – with the help of wife and fellow comic Lucy Beaumont – he takes a journey into those fears to see what might kill him and how to avoid it. The result is a series of deadpan encounters with oddballs – a man who can down 37 cocktail sausages in a minute, say, or a Canadian chap called Troy who makes himself suits of armour to crash through brick walls.
On the subject of air pollution, Jon meets the maddest of all, a guy who sells jars of fresh country air for £80 a time because “air is now a premium product”.