What’s on TV tonight: Stacey Dooley: Stalkers, Rules of the Game, and more

Wednesday January 19

Stacey Dooley: Stalkers
BBC One/Three, 10.35pm; NI/Scot, 11.05pm
She’s probably more widely known now for being a Strictly Come Dancing champion, but Stacey Dooley has always been a gifted TV reporter, with a talent for getting straight to the human heart of the issues she chooses to highlight. In this two-part report (both episodes are available on BBC iPlayer), she takes a look at the scourge of stalking, which ruins so many lives. In Portsmouth, Dooley sits in with members of the Aurora New Dawn charity dealing with victims, and she also spends months with Cheshire Police Force’s dedicated stalking squad, one of the few specialist units in the country. Meeting a number of young people who spent years living in fear of their former partners, what emerges most clearly is that, contrary to common belief, stalking is only occasionally an offence committed by strangers. What is also shocking is the impunity with which persecutors seem to be able to act, even when under restraining orders and, in one case, just days after pleading guilty to the offence in court. As ever, Dooley’s deceptively simple style allows emotional moments to speak volumes and the terrible human impact to speak for itself. It’s a bracing watch. GO

Dream Home Makeovers with Sophie Robinson
Channel 5, 7pm
A regular on BBC Two’s Great Interior Design Challenge, interior designer Sophie Robinson deservedly gets her own home-makeover show, utilising big, bold colours and textures to bring some life to a Middlesex couple’s personality-free Georgian pile, and cosiness (plus a full-size billiard table) to a cavernous converted schoolhouse in Nottinghamshire.  

Landscape Artist of the Year 2022
Sky Arts, 8pm
Compton Verney House in Warwickshire has long been a friend of Landscape Artist of the Year, the gorgeous grounds providing plenty of creative inspiration in series past. So it proves again, tonight, as eight more contestants set up their easels in the shadow of the great house, looking out across the lake in perfect weather, as the second heat gets underway.

Rules of the Game
BBC One, 9pm
In a fraught concluding episode, Sam’s (Maxine Peake) attempt to silence head of human resources Maya (Rakhee Thakrar) with a non-disclosure agreement receives short shrift, so she’s forced to seek another way. Meanwhile, Owen’s (Ben Batt) efforts to locate the incriminating flash drive take him in a dangerous direction.  

Inside the Factory
BBC Two, 9pm
In an episode that focuses on shoes, Gregg Wallace gets up close to the enduring Dr Martens 1460 boot, still made by hand at the venerable bootmakers’ factory in Wollaston, Northamptonshire, while co-presenter Cherry Healey uncovers inventive ways to reduce the horrifying number of trainers sent to landfill every year.  

The Bay
ITV, 9pm
The Morecambe-based crime drama is working better this series thanks to its new cast and focus. Tonight, a fresh lead causes newcomer DS Jenn Townsend’s (Marsha Thomason) personal and professional worlds to collide, putting pressure on her unsettled family.

Pretty Hard Cases
Alibi, 9pm
Slapstick and crime-fighting blend well in this Canadian comedy about two Toronto detectives, Wazowski (Meredith MacNeill) and Duff (Adrienne C Moore), who are forced to work together to bring down a crime boss. “I’m the Marie Kondo of crime, cleaning up the streets one gang at a time,” says Wazowski.

Berlin Express (1948, b/w) ★ ★ ★ 
Great! Movies Classic, 3.15pm  
Director Jacques Tourneur ramps up the tension in this film noir in which a group of train passengers, including Merle Oberon and Robert Ryan, try to rescue a German statesman kidnapped by an underground Nazi group during a long journey on a military train. The Nazi characters are clichéd but the suspense is Hitchcockian and there are some brilliant action set-pieces.

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Talking Pictures, 9.05pm  
Jamie Uys’s utterly charming caper trafficks in the same culture-clash tensions which have driven comedy since Chaplin’s The Tramp. It follows a Namibian San farmer whose peaceful existence in the Kalahari Desert is interrupted when an aeroplane drops a glass bottle – and he sets out to return the offering to the celestial spirits. The gentle warmth of the piece is a vestige from a less offence-conscious era.

Hummingbird (2013) ★ ★ ★ 
5Action, 10.05pm  
Steven Knight (whose Peaky Blinders is about to begin its final series) writes and directs this offbeat tale of vigilante justice. Jason Statham is the ex-Special Forces soldier who, after finding himself homeless, is given the opportunity to deliver some tough justice and seizes it with both hands. It may sound like a typical Statham film, but there are lots of twists and turns, while deft camerawork gives London’s underbelly a menacing edge.

Thursday January 20

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