What’s on TV tonight: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?, and more

Dinosaurs: The Final Day with David Attenborough
BBC One, 6.30pm
It’s a red-letter day when David Attenborough wants to tell us something new about the natural world. This 90-minute documentary explores the day an asteroid hit the Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs. Attenborough explains how, in a North Dakotan prehistoric animal graveyard (named Tanis after the Egyptian city in Raiders of the Lost Ark), palaeontologist Robert DePalma has made an incredible discovery. He has unearthed the fossilised remains of animals that contain material thought to have come from the impact site thousands of miles away in modern-day Mexico. It contains the first known example of articulated animal carcasses from the day and myriad examples of prehistoric life. Attenborough interprets the findings for us, aided by some impressive CGI, describing the late Cretaceous period and providing a minute-by-minute account of that cataclysmic moment 66 million years ago. As he approaches his 96th birthday next month, and remaining as passionate and professional as ever, there’s no one better than Attenborough to guide us through the world’s biggest extinction event. It will certainly appeal to dinosaur-mad children (and adults). VP

Outer Range
Amazon Prime Video
A competitor to Kevin Costner’s Yellowstone, this Josh Brolin vehicle blends Western and supernatural themes. Brolin commands attention as a grizzled Wyoming rancher dealing with the disappearance of his daughter-in-law and neighbours wanting to take over his property, when a mysterious void opens up on his land. VP

Roar
Apple TV+
This quirky, female-led anthology series drops with eight brief episodes characterised by bursts of magical realism. Particularly affecting is the episode featuring Australian powerhouses Judy Davis and Nicole Kidman as a mother and daughter coming to terms with the former’s dementia, while Issa Rae shines in a thoughtful piece about a black woman finding her voice. VP

Anatomy of a Scandal
Netflix
This slick courtroom drama addresses privilege and male entitlement in Westminster. Sophie (Sienna Miller) thinks that she has the perfect marriage to rising MP James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend), until he is accused of raping a parliamentary aid. As her world unravels, he faces a ruthless prosecuting barrister in Kate Woodcroft (Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery).  VP

Jill Halfpenny’s Easter Journeys
BBC One, 1.30pm
Former EastEnders actress Jill Halfpenny is a surprising escort for this trip around the Christian hotspots of her native North East. Nonetheless, she proves a warm travel companion in this first of a two-part jaunt featuring bellringers in Hexham, pilgrims at Cuddy’s Well in Bellingham, and prayer on the isle of Lindisfarne. VP

Grantchester
ITV, 9pm
Another series of the period drama concludes, with more sleuthing and opportunities to gawp at handsome vicar Will (Tom Brittney). Will engages in soul-searching over his turbulent love life and his crime-solving sidekick DI Geordie Keating (Robson Green) investigates the murder of another vagrant, before a rushed but satisfying payoff brings down the curtain.  VP

La Voix Humaine
BBC Two, 10pm
A tour de force from soprano Danielle De Niese in Poulenc’s short opera, based on Cocteau’s 1928 play. A brief dialogue between De Niese and Antonio Pappano, who conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, provides background information before she launches into song. It’s an intimate and visceral piece in which Elle (De Niese) conducts a desperate phone call with her departed lover. VP

King of Kings (1961) ★★★★
BBC Two, 2.30pm
Perfect viewing for Good Friday, this refreshingly serious biblical epic takes on the Herculean task of dramatising the life of Jesus, from birth and ministry to crucifixion and resurrection. Jeffrey Hunter plays the son of God, Siobhán McKenna is his mother and Rip Torn plays Judas. It begins with the Roman invasion of Judea by Pompey in 65BC and the appointment of King Herod; the rest is history, shot in rich and vivid colours.

Dune (2021) ★★★★★
Sky Cinema Premiere, 8pm
Denis Villeneuve set himself a difficult challenge with this adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi classic. Its story, of a boy caught up in an imperial struggle for the planet Arrakis and its reserves of a life-extending hallucinogenic drug called “spice”, has long been considered impossible to adapt. Nonetheless, supported by stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, Villeneuve delivers an exceptional visual and auditory treat. 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) ★★★
BBC One, 10.40pm
Seven senior citizens (Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton and Ronald Pickup) make the long journey from Britain to Jaipur, where they find the promised Exotic Marigold Hotel, run by Dev Patel – but it isn’t quite what any of them had been expecting. The film falters on account of some wince-inducing clichés, but it’s hard to resist such a solid cast of national treasures.

Television previewers

Jack Taylor (JT), Veronica Lee (VL), Gerard O’Donovan (GO), Vicki Power (VP) and Gabriel Tate (GT)

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