Our choice of programmes to watch week beginning Saturday, July 11.
Unraveling Athena (Amazon Prime Video, from Monday)
Director Francis Amat spent four years working on this project which explores the lives and experiences of some of the world's most extraordinary female athletes. An array of number one ranked tennis players, such as Billie Jean King, Martina Hingis, Tracy Austin, Evonne Goolagong, Kim Clijsters, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, share their experiences. There's an uplifting story of determination, trials and tribulations and incredible achievements, with memories of starting at an age when they were barely big enough to pick up a racket.
Doom Patrol (StarzPlay, from Thursday)
Some of DC's big screen output may have been hit and miss lately, but they've certainly given Marvel a run for their money, with excellent small screen offerings like Pennnyworth and sublime animated saga Harley Quinn. Given the fact Doom Patrol have been around in comic form since 1963, it's about time they got their chance to shine in the media spotlight. And season one certainly did that. Following the defeat of Mr Nobody at the end of that run, the members of Doom Patrol now find themselves mini-sized and stranded on Cliff's toy race car track. There, they will deal with their full-sized feelings of betrayal by Niles Caulder (the ever wonderful Timothy Dalton). Series newcomer Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro) helps inject new life into this thrilling slice of escapism.
The Voice Kids (ITV, 7.25pm)
The new series of The Great British Bake Off has been delayed, while Britain's Got Talent and The Voice UK will not be filming their finals until later in the year. The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled and Little Mix's new show, The Search, has been postponed. Thankfully, for talent show fans, ITV already had the fourth series of The Voice Kids in the can before the lockdown, so it is able to return to our screens tonight. will.i.am, Pixie Lott and Danny Jones are back in the spinning red chairs as the latest search for young stand-out singers commences. Last year's other coach, Jessie J, has left the show, and her spot is taken by Paloma Faith, who was previously a judge on The Voice: UK in 2016. Emma Willis is also back to host and meet the kids who will be hoping to grab one of the nine places on each coach's team.
The Queen: Duty Before Family? (C5, 9.15pm)
The Queen has dealt with many family crises and faced countless difficult choices during her near-70 year reign. She denied her sister Margaret permission to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend in the 1950s, with many people in Winston Churchill's government believing that he would be an unsuitable husband for the Queen's 22-year-old sister, and the Church of England refusing to countenance marriage to a divorced man. Thirty-plus years later, Her Majesty also faced massive challenges relating to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and recently she has had to deal with the fallout from Prince Andrew's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. In this documentary, insiders reveal how she has confronted difficult decisions and how there can only ever one winner when it comes to royal duty and family.
One Day: Sport's Super Sunday (BBC2, 8.30pm)
Cast your mind back to July 14 last year. If you're a sports fan, chances are it's imprinted on your memory, because on that day several major events took place - the British Grand Prix, the netball world cup, the cricket world cup final and the final of the men's singles at Wimbledon. And they were just the ones expected to grab the most attention. As it transpired, it was the last two of those fixtures that really grabbed the attention. The nation was torn between what to watch - remote controls across the land were probably close to being worn out as viewers switched back and forth from an epic match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, and the sight of England doing battle with New Zealand at Lord's. There's a chance to relive that extraordinary few hours via this programme.
Romesh Ranganathan: Misadventures from My Sofa (BBC2, 9pm)
When one of your major income streams involves making a travel programme and you're no longer able to travel freely, what do you do? In the case of Romesh Ranganathan, you sit at home and create a new three-part series featuring highlights from your previous adventures. The BBC must love him - the show is as cheap as chips to make, but still has the major draw of a big name presenter. Ranganathan also promises viewers each edition will feature previously unseen footage as well as comments from his fellow travelers, who share anecdotes about their experiences together. Expect to see clips from such far-flung places as Haiti, Ethiopia, Albania, the Arctic, Zimbabwe, Mongolia and many more.
Paramedics: Britain's Lifesavers (C4, 9pm)
Filmed back in April, when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak, this new series goes behind the scenes of the West Midlands Ambulance Service to find out how the crews, control room staff and managers coped with the biggest challenge they have ever faced. To get a scale of just what they were dealing with, on its busiest day, the 111 call centre experienced a 300 per cent increase in volume, with only four per cent of calls answered. Student Ollie and retired sales manager Jackie were among those trying to meet demand, but that meant squeezing five weeks of call-handler training into just a fortnight. Meanwhile, to get more ambulances on the frontline, student paramedics are being deployed, but after just two shifts, 20-year-old Caitlyn develops symptoms.
Long Lost Family: What Happened Next (ITV, 9pm)
Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell follow the story of reunited siblings Geoffrey Tonks and Barbara Jacobs as they investigate a family mystery and try to trace a missing sister on Geoffrey's father's side. They also catch up with Robert Lindsay, who explores the difficulties of building a father/son relationship so late in life, and brother and sister Nicholas Rhoades and Cayley Cox talk about how they have already experienced an enormous amount together in the year that has passed since they met for the first time.
The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty (BBC2, 9pm)
In 1952, at the age of 22, Rupert Murdoch inherited a chain of Australian newspapers following the death of his father and has gone on to become one of the most influential people in the media industry. But despite his reputation, wealth and success, Murdoch's own tale has rarely been told - until now. This new three-part documentary series tells the incredible story of the tycoon's empire, interweaving Murdoch's behind-the-scenes influence on world events with the personal battle for power within his own family. The programme begins in 1995, with a young Tony Blair flying halfway around the world to Murdoch's private island looking for support to become Britain's next Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the Murdoch family is rocked when Rupert marries Wendi Deng, a woman 37 years his junior, in 1999.
Love Island Australia: The Final (ITV2, 9pm)
Reality TV fans were disappointed when the the British series of Love Island was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But thankfully, the clever people at ITV2 came up with something to make it all better - re-running Love Island: Australia when a bevy of bronzed singletons checked into the villa and sparks immediately flied. Tonight, after two weeks of matching up and mayhem in Mallorca, the winning couple is revealed, with the likes of Grant Crapp and Tayla Damir, Eden Dally and Erin Alysha Barnett, and Josh Moss and Amelia Plummer all in the running to secure the top prize.
Bears About the House (BBC2, 8pm)
Conservationist Giles Clark is taking on a new mission – he's been asked by his friend, Matt Hunt, CEO of Free the Bears, to help with building a pioneering new sanctuary in Laos, Southeast Asia. That's going to be a challenge, but the role also means taking on the illegal wildlife trade, which sees bears being sold as trophy pets and for their body parts. Their gallbladders are particularly prized, as their bile is thought to have medicinal properties, and over 10,000 bears across Asia are kept caged in farms so their bile can be extracted. As well as following Giles and his team as they tackle the problem, cameras also chart the progress of Mary, a five-month-old rescued sun bear who moves in with Matt and Giles while her enclosure at the sanctuary is being built.
Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs – Back in Business (ITV, 8pm)
Back in March, the staff at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home realised that a lockdown was looming and that they would have to shut their doors to the public for the first time in their 160-year history. So, the pressure was on to find as many families and temporary foster carers as possible for their residents. Luckily, they had help from Paul O'Grady, who due to his own underlying health conditions, was also preparing to go into self-isolation. First though, he joined the staff onsite to learn about their plans. As this one-hour special shows, despite already having five dogs at home, Paul didn't take too much persuading to foster another one - in fact, his biggest challenge was resisting the urge to take them all. But would he be equally tempted when he made a rare trip to see Battersea's cats?
Stephen Lawrence: Has Britain Changed? (ITV, 8pm)
On April 22, 1993, black British teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racially motivated attack. The aftermath hit the headlines and sparked discussions on institutional racism. Now, after the death of George Floyd and the global protests that followed it, Lawrence is, understandably, back in our minds. As a result, Rageh Omaar and Anushka Asthana are hosting a live debate in an effort to discover if, 27 years on, his tragic death has had a lasting impact on racial equality in the UK. It's followed immediately afterwards at 9pm by another chance to see writer-director Paul Greengrass's moving drama about the case, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, in which Hugh Quarshie and Marianne Jean-Baptiste play his parents, Neville and Doreen.
Ambulance (BBC1, 9pm)
Award-winning documentary following the North West Ambulance Service as they care for the people of Liverpool and all across Merseyside. The control room experiences a spike in calls for patients with breathing difficulties, and when Sherilee talks to a daughter calls whose mother has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it proves tough for the call handler as her own mum had the same illness. Meanwhile, call hander Brogan has to guide a caller through lifesaving CPR while they wait for an ambulance, and there's a full emergency at John Lennon Airport when a plane loses contact with air traffic control. Last in the series.
Celebrity Snoop Dogs (Channel 4, 8.30pm)
The celebrity property show continues, as we take a look around more famous homeowners' abodes, guided by the dogs who live there. Specially kitted out with mounted cameras attached to a harness, the pooches tour their lavish homes and the secluded gardens their owners normally retreat to. In this episode, we snoop inside the homes of a Labradoodle and two American spaniels - brothers from different mothers. But who do these loveable rogues and their beautiful homes belong to? Kevin McCloud commentates on everything from the architecture to their owners' choices in decor and feng shui.
Jack Whitehall's Sporting Nation (BBC1, regions vary)
For the second episode in his nostalgic look at Britain's sporting history and what it says about our national character, Jack Whitehall is turning his attention to the people Brits love cheering on almost as much as we enjoy watching them come crashing down - our sporting heroes. It seems if you want to reach the top of your field, you need a thick skin as well as talent and dedication, because there are very few sportsmen and women who can claim to have been given a completely easy ride by the British public and press. To prove his point, Jack looks back at David Beckham's free kicks and red cards, Andy Murray's tumultuous journey to the top of tennis, and Zola Budd's infamous tangle at the 1984 Olympics.
London 2012: Opening Ceremony (BBC1, regions vary)
Sadly, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been rescheduled for next year, but the BBC is making sure we still get into the spirit of the games by whisking us back in time to London 2012. It might not just be the sport we feel nostalgic for, as some people watching the Opening Ceremony might feel misty eyed about the days when we could gather together for mass public events and a time when Britain, which currently seems to be particularly divided, felt united. If you need your memory jogged, the event, which was masterminded by director Danny Boyle, celebrates everything from children's literature to the NHS, and features guest appearances from some British icons, including the Queen, James Bond, Paul McCartney and Mr Bean.