TV highlights 12/07/2011: The Night Watch | Undercover Boss | Imagine | Perfume | Nurse Jackie | Silent Library

The Night Watch | Undercover Boss | Imagine | Perfume | Nurse Jackie | Silent Library

The Night Watch
9pm, BBC2

Anna Maxwell Martin, Claire Foy and Jodie Whittaker star in this gorgeous adaptation of the Sarah Waters novel. A group of young women, and one young man, live out their forbidden love lives behind closed doors in postwar London. The use of a set-up/rewind structure works to great stylish and dramatic effect and the performances are involving and beautifully understated against the backdrop of the London blitz and its horrors. The only thing you wish for is more time. This needs more than 90 minutes for the relationships to fully develop, but what is there is so worth watching.

Julia Raeside

Undercover Boss
9pm, Channel 4

Southern Fried Chicken may sound like some cheaply derivative Mickey Mouse outfit, but this British, family-run chain has a yearly turnover of £100m and branches in over 70 countries. Trouble is, the least attended-to stores are (yes) in the UK itself, with struggling managers left in the dark and cutting corners. Kind-hearted owner and MD Andrew Withers joins some hard-working counter staff to investigate where SFC is falling down.

Ali Catterall

Imagine
10.45pm, BBC1

In 1971, John Lennon was just 30 years old, and one of the most famous people alive. This Alan Yentob film recounts what Lennon did next – moved to New York City and embarked on a solo career by turns inspirational and infuriating, before being shot dead outside his home in 1980. Yentob talks to Lennon's associates during this period, including his wife, Yoko Ono, photographer Bob Gruen and friend Elton John. The story is illustrated further with unseen concert footage and home movies, and previously unheard recordings.

Andrew Mueller

Perfume
9pm, BBC4

You'd scarcely think the smells that emanate from the bedrooms of teenage boys could translate into unimaginable profits, but for Lynx, this is precisely the case. In this third captivating look at the world of fragrance, getting the latest in the Lynx range just right for the exploding market in Brazil means millions hanging in the balance. In a country where there are 1.5 million Avon reps, they appear to know their onions. In this final episode, we also see the revival of Grossmith, a Victorian perfume house reinvigorated by two of the family's direct descendants.

Ben Arnold

Nurse Jackie
9pm, Sky Atlantic

The friendship between Jackie and Dr O'Hara (brilliantly played by Eve Best) has been one of the best things about Nurse Jackie so far, with their fancy lunches and genuine affection for each other providing much of the comic relief. The third series continues, however, with them still not talking, thanks to Jackie's unfortunate habit of stealing her friend's money to pay for drugs. There's more Kevin/Eddie drama, but, as usual, Merritt Wever gets the best scenes tonight, as Zoey decides to right the wrong of the maternity unit getting the best sort of gloves, by going on a mission of benevolent theft. Excellent. Rebecca Nicholson

Silent Library
10pm, 5*

It sounds like a moody thriller written by an even moodier Scandinavian but, in fact, it's the Brit incarnation of the kind of bonkers gameshow that the Japanese used to do so well in the 80s. The idea is that contestants have to endure "sick, spiteful and/or silly" challenges without agitating the "noiseometer". There's a cash prize of £2,000 for the winning team. Adam Buxton commentates, presumably with tongue firmly in cheek. Martin Skegg

Contributors

Julia Raeside, Ali Catterall, Andrew Mueller, Ben Arnold, Rebecca Nicholson and Martin Skegg

The GuardianTramp

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