TV tonight: Gaugin's genius and troubling history

With readings from Dominic West and expert testimony, this documentary asks if we can separate the art from the artist. Plus: the end of The War of the Worlds. Here’s what to watch this evening

Gauguin: A Dangerous Life

9pm, BBC Four

“The work of a man explains that man,” Gauguin once wrote, and this documentary film sets out to prove that statement, analysing the French painter’s works alongside his biography, with diary readings from actor Dominic West and expert analysis from artists Kehinde Wiley and Tai-Shan Schierenberg. From his childhood in Peru to his womanising notoriety while painting in the Pacific islands, it asks whether we can separate the art from the artist and what role his objectifications have to play in his once-radical work. Ammar Kalia

Seven Worlds, One Planet

6.20pm, BBC One

The penultimate episode of David Attenborough’s jaunt around the world sees him and his camera crew stop off in North America, a continent that experiences some of the most extreme seasonal change in the world. Expect chilly manatees and the saga of whale-hunting polar bears. AK

His Dark Materials

8pm, BBC One

It is two days’ schlep to Bolvangar and before our heroes lies a “haunted village”. (Lyra: “The alethiometer is warning me of something.” Lord Faa: “I suspect it’s trying to warn you of everything.”) Elsewhere, Farder Coram asks for help and something horrific has happened to little Billy Costa. Ali Catterall

The War of the Worlds

9pm, BBC One

Sacrifice and survival ... The War of the Worlds.
Sacrifice and survival ... The War of the Worlds. Photograph: Matt Squire/BBC/Mammoth Screen 2018

Now reunited, Amy and Ogilvy help each other confront traumatic memories from the invasion, hoping to understand the Martians and their weakness. “All survival is built on sacrifice,” says Ogilvy, and as this Edwardian sci-fi adventure reaches its moving climax, we find out exactly what he means. Ellen E Jones

Stanley Baxter’s Best Bits … And More

9pm, Channel 5

The lovable Scottish comic actor gets some overdue appreciation as luminaries including Barry Cryer, Rory Bremner and Miriam Margolyes pay tribute to his brilliance and versatility. Best of all, there is a lengthy interview with the man himself, in his 90s now but enviably lucid and chipper. Phil Harrison

Method of a Serial Killer

9pm, Sky Crime

As far as serial killers go, Israel Keyes has become known as one of the most chillingly calculated since his arrest in 2012. With no victim profile, this documentary explores how Keyes spent over a decade committing a series of undetected rapes and murders, going to extraordinary lengths to cover his gruesome tracks. AK

Film choice

The final battle ... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
The final battle ... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Photograph: Jaap Buitendijk/AP

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 4.40pm, ITV

Harry Potter’s magical school years conclude in a tale of Dark Knight-like gloominess. The last battle, pitting Harry, Hermione, Ron and their Hogwarts mates against vile Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his horrible hordes is done on a truly epic scale, as if crossbred with Lord of the Rings. Paul Howlett

Live sport

F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 1.05pm, Sky Sports F1. Coverage of the 21st round of the campaign at Yas Marina Circuit.

Premiership Rugby Union: Harlequins v Gloucester 2.30pm, BT Sport 2. Action from Twickenham Stoop.

Premier League Football: Leicester City v Everton 7.45pm, BT Sport 2. Brendan Rodgers’s men take on Marco Silva’s struggling Toffees.

Contributors

Ammar Kalia, Ali Catterall, Ellen E Jones, Phil Harrison and Paul Howlett

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
TV tonight: the troubling history of Ghislaine Maxwell
Barbara Shearer’s docuseries aims to get to the heart of the socialite’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Plus: Jo Whiley is backstage at Worthy Farm. Here’s what to watch this evening

Ammar Kalia, Hannah Verdier, Graeme Virtue, Ellen E Jones and Simon Wardell

27, Jun, 2021 @5:00 AM

Article image
TV tonight: Raoul Peck’s confronting history of colonialism
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker brings a four-part series, Exterminate All the Brutes, starring Josh Hartnett. Plus: The Great Garden Revolution begins. Here’s what to watch this evening

Ammar Kalia, Hannah Verdier, Graeme Virtue, Ellen E Jones and Simon Wardell

01, May, 2021 @5:00 AM

Article image
TV tonight: Samuel L Jackson's history of slavery
The Hollywood star teams up with writers Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici to present a harrowing story of the transatlantic slave trade. Plus: Us ends. Here’s what to watch this evening

Ammar Kalia, Ellen E Jones, Ali Catterall, Jack Seale and Paul Howlett

11, Oct, 2020 @5:00 AM

Article image
TV tonight: Steven Spielberg's history of human hate
The director’s new series explores how hatred has evolved in humans from cavemen to internet trolls. Plus: the caste system in Britain. Here’s what to watch

Ammar Kalia, Phil Harrison, Jack Seale , Paul Howlett and Ali Catterall

13, Oct, 2019 @5:00 AM

Article image
TV tonight: the shocking history of American mass shootings
In Memoriam provides a radical call for reform in its survivor testimony from three recent mass shootings in the US. Plus: Welsh crime drama Hidden returns. Here’s what to watch this evening

Ammar Kalia , Ellen E Jones, Hannah Verdier, Jack Seale and Paul Howlett

15, Feb, 2020 @6:00 AM

Article image
TV Tonight: revisiting a notorious moment in British colonial history
Sathnam Sanghera looks at the truth behind the 1919 Amritsar massacre in colonial-era India, while All Together Now reaches its grand final. Here’s the best TV to watch this evening

Lanre Bakare, Gwilym Mumford, Hannah J Davies, Hannah Verdier, Gregory Robinson Graeme Virtue and Paul Howlett

13, Apr, 2019 @5:00 AM

Article image
TV tonight: Vic Reeves on the strange history of video art
The comic-turned-artist explores one of modern art’s most innovative mediums: the video. Plus: Reggie on the super-rich communists of China. Here’s what to watch this evening

Ammar Kalia, Graeme Virtue, Maeve Allen, Paul Howlett and Jack Seale

24, Nov, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
TV tonight: a rebel history of Britain with a Portishead soundtrack
From remarkable rave-and-rituals documentary Arcadia to Torvill and Dean impersonations in the Dancing on Ice final, here’s all the best TV to tune in for

Phil Harrison, Hannah J Davies, Ali Catterall, Graeme Virtue, Ellen E Jones, David Stubbs and Paul Howlett

10, Mar, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
TV tonight: David Olusoga's timely look at the history of Bristol
The historian continues his vivid biography of a Bristol house. Plus: a vibrant small screen version of Crystal Moselle’s Skate Kitchen features many of the original cast. Here’s what to watch this evening

Ammar Kalia, Graeme Virtue, Ellen E Jones, Phil Harrison and Paul Howlett

09, Jun, 2020 @5:00 AM

Article image
Gauguin at the National Gallery review – portrait of a troubling talent
This efficient documentary doesn’t shy away from the problems this post-impressionist star poses for art lovers today

Andrew Pulver

15, Oct, 2019 @1:05 PM