TV tonight: Jodie Whittaker time travels into her family history

The Doctor Who star finds out about her grandparents, and comic John Bishop tracks a pair of beluga whales. Here’s what to watch this evening

Who Do You Think You Are?

9pm, BBC One

Actor and current Doctor Jodie Whittaker does some ancestral time travelling of her own in the first of this new run of the genealogical series. We open with Whittaker discovering the first world war story of her maternal grandmother, Greta Verdun, and the sacrifices her older half-brother made for the family, while on her father’s side she learns how her great-great-grandfather went from child labourer to mine owner in Yorkshire, controversially keeping the pits open during a strike in the 1920s. Ammar Kalia

Rob Burrow: My Year With MND

7pm, BBC Two

A frank and moving doc from the former rugby league player Rob Burrow on his fight against motor neurone disease. Initially bringing his condition to light through appearances on BBC Breakfast, this doc follows Burrow as he grapples with his diagnosis and the absence of a cure. AK

Ghosts

8.30pm, BBC One

As Mike and Alison prepare to attend her school reunion, Mike gets lost down a social media stalking hole and romantic poet Thomas recounts his demise in the 1820s. The other ghosts chip in with their own, highly subjective, versions and there’s an enjoyable cameo to come for Stath Lets Flats fans. Ellen E Jones

In the Face of Terror

9pm, BBC Two

The families of Jim Foley and Kayla Mueller continue their quest to find out what happened to their loved ones. It is heartbreaking to watch the Muellers make contact with Syria and find new hope that their daughter could be alive, before heading to Washington to meet with the government. Hannah Verdier

John Bishop’s Great Whale Rescue

9pm, ITV

Hands-on ... John Bishop and his son Luke with ‘Little Grey’, the beluga whale in John Bishop’s Great Whale Rescue.
Hands-on ... John Bishop and his son Luke with ‘Little Grey’, the beluga whale in John Bishop’s Great Whale Rescue. Photograph: ITV

The comic reveals a passion for whales in this striking documentary from the Blue Planet team. He is tracking a pair of beluga whales as they are released back into the wild after a decade in an entertainment park. Bishop is admirably hands-on, even getting in the water. Phil Harrison

Drama Out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today

9pm, BBC Four

Marking the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking televised theatre strand, this documentary looks back on how more than 300 dramas made from 1970 to 1984 captured the changing makeup of Britain, with contributions from Mike Leigh and Ken Loach. AK

Film choice

2018, SKATE KITCHENRACHELLE VINBERG Character(s): Camille Film ‘SKATE KITCHEN’ (2018) Directed By CRYSTAL MOSELLE 21 January 2018 SAW91965 Allstar/PULSE FILMS **WARNING** This Photograph is for editorial use only and is the copyright of PULSE FILMS and/or the Photographer assigned by the Film or Production Company & can only be reproduced by publications in conjunction with the promotion of the above Film. A Mandatory Credit To PULSE FILMS is required. The Photographer should also be credited when known. No commercial use can be granted without written authority from the Film Company.
All aboard ... Skate Kitchen. Photograph: The Years of Living Dangerously, LLC./Allstar/Pulse Films

Skate Kitchen (Crystal Moselle, 2018), 11pm, Film4

Skate Kitchen is an NYC women’s skateboarding group whose sense of carefree enjoyment attracts teenage Camille (Rachelle Vinberg) – despite a painful wipeout and her disapproving mum. Director Crystal Moselle had such fun with this drama that she expanded it into a TV series, Betty. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Indian Premier League Cricket: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders 3pm, Sky Sports Main Event. T20 match from Sharjah Stadium.

Snooker: English Open 6.45pm, Eurosport 1. Day one coverage.

League Two Football: Bradford City v Harrogate Town 7.30pm, Sky Sports Main Event. The sides square off at Northern Commercials Stadium.

Contributors

Ammar Kalia, Ellen E Jones, Hannah Verdier, Phil Harrison and Paul Howlett

The GuardianTramp

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