French drama The Promise, ITV’s new talent show Starstruck, and more

Saturday 12 February

The Promise
BBC Four, 9pm & 9.55pm
Another Saturday night, another subtitled thriller about missing children, but six-parter The Promise, available in full on BBC iPlayer from tonight, has several elements that lift it above the familiar. Notably, it is Anne Landois’s first project of hers since she showrunning the peerless Spiral. The set-up is also cannily accomplished, setting up twin police investigations into two child abductions. In one, gnarled veteran Pierre Castaing (Olivier Marchal) and his obsession with catching the kidnapper of young Charlotte drives him to the edge. In the other, ambitious young detective Sarah Castaing (Sofia Essaïdi) – her daughter de ella, it transpires – goes in search of Jade, another young girl snatched in very similar circumstances. The whereabouts of Castaing Sr during this second investigation are not immediately apparent, but it is clear that her daughter hopes to fill her shoes without repeating her mistakes. While most policemen focus on the case and some on the families affected, The Promise digs deep into the psychological impact of traumatic cases on the officers in question. The direction may tend to be clichéd, but the storytelling is fresh enough to hold the attention throughout. GT

Winter Olympics 2022
BBC One & BBC Two, from 6am
Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson, Torvill and Dean’s most credible successors, begin their ice dancing campaign at 11am. Laura Deas should be a contender in the skeleton finals from 12.20pm. And early Sunday, at 1.30am, will see the debut of a brand new event: the monobob is a women-only solo bobsleigh run. GT

Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves
Channel 4, 12pm
The Super Leagues comes to terrestrial television for the first time, with this cracking clash (kick-off 12.30pm) being the first of 10 matches on Channel 4 this year. Adam Hills heads the coverage, with the pundits including Sam Tomkins and Leon Pryce. GT

France v Ireland
ITV, 4 p.m.
The Six Nations opening weekend didn’t disappoint, with tries, tantrums and a healthy dose of schadenfreude. Eddie Jones’s cocky England lost to a spirited Scotland, meaning this Parisian showdown (kick-off 4.45pm) between France and Ireland is packed with intrigue. Winner takes all? Scotland will need to control the ball more to stay in contention, with a tough test against Wales ahead of them in Cardiff (BBC One, kick-off 2.15pm). On Sunday, England head to Rome to face Italy (ITV, kick-off 3pm), who gave a strong account of themselves in Paris and are improving under new coach Kieran Crowley. GT

Snooker: Players Championship
ITV4, 6.45pm
The semi-finals conclude ahead of Sunday’s final from the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton. GT

The Masked Singer: the Final
ITV, 7 p.m.
After the ejection of two bona fide belters in Aled Jones and Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, just Mushroom, Panda and Robobunny remain. Reigning champion Joss Stone joins the panel for tonight’s final of deciphering disguises. GT

Tony Robinson’s History of Britain
Channel 5, 7.30pm
The erstwhile Baldrick returns for the second series of his ambitious, engaging national biography, beginning with most of the island under Roman rule and using ruins and relics from museums to tell the stories of soldiers, gladiators and slaves alike. GT

BBC One, 7.45pm
Danny Dyer may be on his way out of Albert Square, but it’s hard to imagine anyone else inheriting his mantle as host of this ever-bewildering game show, back for a new series. A couple from Banbury are the first hopefuls, while Dyer bellows encouragement and shouts angrily at The Wall. GT

ITV, 8.30pm
Stars in Their Eyes meets The X Factor in this good-natured if underwhelming new shiny-floor show hosted by Olly Murs. The premise pits four trios against each other as they emulate musical icons, before the winning threesome compete for a single place in the final, where £50,000 is at stake. The opening episode sees amateurs take on Ariana Grande, Marvin Gaye, Lady Gaga and Freddie Mercury – the latter a bold call, given the judging panel includes Mercury’s professional stand-in, Adam Lambert. Jason Manford, Beverley Knight and Sheridan Smith complete the line-up. GT

Wondrous Wales
Channel 4, 8.30pm
Back to Snowdonia, the Pembrokeshire coast and the Brecon Beacons for a second series of this visually spectacular catnip for tourists, this week featuring lambing season, honey production, a phoenix made from sand and an imposing Anglesey rock climb called Mask of the Red Death. GT

Gehraiyaan (2022)
Amazon Prime Video
Shakun Batra’s film is something of a departure from Bollywood’s usual treatment of love and relationships, and it’s perhaps telling that it airs on Amazon rather than reliant on box-office takings; infidelity is a delicate topic in Hindi cinema. Deepika Padukone (one of the highest-paid actors in India) plays Alisha, 30, in a monotonous relationship and a stagnant career. The arrival of her cousin and her fiancé de ella brings temptation and forbidden romance.

Book of Love (2022)
Sky Cinema Premiere, 8pm
Sam Claflin stars in this aimable romcom about a sensitive British writer whose latest dud novel becomes a hit in Mexico after a no-nonsense Spanish translator (Verónica Echegui) turns it into a steamy bodice-ripper, and him into an unlikely sex symbol. What unfolds is a predictable opposites attract meet-cute. David Quantick (more widely known for the biting satire of Spitting Image and Veep) co-writes with director Analeine Cal y Mayor.

20th Century Women (2016) ★★★★★
BBC Two, 11:10 p.m.
Taking five characters in California, in 1979, writer-director Mike Mills beautifully illuminates five American lives. With a career-best performance from Annette Bening, it’s a glorious film about generational shifts – Reagan; punk; feminism. It’s also about a mother and son (Lucas Jade Zumann) raising each other, with a little help from the flawed people they rely on (Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig and Billy Crudup).

Sunday 13 February

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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