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TV Tonight: our highlights for Tuesday, August 17

TV Tonight Nicola Walker as DI Annika Strandhed.
Nicola Walker as DI Annika Strandhed. (Image credit: UKTV)

On TV tonight, Nicola Walker stars in new crime drama Annika on Alibi, there's a very precious restoration project in Secrets of the Museum on BBC2 and some tense moments for the giant otter keepers in The Secret Life of the Zoo on C4. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight. 

  • Our hand selected recommendations for what's on TV Tonight include three TV shows, a film, live sport and the latest trending need-to-binge-on-now box set
  • Keep up to date with the latest soap spoiler storylines on TV tonight with our daily soap synopsis
  • For more information about what's on TV tonight see our TV Guide

What's on TV tonight

Our expert TV journalists have picked the best things on TV tonight... 

Best TV shows on TV tonight

Annika, 9pm, Alibi

TV tonight Nicola Walker as Annika

Nicola Walker as the chatty DI Annika Strandhed. (Image credit: UKTV)

As a general rule, lead detectives in crime dramas are solemn, distant, haunted even. Not so with DI Annika Strandhed (Nicola Walker), who’s so approachable that she chats directly to the viewer during investigations. As a result, there’s a distinctly wry sense of humour running through this opener, as Annika – the head of Glasgow’s new Marine Homicide Unit – occasionally breaks away from the investigation into the death of a man who was found harpooned to talk to us about Moby Dick or her teenage daughter. Imagine Vera mixed with a much less saucy Fleabag... 

★★★★★ SP

Secrets of the Museum, 9.30pm, BBC2

TV tonight Jane Rutherston restores Winston Churchill’s despatch box

Jane Rutherston restores Winston Churchill’s despatch box. (Image credit: BBC)

The conservators and curators at the Victoria & Albert Museum are thrilled this week as they get to work on restoring a despatch box used by Winston Churchill 100 years ago at a conference in Cairo that changed the course of history, while a writing case owned by his pal Vivien Leigh, and featuring correspondence between the two, also gets an intricate touch-up. Another utterly fascinating and addictive delve into the past. 

★★★★ JH

The Secret Life of the Zoo, 8pm, C4

TV tonight Icana the giant otter has a new litter

Icana the giant otter has a new litter. (Image credit: C4)

The keepers are keeping everything crossed that giant otter mum Icana has better luck with her second litter of pups. Sadly, she lost all five of her first, due to dad Tarubu not bringing her enough food to keep them alive. But will the forgetful father do a better job second time around? There are also concerns about lopsided turtle Donatello, who seems to be swimming on the wonk and not eating, and the keepers step in to protect young red river hog Kya, who is being badly bullied by her bigger and greedier sisters. 

★★★★ JL

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

Modern Love, Amazon Prime Video

TV tonight Tobias Menzies and Sophie Okonedo

Tobias Menzies and Sophie Okonedo star. (Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Prepare your heartstrings to be well and truly tugged as this anthology show about love in its many different guises returns for a second series of eight stand-alone short films. Stars such as Kit Harington, Sophie Okonedo and Tobias Menzies explore a range of relationships in tales full of happiness and heartbreak. The sentimentality is delivered in thick layers, yet the format is a refreshing change of pace from the drawn-out dramas that fill so much of the TV schedule. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Arrival, 9pm, Film4

TV tonight Arrival

Amy Adams in thrilling sci-fi Arrival. (Image credit: Film4)

This superb sci-fi drama suggests that wonder and humanity would be a smarter response than gung-ho bluster if aliens suddenly turn up. Around the globe, 12 spacecraft appear and Amy Adams' linguist is brought to Montana by the army to find out what the visitors want. But she and scientist Jeremy Renner have to race against time, as the world's military leaders have itchy trigger fingers. This tense, intelligent sci-fi looks awesome, while the terrific Adams supplies the film's heart.

Live Sport

  • British Open Snooker, 12.45pm & 6.45pm, ITV4

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss Annika on TV tonight – Nicola Walker is fab in this new series.

Not found anything you want to watch on TV tonight? Check out our TV Guide

Happy viewing!