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TV Tonight: our highlights for Wednesday, August 17

TV tonight – Perez looks for signs of a cover-up in the missing-persons case.
Perez looks for signs of a cover-up in the missing-persons case. (Image credit: BBC)

On TV tonight, will Perez find Connor alive as the brilliant Shetland continues on BBC One? The comforting The Repair Shop returns to BBC One as The Great continues on C4. Documentary Britain's Secret War Babies is also on C4, while BBC Four continues to celebrate classic drama with The Buddha of Suburbia.  Here's what you shouldn't miss on TV tonight.

  • Our hand selected recommendations for what's on TV tonight include five 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

Shetland, season 7, 9 pm, BBC One

TV tonight Douglas Henshall and Alison O'Donnell star.

Douglas Henshall and Alison O'Donnell star. (Image credit: BBC)

The search for Connor continues, but with still no sign of the missing lad, his father Danny makes an impromptu trip to the mainland to visit both his former detective partner Jill (ex-EastEnder Simone Lahbib) and the Waldrons, whom he’s convinced know something about Connor’s disappearance that they’re not telling. Meanwhile, Perez (Douglas Henshall) is reading up on Danny’s dishonourable exit from the police force, and begins to suspect that something has been covered up. The central mystery of this series is crackling nicely already – and the discovery of a body in the closing moments suggests that everything is about to change….

★★★★ SP

The Repair Shop, 8 pm, BBC One

TV tonight Ceramics restorer Kirsten Ramsay.

Ceramics restorer Kirsten Ramsay. (Image credit: BBC)

The barn’s doors reopen, and ceramics restorer Kirsten Ramsay has her work cut out. Ever since Nigel went blind, aged 19, he’s been drawn to objects that are particularly tactile, including a beloved ceramic bulldog that doubles up as a drinks tray. Sadly, the bulldog was damaged during a recent house move, leaving him with a broken ear and a large crack down one leg. With touch so important to Nigel, Kirsten struggles to get him to feel the same as Nigel remembers. Also, a pair of faded athletics spikes are restored for 90-year-old former runner Neil, and a badly peeling portrait gets a makeover for its owner Sophie. 

★★★ HD

The Great, season 2, 10.30 pm, C4

TV tonight Peter plans a party without rival in a bid to outdo Catherine.

Peter plans a party without rival in a bid to outdo Catherine. (Image credit: C4)

Catherine works on her international diplomacy skills as she tries to avert a war with the Ottoman Empire, but having prior experience of the sultan’s misogyny, she plots to trick the ambassador into believing that she has an all-female cabinet of close advisers to make him realise she’s a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, Peter (Nicholas Hoult) is scheming to regain power by showing everyone he’s more fun than Catherine, and plans to throw the most spectacular baby shower in Russian history. Will his party politicking undermine the empress? 

★★★★ SP

Britain's Secret War Babies, 9 pm, C4

TV tonight Contributor John locates his half-brother Byron in California.

Contributor John locates his half-brother Byron in California. (Image credit: C4)

The trend for genealogy shows continues with this quest centring on Black identity. Sean Fletcher helps Mary and John, two of approximately 2,000 children born in the 1940s to white British mothers and African-American GIs, to learn more about themselves. As well as the emotional and personal angle of helping them both track down overseas families thanks to DNA research, the programme also tackles the politics of a government worried about a mixed-heritage population and the name-calling the children themselves faced. 

★★★★ NT

The Buddha of Suburbia, 10.10 pm, BBC Four

The BBC continue to spoil us with their classic drama reruns on a Wednesday night. This week it’s the turn of writer Hanif Kureishi’s semi-autobiographical miniseries, first shown in 1993 and not broadcast for 15 years. It follows the hopes and dreams of Karim, a boy with an English mother and Pakistani father growing up amid the racism of 1970s south London. It launched the career of Naveen Andrews, who went on to star in Lost, boasts a soundtrack by David Bowie and put the experiences of British-Asians in the spotlight. 

★★★★★ NT

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

A League of Their Own, Prime Video

The Rockford Peaches in A League of Their Own

The Rockford Peaches in A League of Their Own. (Image credit: Prime Video)

A League of Their Own is a reboot of the movie of the same name starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna, but with an all-new cast of characters. Like the film, this Prime Video series follows the Rockford Peaches, a girl's team that's been formed in Chicago following the establishment of the ‘Girls Professional Baseball League’. It's a great ride that tackles a variety of contemporary problems including sexism, racism and attitudes to sexuality. The mismatched team of girls includes Carson Shaw (Abbi Jacobson), Max (Chanté Adams), Greta (D'Arcy Carden) and Lupe (Roberta Colindrez), and the Peaches are headed up this time by ex-pro ‘Dove’ Porter, played by Parks and Rec fave, Nick Offerman. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

The Assistant, 11 pm, Film4

We never see the unnamed predatory boss for whom Julia Garner's mousy assistant works in this quietly chilling #MeToo drama. And, as Garner goes through a typical day at the Manhattan film company she has recently joined – including fending phone calls from her boss' vexed wife – we share her pent-up unease as it dawns on us what he's getting up to with the aspiring young actresses who visit his office. 

Live Sport

  • European Championships 2022, from 9 am, BBC Two/One
  • Test Cricket, England vs South Africa, 10 am, Sky Sports Main Event/NOW
  • EFL, Sheffield United vs Sunderland, 7.30 pm (k-o 8 pm), Sky Sports Main Event/NOW

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss Shetland on TV tonight — we are enjoying every moment of Jimmy Perez's final case. 

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

Happy viewing!

Joanne Lowles
Freelance writer and editor

Joanne Lowles has been writing about TV since 2002. After graduating from Cardiff University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism, she worked for All About Soap magazine covering the ups and downs of life on the cobbles, the square and the Dales. 

Next came nearly 10 years at TV Times magazine as a writer and then deputy features editor. Here she spent many happy days interviewing the biggest names in entertainment and visiting the sets of some of our most popular shows including Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Strictly Come Dancing

With a love of nature and wildlife she’s also interviewed the leading experts in this area including David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Steve Backshall. She’s also travelled the world visiting Mongolia, Canada and South Africa to see how the best in the business make the most brilliant natural history documentaries. 

Freelance since 2013, she is now is a digital writer and editor for What to Watch, previews the best on the box for TV Times mag each week and loves being constantly surprised, entertained and informed by the amazing TV that she is lucky enough to watch.