This week’s home entertainment: from Life on the Edge to Battlestar Galactica | Television


Television

The ubiquitous film-maker returns with this four-part series featuring archive clips and new interviews with some of the “stars” from his most challenging documentaries. Theroux also rifles through his own home movie footage and news archive as he reflects on how much the world has changed over the last 25 years of his TV career.
Sunday 6 September, 9pm, BBC Two

Comedian Katherine Ryan is the writer, creator and star of this semi-autobiographical sitcom about a single mum who weighs up having another child with her boat-dwelling, often shirtless ex (Rory Keenan). She also has to deal with fertility clinics referring to her “geriatric pregnancy”.
Friday 11 September, Netflix

Sue Perkins brings her irreverent brand of travelogue wandering to the decidedly serious situation of the US-Mexico border – an area under intense scrutiny thanks to President Trump’s rhetoric. Perkins finds hope in the lives of Tijuana refugees, as well as hypocrisy in American retirees in Mexico.
Monday 7 September, 9pm, BBC One

Julie and the Phantoms.
Stage fright … Julie and the Phantoms. Photograph: Kailey Schwerman

Newcomer Madison Reyes plays high-schooler Julie in this glossy musical drama series from High School Musical creator Kenny Ortega. After her mum dies, Julie loses her love of music – that is until three dead musicians from the 90s show up as ghosts and they form a band.
Thursday 10 September, Netflix

Originally released in 2003, the Battlestar Galactica reboot – which focuses on the war between humanity and alien aggressors the Cylons – is often hailed as one of the best sci-fi series ever. The good news is all four seasons will now be available on iPlayer as a box set, as well as showing on BBC Two.
Saturday 5 September, iPlayer

Podcast

Audrey Gillan reporting during the Iraq war, recalled in On the Ground.
Front lines … Audrey Gillan reporting during the Iraq war, recalled in On the Ground. Photograph: Bruce Adams

Following the remarkable series Anthems – a collection of stories, manifestos and rallying cries read aloud on topics that include compassion, courage and age – this new set of 31 episodes focuses on exploring blackness, featuring contributions from writer Afua Hirsch, comic Munya Chawawa and other prominent figures.
Every other day, widely available

Former Guardian reporter Audrey Gillan fronts this incredibly detailed and confronting podcast using her time spent on the frontlines of the Iraq invasion in 2003 to explore the harrowing realities of the conflict. Gillan is compelling as she talks us through the “friendly fire” shooting of Matty Hull from an American A10 pilot and the experiences of being a war doctor.
Weekly, BBC 5 Live

As the political landscape continues to veer off in surprising new directions at an increasing pace, let the Guardian’s political editors Heather Stewart and Rowena Mason and their coterie of experts guide you through all the developments. Recent episodes include the issue of Scottish independence, Irish unity and one-nation Toryism.
Weekly, the Guardian

Business Insider’s podcast on the backstories of famous brands is crammed full of fascinating details. Witness a recent episode that recalled when Polaroid employees learned the company had a contract with the South African government, and initiated one of the earliest anti-apartheid boycotts against an American corporation.
Weekly, widely available

This monthly podcast, hosted by Katie Craik, brings a member of a middling 2000s or early-10s indie band face-to-face with their since-retired No 1 fan. Episode one involved the Hoosiers’ Irwin Sparkes, while episode two (out on Wednesday) sees rock band Oceansize meet their stan, Bastille touring musician Charlie Barnes.
Monthly, widely available

Film

Les Miserables.
LIfe’s a riot … Les Miserables. Photograph: Alamy

(Ladj Ly) 104 mins
Echoes of La Haine abound in this Cannes jury prize winner, a rangy yet tense drama inspired by the 2005 Paris riots. In a poor banlieue, a cop joins a street crime unit, aimless kids are tugged between faith and mischief, and the theft of a lion cub lights the fuse on anti-police resentments. In Ly’s nuanced, authentic debut feature, everyone has their reasons.
In cinemas

(Charlie Kaufman) 134 mins
A brain-teasing, melancholic drama from the creator of Anomalisa. Memory and time start to splinter when a woman (Jessie Buckley) and her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) head off to visit his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis).
Netflix

(Ciro Guerra) 114 mins
The Embrace of the Serpent director’s latest, a JM Coetzee adaptation, is more conventional but also explores the margins of life. The mesmeric Mark Rylance is a gentle colonial official on a mountainous frontier whose peace is shattered by Johnny Depp’s sadistic policeman. Out Monday 7 September
Digital platforms

(Niki Caro) 115 mins
Bypassing cinemas, the live-action version of Disney’s 1998 animation goes digital (at an extra cost of £19.99). Liu Yifei plays the Chinese girl who disguises herself as a boy to help the emperor fight invaders from the north. Donnie Yen, Gong Li and Jet Li add star wattage.
Disney+

(Josh Boone) 94 mins
Originally due out in 2018, this X-Men spin-off (though it may turn out to be an epilogue) adds YA horror to the superhero mix. Blu Hunt, Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy are among the young mutants trapped in a medical institution who plot to escape.
In cinemas

(Sean Penn) 124 mins
On the day of his retirement, detective Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson) promises the parents of a girl murdered in remote Nevada that he will find her killer. His quest becomes an obsession that overshadows his life. Based on one of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s hefty tales, Sean Penn’s thriller becomes a haunting portrait of a soul in torment.
Sky Cinema Greats, Wednesday 9 September, 8pm



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