Thirteen, The Night Manager and more: the best TV this Easter weekend

Plus: Line of Duty, Mary Berry and a new series of The Island.

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Thursday 24 March

Line of Duty, BBC Two, 9pm

Daniel Mays is the major new cast member in the third series of Jed Mercurio’s police corruption drama, following on from Keeley Hawes in last season’s acclaimed run. He plays Sgt Danny Waldron, who is leading an armed-response unit against a potential murderer – until that suspect is shot dead. If previous series are anything to go by it will be well worth watching.


Good Friday 25 March

Mary Berry's Easter Feast, BBC Two, 7pm

The British know no way of celebrating a religious holiday without cake and nice old lady, but in this latest Mary Berry instalment, Berry is going further afield. She explores how cultures around the world celebrate Easter with food: from Greek Orthodox tsoureki to Dutch “Easter men” to Filipino roast pork. A suitably diverse selection that emphasises the culinary delights immigration has brought to the UK.

Janis: Little Girl Blue, BBC Four, 9pm

After a limited theatrical release, BBC Four airs this documentary composed of archival footage and interviews with band members. It follows Joplin’s life and career, from her musical rise in the 1960s to her battle with alcohol and heroin addiction. A loving portrait of a much-loved artist.


Saturday 26 March

Being the Brontës, BBC Two, 9pm

Journalist Martha Kearney, novelist Helen Oyeyemi, and columnist Lucy Mangan travel to Haworth Parsonage, the home of the Brontë sisters, to discover the stories behind their classic novels Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. In the absence of any good period dramas, this seems like an apt replacement, especially ahead of Charlotte Brontë’s 200th birthday in April.


Easter Sunday 27 March

The Night Manager, BBC One, 9pm

The finale of this sexy, tense adaptation of John Le Carré’s novel. Roper and his team return to Pine’s former workplace in Cairo for their arms deal, reuniting him with an old enemy. Meanwhile, poor, discredited Angela Burr refuses to let her team down.

Thirteen, BBC Three, from 12pm

The finale of BBC Three’s haunting kidnap drama is released online tonight. Surprising, discomforting and darkly compelling, Ivy’s story comes full circle in this last episode.


Monday 28 March

The Island

The first season introduced the world to swastika-tattooed call centre worked Ryan. Last year’s series debuted class warrior and wise philosopher Vic. (Sample quote: “the only labour is physical labour!”) Who will it be this year? The show has been criticised in the past for segregating women and men – this year, the gendered teams are on the same island at the same time. A much more interesting show than it first appears, this is a grittier take on reality TV that’s worth a watch.


On Demand

Doctor Thorne

All three episodes are available on ITV player. Hammy, ridiculous, clichéd – what more could you want from an ITV period drama? Rebecca Front and Phoebe Nicholls are excellently overblown as scheming sisters.

Anna Leszkiewicz is culture editor of the New Statesman.