TV Times tops picks for tonight

 What’s on telly tonight? Here the TV Times team of expert reviewers highlight three of the best shows on telly tonight for Friday 3rd November

Bear’s Mission with Rob Brydon, 9.00pm, ITV

Last time Rob Brydon went on a boys’ holiday, he was eating his way round Spain with Steve Coogan in The Trip. This trip is slightly less jolly, however. “If I have to die anywhere – Wales,” says an apprehensive Rob while waiting for Bear Grylls to arrive and teach him how to survive in wet and windy Snowdonia. After a 30ft jump from a helicopter into a freezing lake, Rob and Bear trek over the Welsh mountains, abseil 200ft into a sink hole, into which Bear drops their food and supplies – leaving Rob with no choice but to go down – and spend the night camped out on an exposed hillside. Despite all the hardship, Rob, as you’d expect, makes an entertaining companion for Bear and keeps his spirits high. Rating: ****

Eight Days That Made Rome, 9.00pm, C5

Bettany Hughes continues her compelling history of Rome with a focus on the day in 73BC when a slave took on the might of the Roman Empire.

Bettany Hughes continues her compelling history of Rome with a focus on the day in 73BC when a slave took on the might of the Roman Empire. She uses the story of Spartacus as an entry point to explore the appalling treatment of slaves in Ancient Rome, an empire that was built on the conquest and enslavement of people. It was widely accepted among wealthy Romans that “you have as many enemies as you have slaves,” and they were recognised as potential insurgents. After being enslaved, Thracian warrior Spartacus led a band of fellow gladiators in an escape, which quickly escalated into a full-blown slave revolt that destabilised the Roman republic. Rating: ***

Alias Grace, Netflix

After the success of The Handmaid’s Tale, another of Margaret Atwood’s novels is adapted for the screen in this six-part mini-series inspired by actual events.

After the success of The Handmaid’s Tale, another of Margaret Atwood’s novels is adapted for the screen in this six-part mini-series inspired by actual events. Sarah Gadon from 11.22.63 stars as Grace Marks, an Irish maid in Canada who, in 1843, was convicted of murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Fifteen years into Grace’s sentence, Dr Simon Jordan (played by Gunpowder’s Edward Holcroft), a psychiatrist who is interested in criminal behaviour, researches the case and gradually becomes personally involved. The cast also includes Anna Paquin, who starred in True Blood and, more recently, an eerie instalment of Electric Dreams. Rating: ****

Return for more previews tomorrow.