Appetite for Distraction

What to watch and listen to this week: Dragons sighted on the horizon

This week sees the Rose of Tralee signal the end of the salad days, while the fair-haired, dark-hearted Targaryens take centre stage in the Game of Thrones prequel

Michelle Monaghan in Australian thriller series Echoes, now on Netflix. Picture: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Previews and reviews by Emmanuel Kehoe, Nadine O’Regan and Jenny Murphy Byrne


Investigating Diana: Death in Paris, Sunday, 9pm, Channel 4

Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed in a documentary which examines the investigation into their untimely death. Picture: AP

Just ten days out from the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death in a high-speed Paris car crash, this four-part series (part two is the following day at the same time) looks at the investigation by French police into the cause of the crash in the Alma tunnel in which she died with her partner Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul. The series will also look at some of the conspiracy theories surrounding her death. The French investigation, by the elite Brigade Criminelle, concluded that the crash was an accident caused by the driver who had alcohol and prescription drugs in his system. But in Britain speculation remained rife, forcing a second investigation by London’s Metropolitan Police, which took place in 2004. EK

Rose of Tralee contestants with festival host Dáithí Ó Sé. Picture: Andres Poveda

The Rose of Tralee, Monday and Tuesday, 8pm, RTÉ One

The Rose of Tralee is a harbinger of summer’s end, no matter how heartwarmingly hard it tries to be something else. So here we are again, back after two years for the two-night marathon of whimsy, cuteness, shameless sentimentality and high achievement all decked out in ball gowns, with almost every one of the 32 roses expected to do a turn, often at the expense of long-suffering host Dáithí Ó Sé. The show won’t be broadcast from the Dome this year but from the Munster Technological University, and for the first time, the Rose of Tralee is open to transgender women and married women. EK

The reign of House Targaryen begins. Picture: HBO

House of the Dragon, Monday, 9pm, Sky Atlantic

For years I couldn’t bring myself to watch Game of Thrones, but when I did, I was bitten by its preposterous bug, devouring episodes season after season. The prequel – for that is what House of the Dragon is – takes the story back in time by some 200 years. It’s based on Fire & Blood, a 2018 novel by George RR Martin, creator of the series of fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire, of which Game of Thrones was the first volume. The new series is about the Targaryen family dynasty seeking to dominate their rivals. Paddy Considine plays King Viserys 1 Targaryen, with Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower. Brace yourself. EK

Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould in Fake or Fortune. Picture: BBC Studios/Mark Dalton

Fake or Fortune?, Tuesday, 8pm, BBC One

Fiona Bruce and art expert Philip Mould return with the arts show that seeks to authenticate paintings believed to be by artists who may or may not be household names. This is the tenth season of the series, and there is of course a reveal at the end of each show, with outcomes not always those the picture owners hoped for. EK

Theo Dorgan in An Buachaill Gealgáireach

An Buachaill Gealgáireach, Wednesday, 9.30pm, TG4

The song The Laughing Boy was written by Brendan Behan to Michael Collins. Here, 100 years after Collins’s passing, Theo Dorgan looks at the song’s longevity in other cultures, for example, as an anthem of resistance against the brutal regime of the Greek colonels in the 1960s and early 1970s. Translated by the poet Vassilis Rotas, it became To Gelasto Paidi, set to music by the legendary Mikis Theodorakis. It remains a potent cultural element in Greece today. EK

Former state pathologist Marie Cassidy in Cold Case Collins

Cold Case Collins, Wednesday, 9.35pm, RTÉ One

Former state pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy goes through the available forensic evidence on the death of Michael Collins in an ambush at Béal na Blá on August 22, 1922, and contributes to a dramatisation of those events in an imaginary investigation involving two fictional policemen supposedly taking place in 1924. Protagonists from the Civil War are interrogated during the investigation that tries to throw light on a tragedy that has never been entirely explained, but which might have been avoided had Collins heeded Emmett Dalton’s order to “drive like hell”. However, Collins ordered the convoy to halt and shoot it out, with fatal consequences. EK


Bad Sisters: tragedy, or something worse? Picture: Natalie Seery

Bad Sisters, Apple TV+, new episodes every Friday

The Garvey sisters are beset by tragedy when a family member unexpectedly dies. But is it really a tragedy, or is something more sinister behind it? Starring Sharon Horgan, Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, Eve Hewson, Claes Bang and Brian Gleeson; see John Maguire’s review elsewhere on this site. NO’R

Michelle Monaghan as Leni McCleary in Echoes. Picture: Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Echoes, Netflix

This Australian thriller series focuses on identical twins Leni and Gena (both played by Michelle Monaghan), who have a dangerous secret. Years ago, they swapped lives and now they have a double life as adults where they share two homes, two husbands, and a child. When one twin goes missing, matters become even more complicated. NO’R


Cult of the Lamb: combines a vivid art style, with maddeningly clever and addictive gameplay

Cult of the Lamb, PS4/PS5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch

Video games let you live out your wildest dreams. Sit down to your console and you can be an elite mercenary, a world-class footballer, or, in the case of the Cult of the Lamb, a vicious, possessed cult-leader lamb. Like 2020’s megahit Hades, Cult of the Lamb is a fast-paced rogue-light action game that sees our hero venture into procedurally generated realms to slay enemies, gain new weaponry, and grow their fledgling cult following. And, like Hades, this game combines a vivid art style, with maddeningly clever and addictive gameplay. A proper hidden gem of 2022. JMB