Critic’s choice


War and Justice:The Case of Marine A Channel 4, 9pm

On September 15, 2011, an unarmed and wounded Taliban insurgent was shot in the chest by a British Royal Marine in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The incident was filmed on a helmet camera, with clips showing Sergeant Alexander Blackman (or “Marine A” as he was known during his court martial) shooting the unnamed Taliban fighter in the chest at close range and telling his patrol to keep quiet because he had “broken the Geneva Convention”. In 2013 Blackman was jailed for a minimum of ten years after being found guilty of killing the Afghan insurgent. Blackman’s wife, Claire, fought tirelessly for four years to quash his conviction, saying it was too severe and that he could not be compared to a common killer in this country. This expertly researched documentary tells the story of the first British soldier to be convicted of murder on a foreign battlefield since the Second World War, featuring a rare interview with Blackman. The film also features recently recovered combat footage and testimony from Blackman’s fellow soldiers; Claire, right with Blackman; the judge who sentenced him to life imprisonment; and Jonathan Goldberg QC, Blackman’s defence counsel, who was brought in after the court martial had been lost. Key to Blackman’s appeal was a psychiatric report that diagnosed him with an “adjustment disorder”, with symptoms including anxiety, depression and disturbance in emotions and conduct. No one is doubting that his actions were inexcusable, but this film is a compelling plea for understanding of the mental strain placed on soldiers in war. Joe Clay

MOTD Live: Women’s Euro 2022 Final

BBC1, 4pm

Could it be the England women’s squad who finally bring football home? They will have to get past familiar foes in the form of Germany if they are to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium this evening. Gabby Logan presents live coverage of the match, which kicks off at 5pm, joined as always by Alex Scott and Ian Wright. Records could be broken — the TV audience is expected to exceed the 11.7 million people who watched England lose to the USA in the semi-final of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. JC

Live from the Artists Den

Sky Arts/Now, 7pm

In January 2010 the Egyptian wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was the venue for a wonderful episode of the long-running music TV series Live from the Artists Den, pairing the former Beatle Ringo Starr with the Grammy-winning modern bluesman Ben Harper and his band Relentless 7. Together they performed songs from Starr’s solo career, including Photograph and It Don’t Come Easy, as well as some of the Fab Four’s hits, including With a Little Help from My Friends, which featured the singersongwriter Joan Osbourne. JC

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Play Puccini at the Proms

BBC4, 8pm

Petroc Trelawny introduces the Hallé Orchestra and its musical director, Mark Elder. Puccini’s one-act opera Il tabarro, “a tale of longing, loneliness and deadly passion”, crowns a Prom that opens with Paul Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, still best known to many from its use in Disney’s Fantasia. The programme also includes Ottorino Respighi’s Fountains of Rome from 1916, his first attempt to capture the sights, sounds and romance of the city. JC

The Newsreader

BBC2, 9pm/9.55pm

Another double bill of the soapy Australian drama about life in a busy Melbourne newsroom during the 1980s. The first episode is set against the backdrop of the release of Lindy “A dingo ate my baby” Chamberlain from prison, with an impressive use of archive news footage to tell the story. Dale (Sam Reid) and Helen (Anna Torv), now romantically entwined and a feature in the tabloid newspapers, fly to Darwin in search of “the interview of the century”. In the second episode the bombing of the Russell Street Police headquarters has repercussions for the couple. JC