TV program and programs for Easter Sunday, April 17

Easter may not yet rival Christmas when it comes to television, but there are still some absolute plugs to enjoy this Easter Sunday.

From Jodie Whittaker’s penultimate Doctor Who adventure to another episode of Gentleman Jack and a bizarre new true-crime dramatization, there are some really big hits on offer this holiday weekend.

So grab what’s left of your Easter eggs – here’s what to watch this Easter Sunday.

What’s on TV on Easter Sunday?

Doctor Who – 7:10 p.m., BBC One

The Sea Devils in Legend of the Sea Devils BBC

Time is running out for Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, which will only have one episode left after this Easter special. However, there’s plenty of fun to be had before that, as the Doctor, Yaz and Dan take on classic villains the Sea Devils, who make their first appearance in the series since 1984. They’ve been reimagined as swashbuckling pirates. since then, however. – appropriate, as this game of swords and swords will also see them cross paths with pirate queen Madame Ching on the high seas in the 19th century. Oh, my hearts!

Gentleman Jack – 9pm, BBC One

Mr Jack

Mr Jack BBC

After quite a lengthy delay induced by COVID-19, the story of LGBTQ+ trailblazer Anne Lister continues following the return of Gentleman Jack last week. The entire second series is currently available to binge on BBC iPlayer, but terrestrial viewers can now enjoy episode two, which sees Anne attempting to enjoy her honeymoon with wife Anne Walker, only to stumble upon an old flame .

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe – 9pm, ITV

Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin, Eddie Marsan as John Darwin and Jorge Albuquerque as Mario Vilar.

Monica Dolan as Anne Darwin, Eddie Marsan as John Darwin and Jorge Albuquerque as Mario Vilar. TVI

This bizarre true crime story from the 2000s is dramatized on ITV, starting today and airing every night until Wednesday. Debt-ridden John Darwin decides to fake his own death in a canoeing accident with the help of his wife Anne, who consoles their unconscious sons. However, the drama of The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe doesn’t end there – as this true story has a lot more twists to come.

Idris Elba’s Fight School – 9pm, BBC 2

Idris Elba on Idris Elba's Fighting School

Idris Elba’s Fighting School BBC

Actor and musician Idris Elba reflects on how boxing made him the man he is today in this new reality TV series, which includes the star paying an emotional visit to his former club. He then wants to pass on boxing’s life lessons to the next generation, after traveling the country in search of eight youngsters who want a better life and have never boxed before, placing them under the tutelage of trainers Rachel Bower and Greg White.

Will an intensive boxing regimen be enough to get them competing in real amateur fights and help them change their lives in other ways?

Easter Day Service / Ubi and Orbi – 10am, BBC One

Pope Francis at Easter

Pope Francis at Easter Getty

The Bishop of Leeds leads the traditional Easter celebration from Leeds Minster, with hymns and choral music from the Minster Choir. Religious programming continues with Urbi et Orbi, during which Pope Francis delivers his Easter Message and Blessing to the world with commentary by Fergal Keane.

The Invictus Games – 4.20pm, BBC One

JJ Chalmers and Alex Jones

JJ Chalmers and Alex Jones BBC

Prince Harry’s sporting event for injured and ill ex-servicemen returns after being postponed for two years, taking place for the first time in mainland Europe as The Hague hosts 500 contestants to celebrate defiance against adversity. JJ Chalmers and Alex Jones organize the debates on this first day, which includes the opening ceremony and some truly remarkable sports performances.

The Ten Commandments – 2 p.m., Channel 5

Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments

There are few better times to watch The Ten Commandments than Easter, so it’s no surprise that Cecil B DeMille’s religious epic airs on a network every year. Screen legend Charlton Heston stars as Moses in this adaptation of the Book of Exodus, which has gone down in Hollywood history as the very definition of a cinematic epic – with more than 14,000 extras and one of the greatest exterior sets ever made.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV guide.

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Alicia R. Rucker