TV tonight: anything goes in Anaïs Nin's decadent Little Birds

Ammar Kalia, Phil Harrison, Jack Seale, Ellen E Jones and Paul Howlett
·3-min read

Little Birds

9pm, Sky Atlantic

Inspired by Anaïs Nin’s provocative book of erotic short stories, Little Birds, this series set amid the colonial decadence of 1950s Tangier makes for risque viewing. The opening episode introduces us to American debutante Lucy, played by Juno Temple, who arrives in the anything-goes “international zone” of the city in 1955 to be with her fiance Lord Hugo Cavendish-Smyth (Hugh Skinner). Disappointed by his cold welcome, Lucy’s head is soon turned by the mysterious Cherifa (Yumna Marwan). Ammar Kalia

Cuba: Castro vs the World

9pm, BBC Two

A new two-part examination of Cuba’s rise to power under the revolutionary forces of Fidel Castro. We open on the CIA’s disastrous Bay of Pigs campaign to topple Castro in 1961, which led him closer to the Soviet Union, while military leader Che Guevara began guerrilla campaigns in Algeria and Angola. AK

Joanna Lumley’s Unseen Adventures

9pm, ITV

It can’t have been easy trying to film travel shows in recent months. So ITV can be forgiven for repurposing these unbroadcast fragments of previous Lumley adventures. Tonight, she’s in Uzbekistan and clearly bowled over by the place, even if she’s not fond of the bad-tempered camels. Phil Harrison

Barkskins

9pm, National Geographic

A drama set in the violently contested New World of the late 1600s, which means tree-heavy scenery, flies on mangled corpses and a lot of men in hats and/or beards threatening each other. Aneurin Barnard and David Thewlis lead the effort to flay every line of script until it whimpers. Jack Seale

Ancient Superstructures

9pm, Sky History

Like a ready-made Game of Thrones set, Mont Saint-Michel sits on a spectacular tidal island off the coast of Normandy, France. Over the centuries it has gone from prison to monastery, with spires reaching up into the clouds. In this documentary, it’s the architectural historians who are in heaven. Ellen E Jones

The Talk

10pm, Channel 4

This timely and insightful doc enlists well-known black British figures such as actor-writer Lennie James and presenter Ade Adepitan to frankly recount their memories of the childhood “talk” – when their parents explained the realities of the racism and bias that they would have to encounter. AK

Film choice

Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018), 3.45pm, Sky Cinema Drama
Lynda La Plante’s gritty 80s TV thriller gets an inspired big-screen reworking from Steve McQueen. With a glorious cast led by Viola Davis, it is the story of a group of suddenly widowed bank robbers’ wives who have to take up their deceased partners’ work in a brutal, thrilling and intelligent heist. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Australian Football: Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory 10.30am, BT Sport 1. Top-flight match from Bankwest Stadium.

One-Day International Cricket: England v Ireland 1.30pm, Sky Sports Main Event. Third and final ODI in the series.

Championship Football 7pm, Sky Sports Main Event. Championship play-off final from Wembley Stadium.