TV tonight: the traumatic story of the Afghanistan war

Ammar Kalia, Graeme Virtue, Phil Harrison, Ali Catterall and Paul Howlett
·3-min read

The Longest War

9pm, Sky Documentaries

Fresh from concluding their thrilling drama Homeland, based on the espionage-fuelled consequences of American involvement in the Middle East, producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon now bring this documentary on what has become the longest war in US history: the Afghanistan war. Following the same lines as the BBC’s excellent Once Upon a Time in Iraq, it offers first-person testimony from soldiers, journalists and military officials, all expressing the vast personal and political toll of this war. Ammar Kalia


7.40pm, BBC One

After experimenting with a gay hook-up app, paramedic Lev seems determined to get back to his family life. But the agitated Dylan – hopelessly in love with Lev’s wife Faith – could bring it all crashing down, especially when the pair examine a mysterious case of illness from a youth club camp. Graeme Virtue

How to Build: Maserati

8pm, Channel 4

The how-it’s-made series turns away from British motors and over to the sleek style of the continent in this episode on Italy’s Maserati. We are in Turin to see how the Quattroporte super saloon is built from robot assembly techniques to create a luxury, ultra-customisable car with a Ferrari engine. AK

Japan’s Lost Battleship

8pm, National Geographic

The sinking of the Musashi in 1944 was one of the decisive moments of the second world war. But why did this apparently formidable battleship go down so easily? Was it overwhelmed by US air power? Or was it simply badly designed? This doc sees military experts investigate. Phil Harrison

VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute

8.3opm, BBC One

Gurkha officer’s daughter Joanna Lumley narrates the story of the campaign in the far east, as the 75th anniversary of VJ Day continues. Highlights include the Duke of Cambridge paying tribute to the veterans, plus a tribute to Dame Vera Lynn and projections on Horse Guards Parade. Ali Catterall

We Love Gavin and Stacey

9pm, Channel 5

Fresh from winning the Bafta for best TV moment, the long-running Barry Island sitcom gets a documentary celebration. Fans Ruth Langsford and Tamzin Outhwaite explain what it is that makes the show so special, while stars Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb reveal the backstage gossip. AK

Film choice

Love & Friendship, 3pm, BBC Two

Director-writer Whit Stillman’s zesty adaptation of the Jane Austen novella Lady Susan stars Kate Beckinsale as the widowed heroine, scheming to bag a fortune by pairing her daughter with a rich dolt. It’s magnificently cynical, with Beckinsale a joy as “the most accomplished flirt in England”. Paul Howlett

Live sport

Racing: Newbury 1.30pm, ITV. Live coverage of the races from Newbury and Newmarket.

Snooker: World Championship 4.30pm, BBC Two. Opening session of the final at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Super League Rugby: Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos 6.30pm, Sky Sports Main Event. Ninth-round clash from Totally Wicked Stadium.