TV Guide's Top 5 of the Week

Patrick Stewart plays naughty newsman Walter Blunt on the US comedy Blunt Talk.

Patrick Stewart plays naughty newsman Walter Blunt on the US comedy Blunt Talk.

Return of the Doc

Is the cold, curmudgeonly Doc Martin about to change his ways and start acting like a human being at last? That's the question facing the man at the start of season seven of Doc Martin this week. It has been a long time between non-alcoholic drinks for Martin Clunes' irascible surgeon, with series screening roughly once every two years rather than yearly, but one thing remains constant: the Doc's on-again-off-again romance with teacher Louisa Glasson. This time, though, Doc Martin worries that it may be off for good. It's up to him to change the habits of a lifetime – if he can.

TV One, Saturday, 8.10pm

READ MORE: Cheery Clunes couldn't be more different to his Doc Martin character

Time to say goodbye

Well, it has been a remarkable six years for the international TV phenomenon Downton Abbey, but all good things must come to an end – which is what the UK drama is doing this week. And the times, they are definitely a'changin' for not only the Crawleys, but also their servants, who, like their masters, must adapt to the realities of a new age in which the great country estates of the landed gentry can no longer sustain themselves. But fear not, Downton fans – a Christmas Special is also in the works. Just for old times' sake.

Prime, Thursday, 8.30pm

READ MORE: Spoiler Alert: Get the down-low on season six of Downton Abbey

All rise for Oprah

For the past 30-odd years, talk show host and producer Oprah Winfrey has been a TV industry almost in her own right. So it is no surprise that when she announced her upcoming visit to New Zealand, someone in the local media was going to try to get the interview opportunity of a lifetime. That someone is TV3's Hillary Barry, who hot-footed it to the US for a one-on-one with the queen of daytime TV. The result, When Hillary Met Oprah, screens on TV3 this week. How do you even begin to do a TV interview with someone who has made it an art form?

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TV3, Monday, 7pm

READ MORE: Hilary Barry offers sneak peak into upcoming Oprah interview

To boldly SoHo

It can't be easy for a man who has travelled the galaxy to come back down to earth for a TV sitcom, but Patrick Stewart – aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard – is doing that this week in a new comedy screening on SoHo called Blunt Talk. Stewart plays upon his Britishness to play a former British Army officer-turned-US cable TV news host. As strange as that may sound, it is nowhere nearly as strange as Stewart's character, Walter Blunt, whose life is falling apart as he tries to conquer US TV. At 75 years old, Stewart probably thought it was now or never if he was going to get a comedy gig!

SoHo, Wednesday, 8.30pm

Martin Clunes the beastmaster

Martin Clunes has made documentaries about dogs and horses, and now he has decided to set his sights on even bigger things in the two-part documentary series Martin Clunes: Man And Beast. This time, Martin sets off into the big, wide world to examine how humans have developed working relationships with elephants and sacred cows in Nepal and cormorants in Japan. Some human-animal relationships are magical – others not so much. And if you can't face the thought of bear stew for dinner, neither can Martin!

TV One, Wednesday, 9.15pm.

 - Stuff


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