RUSSIA WITH SIMON REEVE,
BBC2, 9pm

IF the previous two episodes have shown us strange and wondrous things, tonight’s final outing takes a more serious turn.

Reeve finally reaches the west of Russia, its more accessible European part, but don’t be fooled into thinking this means everything will be comforting and familiar.

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He visits Moscow where residents are being evicted from their 1960s “Krushchevka” flats. The buildings are well loved but the city insists they’re too old and so the people must be rehoused. Many suspect this is corruption so that big businesses can win contracts to build new flats.

One young woman carries out a simple protest against losing her family home – and is dragged away by the police and ends up on trial. And we see more aggression in St Petersburg where Reeve joins a martial arts group; something Putin encourages amongst Russian men.

AN HOUR TO CATCH A KILLER WITH TREVOR MCDONALD,
STV, 9pm

DASHCAM footage shows 24-year-old Alice Ruggles getting out of a car. “Within approximately one hour Alice would be dead.”

Cameras later show the police entering her flat. “Throat’s been cut,” a voice says dispassionately.

Trevor McDonald presents this disturbing programme which shows how the murder squad in Newcastle responded to a real homicide, and the emphasis is on the crucial first hour when the evidence is still fresh.

The show makes extensive use of footage from the police interview rooms and from their bodycams when they enter the crime scene, and we also hear the 999 call of Alice’s flatmate when she finds her friend’s body (“Alice! Alice! Oh God, she’s dead!”)

Then the horror melts into grief and sadness when McDonald interviews Alice’s parents, who should be applauded for allowing such an honest and informative programme to go ahead.