The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best TV programs this week

History Detectives

The show’s team of appraisers and experts returns for a seventh season of assessing the sometimes dubious provenance of colorful artifacts. This week: a “PsychoPhone,” which Thomas Edison may have invented to communicate with the dead; a letter that might uncover details of the U.S. military’s plans to train “war dogs” during World War II; and a watch fob that purportedly commemorates a bloody raid on a New Mexico town by Pancho Villa. Monday, June 22, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Exodus Earth

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If Earth became uninhabitable, could humanity survive on another world? Physicist Basil Singer weighs the pros and cons of such alternatives as Mars, the Jovian moon Callisto, Mercury, and Gliese 581c (an Earth-like planet orbiting another star). This miniseries is part of the Science Channel’s annual Space Week. Sunday–Thursday, June 21–25, at 9 p.m., Science Channel

The Music Instinct: Science and Song

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and musician Bobby McFerrin host this fascinating overview of the latest discoveries about the relationship between music and the human brain. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, percussionist Evelyn Glennie, and rockers Jarvis Cocker and Richard Hawley help show how music spurs neural reactions and may actually even change the brain’s physical structure. Wednesday, June 24, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Doctor Who: The Next Doctor

At Christmas in 1851, the time-traveling Doctor (David Tennant) lands in London, where he finds what appears to be a future incarnation of himself—except that this Doctor has strange memory gaps and curiously antique technology. Also on the scene: the sinister, metallic Cybermen. The fine David Morrissey (Viva Blackpool) co-stars in a fast-moving hour of campy sci-fi fun. Saturday, June 27, at 9 p.m., BBC America

Masterpiece Mystery!

Hercule Poirot: Mrs. McGinty’s Dead

Agatha Christie’s fastidious detective endures the indignities of a rustic English village to probe a charwoman’s murder, for which a man has already been condemned to death. David Suchet could play the title role in his sleep by now, but he doesn’t. Zoë Wanamaker is a hoot as a mystery writer who insists on helping out, and the production is as meticulous as Poirot himself. Sunday, June 28, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Other highlights

Bite Me With Dr. Mike

Virologist Dr. Mike reveals the pests, parasites, and diseases that lurk at travel destinations. Tuesday, June 23, at 10 p.m., Travel Channel

The Philanthropist

James Purefoy plays a billionaire vigilante in this new series. Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana (Oz) are executive producers. Wednesday, June 24, at 10 p.m., NBC

Hitler’s Stealth Fighter

Engineers strive to learn whether the Nazis were developing radar-deflecting technology late in World War II. Sunday, June 28, at 9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

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