Matthew Jenkin takes a look ahead at the week’s TV schedules.

UNLESS you are a God-fearing Christian, under 10 or a mythical rabbit who likes to skip through meadows swinging a basket of brightly coloured eggs, there’s very little to get excited about Easter, apart from the promise of an extra long weekend.

Unlike Christmas, which has more than its fair share of alcohol-fuelled fun, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is more like a wake than a celebration, with only the promise of copious amounts of chocolate to keep you from hopping along to the pet shop, buying the cutest bunny you can find and boiling it for dinner.

This depressing dearth of diverting activities means the TV schedules are packed full of family movies and series specials.

A bank holiday tradition and always unmissable is Indiana Jones’s original, and arguably greatest, celluloid adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark on BBC3, Good Friday at 7.10pm.

News Shopper: ©Harrison Ford stars in Indiana Jones's forst adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark. Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved

Executive producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg minted fresh excitement from the cliffhanger serials of their youth in this breathless fantasy.

Hold on tight, because it starts at full throttle and never lets up as unorthodox archaeologist Indy (a part immortalised by Harrison Ford) searches Egypt for the fabled Ark of the Covenant and finds himself up to his neck in booby-trapped caves, snake chambers, Nazi spies, religious demons, damsels in distress and even a spot of romance.

The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade will follow on Saturday and Sunday, with the disappointing Kingdom of the Crystal Skull showing on the Monday, bringing viewers right up to date with Indy’s tomb robbing adventures.

However, for sci-fi fans the highlight of the weekend will be the return of Dr Who on BBC1, Saturday at 6pm.

News Shopper: Matt Smith returns to our screens as Dr Who

Matt Smith once again steps into the shoes of the iconic time lord, wielding his sonic screwdriver with such charm, the days of David Tennant feel like a distant memory.

In this, the first of a two-parter, the Doctor, Amy and Rory are reunited with the enigmatic River Song in the Utah desert in 1969.

Picking up where the Christmas special left off, the trio embark on a mission to explain the mysterious missives, which takes them all the way to the Oval Office, ending with a meeting with President Richard Nixon.

News Shopper: New Zealander Nico Evers-Swindell and Berkshire-born Camilla Luddington as the royal couple in William and Kate

If by now the words ‘royal wedding’ don’t make you gag on your own vomit and long for a republican revolution, William and Kate on Channel 5, Easter Sunday at 3.55pm, will.

Looking for all the world like a cheap American soap opera, and starring New Zealander Nico Evers-Swindell and Berkshire-born Camilla Luddington as the royal couple, this is clearly a shameless cash-in and is as close to Big Willy and Bunnykins’s real story as Cinderella and Prince Charming.