When Sandy Anderson went to Florida with her husband Michael he showed her where he would be working for the next while. As an astronaut about to head off on the Space Shuttle Columbia, he was never going to be safe behind a desk in some open-plan office in the ‘burbs. Even so, Mrs Anderson was shocked when she saw the shuttle close up.

“Somehow it didn’t look as glamorous as it did on television,” she tells a new three-part documentary The Space Shuttle that Fell to Earth (BBC2, Monday, 9pm). It was smaller, older, more worn than she imagined. Did her husband really want to go up in this?

Astronaut Mark Kelly experienced a similar disconnect between image and reality in his first launch. While from the outside it seemed like the rocket was moving smoothly through the air, inside the vibration was so bad he thought something had gone wrong.

That was the way with space travel in the early days. Billions had been spent. The best scientists in their field were employed. Every detail was checked and all precautions were taken. But when it came down to it, this was a group of humans taking off on a wing and a prayer.

This superb account of the Columbia disaster is a must-see for anyone interested in space exploration. More than that, it is the story of a group of extraordinary individuals, and the families they left behind.

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The seven crew for Columbia’s 18th mission included two women and the first Israeli astronaut to go into space. Nasa had learned from past experience how essential it was that a crew working in such close proximity had to get along. There had been stories of fights in space. Not among this Columbia crew, however. They were sent off to the mountains in Wyoming for a team-building break, and on returning were as much friends as colleagues.

On the day of the launch the families gathered on a roof to watch the take-off. They had been apart from their loved ones for a while, Nasa quarantining the astronauts to keep them safe from coughs and colds. Those were not the only fears surrounding the launch. This was two years on from 9/11 and the risk of terrorists wrecking the mission was deemed high.

As we see from the opening scenes, it was something else that caused the mission to end in disaster, but what? And given the terrible precedent set years before with Challenger, how could this happen again?

You know the game Fiona Bruce plays in Antiques Roadshow, when she is shown a number of items and has to guess which is basic, better, best? I’ve taken to doing the same with new streaming series. If there’s a release on Apple TV+ you can pretty much guarantee it is going to be the biggest budgeted, most lavishly produced, offering that week. Apple doesn’t do basic.

So it is with The New Look (Apple TV+, from Wednesday). If ever there was time to throw the costume budget out the window it is this tale of how some of the most famous names in haute couture, Coco Chanel and Christian Dior chief among them, cut their cloth to suit the times in Nazi-occupied France.

Every film and book about designers during this period touches upon the still highly sensitive topic of what happened during the Second World War. Most walk away again, unable to come to definitive answers. Fashion is not the only part of French life that prefers to keep its secrets under wraps.

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Created, written and directed by Todd A Kessler (Damages, The Sopranos), the ten-episode series opens in 1955, just as Dior is about to revolutionise post-war fashion with his “new look”. Out would go the pared-down simplicity of wartime, to be replaced by extravagance and luxury. In other words, big skirts, big hats, and beauty in everything.

The main character is Dior, played by Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn (with French accent), followed by Chanel (Juliet Binoche - who else?), Dior’s sister, Catherine, a member of the French Resistance (Maisie Williams), and Lucien Lelong, who acted as a reluctant liaison between designers and their Nazi clients (John Malkovich). Other big names include Claes Bang, Glenn Close and Emily Mortimer.

With reports of lockdown pets being handed into charities in record numbers, The Dog House (Channel 4, Thursday, 8pm) is a timely reminder of how animals can change lives for the better.

We are back at Woodgreen Pets Charity for a fifth series of canine-human matchmaking, and the team is as keen as ever to get it right. First to arrive at the kennels in Cambridgeshire are a dad and his four young daughters. Any dog that joins this spirited bunch is in for a busy time of it. Does Papaya the sort-of labradoodle, have what it takes?

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The best bit of the hour remains the last couple of minutes, captioned “Some time later …” It is here we get to see if the match worked and the dog found a new home. All together now, aww…