The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Graeme Blun­dell

HIS­TORY sweeps up the ob­ses­sive James Cook in the fi­nal episode of the bril­liant Cap­tain Cook: Ob­ses­sion and Dis­cov­ery ( Sun­day, 7.30pm, ABC). His dream to ‘‘ go farther than any man had gone be­fore’’ reaches its sticky Hawai­ian con­clu­sion when he is killed on a trop­i­cal beach. Au­thor and geog­ra­pher Vanessa Collingridge’s film is a won­der­ful hy­brid of drama­tised his­tory, bi­og­ra­phy and travelogue. Ob­ses­sive men also tum­ble, brought to their knees in The Rise and Fall of the Rus­sian Oli­garchs ( Mon­day, 8.30pm, ABC), a strong new se­ries doc­u­ment­ing Vladimir Putin’s war on the wealthy Rus­sian elite who con­trolled most of the coun­try’s in­dus­try when he took power. Told in liv­ing drama style by its main pro­tag­o­nists, the se­ries’ film­mak­ers fol­low the Rus­sian equiv­a­lents of the Fords and Rock­e­fellers, who seized the mo­ment of tran­si­tion when com­mu­nism col­lapsed. Al­most as pow­er­ful are Syd­ney restau­rant crit­ics, who in Heat in the Kitchen ( Thurs­day, 1pm, SBS) wear dis­guises, make clan­des­tine vis­its and se­cretly film while they dine to judge culi­nary ex­per­tise. They are hated and re­viled by over­worked chefs and restau­rant own­ers with fright­en­ingly tight profit mar­gins. All food crit­ics should be forced to watch Two Men in a Trench: The Siege of Ne­wark ( Fri­day, 8.30pm, SBS), in which a cou­ple of blokes dig up the site of a his­tor­i­cal bat­tle and dis­cover me­dieval build­ings.

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