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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Evan Wil­liams

IT’S hard to be­lieve that in 1995 peo­ple were ask­ing whether the Bond fran­chise had fi­nally run its course. As we all know there were plenty more films to come; at least six by my reck­on­ing, in­clud­ing the yet-to-be-re­leased Sky­fall. What had run out in 1995 was the sup­ply of orig­i­nal source ma­te­rial. Gold­en­Eye (Satur­day, 8.20pm, Seven) was the first Bond that owed noth­ing to Ian Flem­ing, whose books and sto­ries had all been used. No prob­lem. End­less vari­a­tions were pos­si­ble on the stan­dard in­gre­di­ents: su­pervil­lains, ex­otic lo­ca­tions, gor­geous girls, per­verted bad guys, im­prob­a­ble stunts.

Gold­en­Eye was the de­but film of Bond No 5, Pierce Bros­nan, and first-time Bond di­rec­tor Martin Camp­bell, who be­tween them kept ev­ery­thing mov­ing briskly with a story about a deadly Rus­sian satel­lite that falls into crim­i­nal hands. (Watch out, Lon­don.) It was also Judi Dench’s de­but as M. A year later she ap­peared in Ken­neth Branagh’s film of Ham­let, and no prizes for guess­ing in which role she is best re­mem­bered.

Pa­per Moon (Satur­day, 8.30pm, ABC2) is a bit­ter­sweet 1973 com­edy by di­rec­tor Peter Bog­danovich, who had made his name two years ear­lier with The Last Pic­ture Show. A road movie set in the De­pres­sion-era Amer­i­can mid­west, it boasts charm­ing per­for­mances from real-life fa­ther and daugh­ter Ryan and Ta­tum O’Neal — though charm­ing may not be quite the word in Ta­tum’s case. She plays a nine-year-old or­phan, Ad­die Log­gins, whom Ryan agrees to drive from Kansas to Mis­souri, where she will find a new home with rel­a­tives. The adorable Ad­die turns out to be a hand­ful, smok­ing, swear­ing and gen­er­ally be­hav­ing in un­adorable, un­child­like ways. The pair’s ad­ven­tures are in­ge­niously plot­ted, and the black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy evokes an authen­tic pe­riod feel.

It wouldn’t do these days to men­tion the orig­i­nal ti­tle of the Agatha Christie story filmed in 1945 as And Then There Were None (Fri­day, 1.20am, Nine) and re­made (twice, in the 1960s and 70s) as Ten Lit­tle In­di­ans. This ver­sion, by French di­rec­tor Rene Clair, not only changes the ti­tle but also Christie’s orig­i­nal end­ing. Even so it re­mains a clas­sic who­dunit, set on a re­mote is­land off the English coast where 10 strangers — all with crim­i­nal pasts — have been in­vited to spend an evening in a sprawl­ing man­sion. Their host is a mad judge (Barry Fitzger­ald) and it soon dawns on the ter­ri­fied guests that they are be­ing mur­dered one by one as part of some ma­ni­a­cal scheme of retri­bu­tion. I can say no more.

Mada­gas­car: Es­cape 2 Africa (Satur­day, 6.30pm, Seven) isn’t as good as the third film, now in cine­mas, but all lovers of an­i­mated talk­ing wildlife, es­pe­cially lions, ze­bras, gi­raffes and hip­pos, will want to see it. Lik­able as the fran­chise is, I can’t see it out­last­ing Bond’s.

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