David Attenborough’s Life in Cold Blood
Saturday, 6.30pm, Ten David Attenborough is still going strong, that voice still so reverential and almost conspiratorial as he presents the natural world to us. ‘‘ People know more about animals today than they ever have, even though they are less in touch with the natural world than they have ever been,’’ he said recently. That’s why natural history programs have retained a real relevance. Unless we see things and understand them we are never going to care about their future. In this series, Attenborough explores the success of a group of animals that has survived ice ages and mass extinctions, easily outnumbering mammals and birds. Reptiles and amphibians once ruled the world and, while many species have disappeared, there are still more than 14,000 varieties slithering around. Tonight, he looks at that misunderstood group of reptiles — snakes — and the way they cope with life’s challenges. 10-part true crime series based on the criminal career of disgraced Melbourne lawyer Andrew Fraser, starring David Wenham. Fraser was once one of Australia’s most prominent criminal lawyers, despised by police. His client list included the most notorious of Melbourne’s underworld during the underbelly 1980s, as well as high-profile clients such as businessman Alan Bond and footballer Jimmy Krakouer. But in the late 90s Fraser became addicted to cocaine and his life collapsed, culminating in criminal charges of being knowingly concerned with the importation of a commercial quantity of cocaine. (Several of the police involved in his eventual conviction were themselves later convicted of similar charges.) In December 2001, the once high-flying lawyer was sentenced to seven years’ jail. Fraser’s experiences on both sides of the legal fence were chronicled in Court in the Middle (2007), his bestselling autobiography and the basis for Killing Time. It’s engrossing, confronting and contains many lessons on the way celebrity can corrode. These two episodes deal with Fraser’s representation of Victor Peirce, played by Malcolm Kennard. Peirce was the prime suspect in the notorious Walsh Street murders, in which two young policemen were gunned down. This series leaves you uncomfortably uncertain of what you feel and with whom you sympathise. this series, each episode a stand-alone, he looks at a single question with a clever combination of magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship. Last week, he placed an unsuspecting participant at the centre of an elaborate, hidden camera murder mystery as he examined the nature of guilt. This week, in The Secret of Luck, he investigates what makes some people lucky and why others attract only misfortune. The episode takes the form of a doco fronted by British TV journalist Dawn Porter, who acts as Brown’s secret agent. Together, Brown and Porter plant a rumour about the lucky powers of a statue in a town, and watch as it changes residents’ lives.