The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Lyn­dall Crisp

The Bot­tom Line

Satur­day, noon, Nine This hid­den gem is now in its sec­ond sea­son and should be sched­uled at a bet­ter time. Never mind, hit the record but­ton and go out to lunch in­stead. Alex Mal­ley, chief ex­ec­u­tive of CPA Aus­tralia, ex­plores the achieve­ments of well known Aus­tralians through their ac­tions, in­sights and ex­pe­ri­ences. Past guests in­clude Michael Kirby, David Gon­ski, Chris­tine Nixon and Bryce Courte­nay, the last in­ter­view he gave be­fore he died. Here Mal­ley chats with Greg Rudd, brother of the PM, Kevin Rudd, about life and his bid to be­come the first in­de­pen­dent Queens­land se­na­tor. A for­mer labourer, meat packer, play­wright and chief of staff in the Hawke/ Keat­ing gov­ern­ments, Rudd II has some ad­vice for his brother: back off the dic­ta­to­rial style. ‘‘ Hawkie had plenty of peo­ple that hated his guts, but he knew how to bring peo­ple with him . . . give min­is­ters own­er­ship of what they’re do­ing.’’

Recipes that Rock

Sun­day, 1.45pm, 7TWO Yes, an­other foodie pro­gram but one with a fresh ap­proach. Bri­tish rock star (Blur) turned ar­ti­san cheese­maker Alex James and chef Matt Stone of Green­house take us on a jour­ney of dis­cov­ery around one of Aus­tralia’s pre­mium gourmet re­gions, Western Aus­tralia’s Mar­garet River. They show­case the best of what the area has to of­fer in terms of wine, pro­duce and restau­rants and swap ideas with Rene Redzepi from Den­mark, Alex Atala from Brazil and Aus­tralia’s own Tet­suya Wakuda who took part in WA’s Gourmet Es­cape fes­ti­val last year.

Com­pass: What­ever Hap­pened to the Hare Kr­ish­nas?

Sun­day, 6.30pm, ABC1 No ar­gu­ments, they used to run the best veg­e­tar­ian restau­rants in town and their saf­fron-coloured robes and merry tam­bourines added spice to city life. Back in the 1970s most peo­ple of a cer­tain age knew some­one who’d opted out of con­ven­tional life and joined an ashram in search of spir­i­tual ful­fil­ment. The Kr­ish­nas were founded in New York in 1966 by Bhak­tivedanta Swami, who preached tra­di­tional In­dian scrip­tures. Com­pass tracks down some of the chil­dren raised on the Kr­ishna com­mu­nal farm at Mur­willum­bah in north­ern NSW and finds one in par­tic­u­lar has man­aged to strad­dle both worlds. Damodana Priya was cap­tain of the lo­cal school, won a schol­ar­ship to Bond Univer­sity and an­other to Cam­bridge Uni, where she grad­u­ated with hon­ours in law. Her for­ma­tive years spent chant­ing in an ashram ob­vi­ously did no harm.

A Place to Call Home

Sun­day, 8.30pm, Seven If you haven’t locked on to this se­ries by now, wait un­til it’s re­leased on Blu-ray and DVD next month. This won­der­ful Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion, set on a Vic­to­rian prop­erty in the 1950s, has more twists and turns than a corkscrew. The truly hor­ri­ble ma­tri­arch El­iz­a­beth, played bril­liantly by Noni Ha­zle­hurst, rules the fam­ily — and what a

The Amer­i­cans

fam­ily. Her wid­owed son Ge­orge falls in love with nurse Sarah, a Jew; his son James is bi­sex­ual and forced into mar­ry­ing an un­sus­pect­ing English rose, Olivia, by Grand­mama. Ge­orge’s daugh­ter Anna falls preg­nant to Ital­ian farm­hand Gino. Ge­orge’s sis­ter-in-law, Regina, is de­ter­mined to break up his re­la­tion­ship with ‘‘ the Jew’’. Still with me? Tonight is the penul­ti­mate episode; all of El­iz­a­beth’s con­niv­ing ap­pears a lost cause, but hang on, what will Regina find on her trip to Europe to un­cover Sarah’s dark past? Mon­day, 9.30pm, Ten This finely tuned drama — Amer­i­can TV at its best — takes place when Ron­ald Rea­gan and Mikhail Gor­bachev are in charge and the arms race is very much on. Leads Keri Rus­sell ( Felic­ity) and Matthew Rhys ( Broth­ers & Sis­ters) play El­iz­a­beth and Philip Jen­nings, Rus­sian spies dou­bling as an Amer­i­can mar­ried cou­ple liv­ing a sub­ur­ban life with two chil­dren. As the story un­folds, their fond­ness for each other grows but the es­ca­la­tion of the Cold War and the net­work of in­for­mants they con­trol are both­er­some dis­trac­tions. Pas­sion on hold, tonight they must find an as­sas­sin hired by their Rus­sian bosses to kill sci­en­tists work­ing on the Amer­i­can anti-mis­sile pro­gram. Prob­lem is, the bosses have changed their mind but, yo, the sys­tem used to re­call the as­sas­sin isn’t work­ing.

The Feed

Wed­nes­day, 7.30pm, SBS Two Ev­ery night, jour­nal­ist Andy Park presents th­ese ter­rific 15-minute bites that cap­ture snap­shots of what’s go­ing on be­hind the news. Most pro­grams are turned around quickly, but Park had the lux­ury of ex­tra time to pull to­gether tonight’s ef­fort — on Chi­nese fak­ery. No sur­prise that 70 per cent of coun­ter­feit prod­ucts sold around the world come from China. But did you know they in­clude — wait for it — fake hy­mens for use by naughty brides on their wed­ding nights, cheap rice that’s re­ally potato paste held to­gether with melted plas­tic (three bowls equal one plas­tic bag) and fake drugs that have con­trib­uted to more than 700,000 deaths? Scary stuff.

Wed­nes­day Night Fever

Wed­nes­day, 9.30pm, ABC1 Rick Kalowski, cre­ator of At Home with Ju­lia, is the brains be­hind this new com­edy that sums up the week’s po­lit­i­cal events with a healthy dose of satire. Host Sammy J is aided and abet­ted by im­per­son­ators Amanda Bishop and Paul McCarthy, heavy me­tal band Boner Con­tention (get it?) and a live stu­dio au­di­ence. The jokes largely work, but those who re­mem­ber The Gil­lies Re­port will long for a bit more so­phis­ti­ca­tion. Given the tal­ent on board, it will hap­pen.

Won­ders of Life

Thurs­day, 8.30pm, ABC1 You may re­mem­ber Brian Cox as a pan­el­list on Q I, but he’s bet­ter known for bring­ing science to the masses via his books and BBC pro­grams. Not sur­pris­ingly, he’s also be­ing hailed as the next David At­ten­bor­ough. His tal­ent for ex­plain­ing the com­pli­cated and his love of na­ture shine in Won­ders of Life. In this the fourth episode, Cox, 45, grins his way through a trip to Aus­tralia in search of the an­swer to why size mat­ters. It starts in­nocu­ously with beau­ti­ful misty footage of a for­est of moun­tain ash trees 80m tall and more than 300 years old. Six min­utes in, it’s best to move back from the screen. That’s when, pro­tected in a cage, he meets a great white shark. ‘‘ The last time I dived was at a ma­rina in Brighton; I did see a fish,’’ he tells the cam­era just as the shark lunges. Even that doesn’t stop him grin­ning. ‘‘ Look at those teeth.’’ (Rather not.) ‘‘ So grace­ful, el­e­gant,’’ he says as the thing cir­cles for an­other go. Cox is fas­ci­nated by the speed of kan­ga­roos, the small­est mem­ber of the an­i­mal king­dom — the tri­chogramma wasp — a par­a­site that saves macadamia trees from the nut bore, and gi­ant rob­ber crabs that can crack open a co­conut. This is not, heaven help us, just an­other na­ture pro­gram; Cox does, af­ter all, bring clo­sure to a ques­tion that’s al­ways baf­fled: why don’t mel­ons bounce?

The Rise and Fall of Ver­sailles

Fri­day, 8.30pm, SBS One Fran­cophile or not, this is a must watch if only for the scenes filmed in the fab­u­lous state rooms, bed­rooms and gar­dens of one of the won­ders of the world, the glo­ri­ous Ver­sailles palace (which ap­par­ently stank to high heaven back then, thanks to un­washed bod­ies and food scraps). The se­ries ex­am­ines the lives of France’s three most fa­mous monar­chs and their in­flu­ence on so­ci­ety be­tween 1643 and 1792. Us­ing re-en­act­ments with com­men­tary by such ex­perts as writer An­to­nia Fraser, Count­down to Rev­o­lu­tion charts the fi­nal days of the Bour­bon dy­nasty un­der the ill-fated Louis XVI and Marie An­toinette.


Fri­day, 8.30pm, ABC1 An­other su­perb Bri­tish mys­tery se­ries, this one, star­ring David Ten­nant of Doc­tor Who fame, is set around the cliffs near Brid­port in Dorset. Danny La­timer, 11, has been found dead on the beach early one morn­ing; nat­u­rally his par­ents are dis­traught but could Dad, shifty about why he was in the area about the time of Danny’s dis­ap­pear­ance, be the bad guy, or is it Danny’s older sis­ter, who also has some­thing to hide? There are, ap­par­ently, clues in each of the six episodes, but at this stage it’s hard to guess who­dunit. Even Ten­nant’s char­ac­ter, De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Alec Hardy, has a murky past. He makes a great foil for his re­luc­tant col­league El­lie (Olivia Col­man, Black Books, The Of­fice), who is trou­bled by his as­cen­dancy in the force over her own. Slith­ery high-fly­ing city re­porter Karen gives new mean­ing to the word ma­nip­u­la­tive. Lit­tle won­der this beau­ti­fully shot se­ries has won mil­lions of fans.

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