FREE TO AIR
Saturday, 6.30pm, Go This irresistible computer-animated film directed by George Miller won Academy and BAFTA awards after it was released in 2006. The story of a wicked misfit penguin, it’s great entertainment for all ages, a good one to record for school holiday viewing. The penguin characters are voiced by Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Anthony LaPaglia and Hugo Weaving. Even if you’ve seen it before, watch it again and enjoy. There’re sure to be bits you missed.
Waking the Dead
Saturday, 10:10pm, ABC1 A serious version of New Tricks — minus the nutty characters — this British crime drama centres on a cold case unit comprising police officers, a psychological profiler and a forensic scientist. Together they try to solve old murder cases where the killer hasn’t been caught. Tonight the team investigates the death of Falklands veteran turned peace activist Piers Kennedy, whose body was found in a Ministry of Defence tunnel.
Sunday, 7.30pm, ABC1 Actor ( Casualty, Doomwatch, A Touch of Frost) and presenter Dallas Campbell hosts this extraordinary series on how we’ve redesigned the planet to respond to our needs. In each of the three episodes he interviews the architects of some of the world’s most ambitious creations and experiences some inspirational engineering projects. ‘‘ It’s all about harnessing the pioneering spirit,’’ he says. Tonight in The Way We Move, Campbell goes back to the place where on December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers ‘‘ triggered a whole century of innovation’’. Their plane flew 36m and ‘‘ transformed our planet . . . and brought the world to our doorstep’’. Campbell also visits the world’s highest bridge — the Sidu River Bridge in China’s Hubei Province — a halfkilometre above the gorge, and London’s Underground, which moves about three million people every day.
Sunday Best: The Tillman
Sunday, 8.30pm, ABC2 Never underestimate an angry mother’s determination to find out the truth about her child’s death. Pat Tillman, professional NRL footballer, turned down a $US3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the US Army after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC in 2001. When he was killed in Afghanistan three years later, his mother was unconvinced enemy fire was the culprit. This powerful and moving film follows her crusade to uncover who was responsible for her eldest son’s death at the age of 24. She discovers it was friendly fire.
Mark Zuckerberg: Inside Facebook
Sunday, 9.25pm, ABC1 It’s estimated that Mark Zuckerberg, 29, is worth about $US19 billion ($20bn) today thanks to the popularity of his social networking website Facebook. The film The Social Network, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg, gave a good overview of his career, which started when he and his friends began fooling around with online photos of fellow students at Harvard University. The programming prodigy launched Facebook in 2004 and it was an immediate sensation, spreading across US campuses and then the world. This documentary is perhaps the most detailed story of his career and the most authentic, given Zuckerberg allowed access to his headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and his senior staff.
Monday, 9.30pm, SBS One This fresh and funny new series by Melbourne comedian Nazeem Hussain ( Fear of a Brown Planet with Aamer Rahman) includes clever sketches that are politically incorrect, but he gets away with it because he’s Muslim. In what he calls a ‘‘ social experiment’’, he drives around with 12 ‘‘ illegals’’ in the back of a truck. They stop at a storage business looking for accommodation, a market to get water and a factory to get jobs. The reaction when he opens the back of the truck is priceless. He also plays a guru and a prime ministerial candidate who wants to send Muslims to Tasmania, or Islamania.
Wednesday, 8pm, ABC1 Hard to tell who this game show will appeal to, plus I’m deeply suspicious of any quiz program where I can answer all the questions. Tonight in the first episode of the second series (how did it make it this far?), the subject is fashion. Host comedian Merrick Watts asks the two teams — captains Monty Dimond and Dave O’Neil with Mark Trevorrow, Hannah Gadsby, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and James Kerley — such deeply challenging questions as: What did Mary Quant name the miniskirt after? Answer: the Mini car. Duh. The one (and only) highlight is the archival footage of past fashions. My colleague Graeme Blundell, who appears in a future episode on film and television, assures me the pace improves.
24 Hours in Emergency
Wednesday, 8.30pm, SBS One It took 91 remotely controlled cameras, 100 microphones and nearly 26km of cabling to shoot these 14 episodes in Britain’s busiest accident and emergency ward. About 200 doctors and nurses treat some 400 patients every day in London’s King George Hospital’s A&E unit. ‘‘ Given patients can be critically ill and at their most vulnerable, it was a huge decision to let them [the filmmakers] in,’’ says the manager. But the consensus was that a
‘‘ warts-and-all documentary’’ could only enhance the public’s understanding of what the doctors and nurses do. ‘‘ It was worth the risk,’’ he says. Each episode covers 24 hours and only staff who agreed to be filmed were included. Cameras attached to walls and in ceilings meant filming was unobtrusive. ‘‘ I wouldn’t have said yes if a cameraman and boom followed me round,’’ nurse Jen says.
‘‘ All the technology, I was lost in admiration and just felt stupid,’’ says Nigel, whose brother Nicholas almost died. ‘‘ It was like being on the starship Enterprise.’’
The Man with the World’s Biggest Testicles
Wednesday, 9.30pm, Seven Yes, this really is a serious program. In 2008, Wesley Warren, 49, developed a 90kg testicle, which renders him almost immobile. He can’t wear trousers, drive or have sex, and has to sit with it resting on a milk crate. Don’t laugh. The poor chap is miserable, as one might expect, and until now his rare medical condition has baffled experts across the US who have tried but been unable to help him. This documentary follows him from his Las Vegas flat to the operating table. Will the team of surgeons give Wesley back his life? When the show aired in Britain it attracted more than four million viewers. I lasted two minutes before grabbing the lead and taking my dog for a walk.
Wednesday, 9.30pm, SBS One Oh no, this is the finale of the brilliant Danish police series starring Sofie Grabol as the obsessive detective Sarah Lund. The shocking end leaves no doubt: sadly, she won’t be back. No, she doesn’t die but the circumstances of her dramatic departure are as complex as the storylines of all three series. If you have to choose between the bloke with the big balls or cool Sarah and her famous Faroese jumper, I know which way I’d jump. Vale The Killing.
Wednesday, 11.30pm, Seven Emmy and Golden Globe winners Tina Fey (as variety show producer Liz Lemon) and Alec Baldwin (as network executive Jack Donaghy) are perfect together in this hilarious comedy set in a New York television station. The show is partly based on Fey’s time as a writer on Saturday Night Live; the title comes from 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where NBC studios are located. Launched in 2006, the show is now in its seventh season. Tonight, in Stride of Pride, Liz tries to prove women are funny while simultaneously attempting to head off a meltdown from staff after some negative publicity. Jack the smoothie tries out an unconventional dating strategy.
Derren Brown’s Something Wicked This Way Comes
Thursday, 8.35pm, SBS Two Derren Brown, 42, is a British illusionist, mentalist, trickster, hypnotist, painter, writer and sceptic. All good stuff for a night in front of the telly. His live performances have won him the Laurence Olivier Award for best entertainment show twice, and tonight’s show, filmed at London’s Old Vic theatre, has the audience eating out of his hand. Brown seems to have a bottomless bag of tricks; his polished routine laced with humour is fun.