Tele­vi­sion Lyn­dall Crisp on the week’s best view­ing

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Lyn­dall Crisp

The Wizard of Oz

Satur­day, 7.30pm (7pm Tas), Nine

Judy Gar­land was just 16 when this clas­sic mu­si­cal fan­tasy ad­ven­ture launched her 40-year ca­reer. Re­leased in 1939, it failed to re­coup MGM’s in­vest­ment. Re-re­leases in sub­se­quent years re­versed its for­tunes. Gar­land plays Dorothy Gale, a farm girl from Kansas, who runs away from home and finds her­self with new friends in the land of Oz. To get back home she must travel along the Yel­low Brick Road and es­cape the Wicked Witch of the West, who wants Dorothy’s ruby slip­pers.

Wild Croa­tia

Satur­day, 7.30pm, SBS One

The last of four episodes in this won­der­ful na­ture se­ries, Wild Croa­tia ze­roes in on ‘‘ a pocket par­adise of enor­mous con­trasts where na­ture’s un­tamed and raw beauty pro­vides home for rare beasts’’. With its eight na­tional parks cov­er­ing more than 1000sq km, Croa­tia is one of the world’s best kept se­crets.

Hell on Wheels

Mon­day, 9.30pm, ABC2

It has been a while since a good western has come our way. The sec­ond sea­son of this one, from the mak­ers of Break­ing Bad and The Walk­ing Dead, is set in 1866 dur­ing con­struc­tion of the part of the first transcon­ti­nen­tal rail­road that runs from Missouri in the mid­west to Utah in the west. The se­ries cen­tres on Cullen Bo­han­non (An­son Mount), a for­mer Con­fed­er­ate sol­dier who worked as a fore­man on the rail­road. He’s hell-bent on aveng­ing the deaths of his wife and son, mur­dered by Union sol­diers. Here in Viva La Mex­ico, the pay­roll train is held up yet again; a guard shoots one of the rob­bers in the shoul­der. It turns out to be Bo­han­non.

The Bridge

Tues­day, 11pm, SBS One

The orig­i­nal Dan­ish-Swedish pro­duc­tion of this ter­rific po­lice drama, shown here in 2012, spawned an Amer­i­can ver­sion that wasn’t as sub­tle or clever. In episode one, what ap­pears to be the body of a Swedish politi­cian is found mid­way across the bridge that joins Den­mark and Swe­den. But the corpse turns out to con­sist of one half of two bod­ies — the sec­ond half be­longs to a Dan­ish pros­ti­tute. A jour­nal­ist re­ceives a se­ries of un­nerv­ing calls from some­one claim­ing to be the killer, but you’ll keep guess­ing his iden­tity till the 10th and fi­nal episode. Qual­ity tele­vi­sion.


Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Nine

Sus­pi­cious Minds is the penul­ti­mate episode of this 15-part se­ries star­ring Toni Co­lette as Ellen San­ders, the Wash­ing­ton sur­geon about to op­er­ate on Pres­i­dent Paul Kin­caid (James Naughton). She and her fam­ily are held hostage by bad guys who threaten to mur­der them if Ellen doesn’t kill Kin­caid while op­er­at­ing on him. Sev­eral peo­ple have dif­fer­ent rea­sons for want­ing the pres­i­dent dead. One is FBI spe­cial agent Dun­can Carlisle (Dy­lan McDer­mott). His wife, Nina, is dy­ing of can­cer; her only hope is a bone mar­row trans­plant. Guess who is the only suit­able donor? Yes, the pres­i­dent, who in younger days raped Nina’s mother. He doesn’t know he has a daugh­ter and, pol­i­tics be­ing pol­i­tics, would have her killed if he found out.

Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home

Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, ABC1

Last year we watched McCloud build a sus­tain­able eco-friendly, trans­portable oak shed in the woods us­ing only re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als. An ad­mirable achieve­ment even if the fin­ished con­struc­tion looked a bit odd. In this new se­ries, he moves the shed to Watchet, on the coast of Som­er­set. He gives it a nau­ti­cal theme and ex­pands it us­ing what he can find lo­cally in­clud­ing shop­ping trol­leys and air­craft win­dows. Driftwood pro­vides deck­ing and fish oil is fuel for the lamps.

Beeny’s Restora­tion Night­mare

Wed­nes­day, 9.20pm, ABC1

This time of year, when we’d all love some good telly, there are far too many re­peats. At least this has some meat — if you’re into ren­o­va­tions. Prop­erty ex­pert Sarah Beeny bought 97-room Rise Hall in East York­shire 10 years ago. Her plan is to turn it into a wed­ding re­cep­tion cen­tre in nine months and on a shoe­string bud­get. This is the first episode in the se­ries in which she tack­les ris­ing damp, a leak­ing roof, both­er­some neigh­bours and a de­mand­ing lo­cal coun­cil.


Wed­nes­day, 9.30pm, SBS One

You may have thought this sec­ond sea­son ended be­fore Christ­mas when the PM’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions chief Kasper (Pilou As­baek) broke down and told his TV jour­nal­ist girl­friend Ka­trine (Bir­gitte Hjort Sorensen) his fa­ther had sex­u­ally abused him as a child. But the good news is there’s more — another four episodes in this se­ries and a third se­ries is on its way. Den­mark’s first fe­male PM, Bir­gitte Ny­borg (Sidse Ba­bett Knud­sen), con­tin­ues to have prob­lems at home and at work. With her pop­u­lar­ity flag­ging, she de­cides to vol­un­teer to ne­go­ti­ate peace in Kharun, an African coun­try be­set by civil war and cor­rup­tion.


Thurs­day, 9.30pm, SBS One

Based on the nov­els by Robert Wil­son, this Bri­tish four-part drama set in Spain re­volves around chief in­spec­tor Javier Fal­con (Mar­ton Csokas). In The Blind Man of Seville, he in­ves­ti­gates the mur­der of Car­los Jimenez, a wealthy restau­rant owner in Seville who is found tied to a chair and al­most naked with his eye­lids cut off. His beau­ti­ful young sec­ond wife, Con­suelo (Hay­ley Atwell), stands to in­herit the vast es­tate. Given she has a lover and knew Car­los fre­quented hook­ers, she’s a sus­pect. Fal­con is your typ­i­cal moody TV de­tec­tive whose mar­riage has ended ac­ri­mo­niously be­cause he’s a worka­holic, but he has yet to ad­mit it.

The Moan­ing of Life

Thurs­day, 9.30pm, ABC1

Karl Pilk­ing­ton, the fall guy in Ricky Ger­vais’s An Idiot Abroad, is a nat­u­ral co­me­dian. In the sec­ond half of this two-parter, Hap­pi­ness, he con­tin­ues to travel the world see­ing what oth­ers think about life’s big ques­tion, what is hap­pi­ness. Re­liev­ing stress, ex­er­cise or maybe giv­ing up? ‘‘ Cake,’’ he says. In Mex­ico, he joins a marathon and wins a goat but the pain out­weighs the hap­pi­ness. In Los An­ge­les he has costly wrin­kle re­duc­tion treat­ment but can’t see the dif­fer­ence.

Col­lat­eral Dam­age

Fri­day, 9.25pm, Nine

Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger plays Los An­ge­les fire­fighter Gor­don Brewer in this 2002 ac­tion film. Brewer be­comes in­volved in a dan­ger­ous world when he trav­els to Colombia to con­front the guerilla com­mando who killed his wife and child.

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