quick bites

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Lyn­dall Crisp

free to air Car­lotta Satur­day, 9.30pm, ABC

Carol Spencer, also known as “Car­lotta” — born Richard Lawrence By­ron in 1943 in the work­ing­class Syd­ney sub­urb of Bal­main — be­came known as the Queen of Kings Cross. She was one of the orig­i­nal per­form­ers in the all-male re­vue Les Girls, which opened in 1963 and was hugely pop­u­lar. Vis­it­ing in­ter­na­tional stars could of­ten be seen ar­riv­ing at the night­club built by colour­ful Syd­ney iden­tity Abe Saf­fron. When she un­der­went a sex­change op­er­a­tion — some­thing un­heard of in the 1970s — Car­lotta‘s fame lifted the veil on a taboo sub­ject. Her TV ca­reer in­cluded No 96 and Beauty

and the Beast, and she was an in­spi­ra­tion for The Ad­ven­tures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.


Sun­day, 8.30pm, Seven

If you en­joyed Scan­dal (I did) and How to Get Away With Mur­der (I didn’t), you’ll like this new se­ries about seven FBI grad­u­ates fresh out of the train­ing academy in Quantico, Vir­ginia. Alex Par­rish (Bol­ly­wood su­per­star and for­mer Miss World Priyanka Cho­pra) only just sur­vives a ter­ror­ist at­tack on Grand Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal in New York. But the FBI thinks she mas­ter­minded the catas­tro­phe and, yes, she has been framed. While on the run she tries to work out which of her col­leagues is the real ter­ror­ist. Could it be Ryan Booth (ex-mil­i­tary), Shelby Wy­att (an or­phaned south­ern belle), Eric Packer (a Mor­mon with a trou­bled past), Si­mon Asher (the first openly gay FBI re­cruit), Nimah Amin (an ob­ser­vant Mus­lim with a dou­ble life) or Caleb Haas (who was born to join the FBI)? Take your pick.

Sun­day Best: The Queen of Ver­sailles

Sun­day, 8.30pm, ABC Two

Only in Amer­ica. Time­share bil­lion­aire David Siegel, 77, and his sur­gi­cally en­hanced third wife Jackie, 46, plus 10 chil­dren were liv­ing the dream in Florida. Money is no ob­ject (but it doesn’t buy taste). They set out to build what they reckon at more than 8000sq m is the big­gest house in the US, mod­elled (sort of) on the palace of Ver­sailles out­side Paris. But the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis hits and life goes to hell in a hand cart, not least of all for the poor pets. Jackie, who has an en­gi­neer­ing de­gree, re­mains cheer­ful; David re­treats to his man cave. Film­maker Lau­ren Green­field started chart­ing their op­u­lent lifestyle be­fore the GFC hit hard and ended up with a very dif­fer­ent doc­u­men­tary.

FIA For­mula One World Cham­pi­onships Sun­day, 9.40pm, Ten (QLD, WA, 11.10pm; SA, 11.40pm)

Rus­sia is host­ing the F1 Grand Prix for the first time. The Sochi Au­to­drom, in the Black Sea re­sort town of Sochi, is the third long­est route on the F1 cal­en­dar at 5.8km. A seat in the plat­inum lounge to watch round 15 costs more than $5000. This live cov­er­age will see whether Lewis Hamil­ton, win­ner of 41 Grand Prix and two world ti­tles, can du­pli­cate his win in Tokyo last month. The cham­pi­onship’s fi­nal race will be held in Abu Dhabi on Novem­ber 29.

Aus­tralian Story

Mon­day, 8pm, ABC

In Raise Your Voice, Jenny Mor­ris talks about the rare health prob­lem that has meant her singing days are over. Af­ter tour­ing with INXS, Mor­ris’s solo ca­reer took off but about 10 years ago she no­ticed some­thing was wrong. She’s happy to talk about it now so peo­ple un­der­stand how life has be­come a strug­gle. “I have no idea whether I will sing again,” she says. “At this point, I can’t see that I would want to charge peo­ple to hear me.”

Rise of the Ma­chines

Mon­day, 9.30pm, SBS

Aus­tralian author­i­ties should pay close at­ten­tion to episode one in this fas­ci­nat­ing se­ries on mega ma­chines. While we can’t man­age a fast train be­tween Syd­ney and Can­berra or Mel­bourne, Italy has 25 su­per trains, each cost­ing $US35 mil­lion ($49m), that travel up to 300km/h be­tween 14 cities. The bright red trains move about 12 mil­lion peo­ple a year, of­ten through moun­tain­ous ter­rain. The 400-tonne sprinter is loaded with hi-tech safety equip­ment and has the power of 16 For­mula One cars. It makes our rail sys­tem look like some­thing from a past cen­tury.

The Prin­ci­pal

Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, SBS

Di­rected by Kriv Sten­ders ( Red Dog), this ex­cel­lent four-part se­ries is set in Box­dale Boys High in the western sub­urbs of Syd­ney. It’s not the sort of school you’d be keen to en­rol your son in given its van­dal­ism, vi­o­lence and racial ten­sion. The new head­mas­ter, Matt Bashir (Alex Dim­i­tri­ades), not only has to deal with ram­pant testos­terone in the class­rooms and schoolyard, but a deputy, Ursula Bright (Di Adams), who is fu­ri­ous she didn’t get the top job, and an ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment that wants to close the school. Un­daunted, Bashir in­tro­duces a pro­gram of re­form not gen­er­ally sup­ported by staff. Here, in the third episode, a stu­dent is rushed to hos­pi­tal af­ter con­sum­ing drugs.

An­gry, White and Proud

Wed­nes­day, 9.20pm, ABC Two

They say it’s good to hear the both sides of an ar­gu­ment, but some­times it can be ex­tremely dis­turb­ing. Di­rec­tor Jamie Roberts spent a year with mem­bers of a splin­ter group of the far Right that is on the rise across Bri­tain. They’re vi­o­lent and racist with a par­tic­u­lar loathing for Mus­lims — “I hate ‘em with a f..king pas­sion,” says Colin who ob­jects to all the “for­eign food, for­eign clothes, for­eign peo­ple” at his lo­cal street mar­ket but whose mother is an Ital­ian im­mi­grant.

Shane Delia’s Moor­ish Spice Jour­ney

Thurs­day, 8pm, SBS

There are so many ex­cel­lent foodie pro­grams on SBS — think Lyn­dey Mi­lan, Yo­tam Ot­tolenghi and Rachel Khoo — that the net­work is to launch a ded­i­cated chan­nel next month. SBS Three will sched­ule pro­grams from across the food cat­e­gory in­clud­ing cook­ing com­pe­ti­tions, culi­nary ad­ven­tures and home en­ter­tain­ing. Mean­while, this 10-part se­ries hosted by Shane Delia ex­plores the ex­otic and com­plex flavours of Morocco and Spain. Delia dis­cov­ers the Moor­ish in­flu­ence ev­ery­where, start­ing in Fez and trav­el­ling an­cient routes along the edge of the Sa­hara Desert and across the At­las Moun­tains. He finds plenty of in­spi­ra­tion for new dishes for his Mel­bourne res­tau­rant, Maha.

The Graham Nor­ton Show

Fri­day, 8.30pm, Ten

There are chat shows and there are chat shows, but this is still the best given the line-up of top notch guests. Nor­ton’s wicked hu­mour helps. He has clocked up 18 sea­sons, mak­ing him one of the most durable comedic hosts. Here, in episode three, Meryl Streep and Carey Mul­li­gan talk about their roles as Em­me­line Pankhurst and Maud Watts in Suf­fragette, a film about the Bri­tish women’s suf­frage move­ment of the late 19th and early 20th cen­turies. Join­ing them on the red couch is our very own Ni­cole Kid­man to dis­cuss her re­turn to the West End af­ter an ab­sence of 17 years. Her per­for­mance as pi­o­neer­ing sci­en­tist Ros­alind Franklin in Pho­to­graph 51 has won stand­ing ova­tions.


Home Fires

Satur­day, 8.30pm, BBC First (117)

World War II is loom­ing and the good women of a ru­ral vil­lage in Cheshire are gear­ing up to do their bit. The ensem­ble cast in­cludes Francesca An­nis ( The Lit­tle House), Sa­man­tha Bond ( Down­ton

Abbey), Ruth Gem­mell ( Mid­somer Mur­ders) and Claire Rush­brook ( Whitechapel). Not a bad line-up. Tonight, in the first of six episodes, the women get to­gether to work out how they can keep the home fires burn­ing while their men­folk are away. First co­nun­drum is whether or not to dis­band the Women’s In­sti­tute. Pres­i­dent Joyce Cameron (An­nis) re­signs and takes most of the mem­ber­ship with her while Frances Bar­den (Bond) sets out to re­cruit new mem­bers.

Mil­lion Dol­lar List­ing Los An­ge­les

Sun­day, 7.30pm, Arena (105)

New York, San Fran­cisco and now Los An­ge­les — this se­ries fol­lows another set of high-oc­tane real-es­tate agents as they com­pete against each other to sell the city’s most ex­pen­sive homes. It’s worth watch­ing just to see their bizarre an­tics, meet the clients and peek be­hind the doors of some out­ra­geous prop­er­ties. The coun­try that loves huge food por­tions also loves huge houses. And the more bling the bet­ter. Here agents Josh Alt­man, Josh Flagg, James Harris, and David Parnes are faced with prices spi­ralling out of con­trol, but not much in­ven­tory. Thank heav­ens for for­eign buy­ers with big pock­ets.

True Sto­ries: Apollo 13

Sun­day, 8.40pm, BBC Knowl­edge (612)

This se­ries looks at the ac­cu­racy of block­buster movies based on real events. Apollo 13, di­rected by Ron Howard and star­ring Tom Hanks, was a run­away suc­cess, gross­ing US$62 mil­lion. The story of Amer­ica’s ill-fated third mis­sion to the moon in 1970, it was nom­i­nated for nine Academy Awards. This doc­u­men­tary dis­cov­ers the movie’s ver­sion of what caused the mal­func­tion was not a dam­aged coil in one of the oxy­gen tanks. Rather, it was a spec­tac­u­lar blun­der, a mis­take that no one at NASA caught. It shows how one of the cheap­est and sim­plest com­po­nents on the space­craft al­most caused the death of the crew. Apollo 13 may have been wide of the mark but it was a grip­ping movie.

The Walk­ing Dead

Mon­day, 1.30pm and 8.30pm, FX (119)

There are 16 episodes di­vided into two parts (the sec­ond air­ing next year) in the sixth sea­son of this Amer­i­can hor­ror drama. Episode one, First Time Again, runs 90 min­utes and is full of ac­tion — and sur­prises, ac­cord­ing to An­drew Lin­coln, who plays for­mer sher­iff Rick Grimes who leads a group of sur­vivors of a zom­bie apoca­lypse on a search for safety. De­spite the dan­ger posed by “the walk­ers”, the peo­ple now bunkered down in Alexandria are di­vided about Grimes’s plans.

The Man Who Saved the World

Tues­day, 8.30pm, History (611)

We know about the main play­ers in the 1962 Cuban mis­sile cri­sis, dur­ing which John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev en­gaged in an in­tense 13-day stand-off over the in­stal­la­tion of nu­clear-armed Soviet mis­siles in Cuba. But who’s ever heard of Vasili Arkhipov, ap­par­ently the man who saved the world from nu­clear war? He was sec­ond in com­mand on a Rus­sian B-59 sub trav­el­ling to Cuba when US de­stroy­ers be­gan drop­ping depth charges. The Amer­i­cans told Moscow they were only prac­tice rounds but the mes­sage could not be trans­mit­ted to the sub, whose crew thought them real. While col­leagues wanted to launch the B-59’s nu­clear tor­pedo, Arkhipov — whose hero sta­tus was un­matched — re­fused to give per­mis­sion. Nu­clear war was averted. Don’t con­fuse this doc­u­men­tary with the film of the same name, which is about another Rus­sian hero, Stanislav Petrov, and stars Robert De Niro, Matt Damon and Kevin Cost­ner.


Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Fox8 (108)

Kirsten Clark (Emma Ishta) has a rare, to say the least, psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tion which a covert gov­ern­ment agency is keen to har­ness. In When Dark­ness Falls, the first episode in this sci-fi crime drama, Clark is stitched into the minds of dead crim­i­nals to see if she can un­lock the se­crets of their crimes and thereby solve them. Yes, a rare tal­ent in­deed. The team help­ing her in­cludes leader Mag­gie (Salli Richard­son-Whit­field), Cameron (Kyle Harris), a bril­liant neu­ro­sci­en­tist, and Li­nus (Ritesh Ra­jan), a so­cially im­ma­ture bio­elec­tri­cal engi­neer.

Lov­ing Miss Hatto

Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, BBC First (117)

Joyce Hila Hatto (1928-2006) was an aboveav­er­age con­cert pi­anist whose stage fright cut her ca­reer short. In 1953, wannabe im­pre­sario Wil­liam Bar­ring­ton-Coupe at­tended a per­for­mance and de­cided Hatto was a star, but those nerves got the bet­ter of her. They mar­ried in 1956 and lived qui­etly for 50 years un­til Hatto was stricken by can­cer. Bar­rie hit on the idea of re­leas­ing about 100 record­ings of other artists un­der Hatto’s name. She was hailed as a lost ge­nius. The fraud was not re­vealed un­til af­ter her death. Metic­u­lously re­searched over three years by co­me­dian Vic­to­ria Wood, who read Hatto’s story in The New Yorker, this com­pelling film stars Maimie McCoy and Francesca An­nis as the younger and older Hatto, and Rory Kin­n­ear and Al­fred Molina as Bar­rie.

The Vat­i­can Mu­se­ums

Wed­nes­day, 10.30pm, Arts (132)

A feast for the eyes. The mak­ers of this doc­u­men­tary are the first to be given per­mis­sion to film in­side the stun­ning Vat­i­can mu­se­ums and Sis­tine Chapel. The col­lec­tions date back more than 500 years and in­clude clas­si­cal stat­ues, fres­coes, im­por­tant Re­nais­sance art­works and an­cient Etr­uscan and Egyp­tian pieces. Founded by pope Julius II in the early 16th cen­tury, the 54 gal­leries are the fifth most vis­ited in the world.

Re­mem­ber Me

Fri­day, 8.30pm, BBC First (117)

In­ter­est­ing to see Michael Palin in some­thing other than a trav­el­ogue (or Monty Python). In this three-part ghost story, writ­ten by Gwyneth Hughes, Palin plays Tom Parfitt, a “vul­ner­a­ble adult”, aged 80-ish, who lives on his own and ap­pears to be fall­ing apart. Ac­tu­ally, he falls down the stairs — or does he? Things may not be as they seem. He’s taken to a nurs­ing home, Millthorpe Lodge, where he’s the only one to see an old woman fall out a fourth-floor win­dow. Other mys­te­ri­ous things be­gin to hap­pen. A young carer, Han­nah (Jodie Comer), and a some­what gorm­less de­tec­tive, Rob Fairholme (Mark Addy), start piec­ing to­gether Parfitt’s past, only to find a dark se­cret. This first episode gets off to a slow, com­pli­cated start and York­shire looks pos­i­tively de­press­ing, but Palin is ter­rific.

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