The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television | Pay -

Life In Squares Tues­day, 8.30pm, BBC First (117)

Dorothy Parker once quipped that the Blooms­bury Group “lived in squares, painted in cir­cles and loved in tri­an­gles”. (They some­times talked in cir­cles, too, if the di­a­logue here is ac­cu­rate.) This new drama, writ­ten by BAFTAwin­ner Amanda Coe ( Room at the Top), fol­lows the group of friends and lovers who pi­o­neered artis­tic and sex­ual free­dom in Lon­don in the early 1900s. Sis­ters Vir­ginia Woolf (Ly­dia Leonard) and Vanessa Bell (Phoebe Fox) even have a tut­tut­ting Aunt Mary (Eleanor Bron), whom they un­in­vite from their par­lour be­fore the Bac­cha­na­lia be­gins. Makes you won­der; Down­ton

Abbey might have been more like the Play­boy Man­sion had they man­aged to side­line the Count­ess Dowa­ger (Mag­gie Smith).

The Great Aus­tralian Bake Off

Tues­day, 8.30pm, Life­Style Food (127)

I have a ques­tion: who is eat­ing all th­ese cakes they make on this show? I can as­sure you, they are not couri­er­ing them to the TV crit­ics. Around 10 re­main­ing con­tes­tants go­ing two to three rounds an episode; that’s a lot of bis­cuits, can­no­lis and, this week, choux pas­try, Paris-Brest or Gateau St Honore. I ex­pect they go to a food char­ity. But if I find out they are throw­ing them over that farm fence, I will never re­cover.

Hunt­ing Hitler

Tues­day, 8.30pm, His­tory (611)

This new se­ries screen­ing on the His­tory chan­nel ex­am­ines the claim that Adolf Hitler may have sur­vived World War II and fled to Ar­gentina. Mod­ern tech­nol­ogy and newly re­leased FBI files are used to in­ves­ti­gate the ul­ti­mate cold case. From a mys­te­ri­ous Nazi lair deep in the Ar­gen­tinian jun­gle or ev­i­dence of a miss­ing U-boat that could have shut­tled Hitler to South Amer­ica, you might not be con­vinced but you might be amazed.

Tony Ben­nett’s New York

Tues­day, 8.30pm, Bio (133)

Fans of Tony Ben­nett should not miss this twohour pro­gram, which fea­tures the leg­endary vo­cal­ist talk­ing about his life and 50-year ca­reer. It fea­tures archival footage, in­ter­views and tributes from his fans, plus a spe­cial per­for­mance from the man him­self.

Mary Berry’s Ab­so­lute Favourites

Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Life­Style Food (127)

I have just dis­cov­ered Mary Berry. Given that she is a ver­i­ta­ble Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tion, with 60 years of cook­ing and bak­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, the author of 70 books, and a judge on The Great Bri­tish Bake Off, it would sug­gests my in­ter­est in food shows is in­ter­mit­tent. But this se­ries is a plea­sure. Re­cent episodes have seen Berry fly-fish­ing, pulling prawns out of the ocean with a net and hunt­ing for mush­rooms in the for­est be­fore turn­ing the pro­duce into very tempt­ing meals and desserts. Here, the fi­nal two episodes, Berry trav­els to the Tang­mere al­lot­ment in East Sus­sex, and cooks a gin­ger orange poussin with freshly dug new pota­toes and a clas­sic chut­ney. And in the se­ries fi­nale, Berry wel­comes three gen­er­a­tions of her fam­ily into the kitchen to pre­pare a feast of Malay fried rice; a chicken pasta bake; haris­sas­piced lamb casse­role; bis­cuits; and lemon meringue pie.

The Knick

Wed­nes­day, 8.30pm, Show­case (115)

Try count­ing the num­ber of TV shows that fea­ture a drug tak­ing doc­tor or nurse … I came up with House, Nurse Jackie, A Young Doc­tor’s Note­book (a favourite) and, of course, The Knick. (Some cur­sory re­search also re­minded that Noah Wyle’s John Carter had an ad­dic­tion to painkillers in the sixth sea­son of ER.) So the con­cept of sick physi­cian has been done be­fore, but never with the vi­sion and artisty of Steven Soder­bergh, who has di­rected and shot ev­ery episode of The Knick, which stars Clive Owen as Dr John “Thack” Thack­ery. Sev­eral prom­i­nent crit­ics in the US were turned around af­ter the show’s shaky start; now, in sea­son two, it’s well worth check­ing out.

Chicago Fire

Thurs­day, 8.30pm, SoHo (114)

Sea­son four of Chicago Fire — from ven­er­a­ble ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Dick Wolf ( Law & Or­der) — pre­mieres this week. It stars Aus­tralian ac­tor Jesse Spencer ( Neigh­bours) and al­ready has a spin-off, Chicago PD (which has screened here on Uni­ver­sal). Fire has had cross­over episodes with PD, as well as cross­over episodes with Law &

Or­der: Spe­cial Vic­tims Unit, plus an un­holy three­way cross­over episode. Sea­son three ended with sev­eral cliffhang­ers, in­clud­ing a preg­nancy, a miss­ing per­son and a mur­der. This sea­son prom­ises to shed light on all of them.

Front­line: Soli­tary Na­tion

Fri­day, 8.30pm, CI Net­work (613)

In a case of life im­i­tat­ing art, an episode of Law

and Or­der SVU a few years ago fea­tured De­tec­tive Stabler (Christo­pher Meloni) vol­un­tar­ily go­ing into soli­tary con­fine­ment (known in var­i­ous dramas as “the hole” in HBO’s Oz or SHU, Se­cu­rity Hous­ing Unit, in Orange is the

New Black) to bet­ter un­der­stand a crim­i­nal who had spent most of his sen­tence there. He ex­pe­ri­enced anx­i­ety, panic at­tacks, para­noia, dis­or­dered think­ing and com­pul­sive pac­ing. On re­lease, he yelled at the guard for keep­ing him in for longer than the agreed three days — but the guard told him no mis­take was made; it was a trick of the mind. Last year, Colorado’s pri­son di­rec­tor Rick Raemisch spent 20 hours in a cell, be­fore in­tro­duced re­forms that cut the state’s soli­tary pri­son pop­u­la­tion by 50 per cent. There are an es­ti­mated 80,000 Amer­i­cans in soli­tary con­fine­ment, some there for years, some for decades. But the weight of psy­cho­log­i­cal re­search and le­gal opin­ion is start­ing to turn on this prac­tice. This doc­u­men­tary of­fers a rare view of soli­tary con­fine­ment at the max­i­mum se­cu­rity Maine State Pri­son.

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