This top-class adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s prescient masterpiece of terrorism and espionage is written by award-winning Tony Marchant ( The Mark of Cain, Great Expectations), directed by Emmy Award-winner Charles McDougall ( House of Cards) and stars Toby Jones as businessman Anton Verloc, proprietor of a London sex shop who finds himself as an undercover agent paid by the Russian embassy to spy on an anarchist cell. Furious at Britain’s refusal to confront the anarchist threat sweeping across Europe, Verloc’s Russian handler gives him a mission: orchestrate a bombing that will be blamed on the anarchists and provoke a British crackdown. “The contemporaneity of the book was its obvious appeal and Conrad’s almost prophetic view of a Pay TV’s longest running event (or “stunt”, as they are called in the trade), this favourite piece of summer viewing returns with 14 premiere titles at 8.30pm and 9.30pm each night. The line-up includes two docos filmed in Australia and narrated by the Andrew “ET” Ettingshausen, including Isle of Jaws, which follows marine biologist Jonathan Werry as he investigates why the concentration of great whites sharks off the Neptune Islands in South Australia has diminished in recent times. Who Put the Klan in the Ku Klux Klan Tuesday, 7.30pm, History In this surprising doco, archeologist Neil Oliver of Coast fame explores how Scottish settlers shaped America’s racist nightmare. He investigates the links between today’s racism in the deep south and the Scots who first occupied it, hundreds of thousands immigrating to America throughout the 18th century. Many became slave masters and wealthy plantation owners and, embittered by defeat in the Civil War and fear of newly freed slaves, six Scottish-American former Confederate officers formed a fraternal society and clan became the Klan. Howard Hawks’s musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Tuesday, 8.35pm, Fox Classics) sees Marilyn Monroe in opulent form in her legendary dumb-blonde persona, starring with Jane Russell as a couple of gold-digger showgirls from Little Rock taking an ocean voyage to France. Joyously vicious in humour, tone and narrative, its sublime musical numbers are directed and choreographed by Jack Cole. Scott Cooper’s Crazy Heart (Wednesday, 2.30pm, Masterpiece) stars Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake, a booze-soaked, ageing country star living a lonely life of motels and pick-up bands until an encounter brings the possibility of redemption, along with a second shot at a family and revival of his career. Things start looking up when an interview session with young journalist Jean (a charming Maggie Gyllenhaal) turns into something more personal. To Catch a Thief (Thursday, 8.35pm, Fox Classics), Hitchcock’s 1955 romantic thriller, is set on the dazzling Cote d’Azur in France — the film won the 1956 Academy Award for best cinematography. It stars Hollywood royalty Cary Grant as John Robie, a famous cat burglar trying to go straight, alongside Grace Kelly as the stunning heiress Francie.
Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart