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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

An ap­pro­pri­ate pre­miere for Anzac Day, this ninepart documentary uses hours of vin­tage footage and per­sonal rem­i­nis­cences to paint a vivid pic­ture of the highly se­cre­tive and elite Spe­cial Air Ser­vices Reg­i­ment on its 60th an­niver­sary. For­mer mem­bers talk about the ex­haus­tive train­ing, dis­ci­pline, risk and re­wards of SAS ser­vice, tak­ing the viewer through such for­mer hot spots as Bor­neo, Viet­nam, Malaysia, Kuwait, East Ti­mor and, more re­cently, Afghanistan and Iraq. The unit is not with­out con­tro­versy, yet its value to peace­keep­ing, counter-ter­ror­ism and covert re­con­nais­sance is well-es­tab­lished. This is the only se­ries of­fi­cially sup­ported by the SAS, and it is a clear-eyed and com­pre­hen­sive his­tory of a very pri­vate unit. Bri­tish jour­nal­ist An­gela Rip­pon has a very per­sonal con­nec­tion with de­men­tia, hav­ing lost her mother Edna to the dis­ease in 2009. Now 71, she is con­cerned not only for friends and ac­quain­tances show­ing symp­toms but also her own sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to the con­di­tion. De­ter­mined to learn as much as she can and shed light on pre­dict­ing and cop­ing with this in­cur­able dis­ease, she vis­its af­flicted friends, sits in on aged care fa­cil­i­ties that teach men­tal ex­er­cises (meant to ward off Alzheimer’s on­set) and even ex­am­ines af­fected brain tis­sue. Sober­ingly, nearly 354,000 Aus­tralians live with the ill­ness, and that num­ber is pre­dicted to rise ap­pre­cia­bly, mak­ing this pro­gram in­for­ma­tive and timely. In­side No 9 Satur­day, 6.30pm, BBC First At long last comes sea­son three of this al­ter­nately quite macabre and vi­ciously funny half-hour, six­episode an­thol­ogy from Bri­tish writ­ers and per­form­ers Steve Pem­ber­ton and Reece Law-Abid­ing Cit­i­zen Shear­smith. To re­cap, each stand-alone episode re­volves around a space or an item linked to the num­ber nine. In the first, The Devil of Christ­mas, the pair star in a faux-1970s thriller in the Twi­light Zone mode, as a fam­ily vis­it­ing a re­mote Aus­trian moun­tain cabin comes un­der the spell of the leg­endary and sin­is­ter hol­i­day de­mon Kram­pus. Or does it? The twist is that the pro­gram is nar­rated by Derek Ja­cobi as the di­rec­tor be­ing in­ter­viewed, com­plete with out­takes and mis­takes. This is novel, smart sto­ry­telling. Though mostly known as an ac­tion star, Scot­tish leading man Gerard But­ler has man­aged to make some in­ter­est­ing role choices among the car­nage (in­clud­ing Ralph Fi­ennes’s Co­ri­olanus and the an­i­mated hit How to Train Your Dragon). One of the more star­tling ex­am­ples of his stock-in-trade to date is di­rec­tor F. Gary Gray’s blood­thirsty 2009 hy­brid thriller Law-Abid­ing Cit­i­zen (Sun­day, April 23, 8.30pm, Fox­tel Movies Thriller), in which he plays an in­no­cent man turned raging psy­chopath when his wife and daugh­ter are killed in a home in­va­sion. A more tra­di­tional, if no less jar­ring ex­am­ple of Hol­ly­wood mus­cle is di­rec­tor Wal­ter Hill’s 1979 cult ac­tion film The War­riors (Fri­day, 8:35pm, Fox Clas­sics), where the tit­u­lar New York street gang must evade hos­tile and vi­o­lent com­peti­tors and the po­lice over one very long night in New York City. The stunt work is a vir­tu­oso ballet of fists and feet. The wrench­ing 2015 Hun­gar­ian drama Son of Saul (Wed­nes­day, 5pm, World Movies) won both the Cannes fes­ti­val grand prize and the for­eign film Os­car for its heart­break­ing story of a pris­oner try­ing to sur­vive the Auschwitz death camp with his dig­nity and san­ity in­tact.

Ger­ald But­ler in

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