In truth, I’ve never stopped pining for the old BBC broadcasts of the Eurovision hosted by the dry and acerbic Terry Wogan, who passed away last year. He hosted for an astonishing 35 years until 2008, and delivered many memorable oneliners, including in 2007: “Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually I do, I’ve seen the rehearsals.” Some Europeans complained that Wogan caused a generation of Britons to dismiss the competition as “irrelevant and kitsch”, which has been reflected in a dearth of British winners (just one in the past 35 years). Anyhow, SBS’s coverage of the event in Kiev, Ukraine, will be hosted by Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey. Should Isaiah Firebrace make it through the semi-finals, we wish him the best of luck. Prison Break originally aired for four seasons from 2005 to 2009, and is here revived for a fifth. Again starring Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield and Dominic Purcell as Lincoln Burrows, it picks up seven years after the former broke the latter out of prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Michael supposedly died in the process, but when Lincoln learns his brother could still be alive, his quest to find him leads him to war-torn Yemen. The reception for this revival in the US was fairly tepid, not unlike 24: Legacy. River Friday, 8.30pm, ABC The only downside to this excellent six-part crime series is the use of catchy 1970s disco tune I Love to Love by Tina Charles; it really gets stuck in your head. Despite that, I regret nothing. This series, starring Stellan Skarsgard and Nicola Walker, has taken quite the long route since 2015, from the BBC to Netflix and finally the ABC. Skarsgard is detective John River, a man afflicted by visions of River the dead, or “manifests”, as he calls them. They give him an insight into what it means to be different. “I’m a good officer, but in this world that’s not enough. In this world, you have to be able to nod and smile and drink a pint, and say, ‘How was your day?’ In this world no one can be different or strange or damaged. Or they lock you up. So what do I do now?” River is hot on the trail of the killer of Walker’s DS Stevenson. But the closer he gets to the truth, the less he realises he am)knew about his closest friend. After five films across 13 years there was a sense of Middle Earth-fatigue when The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (Saturday, 8.30pm, GO!) premiered in 2014. But the best surprise among the cast of by then well-known characters was the introduction of Dain Ironfoot, played by Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. Ironfoot turns up at the head of an army to the titular battle to assist his cousin Thorin, and proceeds to headbutt orcs without remorse; worth watching for that, if for nothing else. Check out Australian director Scott Hicks’s moving adaptation of Snow Falling on Cedars (Saturday, 10.30pm, GEM) (SA, 10pm; WA, 8.30pm). Starring Ethan Hawke, Max Von Sydow and Youki Kudoh, the Oscarnominated film tells a story of murder, forbidden love and anti-Japanese sentiment in the aftermath of World War II. Written by Robert Harris and directed by Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer (Saturday, 2.15am, SBS) (not WA) takes a precarious profession and makes it even scarier. Ewan McGregor’s character is commissioned to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan). The closer McGregor’s character gets to the truth, the more danger he finds himself in.
Stellan Skarsgard in the drama