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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television -

Thank Ger­ard But­ler and the cast of Zack Sny­der’s

for es­tab­lish­ing “Spar­tan” as the sine qua non of fit­ness, team­work and rock-hard abs. The Emmy-nom­i­nated Spar­tan: Ul­ti­mate Team Chal­lenge has taken that no­tion and blended it with an Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior- style com­pe­ti­tion. (In one round, they face off against Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior cham­pi­ons.) Amus­ing and di­vert­ing. In this creepy, Dublin-set re­venge thriller, Denise Gough plays Paula, a sci­ence teacher who lives alone. When she hears rats in her base­ment, she hires James (Tom Hughes) to ex­ter­mi­nate them. He scratches a mea­gre liv­ing do­ing main­te­nance jobs, steal­ing from his el­derly mother and sleep­ing with his clients. When Paula and James share one such fren­zied en­counter, it pre­cip­i­tates a vi­cious game of cat and mouse, with ev­ery­thing good in Paula’s life — job, fam­ily, friends — drawn into James’s vor­tex. Even de­tec­tive and con­fi­dant Mac (Owen McDon­nell) strug­gles to pro­tect her. How far will she go if pushed? This three-part se­ries is cre­ated by Olivier and Tony award-win­ning play­wright Conor McPher­son. West­world Stream­ing on Fox­tel Now While Christo­pher Nolan is once again con­quer­ing the big screen with Dunkirk, younger brother Jonathan was at San Diego Comic-Con re­leas­ing a trailer for the sec­ond sea­son of the stu­pen­dous sci-fi se­ries West­world, which he co-cre­ated with Lisa Joy. Nolan told at­ten­dees at the pop cul­ture fes­ti­val that the show will not at­tempt to run in­def­i­nitely. “The more we think about these ques­tions, the more it feels like your mind is turn­ing in­side out. So it might be best for us af­ter West­world do­ing this for a lit­tle longer that we all just mu­tu­ally agree to stop,” he said, be­fore jok­ing: “I’ve con­cluded we must be in a sim­u­la­tion of some kind. I just did a tequila shot with Ed Har­ris at Comic-Con.” The trailer has been picked apart re­morse­lessly by fans on the in­ter­net, but one thing is inar­guable: see­ing Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) rid­ing at full gal­lop while shoot­ing what we pre­sume are hu­man guests with a ri­fle is ex­tremely ex­cit­ing. For those so in­clined, you can stream the first sea­son on Fox­tel. With War for the Planet of the Apes hav­ing just hit cin­e­mas, check out its pre­de­ces­sors Rise of the Planet of the Apes (To­mor­row, 6.40pm, Ac­tion) fol­lowed by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (8.30pm). Bar­rack­ing against your own species might be an un­com­fort­able po­si­tion for some — but such is the ge­nius of mo­tion-cap­ture ac­tor Andy Serkis, who plays the ape leader Cae­sar. The lat­ter film also stars Aus­tralian ac­tors Ja­son Clarke and Kodi Smit-McPhee along­side Gary Old­man and Keri Rus­sell; on sec­ond thoughts, your loy­al­ties will surely be di­vided. Check out Ang Lee’s 2016 war drama Billy Lynn’s Long Half­time Walk (Tonight, 8.30pm, Mas­ter­piece). It boasts an un­prece­dented 120 frames per sec­ond (po­ten­tially undis­cernible on my TV), and boasts a cast in­clud­ing Kris­ten Ste­wart, Chris Tucker, Gar­rett Hed­lund and Vin Diesel, along with new­comer and ti­tle ac­tor Joe Al­wyn. Mark Ry­lance ( Dunkirk) stars with Tom Hanks and Alan Alda in the Os­car-win­ning film Bridge of Spies (To­mor­row, 8.30pm, Thriller). Di­rected by Steven Spiel­berg, it fol­lows the tale of Ru­dolf Abel (Ry­lance), who is charged with spy­ing for the USSR. James B. Dono­van (Hanks) is his ini­tially re­luc­tant ad­vo­cate.

Evan Rachel Wood in

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