TV picks of the week
Jamie Bell might get all the action scenes – and top billing – but the true star of Kiwi director Toa Fraser’s 2017 based-on-fact drama is Mark Strong. The 54-year-old British actor is simply superb as Max Vernon, the man with the unenviable task of attempting to negotiate with the desperate men who have taken over London’s Iranian Embassy in late April 1980. An understated, but effective dramatisation, which also stars Australian actress Abbie Cornish and our own Xavier Horan and Matt Sunderland.
Blake Lively delivers a virtuoso performance in this 2016 horror about a surfer who is attacked by a great white shark just 200 yards from shore. ‘‘What could have been mere summertime chum is actually one of the more cleverly constructed B-movies in quite some time,’’ wrote The Guardian‘ s Jordan Hoffman.
Co-produced by TVNZ, ABC Australia and Netflix, this highconcept reimagining of the popular ancient myth is set in a universal ‘‘neverwhere’’ world that is a hybrid of east and west. Starring Kiwis Josh Thomson and Luciane Buchanan, it follows the adventures of a teenage girl and a trio of fallen gods, as they attempt to bring an end to a demonic reign of chaos.
The nurses and nuns of Nonnatus House return for the seventh season of this popular BBC period drama. New to the ensemble is Leonie Elliott, who plays West Indian midwife Lucille Anderson. Challenging issues raised this series include leprosy, tokophobia, stroke, and Huntingdon’s disease
Kiwi journalist David Farrier delves into the world of competitive tickling in this 2016 documentary. ‘‘An alarming cautionary tale about how easy it is in the internet age to ruin people’s lives while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity, the pic boasts a humorously titillating entry hook that soon gives way to engrossing conspiracy-thrillerlike content,’’ wrote Variety’s Dennis Harvey. – James Croot
Jamie Bell stars in the based-onfact thriller, 6 Days.