TV picks of the week

Sunday News - - SOUND AND VISION -

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.

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