Georges Simenon’s character Jules Maigret returns in Night at the Crossroad, which makes its free-to-air debut after first screening on Foxtel’s BBC First channel in May last year. At that time, its star Rowan Atkinson ( Johnny English, Mr Bean, Blackadder) said he had not read the (admittedly mixed) reviews of his first two performances as the beloved character. “I know very little, unfortunately, about the viewers’ reactions because I tend not to read reviews. You just get a vibe from what people say to you in shops and things. Or what people don’t say to you. And the vibe seemed to be generally a positive one,” he said. This instalment begins on a maudlin note. “Maigret is at the funeral of an old colleague who died, forgotten by those who once loved him. It makes him think about the lot of a police officer. The officer who died was a drinker who drank himself to death. He had separated from his wife, his whole life had collapsed and he died alone,” he says. “Maybe that’s not unknown in this day and age but I’m sure it was a relatively common thing in Paris in 1955. It’s very sobering for him.” Maigret is then drawn into a murder investigation, centring on Carl Andersen ( Game of Thrones’ Tom Wlaschiha). Andersen, a Danish citizen, maintains his innocence despite all the evidence stacked against him. To boot, Andersen has a strangely close relationship with his sister Else (Mia Jexen). The Plague Streaming on SBS On Demand This new six-episode Spanish-language series, which arrived last week on SBS On Demand, is set in medieval Seville during the epidemic known as the Black Death. Pablo Molinero plays Mateo, a former heretic who returns to Seville hoping to gain a pardon by solving murders thought to be related to demonic rituals. As the plague begins to consume the city, the walls are closed and the pursuit of the murderers intensifies. Waco Waco Thursday, 8.30pm, SBS This terrific six-part series continues this week with another double episode, continuing the dramatisation of 1993’s 51-day standoff between the authorities and David Koresh’s Branch Davidians, in Waco, Texas. It stars Michael Shannon, Melissa Benoist, Taylor Kitsch and John Leguizamo. “O captain! My captain!” must be one of the most parodied film lines of the past 30 years. As such, there are no prizes for correctly guessing it comes from the 1989 Peter Weir-directed film Dead Poets Society (Sunday, 8.40pm, 10 Peach) starring Robin Williams as the unorthodox but inspiring English teacher John Keating. The film won an Oscar for best screenplay and I reckon that many teachers would admit privately that it inspired their careers (as many journalists of a certain vintage say of All the President’s Men). It is hard to believe Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (Thursday, 8.30pm, 7mate) is more than 40 years old; it is still deeply impressive to watch any of the documentaries that portray the sheer ambition of the filmmaking process. Of course the legacy of human hostility to sharks of all shapes and sizes is a difficult one. On the other hand, the film and its sequels may have prevented a lot of skin cancers, keeping people away from the beaches. Once Were Warriors (Thursday, 9.30pm, NITV) from 1994, starring Temuera Morrison as Jake the Muss, is a film made memorable by some truly frightening fight scenes. Of course, they were in aid of a story of social marginalisation. But still; unforgettable biff.
Melissa Benoist in