*** Sunday Performance: Last Night Of The Proms
There's no Pomp And Circumstance or Rule, Britannia in this somewhat sombre
Last Night Of The Proms. To mark the horrific events of September 11, which
occurred a short time before the concert in London's Royal Albert Hall, there
was an appropriate change of format. The traditional final sequences have been
replaced with Barber's Adagio For Strings, Michael Tippett's arrangement of
classic spirituals and the Choral Finale from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
Leonard Slatkin is also the first American to conduct Last Night Of The Proms.
** Neighbours Revealed
Channel 10, 6.30pm
For those suffering Ramsay Street withdrawal, this BBC series offers another
look behind the scenes. The week-long series was made to coincide with the 15th
anniversary of the first screening of Neighbours in the UK. Cast and crew guide
the Brits through a typical week on Australia's longest-running soap. Ryan
Maloney swimming with sharks, Ian Smith playing golf and Kym Valentine singing
... it's that kind of revelation.
**** In A Land Of Plenty
Not-to-be-missed episode of the superbly filmed adaptation of Tim Pears's
novel about the lives of a powerful and ambitious British industrialist and his
family. This week tycoon Charles Freeman (Robert Pugh) reveals the extent of his
financial disaster to the family. Curiously, the only one who seems able to
help him is Simon (Tony Maudsley), who suffered so much as his aide. Laura (Kaye
Wragg) finally agrees to marry James (Shaun Dingwall) if he makes peace with
his father and has their reception at the big house. But there are other tragic
losers and after these events, nobody's life will be the same again.
*** Imran Khan: Islam And America
Irritating UK-produced documentary in which Pakistani cricketer turned
politician Imran Khan airs the anti-American views of many of his countrymen.
While Imran purports to be "surprised" at the militant views of fellow Muslims,
there doesn't seem a great deal of religious "compassion, tolerance or charity"
in the attitudes displayed here. Not even from Imran's fellow "middle class"
liberals or religious fundamentalists. The most useful arguments raised in this
short documentary are over Pakistani attitudes towards the International
Monetary Fund. Exploring this might have been rewarding. But this report instead
comes perilously close to blaming the victims for the atrocities of September
*** Heart Of Country:
From Nowhere To Somewhere
Bright and breezy start to a new series in which Australian country music
stars reveal a little more of themselves than you sometimes get from the radio
or CDs. Sara Storer, who was born in Robinvale and grew up in the Mallee
district of Victoria, is first on stage. She trained as a teacher but had a
yearning to head for the Northern Territory and did so. Storer, a natural
storyteller, also proves a delightful performer for Lindsay Fraser's film,
returning to the roadhouse at Camooweal in the Territory to flip burgers for the
camera. But it's at Tamworth, tasting "the start of stardom", where she really
lets us understand what her music means
** Gilmore Girls: Paris Is Burning
Channel 9, 7.30pm
When mum does her Dharma bit, it can be quite amusing. But there has to be a
little more than that, surely? In this week's episode, written by Joan Binder
Weiss, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) has problems in her relationship with her
daughter's English literature teacher. Young Rory (Alexis Bledel) is, of course,
a lot more cluey. Someone should tell this girl to leave home while she has a
chance. Not so entertaining as the opener suggested.
*** Jamie Oliver's Pukka Tukka
Just when you thought it safe to go back into the kitchen, me old mates,
Jamie is around with more tips. He doesn't want you stitching yourself up, but
he does want you to cook up a nice bit of tucker. Or, in his case, tukka. And in
tonight's new series he proves you can do this faster than the packaged goods
promise. The exhaustingly enthusiastic chef starts by making a wicked-looking
pasta, know what I mean? Then its grilled salmon for the main course. "You don't
have to cook the 'ell out of fish . . . it's an old wives tale," he says. And
then, with time to spare on kitchen essentials, he's into an apple and
blackberry crumble. As easy-peasy as it looks scrumptious.
*** Rock Legends: Queen - Is This The Real Life?
Not a great deal of fresh material here, but right from Elton John's
introductory salute it is pretty entertaining TV. This 60-minute rockumentary
was produced and directed by Bob Smeaton, director of The Beatles Anthology, for
Britain's Channel 4. As well as all the hits, it includes interviews with
Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury's wife, partner, mother and
sister, fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and Bob Geldof.
**** Croc Country:The Mating Game
Delightful start to a documentary series that promises to make up for all the
circus nonsense of The Crocodile Hunter. Courting crocs are its stars, but
sharing the spotlight here is Queensland crocodile farmer John Lever and his
family. In producer Tom Hearn's gripping film, Lever, his son Jason and plucky
new recruit Cassie Schultz show us just what is involved in keeping the smile on
a crocodile. Stormy weather is what stirs the sex drive of crocodiles.
Unfortunately, there have been years of drought around the Rockhampton farm and
numbers have dwindled. Lever's hopes are on young stud Rocky. Last time,
however, all Rocky's young companion got was a love bite. This time the partner
is a more mature female, the seductively named Mrs Robinson. Romance has never
seemed so risky.
** Inspector Rex: Death Via The Internet
First of the so-called raunchier episodes of Austria's popular police drama
series. In this one, an internet chat room leads some Viennese sexual
adventurers into murder. To track the killer, Alex Brandtner (Gedeon Burkhard)
and his police team find themselves using nicknames to join their sexual games.
This is all very saucy, but, apart from a few skipping tricks, there's not a
great deal for the doggy star to do. The vunderhund whimpers cutely, poses
constantly and looks like he would rather go for his walk than try to work out
just what his masters are up to. Nothing to bark about.
*** The Bill: Long Shadows
Still in a state of shock over Dave Quinnan, Sun Hill finds itself struggling
to break through other dark dealings from the past. The aftermath of corrupt
detective Don Beech's business affects the station again as police lawyer Lisa
Hawk advises Supt Tom Chandler and DCI Jack Meadows to drop all cases in which
he had any involvement. But in trying to pin down local villains Stubbs and
Brown, Meadows gets a tip about a connection in Chandler's past. Could this be
why the boss is advising restraint on Stubbs?
*** Home And Away
Monday, Channel 7, 7pm
Well and away the most interesting thing to happen in Summer Bay of late has
been that police decision to nab Vinnie in the maternity ward. To insiders it
looked like a rather poorly disguised laughing gas raid.
Not so. Vinnie (Ryan Kwanten), it seems, is to be charged with far more
dastardly modern crimes. Something to do with GST fraud, false company numbers
and a father who has done a runner.
The question now, as the show comes back early for another year, is whether
the new dad will be around to help raise the baby son he so sensitively named
"It's just a big misunderstanding," Vinnie tells Leah (Ada Nicodemou). "It's
just crossed wires, that's all. The lawyers will sort it out." Then again,
that's what all those getting high on GST say, isn't it?
The arrival of babies for Leah and Gypsy (Kimberley Cooper) does at least
provide Alf Stewart (Ray Meagher) with some new year stimulation. "Strike me,
there's a population explosion," he says.
Not everyone in Home And Away is so cheerful. Check out Brodie (Susie Rugg),
preparing for the coroner. And Gypsy, as Will (Zac Drayson) reminds her she
agreed to a marriage proposal.
"What's up love, a bit hormonal?" asks the appalling Colleen. If Gypsy is so
afflicted, the lawyers and a good Summer Bay cliffhanger will sort it out, I'm
* The Amazing Panda Adventure
Sunday, Channel 9, 6.30pm
Curiously, it's not even a good viewing week for holidaying kids. This
somewhat awkward 90-minute telemovie stars Christian Slater's younger brother,
Ryan, as the son of an American scientist in China. Slater plays Ryan Tyler,
whose father works to save pandas from extinction. When the 10-year-old boy
arrives in China, he discovers the panda reserve in a state of crisis. Poachers
are moving in on a panda mother and cub. Ryan gets drawn into saving the cub and
restoring his relationship with his father. The panda pictures are the film's
big selling point.
***** Drop everything!
**** Great entertainment
*** Worth considering
** Only if you must
* Buy a book!