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The Sydney Morning Herald

TV previews

Author: Greg Hassall
Date: 09/07/2007
Words: 509
Source: SMH
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: The Guide
Page: 26
As It Happened: Hitler's War on America

SBS, 8.30pm

Osama bin Laden wasn't the first to see the symbolic potential of an attack on New York's skyline. More than 60 years earlier, Hitler was obsessed with the same idea. He spent most of World War II trying to make it happen, even before the US officially entered the war. Time and again, however, he was thwarted by bad luck and poor technology.

The major obstacle was building a plane that could make the return flight from Germany to New York without refuelling. Messerschmitt promised such a plane, in the hope of securing other contracts, but was never able to deliver. As the war went on, increasingly desperate plans were hatched - invading Iceland and using it as a launch pad, using sea planes and, finally, employing suicide bombers - but none came to fruition.

The closest Hitler came to success was when four German agents were dropped off on Long Island by submarine. Even this ended farcically. They attempted to bribe a coast guard who stumbled across them and were then betrayed by one of their own after he decided to defect.

This German documentary contains the usual footage of planes, bombs and Hitler flapping about, mixed with first-hand accounts from greying eyewitnesses. It's interesting, to a point, but goes on a little too long.

America's Next Top Model

Ten, 9.30pm

This series, the fifth, aired almost two years ago in the US, which makes it ancient in reality TV terms. At least viewers are unlikely to stumble across references to the winner on the internet - her 15 minutes of fame have well and truly passed.

This is episode two, which means there are too many contestants and too much screaming, but the show improves steadily as numbers dwindle.

This show's strengths are a smart, nurturing host in Tyra Banks and serious analysis of the photos after each modelling shoot - something the producers of Australia's Next Top Model seem to have belatedly realised. The local host, Jodhi Meares, is a vast improvement on predecessor Erika Heynatz, who came across as brittle and insecure, and the photo shoots seem less of an afterthought. That said, the budget and talent pool available to the US version means it remains a far better show.

Home and Away

Seven, 7pm

It's a gloomy old day in Summer Bay. After Sally's house is trashed by gate-crashing surfies, Matilda cops the blame for leading them on. She broods around for most of the episode before making a dramatic decision. And in yet another demonstration of young love gone wrong, Jack's hopes of reconciliation with Martha are dashed when he discovers divorce papers in a drawer.

For a teen soap, Home and Away is surprisingly well produced and acted, benefiting from the steadying influence of old-time cast members such as Ray Meagher, Kate Ritchie and Ada Nicodemou. It's ludicrously melodramatic, but that goes with the territory. Compared with the soaps of my youth, it's high art.

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