Friday’s TV tips

Friday’s TV tips

HISTORY: Secrets from the Sky (ITV, 8pm)

Friday’s TV tips

With the aid of a remote-controlled, camera-carrying helicopter, historian Bettany Hughes and aerial archaeologist Ben Robinson examine sites of great historical interest to uncover further information about our ancestors.

In this first programme, the duo explore Tintagel Castle, where they consider the archaeological evidence that it was once the home of the legendary King Arthur.

They investigate whether there is any truth in the myth and discover that the site was once linked to the richest trade networks in the world.

It turns out the structure was created less for defence and more for show.

Ben says: “So basically this castle is a medieval vanity project, a breathtaking piece of visual theatre so that Richard, Earl of Cornwall, could bask in the reflected glory of the ancient legend of King Arthur.”

Archaeologists have also discovered some extraordinary, history-changing details: “It is hard evidence that has completely rewritten Tintagel’s story,” explains Bettany.

FILM: Dogma (Film4, 9pm)

(1999) Two fallen angels discover there is a way to get back into heaven, but it means exploiting a theological loophole that will lead to the end of the world.

It falls to a lapsed Catholic woman to stop them, with a little help from two prophets, a curvaceous muse and a forgotten 13th disciple.

Writer-director Kevin Smith’s comedy fantasy caused controversy when it was first released, but it’s actually a very smart satire that works even if you don’t consider yourself an expert in theology.

Admittedly, the wisecracking dialogue can occasionally get a bit wearying, and it’s not the most visually appealing film you’ll ever see, but a great cast more than makes up for these minor flaws. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are the star attractions, but it’s supporting players Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek and Jason Lee who walk off with the movie.

Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Salma Hayek, Alanis Morissette, George Carlin, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Jason Lee, Chris Rock Rating: 67%

DRAMA: Lewis (ITV, 9pm)

Retirement for Robbie Lewis is clearly a dirty word. While most people in the autumn of their lives enjoy indulging on all the hobbies they couldn’t do while working, Morse’s ever faithful sidekicks will always be a detective, so little wonder he jumped at the chance to return to the police force, albeit in a temporary capacity last week.

In the latest offering, Hathaway is in charge of a case involving the murder of a neurosurgeon.

However, his theory about whodunit falls apart when his prime suspect is found murdered.

Is the DI a big enough man to accept some advice from his former mentor, and can the duo catch the killer before they strike again?

(Sadly not, but then again that’s par for the course in this world).

Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox head the cast, while good support comes from Clare Holman, Angela Griffin and Rebecca Front.

COMEDY: Not Going Out (BBC1, 9.30pm)

Friday’s TV tips

Lee Mack is always a busy bloke but the past few months have seen him rushed off his feet either writing and recording this returning sitcom, hosting Sky’s panel game Duck Quacks Don’t Echo, or wowing the masses on his UK tour.

Even when his gig (and most of Sheffield) suffered a power cut, he wowed the masses.

Back to series seven of his London-based comedy, and it looks like romance is in the air when Lee and Lucy reflect on French cinema following a night at their local movie house.

What could be better than a walk home... unless you have to stroll through an underpass as imposing as the one in A Clockwork Orange?

Before long, a gang of teenage thugs have pinched her handbag, and Lee is left with a nagging sense of guilt that he didn’t do more to get it back.

So he joins a gym in the hope that newly acquired boxing skills will help him make a stand in future.

CHAT SHOW: The Late Late Show (RTE One, 9.35pm)

Ryan Tubridy presents the longest running chat-show in the world. The show provides a mixture of entertainment, music, in-depth interviews and discussions on the stories that have the nation talking.

MUSIC: Jeff Lynne’s ELO at Hyde Park (BBC4, 10pm)

In case you didn’t know it, one bearded, bespectacled Brummie was a rock god during the 1970s and 1980s.

All over the world, Jeff Lynne and ELO brightened up the airwaves and stadiums, from Birmingham, England to its namesake in Alabama.

Sadly Jeff has spent far too long out of the public eye... until a few weeks ago that is.

Last month, fans and newcomers alike flocked to Hyde Park for what turned out to be one of the best gigs of the year.

You may have been at the show itself, heard it on Radio 2, or seen it via the red button, but if not, now is a chance to play catch up as the likes of Jeff, Mr Blue Sky and the band brightened one very special Sunday.

Sadly there’s no sign of Horace Wimp on the playlist, but there’s plenty of other old ELO classics to brighten a dark October evening.

FILM: Archipelago (BBC Two, 12.35am)

(2010) A man decides to leave for Africa to undertake some charity work, but before he departs his mother plans to see him off in style, with a family get-together at their holiday home in the Isles of Scilly.

Unfortunately, the reunion only serves to bring to light some of the deep-seated conflicts which exist between the family members.

Some films seem destined to divide critics and viewers alike, and this is a prime example. While some find a complex character study filmed in a unique and daring fashion, others find it pretentious and see the risks it takes as falling flat.

Overall, though, it is a moving piece which – perceived pretensions aside – serves to show that no man is an island even if they act to distance themselves from one another.

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Kate Fahy, Amy Lloyd, Lydia Leonard, Christopher Baker, Andrew Lawson Rating: 95%


In the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, a young woman (Jodie Foster) lives completely isolated from modern civilization and other human beings.

A local doctor (Liam Neeson) discovers her, and tries to understand her unique language and behaviour, whilst protecting her from a hostile world.

Foster received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her performance. Rating: 53%

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