DOCUMENTARY: Tom’s Fantastic Floating Home (Channel 4, 7pm)
Over the years resourceful inventor Tom Lawton has created everything from skate bikes and 360 degree bubble cameras to wind-powered lighting systems.
With help from his consultant, six-year-old son Barney, our real world Caractacus Potts hopes to challenge all perceived wisdom, tip the world upside-down and reinvent the way we look at life.
Tom lives near the River Avon, and following the worst floods his home town has ever seen, his idea to build a floating home could be a perfect solution to the flooded Britain of tomorrow.
He’ll be seeking inspiration from indigenous tribes in the tropics to the slum-dwellers of the mega-cities.
The home itself comes complete with revolving sun-chasing rooms, a water slide into the river, rubber kitchen floors and a bath under the floorboards.
DOCUMENTARY: Baby Face Brides (Channel 5, 8pm)
In case you missed it first time round earlier in the year, this intriguing documentary profiles three couples from drastically different backgrounds, all of whom share one thing in common (apart from a willingness to sign a television release form, that is) – they’re all walking down the aisle as teenagers.
Rebecca, 17, says of her engagement to Aaron, “when someone proposes to you it, it doesn’t matter how it’s done, it’s just lovely” – which is probably just as well, as Aaron was so drunk when he popped the question that he fell over backwards while on one knee.
Lauren, meanwhile, had been going out with Duncan for just four months when he proposed – they’re 18 and 19 respectively, and believe you can’t put a price on a good wedding.
And Emmie met Ryan when she was 15 – she’s now 17, and he’s 20, while his mum and grandmother have taken control of the wedding plans.
FILM: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (ITV, 8.30pm)
Grumpy young Jedi Anakin Skywalker falls in love with Queen Amidala, while his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, investigates the mysterious creation of a clone army on a rain-lashed waterworld.
Like The Phantom Menace, this is just padding until Anakin turns to the dark side of the Force in Revenge of the Sith.
There are some cringeworthy love scenes, annoying computer-generated characters, and some woeful dialogue. However, for all its faults there are some stunning battles, those sonic booms in the asteroid field are pure ear candy.
Rotten Tomatoes.com Rating: 67%
FILM: Paul (Channel 4, 9pm)
Two British nerds get more than they bargained for after attending ComicCon in the States. They pick up a slacker alien and are soon on the run from the authorities in their RV.
It’s not up their with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s breakout comedy Shaun of the Dead, but there are plenty of belly laughs here.
The movie rests on the shoulders of the eponymous ET, and thanks to some superb CGI work, and a great vocal performance from Seth Rogen, there’s never a feeling of Pegg and Frost reacting to an effect (like in some of the Star Wars prequels).
Rotten Tomatoes.com Rating: 71%
DOCUMENTARY: The Men Who Made Us Spend (BBC2, 9.10pm)
Presenter and investigative reporter Jacques Peretti’s series detailing the often shady methods used to persuade people to buy consumer goods comes to a close this evening, with a focus on possibly the most reprehensible aspect of advertising yet – selling to children.
He begins by visiting a group of American behavioural researchers, who put their skills to use by helping companies advertise their goods to children.
He also talks to a Nickelodeon executive who brought American-style kids’ TV to the UK, and also meets a car designer who promoted his vehicle to the children in the back seat rather than the parents in the front – despite the fact it’s they who hold the purse strings. It’s not hard to see how much sway our kids have over our spending habits, but it’s unnerving to know that advertisers know this too.
Your own spending habits. Jacques also examines how some of these same tactics which are designed to market products to children are also frequently used – successfully – on adults.
But surely we’re too savvy to fall for them. Aren’t we...?
FILM: Up in the Air (BBC Two, 10.30pm)
George Clooney plays a loveless man who earns his living by flying around America and making total strangers redundant in Jason Reitman’s comedy drama.
Having no time for family or emotional ties, he finally meets his match in fellow jet-setter Alex (Vera Farmiga) – just as he is grounded by his company and forced to adjust to a more sedentary life.
Up in the Air secured Clooney another Oscar nomination as Best Actor, if not the actual statuette, for his mesmerising portrayal of a corporate middleman, who loathes the prospect of standing still and is now almost numb to the anguish he wreaks.
Rotten Tomatoes.com Rating: 91%
DOCUMENTARY: Garth Brooks – What went wrong? 11.05pm
TV3 takes a look at the recent fiasco and ponders who is to blame for the embarrassing situation which let down over 400,000 music fans and threw Ireland into the media spotlight worldwide.
With interviews from the Croke Park residents, Aiken Promotions, the GAA and Dublin City Council, ‘Garth Brooks: What went wrong?’ documents the fallout with a country-music giant which resulted in a €50m revenue loss to the country and damage to Ireland’s global reputation.
NEW ON NETFLIX: Utopia
When a group of strangers who met on a comic book forum find they are somehow connected to each other through the plot of a legendary graphic novel, their lives become targets of a organisation known only as The Network.
Ian (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), Becky (Alexandra Roach), Wilson (Adeel Akhtar) and Grant (Oliver Woollford) are in possession of the original manuscript for the novel and discover that The Network will go to great lengths to get the manuscript back.
As they find themselves being framed for crimes they did not commit, they must work together to fight off The Network.