Sunday's TV tips

Sunday's TV tips

FILM: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Channel 5, 7.15pm)

(2001) The gun-toting treasure-seeker is thrown into a furious battle with a mysterious secret society as she races against time to locate the legendary Triangle of Light.

Most video games are inspired by films, so movie versions of those games seem ultra derivative.

This is one of the better offerings, thanks to a top turn from Angelina Jolie (with a near perfect British accent) as the sexy adventurer.

However, the third act makes little sense.

But, compared to the 2003 sequel, this looks like a masterpiece.

British director Simon West handles the action scenes with aplomb and the solid supporting cast includes a pre-007 Daniel Craig and Games of Thrones’ Iain Glen and Noah Taylor.

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Leslie Phillips, Iain Glen, Jon Voight, Chris Barrie, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Noah Taylor, Robert Phillips


TRAVEL: Great Canal Journeys (Channel 4, 8pm)

Sunday's TV tips

The previous series was a gentle and touching delight, as veteran actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales brought back happy memories of their younger selves while taking barge trips along some of Britain’s waterways.

It was made all the more moving by Scales’ diagnosis of what her husband West describes as ’a mild form of Alzheimer’s’.

The plucky couple are back again, kicking off a new series on the gentle contours of the Oxford Canal, where they’re joined by another thespian, their younger son Samuel.

The couple also meet novelist Philip Pullman of His Dark Materials fame while following in the footsteps of Tom Rolt, whose tales of life on the water inspired a movement designed to save Britain’s canals from extinction.


DANCE: Michael Flatley: Lord of the Dance Live! (TV3, 9pm)

Sunday's TV tips

New and exclusive to TV3, The international smash-hit, Lord of the Dance, is back with an all-new electrifying show.

Filmed LIVE in Dublin’s 3 Arena, viewers can experience the magic, excitement and passion of Irish dance like never before.

Starring show creator and Irish dance pioneer Michael Flatley (returning to Lord of The Dance for the first time in 13 years); the breathtaking performance comprises a spectacular new set design, with state-of-the-art lighting and special effects.


DRAMA: Poldark (BBC1, 9pm)

Aidan Turner may be the human star of this series, but Cornwall is looking pretty spectacular too – no doubt fans of the series will be inspired to head there in the coming months, boosting the county’s coffers no end.

But most of us are more interested in the story than holidays at the moment. Ross turns his attention to getting the Poldark mine back up and running, with help from friends and investors. But it’s a ball at the local Assembly Rooms that really grabs the attention.

Ross accompanies Verity to the bash, where she’s swept off her feet by the dashing Captain Andrew Blamey. Unfortunately, he’s hiding a dark secret which her brother Francis and father Charles soon uncover – and are horrified by.

Ross, however, is oblivious to it all – he’s too busy performing an intimate dance with Elizabeth, which sets tongues wagging and sends the local gossips into overdrive.


ENTERTAINMENT: Dragons’ Den (BBC2, 9pm)

It’s the end of an era – after tonight, Duncan Bannatyne will no longer be a Dragon.

Yes, the series stalwart is throwing in the towel after 10 years on the show, during which time he has invested in various companies; his departure will mean that Peter Jones is the only remaining original member of the panel.

Bannatyne claims he’s stepping down to concentrate on other business interests. But he isn’t the only person quitting – after just two series each (lightweights indeed!) designer Kelly Hoppen and digital entrepreneur Piers Linney will also say farewell tonight.

Their final chances to invest come from two young people hoping to drum up interest in their bespoke suit-tailoring business, and a life-saving product devised by a registered nurse.

Then it’s time to sample edible insects and an eco-friendly skip on wheels which causes some consternation among the experts.


COMEDY: Nina Conti Clowning Around (BBC4, 9pm)

Sunday's TV tips

For many years, Nina Conti has built her reputation as a ventriloquist whose material can be a little near-the-knuckle.

Many of her gigs have not been what could be described as family friendly, but that changed when she began a two-year stint as a ’giggle doctor’.

The idea was to spent time travelling around hospitals, putting smiles on the faces of sick children – a noble cause indeed, but not one without its problems.

This documentary charts Nina’s efforts, including the devastating moment she discovered she wouldn’t be able to take her beloved Monkey puppet with her on the wards because he can’t be boil-washed.

Instead, she had to come up with an entirely new act involving a red nose, a few balloon animals and some rather lacklustre magic tricks.

But it’s Nina’s efforts to become a bona fide clown that really grab the attention because, it seems, she’s terrified of these age-old entertainers.


DOCUMENTARY: Britain’s Racist Election (Channel 4, 10pm)

At the 1964 general election, a nationwide swing to Labour gave the party a small five-seat majority.

It was also expected to win back its usually safe seat in Smethwick in the West Midlands, but in a shock result, Conservative candidate Peter Griffiths came out on top having run a controversial anti-immigration campaign; Smethwick had gained a high number of residents from Commonwealth countries in the aftermath of the Second World War, predominantly Sikhs from the Punjab.

Now, this spin-off from the regular Immigration Street series examines what happened during the aftermath of the result.

It reveals why activist Malcolm X visited the town to condemn various policies, including one that allowed only white families to rent homes on one particular street.

Those who remember the era discuss how appalled they were by the events, and their efforts to reverse the victory at the next election.


FILM: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Channel 4, 11.05pm)

(2010) Once again Bella is surrounded by danger, as Seattle is shocked by a spate of murders.

However, that’s not all that’s occupying her mind, as she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob.

Meanwhile, Bella’s graduation is fast approaching but it brings with it the most important decision of her life.

While the first film of the franchise pleased Twi-hards no end simply because they were chuffed their favourite novel had made it to the big screen, the following instalments have only got better and better and as a result reach out to a much wider audience.

The production team has gone all-out on Eclipse; there’s no scrimping on the action scenes, the special effects are superb and there’s a great soundtrack to boot.

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard.

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