Thursday's TV tips

Thursday's TV tips

FILM: The Death and Life of Charlie St Cloud (Film4, 7.05pm)

(2010) Having received a sailing scholarship to attend Stanford University, Charlie is ready to enjoy one last summer at home before going off to college. But all of this comes crashing down around him one night when he is involved in a serious car accident which proves fatal for his younger brother, Sam.

Overcome with grief at the death of his brother, Charlie discovers he is able to communicate with Sam from beyond the grave.

Any book-to-film adaptation immediately sets itself up for scrutiny. However, it would be incorrect to judge this film purely on how religiously director Burr Stears’ sticks to the original, rather sentimental, story.

Instead it deserves praise for Zac Efron’s excellent performance as the title character and his involvement alone will doubtless attract a swathe of viewers.

Starring: Zac Efron, Kim Basinger, Ray Liotta, Amanda Crew

RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 27%


FILM: Jurassic Park III (ITV2, 7.10pm)

(2001) It’s eight years since Dr Alan Grant last dealt with real-life dinosaurs, and he has no intention of rubbing shoulders with them again.

However, he’s running low on research funding, so agrees to act as a guide to wealthy adventurer Paul Kirby and his wife Amanda during an aerial trip over an infamous, dinosaur-infested island.

An accident leaves the trio and their crew stranded on the island – and it’s only then that Grant realises exactly why he was invited along.

Over 10 years down the line those special effects still don’t disappoint. This is a must see for fans of the franchise – in fact, what a great excuse to dig out the other movies...

Starring: Sam Neill, William H Macy, Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Laura Dern

RottenTomatoes.com Rating: 49%


NATURE: Life Story (BBC1, 9pm)

Growing up in Blighty, you tend to assume that all nature documentaries produced on home turf are as good in each country the world over.

However, it’s only when you travel to different countries that you realise just how high calibre the BBC’s natural history unit is.

Yes, David Attenborough may get the lion’s share of praise for shows such as this, but it’s the small united of devoted camera teams spending years in adverse conditions that are the true (human) stars of the show.

The latest offering examines the importance of homes to animals, not only as a place to live, but as a shelter from the elements and a refuge from enemies.

We follow a pack of African hunting dogs who have made their home on a vast plain in Zambia.

However, it’s far from safe as they must battle hyenas and protect their young.

Plus, hermit crabs on a tropical island also enjoy a spell in the spotlight.


DRAMA: The Great Fire (UTV, 9pm)

Remember, remember the 6th of November. Okay, it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but given the calibre of this drama about the Great Fire of London, it’s worth setting the recorder for while many are making the most of belated firework displays.

For those tuning in late, it’s inspired by the historical events of September 1666, and with the decadent backdrop of King Charles II’s court, focuses on the circumstances which led to the devastating fire.

In this final episode, a guilty Thomas reveals that Sarah’s husband Will is not dead as she believed. He has deserted to the colonies, leaving his family alone and impoverished. Her shock turns to anger, and with a shadow hanging over them, they return to Moorfields.

Alas, Sarah and Thomas’s emotional reunion with their children is threatened by Denton’s men. Elsewhere, the King has retreated to drinking with his mistress when the Queen informs him James’ efforts are failing.


COMEDY: Scrotal Recall (Channel 4, 10pm)

A sitcom about warning exes they might have chlamydia? It’s not exactly a quintessential British sitcom like Dad’s Army or The Good Life is it?

But then again Channel 4 have always prided themselves on pushing the boundaries a little, and praise must go to Johnny Flynn who plays twentysomething romantic Dylan, and has helped turned this into engaging TV.

As the series draws to a close, our hero, encouraged by Luke (Daniel Ings), sets about to find Phoebe (Susannah Fielding).

She hasn’t returned any of his messages, but when the two of them show up at her family home, they receive unexpected news.

We find out what happened six years ago when the friends were at a pub quiz, and Dylan was terrified that his new girlfriend Phoebe was basically the female version of Luke.

Good support comes from Antonia Thomas, Joshua McGuire and Hannah Britland.


CRIME: When Fred Met Rose (Channel 5, 10pm)

Thursday's TV tips

Many psychologists say the best way to avoid creating more serial killers is by limiting the amount of exposure they receive in the media.

Sadly, some newspaper editors around the world happily splash their faces across full page spreads while documenting every aspect of a killer’s heinous crimes.

It doesn’t help when TV companies follow suit, though given the jaw-dropping ITV drama Appropriate Adult from three years ago, we had a fresh insight into the shocking events of 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester.

Now, 20 years after Fred and Rose West were charged with multiple murders comes this new documentary examining their crimes.

It features testimonies from family members and those who were close to the pair as well as dramatic reconstructions. The opening programme explores the events in their early lives that may have led to them becoming murderers.

The strand investigates whether the couple’s behaviour was rooted in their childhoods.


GAME SHOW: Celebrity Juice: McBusted Special (ITV2, 10pm)

Thursday's TV tips

Remember when Jeff Goldblum morphed with an insect in 1980s shocker The Fly?

(Let’s face it, once you’ve witnessed one of David Cronenberg’s finest twisted visions, it’s one of those films you can’t unsee).

Well, teleporters may still be the stuff of science fiction, but that didn’t stop McFly merging with Busted to form a hybrid boy... okay ’man’ band.

And the resulting hybrid is rather good, as this week’s edition of the Keith Lemon-fronted quiz should prove.

As ever, it’s very silly, utterly filthy, and should have the easily shocked reaching for the off button.

The question is: how will Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Dougie Poynter, Harry Judd, James Bourne and Matt Willis get on when they join team captains Gino D’Acampo and Fearne Cotton to answer questions on showbiz news and gossip?

There’s only one way to find out, as the moustachioed menace wreaks more havoc.


DOCUMENTARY: A Parting Gift (RTE One, 10.15pm)

Thursday's TV tips

In Episode 2 of A Parting Gift, the cameras visit an operating theatre in St James’ Hospital to see how body donation has been of benefit to some of the country’s top surgeons.

Back on campus, the first year medical students of Trinity College continue their education, learning anatomy from direct contact with the remains of a donor.

Relieved that the first incisions are out of the way, it is time to learn about other parts of the body; such as muscles and organs. Exams loom large at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the remains of some of the donors who have already served their time as ”silent teachers” are returned to their families for cremation or burial.

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