Wednesday’s TV tips

Check out our spoiler-free guide to what’s good to watch on the box tonight.

Wednesday’s TV tips

CULINARY CHALLENGE: The Great British Bake Off (BBC1, 8pm)

Without a doubt, the Bake Off is bigger than ever this year, after moving to BBC1. But is that a good thing?

It seems it’s more intent to cook up a controversy than it is cakes this time around, with ’Bingate’ causing a storm and a subsequent episode leading to accusations of cheating in the Press which, frankly, was little more than a flash in the pan.

However, now it’s reached the semi-final stage, you’d hope there’d be no need to invent drama as it’s bound to be tense enough already.

Just four remain, and they have their mettle severely tested in Patisserie Week, as they have to create two types of signature baklava, a tricky technical in the form of a German Schichttorte, and a showstopper which involves the semi-finalists baking non-stop to create two entremets in which they should utilise as many skills and techniques as they can.

DRAMA: Downton Abbey S5 (TV3, 9pm)

With the house recovering from the night’s dramatic events, Robert is faced with a very difficult decision.

As Daisy continues to struggle with her studies, Mrs Patmore has an idea which might solve everything.

Thomas has it in for Baxter; will his meddling ruin her friendship with Molesley?

As Rose tries to convince Robert of the virtues of a wireless at Downton, Lord Merton continues his hot pursuit of Isobel and when Mary puts her reputation on the line, Anna is made a reluctant accomplice.

DOCUMENTARY: This World: Rwanda’s Untold Story (BBC2, 9pm)

Twenty years after the Rwandan genocide of 1994, this film, shown as part of the This World strand, takes a look back at the events of what was one of the most horrifying periods of the late 20th century.

Today, there is a version of events which is largely accepted: that president Paul Kagame is the man who brought an end to the killing, and ultimately rescued his country from oblivion.

However, here Jane Corbin examines evidence that challenges that aspect of the story – she believes that there are a growing number of questions about the role of his Rwandan Patriotic Front forces during the bleakest days of 1994, and in the years since.

This programme looks back at the shooting down of the presidential plane which started the killings in 1994, examines allegations of war crimes, and calls into question Kagame’s claims to have ended the genocide.

DRAMA: Our Zoo (BBC1, 9pm)

Over the course of the past month, we’ve seen George Mottershead come a long way in his plans to establish his zoo in the 1930s – but it might all have been for nought as, this week, he is refused planning permission. As if that’s not bad enough for poor George, the whole thing is threatening to tear his family apart, meaning he’s on the brink of losing everything.

However, Lady Katherine might just be able to help. She offers to call on her connections in Whitehall, taking George away to London where they meet up with the Deputy Minister of Health and set about trying to convince him to grant an appeal.

While he’s gone, though, the rest of the family have their work cut out dealing with an unexpected new arrival. Will it all come together in time for the final episode next week?

DEBATE: The People’s Debate with Vincent Browne (TV3, 10pm)

This is democracy television. The People’s Debate with Vincent Browne is a monthly, two-hour-long debate style show broadcast in front of a live TV3 Sony HD Studio audience.

With a diverse range of hard-hitting, intelligent and probing topics, The People’s Debate with Vincent Browne has no boundaries as it deals with serious, topical matters in Ireland from current affairs and political discussion to economics and the affairs of the nation.

The motion for debate tonight is “The liberation of women in Ireland has yet to be accomplished."

DOCUMENTARY: The Paedophile Hunter (Channel 4, 10pm)

This new one-off programme follows the work of controversial online vigilante Stinson Hunter and his network of associates, who are determined to curb the actions of sexual predators and so take the law into their own hands.

They pose as children on social networking sites in order to identify and draw out people they suspect of being paedophiles. It’s a dangerous game – Hunter and his team talk to men online and try to lure them into meeting up in real life, only to confront them with evidence of their perceived misdeeds in the form of online, text and phone conversations before threatening to hand his findings over to the police.

Hunter styles himself as an ’undercover journalist’ and so films every encounter, putting them up on his website in a bid to name and shame the subjects. But are his actions always well received by the authorities?

FILM: X-Men: The Last Stand (E4, 8pm)

(2006) The third instalment in the X-Men film series. When a treatment to suppress the X-gene is revealed, many of the mutants are horrified, particularly when an adversary raises an army to wipe them out.

Meanwhile, Jean Grey has returned from the dead with sinister new powers, and Magneto, sensing he could have a powerful ally in the fight to rid the world of X-Men, convinces her to side with him.

The remaining X-Men regroup to fight Magneto’s army and restore peace in what is a winner-takes-all battle.

The special effects and action sequences are out of this world, and the presence of a group of actors this talented pretty much guarantees winning performances.

While the human element of the film sometimes feels a little stale and there are some frustrating loose ends, it’s still an A-list blockbuster.

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Barry, Famke Janssen

FILM: Taken (Film4, 9pm)

(2008) Liam Neeson plays Bryan Mills, a former CIA agent who is horrified when his estranged daughter is kidnapped by sex traffickers during a trip through Europe.

But Bryan isn’t the sort of bloke to simply sit at home worrying about things – instead, he uses all his old skills to hunt down those responsible and, of course, to save his offspring from a fate worse than death.

This film stepped Liam Neeson’s career up a notch, and proved he has what it takes to carry a box office hit.

Co-written by the mighty Luc Besson, this is an action-packed film that, despite lacking some depth, will appeal to fans of the genre.

Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace

FILM: Open Range (ITV4, 11pm)

(2003) Welcome back to the Wild West. Boss Spearman grazes his cattle on the open range, aided by his long-time employee Charley Waite and recent recruits Mose Harrison and Button.

Stopping outside a town run by a rancher named Baxter, Boss and Charley find themselves in a whole heap of trouble when Mose is arrested for reportedly fighting with the locals and Baxter sets a posse of gunmen after them.

Is It Any Good? Proceeding at a lush and leisurely canter, and taking in a romantic sub-plot, the 138-minute ride may leave you feeling a little saddle sore. Nevertheless it’s a must for fans of the Western genre.

Starring: Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Michael Gambon

NEW ON NETFLIX: Falling in Love

Multiple Academy Award Winners Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep are together again for the first time since The Deer Hunter.

Here they play Frank Raftis and Molly Gilmore, two everyday people who meet first by chance, and later by choice.

There's just one thing standing between Frank and Molly's intense, newfound love - both are already married.

It's a genuine modern dilemma, and De Niro, Streep and a fine supporting cast bring the story to life with flair and sensitivity. Rating: 60%

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