Saturday's TV tips

Check out our spoiler-free guide to tonight's TV

Saturday's TV tips

FILM: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (ITV, 3.50pm)

(2004) When the sorcerer Sirius Black escapes from prison, the authorities fear he’s heading straight to Hogwarts to get his hands on Harry Potter and avenge the evil wizard Voldermort.

In a bid to keep the teenager safe, the powers-that-be recruit the terrifying Dementors to guard the school, but Harry finds them almost as frightening as the prospect of being snatched by a dangerous fugitive.

At least new teacher Remus Lupin seems prepared to help him meet the challenges ahead – but is the Professor trying to hide something from Harry?

For some this is the best in the series thanks to Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron, a cracking script and a great plot involving time travel.

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis, Michael Gambon, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman

QUIZ: Pointless Celebrities (BBC1, 6pm)

Here’s some clues to identify the latest familiar faces taking part in the ever engaging quiz.

One double act are rather good at ’DIY’, and their idea of a ’Perfect 10’ is getting absolute zero. Yes, it’s former Beautiful South duo Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott.

Alexander “Thanks very much indeed” Armstrong also welcomes the man who sang those first words in the original Feed the World 30 years ago, and a woman who had China in her hand in 1987. Full marks if you said Paul Young and Carol Decker.

Another guest is a singer featured in The French Connection, and was the third person voted out in I’m A Celebrity... 10 years ago.

If you said Sheila (Three Degrees) Ferguson, it’s a Pointless answer (because we said so). Also taking part are 1970 Eurovision winner Dana, and Boyzone warblers Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham.

As ever, stats king Richard Osman gives us the lowdown on those other winning answers.

REALITY: Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1, 6.50pm)

Oh what a glorious series this has been so far, and one of the hardest fought contests in the show’s history.

Some of us are still gobsmacked by Pixie Lott’s War of the Worlds routine from a few weeks ago, and if there’s a better finale to any dance than Simon Webbe’s Roxanne piece, then we’ll be amazed.

Of course there’s been plenty of drama over the weeks. We’ve already said goodbye to the likes of Gregg, Jennifer, Tim, Thom, Scott, Judy, Alison, Judy and Steve, as well as a couple more acts.

At this stage of the game last year, Patrick Robinson and Anya Garnis were voted off, but it’s anybody’s guess who will be sashaying away from centre stage by close of play on Sunday night.

Here Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman present the semi-final, and it promises to be a cracker as Len, Bruno, Darcey and Craig give us their verdicts.

FANTASY: Atlantis (BBC1, 8.25pm)

The success of Greek fantasy remake Clash of the Titans and its sequel paved the way for this hit series. Sadly we’re missing the monsters of Clash (in all its incarnations), but on the plus side there’s a scenery-chewing, guard-slaying performance from Sarah Parish, aka Pasiphae, that is worth tuning in for alone.

This week, the gang are dispersed around the ancient necropolis, and realise the space is crawling with a magical army of the undead. (Yes, a bit like that scene in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King). Jason (Jack Donnelly) could fall prey to the flesh-eating monsters, but he finds an unlikely ally in the mysterious Medea (Amy Manson).

Helen McCrory gave a career-best turn as the namesake character in a National Theatre production earlier this year, so Ms Manson has some very big shoes to fill. Game of Thrones veteran Mark Addy lends able support, as ever.

MUSIC: The X Factor (TV3, 8.30pm)

Tonight it’s first stage of the 2014 sing-off when we see who has the right stuff to walk away with the prize money.

As Ms Vickers, Olly Murs, JLS and 1D know, even getting through to this stage of the game can be such a massive boost to any aspiring TV presenter or reality star looking for a spot in the Big Brother house; next year’s I’m A Celebrity... or even, dare we say it, a pop career of their own.

As the judges repeatedly reminded us the other week, “Literally anything can happen”.

So, as the remaining acts battle it out, settle back and enjoy as the lucky few attempt to hold their nerve and sing for their lives.

Your host is Dermot O’Leary, while Simon, Cheryl, Mel B and Louis Walsh will be passing judgement.

Cowell and Cheryl have mentored two winning acts in the past, and Louis just one, so it’ll be interesting to see which of the judges seizes victory here.

Whatever happens, keep an eye on those runners up. Chances are they will be the real stars of the future.

FILM: Hope Springs (Channel 4, 9pm)

(2012) Romantic comedy charting the affairs of the heart of a long-time married couple, who are desperate to rediscover the spark that brought them together more than 30 years ago.

Arnold Soames and his wife Kay celebrate their latest wedding anniversary by buying each other cable television subscriptions.

The couple’s children Brad and Molly sense all is not well, but Arnold appears unconcerned, content to stick to the same routines and sleep in a separate room to his wife.

In desperation, Kay uses her savings to buy a series of intensive couples counselling sessions with Dr Bernie Feld, who runs the courses from his offices in coastal Maine. Arnold begrudgingly accompanies Kay but he is reluctant to share his feelings. After much prodding from Dr Feld, the husband makes a tentative first step towards greater openness that could save the marriage.

Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Elisabeth Shue, Jean Smart, Ben Rappaport, Marin Ireland

DRAMA: Casualty (BBC1, 9.10pm)

This time of year should be an era for happiness, spiritual or otherwise. But given the amount of church-based tears shed in the first few seconds, it’s clear the season of goodwill has yet to reach one vicar.

And on a rain-lashed roundabout, it looks more like a scene from a Pythonesque Biblical offering as a soaked placard-wielding soul collapses.

Contrary to what the opening carol may promise, clearly there’s nothing ’joyful’ or ’triumphant’ about local events.

Thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom as three wise men in the kitchen are having a selfie taken. Just a shame that Ash is showing little festive cheer as he interrupts them.

A little over four minutes in and it’s clear that chandelier in the local church could spell doom if it comes down on the vicar’s flock.

There’s no prizes for guessing the outcome as the inevitable happens and our life savers spring into action.

FILM: Let Me In (BBC2, 10.45pm)

(2010) A bullied 12-year-old boy develops an unlikely bond with a mysterious girl who recently arrived in his neighbourhood. He is unaware she is a vampire and responsible for a series of recent killings. When the girl’s human protector disappears, she is forced to turn to her new friend for help.

Swedish novel Let the Right One In was turned into a hugely popular film in 2008. The recently resurrected Hammer film company announced they were going to remake it – and fans of the original rolled their eyes in horror.

However, this remake is a rarity – it’s actually as good as its predecessor and features some jaw-dropping moments orchestrated by Cloverfield director Matt Reeves (the crash scene from inside a car was hugely original at the time).

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Elias Koteas

More in this section

Price info
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up