Friday’s TV tips

Tom Cruise, Tim Curry, Bear Grylls and Joy Divison

Friday’s TV tips

FILM: Legend (Film4, 7pm)

(1985) Jack, an elfin man of the woods, has to rescue his bride, Lily, from the devilish Lord of Darkness, who plans on plunging the magical forest into eternal night by killing a unicorn. He’s aided on his quest by an elf, dwarves and a fairy.

Depending on the version you see, this is a visually stunning fairy tale from Exodus: Gods and Kings director Ridley Scott.

The UK cinema release with Jerry Goldsmith score is rarely seen on UK TV.

A sloppier US version, complete with fluorescent make-up, dodgy editing, and Tangerine Dream score, is the usual version aired here.

It’s a terrific cast, and while Scott could have done with spending a little more time amending the plot structure and less time on the lavish sets, it’s perfectly watchable.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent

TRAVEL: Life (TV3, 8pm)

'Life' is the show that travels around the country finding the stories relevant in the lives of Irish people today.

Presenter, Sybil Mulcahy travels to Ballymoate, Co Sligo to meet a man who turned his living room into his own personalised retro sweet shop. She's also in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh to visit a bank with a difference, the countries only breast milk bank.

Reporter, Michael Ryan finds out what goes into making the perfect Hurley in Sixmilebridge, Co Clare and then heads to Tullamore, Co Offaly to meet the town's most famous export, Tullamore Dew, who have just returned home to a state of the art distillery.

REALITY: Bear Grylls: Mission Survive (UTV, 9pm)

If you ever found yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere with only the searing sun and a few circling vultures for company, you’d do well to remember Bear Grylls’ top tips for survival.

Okay, the chances are slim that you’ll ever find yourself in that set-up but these celebrities have, and it’s making for great entertainment.

Tonight, tensions are high as the famous folk navigate their way through dense jungle down a ravine, before settling down to a meal of live scorpions.

The next morning brings their first wash in three days, but they shouldn’t let their guard down – Bear is waiting on the sidelines and about to explain the team’s first big test: a descent of a 120ft waterfall. And soon enough, one more celeb will be eliminated.

Who’s up for the chop this week?

IMPORTED DRAMA: NCIS: New Orleans (Channel 5, 9pm)`

This gripping NCIS spin-off continues, and while we might now be three episodes in to this freshman series, the drama is keeping up the pace set by previous episodes, so it’d be wise to keep an eye on the edge of that seat.

Tonight, a Navy lieutenant on shore leaves stumbles out of a busy bar – and straight into the path of an oncoming taxi, and is killed outright.

However, Dr Loretta Wade isn’t convinced this case is as straightforward as it first seems, and she eventually identifies the cause of death as bubonic plague. It’s not long before Tony DiNozzo heads in to the town, having had a brush with the disease himself.

As he and Pride go aboard the dead man’s ship to try to pinpoint the source of the disease, will they be able to stop it from spreading?

Scott Bakula, CCH Pounder and Michael Weatherly star.

DOCUMENTARY: Joy Division (BBC4, 9pm)

Manchester band Joy Division have gone down in history as one of the pioneers of the post-punk movement of the late 1970s, so it’s only right that the Beeb should get round to airing a documentary devoted to their story.

It charts the band’s journey, beginning with a look at the 1976 Sex Pistols gig that would go on to be credited with igniting the Manchester’s music scene.

While the band enjoyed the highs of such success, they also endured the lows, and on the eve of Joy Division’s first American tour in 1980, singer and guitarist Ian Curtis committed suicide, thought to be because of depression and personal difficulties.

This programme has been made with the participation of all the surviving band members, and looks at the group’s rise during a time of political and social change, using unseen live footage and newly discovered audiotapes.

CULTURE: Italy Unpacked (BBC2, 11.05pm)

When it comes to the intricacies of the world’s finest culture and art, nobody quite knows their stuff like Andrew Graham-Dixon.

However, where he does fall that little bit short is in the cuisine department, which is why getting chef Giorgio Locatelli on board for this jaunt around, yep, you’ve guessed it, Italy, always results in a rather perfect dream team.

As the third series of this enjoyable programme concludes tonight, Andrew and Giorgio conclude their trip up the east coast with a visit to the Veneto region, where they harvest clams Giorgio uses in a pasta dish.

The men see frescoes in Padua, travel along the river Brenta and admire Giovanni Bellini’s Baptism of Christ, Andrew’s favourite painting, in Vicenza.

They end their trip taking in the views at the top of the Dolomite mountains.

FILM: Next (5*, 9pm)

(2007) Since he was a boy, Las Vegas conjurer Cris Johnson has been ’cursed’ with the ability to glimpse a few minutes into the future, and to alter his behaviour accordingly. The only person who knows his secret is old friend Irv, with whom he shares a lock-up on the outskirts of town.

When a group of terrorists led by Mr Jones and Mr Smith plot to detonate a nuclear device in Los Angeles, sassy FBI agent Callie Ferris suggests the government taps Cris for information. Unfortunately, the terrorists also know of Cris’s existence.

Based on Philip K Dick’s short story The Golden Man, Next ties itself in philosophical knots, pulled tighter by the three screenwriters with each narrative twist.

At the beginning of the film, Cris can glimpse two minutes into the future, implying the immutability of fate. Yet, he can change the future – and the destinies of everyone around him – and can continue to do so, nanosecond by nanosecond, such as dodging bullets or knowing when to duck an oncoming punch (a la The Matrix).

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Thomas Kretschmann, Enzo Cilenti, Peter Falk.

FILM: The Negotiator (More4, 9pm)

(1998) Ace hostage negotiator Danny Roman is framed for killing his partner when they discover some crooked cops have been pilfering funds from the force’s disability scheme.

Danny decides to take matters into his own hands and takes a small band of key figures hostage in a skyscraper.

The only person he will speak to is Chris Sabian, another talented negotiator who knows the art of mediation as well as Danny.

Director F Gary Gray must have thought all his Christmases had come at once when he signed leading actors Jackson and Spacey.

The pair build up an extremely tense on-screen relationship which at some points leaves viewers almost breathless.

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, JT Walsh, Paul Giamatti, John Spencer, Ron Rifkin.

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