Monday’s TV tips

Tonight's spolier-free guiide to the best of the telly.

Monday’s TV tips

DRAMA: Gotham (RTE Two, 9pm)

The good. The evil. The beginning.

Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world’s greatest foes – a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon’s story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner?

What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world’s most iconic villains?

And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?

Growing up in Gotham City’s surrounding suburbs, James Gordon romanticized the city as a glamorous and exciting metropolis where his late father once served as a successful district attorney.

Now, two weeks into his new job as a Gotham City detective and engaged to his beloved fiance Barbara Kean, Gordon is living his dream – even as he hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid.

FOOD: A Cook Abroad: Rachel Khoo’s Malaysia (BBC2, 9pm)

If you have a passion for cooking, travel and need some inspiration, then this is just the show to feed those desires.

It’s been a great series so far as eclectic oven jockeys sample different elements of world culture. All too soon it comes to an end, but this final offering promises to be one of the best so far.

Cook and food writer Rachel Khoo is on a culinary tour of the Southeast Asian country. Her first stop is the capital, Kuala Lumpur, where she gains her first insights into Malaysian food and culture from family members she hasn’t seen since childhood.

At her father’s old school, Rachel meets cooks and students and begins to find out why Malaysian food is so complex.

Then it’s off to Penang, the food capital of the country, where she offers an insight into why Malaysia is a great place to be young, female and Muslim.

DRAMA: Arthur & George (UTV, 9pm)

Martin Clunes may have been terrified by the thought of playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but

thanks to his wife Philippa, who had spent a lot of time making this pet project a reality, he’s doing a great job of breathing life into Julian Barnes’s novel.

After the escape of their late-night assailant, Arthur, Woodie and the Edaljis are surprised by the arrival of George at the vicarage.

His boots are covered in mud, which leads Woodie to suspect he is the Wyrley Ripper after all, but Arthur is not convinced, believing the young solicitor is the victim of racial prejudice – and possibly police corruption.

Feathers are ruffled as the novelist visits the officers who investigated the case, and soon after, another recipient of the poison-pen letters, the local blacksmith, is found dead.

The excellent cast includes Arsher Ali, Charles Edwards, Art Malik, Hattie Morahan and Emma Fielding.

DOCUMENTARY: The Billion Pound Hotel (Channel 4, 9pm)

Many of us love shopping around for a cheap hotel, but if paying more than £50 a night hurts your wallet, you may wince at the prices charged by the residence featured in this film.

Dubai’s exclusive Burj Al Arab is dubbed by some as the world’s most luxurious hotel.

And given the title of this documentary, there’s no guessing how much it cost to construct.

Shaped like a giant sail and standing over 1000 feet tall, the hotel’s suites range from £910 to a whopping £10,000 per night.

Unsurprisingly at those prices, the guests demand the highest of standards, whether it’s the King of Uganda or a firefighter based in Afghanistan, who wants to propose to his girlfriend on the hotel helipad.

Aside from following some of the guests, the film-makers also meet the staff who serve them. And with the hotel’s 15th anniversary on the horizon, we see how important it is to stay ahead of the game.

REALITY: 10,000 BC (Channel 5, 10pm)

Not to be confused with Roland Emmerich’s pre-historic namesake epic from 2008, this spin on the Big Brother formula was inevitable at some point.

The format is simple: take a bunch of strangers, dress them like extras from Hammer classic One Million Years BC, and film them as they attempt to survive in the wild, without Wi-fi, take-out or hot water.

In the final episode, there are just six days to go. Following Paul’s departure from the experiment, and with Mike ill in the medical tent with possible liver damage, four people remain in camp.

New leader Mel is working harder than ever in Mike’s absence, and is concerned that she will be the next one to crack.

Alas, things go from bad to worse when a sudden frost leaves foraging impossible.

Has this latest natural hurdle been one too many for the long suffering campmates to overcome?

COMEDY DRAMA: Bluestone 42 (BBC3, 10pm)

The horror of war has produced some of the best comedy of the past 45 years, with the likes of MASH, Catch 22 and Blackadder lending much needed levity to some of the darkest times of human existence.

This more contemporary comedy drama about a British bomb disposal detachment in Afghanistan has also found favour with the masses. It also got the seal of approval from British Army bomb disposal expert Corporal Daniel Whittingham, so little wonder a third season was rushed into production.

In the opening episode, the team are trapped in hostile territory after an IED explosion hits their mastiff, and the members are torn between waiting it out or risking an ambush to get back to safety.

Meanwhile, Bird has to step up to lead the unit, while trying to deal with her unresolved feelings for Nick.

The cast includes Matthew Lewis, Oliver Chris and Katie Lyons.

FILM: Rush Hour (ITV2, 10pm)

(1998) Jackie Chan plays Hong Kong supercop Lee, who finds himself on a diplomatic mission to rescue the abducted daughter of the country’s consul.

Unfortunately for the visiting detective, his American counterparts don’t take kindly to his meddling in their investigation, so, to put him off the scent, team Lee up with loudmouth idiot Carter (Chris Tucker).

While the latter thinks he’s finally swimming with the big boys, Lee knows he’s being made a fool of, and decides to do his own digging. However, as fate would have it, the pair end up not only thrown together, but working the case too.

This is a thrill-a-minute ride from start to finish, with something for everyone. Chan’s energetic stunts are jaw-droppingly good, while Tucker barely seems to draw breath between gags. Just keep the popcorn coming for this one.

Starring: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Ken Leung, Tom Wilkinson, Chris Penn.

FILM: Source Code (Film4, 10.40pm)

(2011) A top secret government experiment transfers the mind of a military pilot into that of a man killed in a terrorist bombing on a train. He has eight minutes before the blast goes off to determine who was responsible and where the bomber will strike next.

Groundhog Day meets Twilight Zone in this stylish thriller in which Jake Gyllenhaal has been perfectly cast at the helm. He gives his usual understated, but consummate performance as the soldier desperately searching for answers, both for his employers and for himself.

Although the fast-paced plot demands your full attention, the narrative never leaves you stumped. It’s one of the smartest, most engaging sci-fi thrillers of recent years, and if you haven’t managed to catch it yet, you’d be foolish to let this go unrecorded.

It’s a taut affair with enough twists and turns and stunning cinematography to keep it with you long after the end credits have rolled.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright,

Michael Arden

FILM: Contraband (3e, 11pm)

(2012) Academy Award-nominee Mark Wahlberg stars as a security guard and former alcohol smuggler who is tempted back into the illicit business by his brother-in-law after ecountering financial troubles.

The thriller also stars Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Diego Luna, and Giovani Ribisis, and is directed by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur, re-imagining his original film in this high-octane remake.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster.

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