Thursday’s TV tips

Elephants, dogs, and tribes, oh my!

Thursday’s TV tips

Water for Elephants (Film4, 6.40pm)

(2011) Poised to take his final veterinary exam, Jacob (Robert Pattinson) learns that his parents have been killed in a car accident and abandons his studies.

With debts to pay and no roof over his head, the young man hitches a ride on a passing train, unaware it belongs to the circus run by August Rosenbluth (Christoph Waltz).

The tyrant physically and mentally abuses animals and performers, including his beautiful wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon) who rides the horses.

When Jacob falls under Marlena’s spell, he tries to resist his feelings, working alongside the wife to win the trust of a special elephant.

However, when August notices the way that the young man stares at Marlena, he exacts a horrific revenge.

Dogs: Their Secret Lives (C4, 8pm)

Dogs are said to be a man’s best friend, and recent research in Japan suggests that both dog owners and their animals experience a surge of oxytocin when they gaze into each other’s eyes.

Nevertheless, there are still questions over whether the relationship mutually beneficial, and it is unknown whether canines get as much out of their relationships with humans as we do with our beloved pets. In the last of the series, vet Mark Evans and his team explore the psychology of the bond.

Mark is also on hand to help more problem pooches by observing their behaviour while they are alone. He deals with Ellie, a German shepherd who’s a seriously talented escape artist, and Ozzy, a two-year-old springer spaniel whose shaking and collapsing is proving to be somewhat of a medical mystery.

Adoption Stories (TV3, 8.30pm)

In the fourth episode of the series, we meet Cliona Moore who grew up on Leeson Park in Dublin and wanted for nothing.

Cliona and her adopted sister were very different, with Cliona getting on well with her father, but not at all with her mother.

Cliona moved to London, finally found her soulmate and they had a baby girl together; Cliona’s third child, Isabella. Tragically her partner suffered a massive heart attack and died, at the age of 32 and only a few days later Cliona's father sadly passed away.

Cliona decided to trace her birth mother but after a series of dead ends she can go no further with her search without more information.

We also meet Terri Harrison who grew up in Drimnagh. At 19, Terri suspected she had got pregnant but rather than find out for sure and have to deal with her family's reaction, she went over to her auntie in London.

After a minor accident in the house, a doctor confirmed her pregnancy and before long a priest and two nuns from a Catholic organisation showed up at her aunt’s house, ready to take her back to Ireland. A few weeks after giving birth, Terri’s son was taken by a nun.

When her son turned 18, Terri tried to make contact with him but he has no interest in meeting Terri. Terri was devastated, but understood.

She tried again, a number of years later, but got the same response. She hopes that one day, she will be more than a name on a piece of paper for her son.

The Tribe (C4, 9pm)

The final visit to the rural African tribe living in southern Ethiopia.

Ayke Muko’s fun-loving nephew Berkee returns to the village after six months looking after the family herd. Keen to better himself and make more money for his family, he registers at school – but with his widowed father struggling and his sister in poor health, he faces a difficult decision.

Meanwhile, young Bodo is running a fever, forcing his father Arrada to choose between traditional remedies and modern medicine. Last in the series.

Celebrity MasterChef (BBC1, 9pm)

TV presenters Rylan Clark and Andy Akinwolere, former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt, choreographer Arlene Phillips and one-time Coronation Street actor Craig Gazey (Graeme Proctor) compete in the third heat of the culinary competition.

Their first test is to invent a dish in just 50 minutes from ingredients including calves liver, mackerel, blackberries and ginger biscuits, before splitting into two groups for a lunchtime restaurant challenge.

It’s then back to the studio to come up with one last meal before Gregg Wallace and John Torode decide who will be hanging up his or her apron.

2012 (5*, 9.00pm)

(2009) When a scientist predicts that the world is about to face a global cataclysm with the potential to wipe out the human race, the US president joins forces with other heads of state to make plans for the catastrophe.

Unfortunately, for the vast majority of the planet’s population, these plans involve trying to save sets of zoo animals and a handful of those people deemed to be rich, powerful and special – thus leaving everyone else to their fate.

However, when the disaster hits, a writer learns about the refuges and tries to ensure that his family gets a spot in one of them.

The move’s biggest attraction is the chance to see the world coming to an end, and the special effects do not disappoint. Actors John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor manage to stand out amid the CGI.

The Mindy Project (E4, 9.30pm)

It’s been a dramatic few months for The Mindy Project – the sitcom was cancelled by US TV channel Fox, only to be reprieved when an online streaming site picked it up for another season.

Things are getting stressful onscreen as well as Mindy is in trouble with the taxman, and it seems her only option is to rekindle her fake relationship with Cliff.

Perhaps it may be easier to just pay up... Meanwhile, Peter and Jeremy find themselves competing for Lauren’s affections.

Career Criminals (C4, 10pm)

It’s believed that a hardcore minority of ’career criminals’ are responsible for more than 80 per cent of illegal activity in the UK – so in theory, if you tackle them, the crime rates will tumble.

This programme introduces us to Tom, who at just 27 has already spent more than six years behind bars.

With the help of a specialist team of police officers, he’s now trying to turn his life around, but will his record prove an obstacle as he attempts to get a regular job?

Meanwhile, there are fears that his 19-year-old brother Ben may be about to follow in his criminal footsteps...

Gallipoli (RTE One, 11.25pm)

Ashmead-Bartlett urges the newly arrived Australian correspondent Keith Murdoch to break censorship agreements and deliver a letter criticising Hamilton’s campaign to the British Prime Minister.

Together, the two men set in motion a series of events forcing London to finally intervene in the Gallipoli campaign.

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