TV Choice: Man on Fire, The Falklands Legacy and Woolly MammothBy Hugh Fort
March 30, 2012
Every week our square-eyed reporters take a look at what’s on TV – the highlights and the lowlights – and pick what they think you should watch or avoid.
Man on Fire, BBC One, Friday, 11.45pm
Set your Sky Plus for this two-and-a-half hour epic starring Denzel Washington as a drunk, former Government operative who takes a job he doesn’t want as a bodyguard for the daughter of a well-off family living in Mexico City.
He’s a proper grump but eventually forms something of a bond with the little girl (Dakota Fanning). Of course, she gets kidnapped and then Mr Grumpy becomes Mr mega-Grumpy, putting his skills to good use in beating the holy hell out of various lowlifes in a range of creative ways, including a particularly innovative use of a bomb.
The tension is cranked up as Denzel brutalizes virtually everyone in Mexico to find her.
This is ultra-violent and slickly shot and Washington’s brooding character at war with himself is a must see. So BBC decided to put it on in the middle of the night. Good one.
The Falklands Legacy, BBC Two, Sunday, 9pm
Talking of angry men, this is presented by a Mail Online columnist who writes pieces about why everything in modern society is bad.
Max Hastings is his name and while the subject matter of his work is often nonsense, he knows his stuff about the way things once were.
He is, without doubt, extremely intelligent, and here he looks at the legacy of The Falklands War.
In this episode he looks at the way the conflict in the early 1980s restored Britain’s sense of military pride. Military pride is a very important thing to have in a country, as it has clearly given us the confidence to mastermind the current, highly-successful campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Oh wait...
Anyway, it should be interesting as there are probably hundreds of people like me out there who studied history at A-level without actually learning about any British history at all.
The Apprentice, BBC One, Wednesday, 9pm
The latest series of Sir Alan Sugar’s hugely entertaining show featuring some of the worst people in the world kicked off last week and they’ve really done it this year in terms of the deranged, deluded and dense people they’ve come up with this time. They’ve even managed to find a bloke who is a recruitment consultant by day and wrestler by night, which is excellent work (I look forward to him clobbering Lord Sugar with a fold-up chair when he inevitably gets booted off).
The early stages of the show are slightly less interesting as there are too many people, it takes a while to get rid of the real rubbish. This week, they are asked to create a condiment – I won’t reveal what it is but there is an hilarious blunder. The great aspect of this show is how dumb these so-called experts can be – and this week is no exception.
Woolly Mammoth: Secrets from the Ice, BBC Two, Wednesday, 9pm
If self-obsessed, rubbish-talking, suit-wearing business types aren’t your bag, maybe mammoths are.
Probably more intelligent than most Apprentice contestants even though they’ve been extinct for thousands of years, the woolly mammoth is a fascinating, almost mystical animal from the past.
Film-maker Alice Roberts looks at the history of the tusky beast and how it managed to adapt itself from a tropical animal to one living in extreme cold.
Probably because it suddenly got distinctly chilly I imagine.