HD Heads-Up: February 11

❏ It’s two years old but Prime’s 24 Hours on Earth (February 22, 8.30) should look spectacular in HD. The two-part series series travels through a virtual day, from dawn to dusk to night, showing how different animals have adapted to maximise every moment. According to The AV Club, “24 Hours On Earth has two jobs: One is to be the visually stunning ecological wake-up call to which all nature documentaries necessarily default. The other is to find a new spin on presenting the overwhelming scope of nature. It nearly succeeds at both” …

❏ TV3’s biggest highlight for the week starting February 20 is the network movie premiere of Skyfall (9.05 Sunday). Also lined up are Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (7.00 Saturday), US Marshals (9.25 Saturday), Adopting Terror (11.20 Sunday) and What’s Your Number? (8.35 Monday). Season three of Body Shockers starts 9.30 Thursday and guesting on Friday’s Graham Norton Show are Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman and Sir David Attenborough …

❏ Don’t overlook Childhood’s End, which premieres tonight on The Zone. The New York Times reckons Arthur C Clark’s “touchstone novel” about an alien invasion is well served by the Syfy miniseries. “The story has been tweaked, as all novels must be when turned into television, and it’s been brought into the present (Clarke’s jumping-off point was the Cold War space race), but the depth and ambition are still there … It’s heady, unsettling stuff, adapted by Matthew Graham and brought to life with affecting performances.” Childhood’s End averaged a 61% approval rating from top US critics …

❏ Critics were less enamoured with a new animated HBO comedy about New York City critters which debuts tonight on SoHo. Animals “just feels like a string of uninspired, derivative improv sketches that go on too long,” Variety said. “Pigeons and rats deserve better than this.” But The Hollywood Reporter acknowledged it’s “a funny show … whenever there’s a combination of sex, swearing, disaffected voyeurism and some spoofing of bro behaviour” while the comedy’s most receptive reviewer was Entertainment Weekly’s: “There are some decent rat jokes, but the best part is the way it makes the loneliness and exhausting competitiveness of the city feel all too human” …

❏ “It seems to me that they are being fairly careful to be within the boundaries — with a little bit of dramatic license — to what actually happened.” That’s the verdict of an ex-Los Angeles Times journalist who was the lead reporter on the OJ Simpson case about the accuracy of last night’s episode of SoHo’s American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson. But Jim Newton told The Hollywood Reporter the portrayal of Simpson’s lawyer, Robert Shapiro (John Travolta), was unfair. “I think the show is a little cruel to Shapiro in a way that’s not really justified” …

❏ Filming starts next month of a three-hour BBC dramatisation of the multiple murders that occurred around London’s Notting Hill in the late 1940s and early ’50s. “Rillington Place focuses on the true stories of murderer John Christie, his wife Ethel, and their neighbour Timothy Evans, who all lived at the infamous address,” the broadcaster says. Craig Viveiros (And Then There Were None) will direct the screenplays by Ed Whitmore (He Kills Coppers) and Tracey Malone (Born to Kill) that the BBC claims “really crack open the mysteries and motivations of the Christie case”…

❏ Good news for fans of Endeavour: ITV is bringing the Inspector Morse spin-off back for a fourth season. And this time they can expect to see it in HD. The first two series ran in HD on TV One before the network dropped it and Prime picked up series three but aired it in SD. Now that Prime’s joined the HD ranks (albeit only on Sky for the time being), expect it to broadcast series four next year in 1080i …

❏ Bad news for historical fiction buffs: the BBC’s War and Peace has yet to be picked up for broadcast here, delaying the release of the Blu-ray that goes on sale in Australia next month. The six-episode dramatisation ended its UK run on Sunday, with 5.7 million viewers after debuting with 6.3 million. Writer Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice), who will next adapt Les Miserables, admitted to “sexing up” Tolstoy’s text, with numerous nude scenes and making “explicit an incestuous relationship between two of the characters” …

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One Response to “HD Heads-Up: February 11”

  1. WOW, that’s wonderful news about Skyfall, it’s an excellent James Bond movie 🙂

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