HD Heads-Up: January 18-24

Sherlock returns to TV One within a few weeks of its record-rating [spoiler alert] BBC1 comeback on New Year’s Day – but the bad news is the network is repeating the first two series ahead of the third.

That means fans will have to wait until March 2 to see how the ace sleuth survived what appeared to be a fatal fall in the season-two finale.

TV One has scheduled Sherlock 9.30 Saturdays, after a new Aussie period successor to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Dr-Blake-Poster1The Doctor Blake Mysteries stars ex-Neighbour Craig Maclachan as a 1950s, small-town crime-solver in a series that the Daily Express said opened with “a good mystery, told well in 45 minutes and kept you guessing until the end”.

The Times likened it to “something like Heartbeat would be, if you replaced its jaunty pop soundtrack with a dark soul of shell shock, alcoholism and modern art …

There’s lots of promise here for what will unpeel over the next nine parts.”

The series was popular enough to be renewed by the ABC barely halfway through its Australian run this time last year, when it averaged 1.2 million viewers an episode.

TV One teems with HD premieres in the week starting January 18, with other highlights including the 8.30 Thursday return of another small-town medic, Doc Martin, for the first time in HD, and three other Australian series that will Tuesdays from 7.30-9.30.

Surveillance Oz will lead into Australia’s Deadliest, a trashy-sounding newcomer about encounters with everything from sharks and jellyfish to snakes and crocodiles, and Kangaroo Dundee, about a gentle giant of the outback who adopts wildlife strays.

“Their mummies have generally been run over, by road trains, or by speeding Aussies so overladen with Fosters they were unable to stop (if they even tried to),” quipped The Guardian, which judged the series to be “oddly compelling television, and charming, too”.

This time last year The Australian reported Chris “Brolga” Barnes had become the unlikeliest of Australian sex symbols.

“The show last week attracted 1.7 million viewers on BBC Two, enough to prompt one competitor to counter-program the movie Crocodile Dundee against him on Saturday night.

“’That was all right,’ he laughed. ‘It was great promoting the Northern Territory, you had me in Alice on one channel and Croc Dundee up in the Top End on another channel!’”

Completing TV One’s HD advance of Australia fair that week is the Sunday movie, The Great Mint Swindle.

About the wrongful conviction of three brothers for robbing the Perth Mint in 1982, it aired two years ago in Australia and stars Kiwi Grant Bowler.

Said the Sydney Morning Herald: “The Great Mint Swindle, with its cast of relative yet talented unknowns is what Underbelly was before Matt Newton was cast – an interesting story told by actors who invested themselves into every angle, shot and syllable of an earnest script.”

Perception-DVDAlso new is Perception (TV One, 11.00 Wednesday), which Variety dubbed another TV crime procedural “where the guy provides the brains and his female partner delivers the muscle.

“Other than that, this vehicle for Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack is really just more of the same-old, same-old, with a colourfully flawed (eccentric or crazy, take your pick) hero solving cases that prove almost wholly generic.

“It’s no accident networks keep replicating this formula, but whether reality or mere perception, the result here is kind of a snooze.”

In other HD news of note for the week starting January 18:

  • The season-five premiere of The Middle (TV2, 7.30 Monday) launches a two-hour Monday night comedy block that includes Hot in Cleveland, Super Fun Night and Trophy Wife;
  • Season six of Sons of Anarchy opens with a movie-length premiere (TV3, 8.55 Wednesday)
  • The documentary Sex, Lies and Rinsing Guys (TV3, 9.30 Thursday) explores how glamorous women use their charm and beauty to “rinse” wealthy men for money and gifts
  • Network movie premieres of Tangled (TV2, 7.00 Sunday), We Bought a Zoo (TV3, 7.00 Sunday) and Fright Night (TV2, 9.00 Sunday)
  • Re-runs of Cats and Dogs 2: Revenge of Kitty Galore (TV2, 4.20 Sunday), The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (TV3, 9.40 Sunday), Repo Men (TV3, 8.30 Monday), Tangiwai (TV One, 8.30 Wednesday), Two Weeks Notice (TV2, 8.30 Thursday) and The Island (TV2, 8.30 Friday).
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4 Responses to “HD Heads-Up: January 18-24”

  1. I have got sad news … according to Throng SKY aren’t upgrading Prime into HD this year 🙁

    http://www.throng.co.nz/2014/01/will-prime-go-hd-2014/

  2. Thanks, Trevor, that is bad news. Will follow it up on Monday …

  3. Hopefully you will have better news Philip 🙂

  4. Damn you, Sky!

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