HD Heads-Up: March 1-7

With the new-season schedules bedded in, there’s scant new of note coming up in HD.

In fact, one of the season’s first casualties is an HD slot: TV One is dumping its 8.30 Tuesday natural history hour for new SD episodes of 24 Hours in A&E.

The series is a popular staple for the network, and you can’t blame it for it using a crowdpleasing perennial to usurp low-rating wildlife series.

The slot has been a spectacular showcase for some of BBC Earth’s best but this year came a cropper with Kangaroo Dundee being yanked after only two weeks and Hidden Kingdoms (above) not rating much better.

Ironically, TV One is debuting an excellent 2009 natural history series fronted by Stephen Fry, Last Chance to See, 11.30 on Sunday night — it was released here a couple of years ago on Blu-ray but will screen in SD.

Fry’s anthropormorphic narration of Hidden Kingdoms may have hindered its appeal, along with the digital sleight-of-hand and staged sequences that hurt the BBC’s credibility in Britain.

Similarly, the BBC’s War on Britain’s Roads (TV3, 8.30 Wednesday) copped flak for using fake footage of motorists and cyclists at war with one another, and led to death threats for one cyclist who recorded his encounters on a helmet camera.

The Guardian called the HD doco “overly alarmist and somewhat skewed” while The Independent said it “does more in 60 minutes to terrify would-be cyclists and knock a safety campaign off-course than a lorry load of angry road users could in a month of rush hours”.

Argued the BBC: “War On Britain’s Roads is a serious examination of the relationship between cyclists and other road users.

“It uses actual footage of real incidents to provoke discussion and investigates the outcomes and consequences of several of the incidents captured.

“Raising awareness of these issues, on a primetime BBC One programme, can only be a positive thing for both cyclists and other road users.”

Meanwhile, TV One’s is adding a third, weekly edition of MasterChef to its schedule.

Season four of MasterChef Masterclass will premiere 7.30 Saturday – the same night as two late-night network movie premieres go head-to-head: TV spin-off The In-Betweeners Movie (TV2, 9.50) and the Anne Hathaway romance, One Day (TV3, 10.25).

Other HD movies include the network premieres of The Virginity Hit (TV2, 11.45 Saturday) and That’s My Boy (TV2, 9.00 Friday), and re-runs of Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban (TV2, 7.00 Saturday), Hoodwinked (TV2, 6.55 Sunday), Final Destination 2 (TV2, 10.30 Sunday) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (TV3, 8.30 Monday).

Finally, expect plenty of raging bull on The Graham Norton Show (TV3. 8.30 Friday) when Grudge Match’s Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone (whose Escape Plan has just been released on Blu-ray) share the couch with Carey Mulligan and Jonah Hill.

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One Response to “HD Heads-Up: March 1-7”

  1. I watched Last Chance to See on Blu-ray last year. A very entertaining and informative show. Came with excellent picture and sound quality and Stephen Fry was hilarious throughout the series.

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