HD Heads-Up: April 20-26

➢➢ Both TVNZ 1 and Whakaata Māori commemorate ANZAC Day on April 25 but the latter dwarfs the former with its coverage. TVNZ 1 carries the Dawn Service from 6am and the National Commemoration Service and wreath laying ceremony from 11am, ahead of the midday documentary, All Blacks At War, which looks at how one in four of the 52 former All Blacks who served in World War I never returned. Whakaata Māori goes live at 5.30am, from C Company House in Gisborne and the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and continues with:

  • Vapnierka (8am)
  • Whītiki (9am)
  • The Cowboys: Undefined C Company (10am): The personal stories behind a 1100-strong band of volunteers from the East Coast tribes who fought in Italy, Greece and North Africa during WW2
  • Te Rongo Toa ANZAC Special (11am)
  • Revealing Gallipoli (midday)
  • Paradise Soldiers (1.35)
  • ANZAC Day Gallipoli Service 2024 (2.25)
  • Treasures of our Past (3.25)
  • Breaker Morant (4.25)
  • Koros’ Medals (6.15)
  • Te Ao Mārama (6.30) …

➢➢ Stephen Fry: Willem and Frieda – Defying the Nazis (Whakaata Māori, 8.00 Thursday) investigates the inspiring and moving story of a gay man and a lesbian who led anti-Nazi resistance in Holland. Said The Guardian: “There is so much second world war on television – history programmes, prestige dramas, celebrity genealogy shows – that you might assume all the most compelling tales have been told already, three or four times over. But not this one. And, oh, what a story it is” …

➢➢ Defying the Nazis follows Major Wordley’s Treasure Trove (7.00), which documents the heroic and tragic stories behind Major Walter Downs Piiti Wordley’s secret WW2 photos and diary of Māori Battalion life, and precedes Balloon (9.25), the movie dramatisation of how to East German families fled to the West in a hot-air ballon 

➢➢ TVNZ 1’s latest weekend revamp opens with a new season of The Celebrity Bake Off (7.0o0 Saturday), continues with the return of Call the Midwife (8.10) as the lead-in to the premiere of Alan Carr’s Adventures With Agatha Christie (9.25) and closes with Sam Neill in the jury drama The Twelve (10.25). Sunday heralds S3 of the Lucy Lawless whodunit, My Life is Murder (8.30) …

➢➢ Carr’s new vehicle was scarcely a page-turner for the Daily Mail: “There was nothing here that fans of Christie won’t know well: the vanishing act in 1926, the archaeological digs with second husband Paul, the eternal popularity of The Mousetrap. But like rereading her books, this series kindles a familiar, cosy glow” …

➢➢ The Twelve follows a controversial murder trial in which the accused is charged with killing her teenage niece. Is it even a murder, given the 14-year-old went missing when in her care but a body has never been found? With her own family divided over her guilt or innocence, what hope does the jury have of reaching the truth? The Telegraph’s verdict? “Guilty of cliché” …

➢➢ George Clarke’s Adventures in Americana (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Wednesday) is a four-part Channel 4 series about the buildings that make the US unique while The Big Interiors Battle (TVNZ 1, 9.45 Friday) has eight interior designers competing to make over – and win – a mortgage-free apartment. Said one UK critic of Americana: “Too often we got a brilliant insight into the origins of classic American industrial design … closely followed by the stock travelogue pabulum of celebrity goes to rodeo in a cowboy hat”  …

➢➢ The Invisible Pilot (Sky Open, 9.30 Tuesday) is a new HBO docuseries about a pilot who seemingly jumped to his death in 1977 and wound up leading a dangerous double life. It begins in Arkansas and ends up as one of the biggest political scandals of our time involving  drug smuggling, gun-running, and a covert war conducted at the highest level of the US government …

➢➢ Live/delayed free-to-air sport coverage includes:

  • ANZ Premiership Netball: Central Pulse vs Waikato BOP Magic (TVNZ 2, 4.00 Saturday)
  • Super Rugby Pacific: Blues vs Brumbies (Sky Open, 7.00 Saturday)
  • NRL Premiership: Penrith Panthers vs Wests Tigers (Sky Open, 11.30 Saturday)
  • NRL Premiership: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles sv Parramatta Eels (Sky Open, 9.55 Friday)

➢➢ Olivia Colman, Hugh Laurie, Romesh Ranganathan, Leah Williamson and stars of the West End revival of Cabaret guest on The Graham Norton Show (Three, 8.30 Thursday) …

➢➢  Somebody Somewhere completes its first season on a double-bill with the premiere of S2 (Sky Open, 9.30/10.00 Wednesday). Also new are S2 of Swamp People: Serpent Invasion (Duke, 7.30 Sunday), S2 of Mt Hutt Rescue (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Tuesday) and S8 of The Supervet (Sky Open, 7.30 Thursday) while ending their runs are Testify, The Hotel Inspector, The Amazing RaceMud Mountain Haulers and Dinner Date 

➢➢ HD coming attractions include:

  • The Spiderwick Chronicles (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Maya the Bee 3 (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • The Happy Prince (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Midway (Three, 8.35 Saturday)
  • The Ugly Truth (TVNZ 2, 8.50 Saturday)
  • Birdsong (Sky Open, 9.30 Saturday)
  • Fatal Attraction (Duke, 10.15 Saturday)
  • Gladiator (TVNZ 2, 10.40 Saturday)
  • The Kids are All Right (TVNZ 2, 1.30am Sunday)
  • Paranorman (TVNZ 2, 3.45 Sunday)
  • Back to the Future II (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Godzilla (Three, 8.05 Sunday)
  • I, Tonya (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Alone in Berlin (Whakaata Māori,8.40 Sunday)
  • Skyscraper (TVNZ 2, 9.00 Sunday)
  • Greta (TVNZ 2, midnight Sunday)
  • The Legend of Zorro (Sky Open, 8.30 Monday)
  • High Tide Don’t Hide Pick a Side (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday)
  • Monster’s Ball (Duke, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Journeys End (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • Grow Up, Timmy Turner! (Sky Open, 8.55am Thursday)
  • Uglydolls (TVNZ 2, 9.20am Thursday)
  • Breaker Morant (Whakaata Māori, 4.25 Thursday)
  • Blades of Glory (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Thursday)
  • They Shall Not Grow Old (Duke, 8.30 Thursday)
  • Balloon (Whakaata Māori, 9.25 Thursday)
  • Apollo 11 (Duke, 10.25 Thursday)
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa 0.5 (Duke, 9.30 Friday).
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