HD Heads-Up: January 6-12

➢➢ TVNZ 1 is brightening up summer viewing with a raft of premieres and specials in the second week of January. Leading the pack is the universally acclaimed Planet Earth III (7.30 Tuesday)  Filmed over five years across 43 countries, the eight-part series was shot from overhead drones and remotely operated deep-sea submersible to reveal animals fighting for survival amid constant environmental change. “This awe-inspiring series has a scale that is simply spectacular,” The Guardian said. “It is possible to watch and enjoy it purely for the astonishing footage – but it will horrify you too.” But it’s not all hi-tech spectacle that will look unrivalled on the 4K Blu-ray due out in the UK same time as its TVNZ 1 premiere: the first episode’s focus on the plights of the Caribbean flamingos on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and the green turtles of Raine Island on the Great Barrier Reef includes footage of Sir David Attenborough on the same island more than 60 years earlier …

➢➢ TVNZ 1 will use Planet Earth III to launch 2022’s Grand Designs: House of the Year (8.45), which showcases five hard-to-build houses, including a playful pink beach house, an extreme DIY eco-home, a redbrick reimagined and a London new-build — although the winning build wasn’t to everyone’s taste …

➢➢ One of TVNZ 1’s best newcomers is being relegated to overnight Saturdays (12.10am Sunday). Not to be confused with the excellent Aussie movie of the same name, The Dry concerns a recovering alcoholic’s homecoming for her grandmother’s funeral in Dublin. “The humour is dark and nuanced, the psychological observations on addiction utterly convincing and the supporting cast an absolute joy,” said The Times while The Telegraph argued: “We’ve had plenty of comedy-dramas with messy heroines, and this one isn’t in the Fleabag league. It’s uneven but [Roisin] Gallagher’s performance is good enough to keep you watching; you’ll care about what happens to her, and cringe at her mistakes” …

➢➢ Other TVNZ 1 premiere range from the behind-the-scenes Farewell Doc Martin (9.30 Saturday) to welcoming back Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport (S8, 8.05 Monday) and World’s Most Dangerous Roads (S2, 8.35 Wednesday). Also new are the self-explanatory When Luxury Cruises Go Horribly Wrong (7.30 Sunday), a six-part docuseries about dating, Better Date Than Never (7.30 Monday),  Amazing Race wannabe Celebrity Race Across the World (9.10 Monday) and yet another renovation series with a twist, Building Superhomes (8.40 Thursday), in which a maverick developer turns  a dated Nottingham house into a “sumptuous multi-million-pound superhome” …

➢➢ Duke is double-billing new reality adventures Commando – Britain’s Ocean Warriors (8.25 Sunday), which follows fresh recruits trying to earn their green berets, and Alone – Grizzly Mountain (9.25) while new to TVNZ 2 is Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins (10.50 Wednesday) …

➢➢ Three has two new comedy specials: Ed Gamble: Blood Sugar (9.15 Monday), in which the stand-up comic tackles spin class, Jesus’s abs and how guide dogs are con artists, and Just For Laughs 16 (9.40 Thursday), which features Dara Ó Briain, Russell Peters, Celeste Barber and Aida Rodriguez …

➢➢ Ending their runs are Full CircleLopez vs. LopezClaridge’s: The Mega Build, Essex MurdersCrashing and Barry 

➢➢ Live free-to-air sport includes Blackcaps v Pakistan 1st T20 (TVNZ 1, 6.55 Friday) and Supersmash Cricket (Duke, Saturday-Friday) …

➢➢ HD coming attractions include:

  • My Girl 2 (TVNZ 2, 11am Saturday)
  • Transformers (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Missing Link (Three, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Around the World in 80 Days (Whakaata Māori, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Sex & the City (Eden, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Bellbird (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Second Act (Three, 8.50 Saturday)
  • Ad Astra (TVNZ 2, 9.30 Saturday)
  • A Nightmare On Elm Street V: The Dream Child (Duke, 9.45 Saturday)
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (Three, 10.50 Saturday)
  • Source Code (TVNZ 2, 11.45 Saturday)
  • Brothers (TVNZ 2, 1.20am Sunday)
  • Nanny McPhee (TVNZ 2, 4.10 Sunday)
  • Shrek (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Sunday)
  • Tenet (Three, 8.25 Sunday)
  • The Shawshank Redemption (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Sunday)
  • War Dogs (Eden, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Infamous (Whakaata Māori, 8.45 Sunday)
  • Oslo (Sky Open, 9.20 Sunday)
  • Critters (TVNZ 2, 10.25 Sunday)
  • Blended (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Monday)
  • Smokin’ Aces (Sky Open, 8.30 Monday)
  • Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Monday)
  • The Wedding Singer (TVNZ 2, 10.00 Monday)
  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Whakaata Māori, 12.30 Tuesday)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Tuesday)
  • The Last Samurai (Three, 8.00 Tuesday)
  • The Fugitive (Duke, 9.00 Tuesday)
  • Muriel’s Wedding (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Wednesday)
  • Sometimes Always Never (Whakaata Māori, 8.30 Wednesday)
  • The Town (Three, 8.50 Wednesday)
  • The Untouchables (Duke, 9.00 Wednesday)
  • Miss Congeniality 2 (Three, 7.30 Thursday)
  • Terminator 3 (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Thursday)
  • National Security (Duke, 9.00 Thursday)
  • San Andreas (TVNZ 2, 8.00 Friday)
  • Prisoners (Three, 8.50 Friday)
  • Ted 2 (Duke, 9.15 Friday).
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