HD Heads-Up: October 23 – 29

➢➢ Royal Flying Doctor Service (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Mondays from October 25) was dubbed “The Flying Doctors in new scrubs“. Reads the blurb: “The production captures the beauty and brutality of Australia’s outback where doctors and nurses, pilots and support staff negotiate the unique challenges of emergency rescue across some of the most inhospitable places in the country.” Said the Sydney Morning Herald: “It sits somewhere between soap and limited series, and it feels utterly, wholesomely satisfying. In short, it’s really – if a little surprisingly – rather good” …

➢➢”Outback locations, likeable characters and true to life medical procedures make Endemol/Seven’s next gen Flying Doctors a sure bet at home and internationally,” was trade paper ScreenHub’s verdict. “A tightly scripted eight-part series (though presumably there’ll be more if it does well), this is well-made across the board, with few of the obvious scripting flaws that often derail local productions. It’s not ground-breaking television by any stretch, but – much like the patients of the RFDS – you’ll find yourself in safe hands” …

➢➢ Three years in the making, Recovery 29 (Prime, 8.30 Tuesday) documents what happened 10 years after the Pike River Mine explosion when a small team of West Coast miners re-entered the mine to find the evidence that might finally hold someone accountable for the deaths of 29 miners …

➢➢ Gordon Ramsay’s Bank Balance (TVNZ 1, 8.35 Saturday) has the celebrity chef presenting a new game show, in which contestants try to win gold bars. Quipped The Guardian: “Is it good, the quiz? Is it good? Oh, for f– is it good? No, it isn’t very good. No, no, no. Pathetic. Bland. Slop! Bring some panache. Bring some heat. FLAVOUR, yes?” The Telegraph was less brutal — “Ramsay proved a decent host as he swapped his chef’s jacket for dishing out prizes – but the results were uneven” — while the Daily Mail reported the show was “facing the axe after just two weeks on air amid poor ratings”. It was, indeed, cancelled after one season, with the Independent likening it to “Joey Tribiani’s nonsensical game show from Friends” …

➢➢ Elizabeth I & II: The Golden Queens (Prime, 8.35 Thursday) is a Channel 5 series that contrasts the lives and legacies of the monarchs 18 months after its UK premiere. Part one shows how extraordinary events aligned to allow the two Elizabeths to ascend to the throne; part two unravels the complex relationships between the Queens and Diana, Princess of Wales, and Mary Queen of Scots …

➢➢ The same week Duke will broadcast live coverage of Extreme E Live – Island X Prix from 10.00-midnight on Saturday, 3am-5am and 11.00-12.30am on Sunday, and 3am-5am on Monday …

➢➢ Appearing on the October 28 broadcast of The Graham Norton Show (Three, 9.05) will be rock icon Dave Grohl, Paralympian Kadeena Cox, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and comedian Greg Davies …

➢➢ Returning will be SAS: Who Dares Wins (Prime, 8.30 Sunday), First Dates Australia (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Monday) and Our DNA Journey (Three, 9.30 Wednesday) while ending their runs will be Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Weakest Link AustraliaRelentless With Kate SnowGrey’s Anatomy and Celebrity Bake Off

➢➢ HD coming attractions for the last week of October will include:

  • Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (TVNZ 2, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Swallows and Amazons (Maori TV, 7.00 Saturday)
  • Logan Lucky (Three, 8.30 Saturday)
  • Point Break (TVNZ 2, 8.40 Saturday)
  • A Serious Man (Maori TV, 8.40 Sunday)
  • Deadly Rideshare (Three, 10.50 Saturday)
  • The Grudge 2 (Duke, midnight Sunday)
  • Meet the Fockers (TVNZ 2, midday Sunday)
  • The Grand Seduction (Maori TV, 8.30 Sunday)
  • Kong: Skull Island (TVNZ 2, 8.35 Sunday)
  • Wanted (Three, 8.45 Sunday)
  • Unforgettable (TVNZ 2, 10.45 Sunday)
  • Shoot ‘Em Up (Prime, 9.30 Monday)
  • John Q (TVNZ 2, 8.30 Tuesday)
  • Shooter (Three, 8.30 Friday)
  • Dark Shadows (Maori TV, 8.30 Friday)
  • Airplane! (Duke, 9.30 Friday)
  • Daphne & Velma (TVNZ 2, 3.15am Saturday).
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