Sky Scores Singapore Grip

Sky’s BBC UKTV will be one of the first channels in the world to screen prestigious period drama The Singapore Grip (9.30 Mondays from August 17).

Billed as an “ambitious and exotic family saga” set in colonial Singapore during World War II, it stars David Morrissey, Luke Treadaway, Charles DanceJane Horrocks and Colm Meaney.

The blurb for this six-part adaption of the JG Farrell novel by Christopher Hampton (Dangeous Liaisons, Atonement) reads:

This epic story centres on a wealthy British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion. Rubber merchant Walter Blackett, his wife Sylvia, ruthless daughter Joan and spoilt son Monty live a life of luxury, seemingly untouched by the troubles in Europe. With Walter’s business partner Mr Webb’s health failing, Walter needs to ensure that the future of their firm is secure. He decides that Webb’s son Matthew is the perfect match for Joan, and Joan is happy to agree, but Matthew’s idealism leaves Walter increasingly suspicious as Matthew himself under the spell of Vera Chiang, a mysterious Chinese refugee.

ITV isn’t expected to launch the series until September or October but this weekend it premiered in Australia, where said it “taps into the wider conversations about the still-present effects of centuries of colonialism and inequitable rule”.

New to Sky’s BBC Earth next month will be Snow Cats & Me (9.35 Wednesdays from August 12), in which wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan joins pioneering Russian big cat experts in a mission to rescue lynx kittens and adults from captivity and return them to the wild.

And Sky’s Discovery will debut the NZ premiere of Into the Wild With Bear Grylls (9.25 Sundays from August 9), in which the British adventurer takes India’s most well-known celebrities deep into the Indian jungles.

Armchair adventures also can look forward to the NZ premiere of Great Asian Railway Journeys on Living (7.30 Saturdays from August 29).

Reads the blurb for Michael Portillo’s latest train trek, a 4,000km journey across South East Asia: “As he rides some of the world’s most spectacular and notorious railways, he’ll learn how these diverse nations asserted their independence against British, French and Dutch empires to become the economic tigers and dragons of today.”

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