Slow Coltrane to TVNZ 1

Six feet under Kiwi-style and a belated Robbie Coltrane drama about a celebrity accused of rape will premiere on TVNZ 1 in the week starting January 13.

Casketeers, which will screen 7.00 Saturdays, follows the “passionate” proprietors of an Auckland funeral home, focusing as much on Francis and Kaiora Tipene’s relationship as what goes on behind the scenes of their business.

It debuts the same week as another factual entertainment newcomer, Gate to the Globe (8.00 Wednesdays), which spotlights Maori exporters who are the “unsung heroes” of the primary industries.

National Treasure (8.30 Tuesdays) stars Coltrane as a disgraced hero: a beloved comedian and family man whose life is shattered when he’s arrested for allegedly raping a woman 20 years earlier.

Variety called it “a concentrated jolt of meticulously crafted British drama” while The Guardian said “it’s real to the core – the events, the police investigation, the fishing, the press, the issues.

“And the character, extraordinarily – and bravely – portrayed by Robbie Coltrane is not simply a monster, to be run out of town by the mob, but a complex character who demands, if not sympathy, then at least some attempt at understanding.”

TVNZ 1 will screen the four-hour drama in two double-episodes. But that still won’t make up for the inexplicable delay between its UK (September 2016)/US (February 2017) broadcasts and NZ’s.

Even older is TVNZ 1’s “latest” wildlife series, the three-part Wild Patagonia, which the BBC aired in 2015. It will screen 7.30 Saturdays from January 13.

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