Tonight in HD: January 27

SoHo Highlight: The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (Sky 10, 8.30, 5.1) Can this HBO look back at the law that for decades prevented America’s gay and lesbian service men and women from living openly in the military at last set the record straight? “Despite the title, though, DADT’s ‘strange history’ really isn’t all that unusual; rather, it’s a testament to what formidable opponents ignorance and prejudice can be,” Variety said of this “unapologetic piece of liberal advocacy“. The San Francisco Chronicle agreed: “Although filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Wishful Drinking) present both sides of the debate over gays in the military, theirs is not an unbiased film – those who think gays have no business serving openly will probably remained unconvinced by Strange History.” ✭✭✭✭

Come Fly With Me (TV3, 10.10)

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R)  The gang is amazed to learn that Phoebe married a gay Canadian ice dancer to help him get his green card; Ross seeks relationship advice from Rachel. ✭✭✭

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) Rachel considers a cease-fire; Phoenix is at the mercy of his genes; Vinnie encourages Bree to make a move. ✭✭✭

The Graham Norton Show (TV3, 9.10) With Gerard Butler, Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, Sherlock Holmes’ Martin Freeman and Noel Gallagher, who also performs If I Had a Gun. (The previously advertised Madonna episode will screen next week.) ✭✭✭✭

Come Fly With Me (TV3, 10.10, 5.1, R) There is a bumpy ride ahead for husband-and-wife pilot team Simon and Jackie when Simon’s one-night stand is rostered onto their flight to Barcelona. ✭✭

The Vampire Diaries (TV2, 10.30) Klaus attempts to execute a plan that will give him even more power, while Alaric and Damon go along with Elena’s search for Stefan. ✭✭✭

Human Target (TV2, 11.30) Chance and Ilsa are caught in a hostage crisis; Guerrero is framed for murder. ✭✭✭

Numb3rs (TV3, 11.30, 5.1) Don investigates the execution of eight people, including two police officers, in a coffee shop. ✭✭

CSI: Miami (TV3, 12.30, 5.1, R) When a suburban soccer mum is murdered, the CSIs uncover her family’s dark past, while Delko continues his undercover mission. ✭✭

Sky Movies Greats Premiere: The Thin Red Line (Sky 22, 8.30, 5.1) Meandering but breathtaking combat drama about the WWII battle of Guadalcanal. You half expect the portentous voiceovers to start weeping about “the horror, the horror” of it all so reminiscent is its heart-of-darkness angst. Yet amid the pretension and puerile big-gun casting are scenes and sequences that will blow you away with their beauty, artistry and searing intensity — even when The Thin Red Line steps over that even thinner line between the meaningfully enigmatic and the maddeningly meaningless. Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life) directs a top-brass cast that includes Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, George Clooney, Woody Harrelson, John Cusack, John Travolta and Person of Interest’s Jim Caviezel. (1998) ✭✭✭

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