Tonight in HD: March 17

SoHo Highlight: The Shadow Line (Sky 10, 9.35, 5.1) Glickman meets Gabriel, telling him that Gatehouse will give him the answers he needs but to beware that Gatehouse will use his ‘secrets’ to hurt him. According to The Guardian, we can expect “shocking scenes, dastardly plans and Kill Bill-style antics” to bring things “to a harrowing head”. Echoed Cultbox: “The Shadow Line has a propensity for dragging its heels at the most inopportune moments, and when it takes refuge in the sort of stilted soliloquies that dogged its opening weeks, it can be infuriating. Yet when it abruptly ups the ante as it does halfway through episode six, swapping intrigue and introspection for elucidation and action, it’s as compelling as any other thriller on television.” ✮✮✮✮

Movie: Notes on a Scandal (TV3, 10.50, 5.1, R) Judi Dench plays a stalking spinster in this suspenseful, provocative drama about a teacher (Cate Blanchett) who’s seduced by a 15-year-old pupil (Andrew Simpson). When Dench’s lonely, unpopular history teacher learns of the affair, she uses it to befriend the vulnerable newcomer and manipulate the relationship sexually. Dench and Blanchett lend credence and prestige to a scenario that could have been exploited for lurid melodrama. While it does become overwrought and ridiculous, there’s still much to enjoy from watching fine actors, including a top supporting cast, playing complex characters meticulously constructing the circumstances in which such grim, obsessive behaviour could develop (even if the outcome’s no match for Dench and director Richard Eyre’s previous collaboration, Iris). ✮✮✮

The Secret Lives of Dancers (TV3, 4.30, R) Finally the curtain goes up on the Sleeping Beauty season — but can Abigail overcome the worst stage fright of her career? ✮✮✮✮

TradeZone Gone Fishin’ (TV3, 5.00) A slice of outdoor New Zealand. ✮✮

Rheem Outdoors With Geoff (TV3, 5.30, R) Geoff Thomas showcases the New Zealand outdoors and abroad. ✮✮

Keeping Up With the Joneses (TV One, 7.00, F) Series finale: Cristina flies to Brisbane for the birth of her baby; Milton’s job is to get to the hospital in time but when endangered cattle must be moved, he is forced to take a risk. ✮✮✮

Terra Nova (TV3, 7.30, 5.1) When an orphaned Sixer girl comes to Terra Nova seeking asylum, Jim and Shannon are at odds as to whether they can trust her. “Tonight’s episode showed some notable improvement generally,” the AV Club reckons, “and also some improvement in dealing with the family drama … On a surface level, this was easily the best episode the show’s had so far.” ✮✮✮

Winners & Losers (TV One, 10.30, R) Frances and Zach fight their sexual attraction; Bec and Matt get closer; the surprise arrival of Jenny’s sister ruffles feathers; Sophie’s stalker makes a life threatening attack. ✮✮

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