Tonight in HD: May 8

SoHo Highlight: Five Days (Sky 10, 8.30) In the penultimate episode, it’s day 37: A young woman is arrested — could she be baby Michael’s mother? Laurie and Mal try to identify the body on the tracks; and train driver Pat is visited by a witness to the incident. Screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes’ latest drama for the BBC is The Girl, which dramatises Alfred Hitchcock’s twisted infatuation with his star of The Birds, Tippi Hedren. It stars Titanic’s Toby Jones as ‘Hitch’ and Sienna Miller as his leading lady (above). Says Hughes of the project: “It’s been the most enormous privilege to talk at length to Tippi Hedren, the last ‘Hitchcock blonde’ in the life of Britain’s most original and successful film director. At the time, in the early 1960s, the American star suffered in silence. But now, at the age of 81, her wisdom and insights have helped me to put her real life ordeal on to the screen.” A broadcast date has yet to be announced. ✮✮✮

Home & Away (TV3, 5.30) Casey and Henri are caught kissing; Heath takes legal action against Liam and Bianca; Leah joins an online dating site. ✮✮

Friends (TV2, 6.30, R) In an unusually feeble episode, Phoebe is in labour  with a doctor who is obsessed with Happy Days. ✮✮

Shortland Street (TV2, 7.00) TK takes on responsibility; Brooke’s stuck in a web of her own design; Rachel holds Chris’s fate in her hands. ✮✮✮

The Middle (TV2, 7.30, 5.1) Frankie vows to celebrate all of the family’s important life milestones after attending Aunt Ginny’s funeral; Axl accidentally eats Brick’s Indiana dough school map project. “Man, I hate it when I go out on a limb and suggest that a series has given us its best episode of the season, only for the next episode to rival it, but damned if that isn’t what The Middle has done,” said the AV Club. “After weeks of wondering when the show would tackle the passing of actress Frances Bay, aka. Aunt Ginny, we finally get an opportunity to bid farewell to both the character and the woman who played her.” ✮✮✮✮

Suburgatory (TV2, 8.00) After finding an X-rated gift meant for Tessa, George pulls out the stops to keep her at home and away from her new boyfriend. ✮✮

Funny Roots (TV3, 8.00) Series premiere: Steve Wrigley investigates his funny roots with a visit to Holland, where he finds out what the Dutch think is funny before performing an original stand-up comedy set. According to a preview in the NZ Herald, which acclaimed Funny Roots as its Pick of the Week: “He found he had to come up with an almost entirely new show because, as his cousin Karin pointed out to him, in Amsterdam his ‘stoner’ jokes are ‘everyday life’. But he finds plenty of good comic fodder in Holland, especially about their ‘racist’ Christmas traditions.” ✮✮✮✮

Yellowstone (TV One, 8.30, R) As the snow melts the extent of Yellowstone Park is revealed, but summer in the park is fickle. ✮✮✮✮✮

Go Girls (TV2, 8.30, F) Season finale: Brad has to stop a wedding, but it’s going to take way more than a bouncy castle; Britta gets an unwelcome surprise; Olivia faces heartbreak. In an ultra-fast turnaround from broadcast, the DVD (but not Blu-ray) of season four goes on sale tomorrow. Extras include Amy’s Diaries and a commentary on episode seven. ✮✮✮

NCIS (TV3, 8.30, 5.1) A Navy lieutenant is murdered, and the team investigates while being interrupted by her husband, who is a detective. ✮✮

NCIS: Los Angeles (TV3, 9.3, 5.1) A Marine is suspected of creating a chemical bomb, and the NCIS team work with the FBI’s domestic-terrorist task force to hunt down the terrorist. ✮✮

The Closer (TV One, 11.05, 5.1) A shoot-out leaves two cops and a teenage neo-Nazi dead, with lots of unanswered questions as to what happened and who else might have been involved. ✮✮✮✮

Fringe (TV2, 2.30, 5.1, R, F) Season-two finale; season four premieres Thursday at the slightly earlier hour of 10.30pm. ✮✮✮✮

Sky Movies Premiere: Scream of the Banshee (Sky 20, 11.40, 5.1) The “scream” you hear in this SyFy Channel shlock-horror is that of Lance Henricksen, ex-Alien and Millennium, who’s reduced to playing an archeologist in “full-steam wacky mode“. NCIS’ Lauren Holly co-stars in what Entertainment Weekly described as part The Ring, part Final Destination, with some Drag me to Hell, Flatliners, and Priest. “The fun of this movie, naturally, is seeing just how the filmmakers dispose of the various doomed characters, and in the second hour, Banshee does not disappoint.” (2011) ✮✮

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