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This Week On TV One

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
This Week On TV One

WEEK 40: Saturday 3 October - Friday 09 October 2009

Local - Birdland, Saturday 3 October, 7pm: Jeremy Wells tackles unfamiliar territory in the new TV ONE series that has him celebrating (and sometimes salivating over) New Zealand's exceptional bird-life. Not your typical wildlife show, Birdland takes viewers on an unconventional, yet informative journey that soaks up some of New Zealand's most beautiful scenery, most glorious birds, and some wonderfully eccentric characters of the birding world (tonight at 7pm on TV ONE).

"New Zealand may not have the Taj Mahal, the Sistine Chapel or any half decent theme parks but we do have some of the most unique birdlife in the world," says Wells.

He freely admits that he's no expert when it comes to birds and his reasons for undertaking the project are typically atypical: "Sadly, every other subject for a television show had been taken. Marcus Lush took trains, Hamish Keith stole art and Te Radar mucked about on a farm. As far as I'm aware, birds were the last subject of national importance left to milk," says Wells.

Among other things, Wells visits the Moa graveyard of Karamea (found after an eight hour underground caving expedition), meets the talking Tui of Whangarei (his name is Woof Woof), and explores the arcane world of poultry and pigeon breeders at their annual competition.

Wells also experienced what pre-colonial New Zealand might have looked and sounded like on Tiritiri Matangi, the offshore wildlife reserve in the Hauraki Gulf. There he spent a night camped out counting Kiwi calls and measuring Takahe excrement.

Viewers will meet Joe the 40-year-old virgin Kea, who lives in a pub in Takaka, as well as some amazing human characters, such as Hans Hartog of Lower Hutt, who has been feeding dozens of sparrows every day at 11.30am for 22 years, but recently came into conflict with the council.

From paddling with penguins, to observing one of New Zealand's smallest and most endangered birds (The New Zealand Dotterel), nesting amongst the jet aircraft in the country's busiest airport; Wells was captivated by the world of birds and those who watch them.

"After six years scratching around insulting minor celebrities on late night television, it's been a revelation to get outdoors and rub shoulders with people passionate about something other than themselves," Wells says.

Writers and self confessed birders Steve Braunias and Graeme Hill contributed their knowledge and pedantry to the series.

Episode one sees Wells uncover some extraordinary conservation stories on his journey to Tiritiri Matangi, and experiences what bird-life would have been like before pakeha arrived in New Zealand. Plus, the remarkable story of Christchurch business woman Lady Diana Isaac, with her unique marriage of construction and conservation as quarries are transformed into refuges for rare birds like the Black Stilt and the Blue Duck.

Drama - Criminal Justice, Sunday 4 and Monday 5 October, 8.30pm: Ben Whishaw, the star of Criminal Justice, is one of Britain's most in-demand young actors. The thought-provoking drama by acclaimed British writer Peter Moffat (Cambridge Spies, North Square) is screening as a two-part series on Sunday 4 and Monday 5 October at 8.30pm on TV ONE.

The Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer and Brideshead Revisited star says he found the script of Criminal Justice instantly thrilling and hard to put down. He explains: "I started to dream about it and talk to friends about it - it got under my skin. It was something I felt I had to do, and the story seemed to tap into really primal fears. It has a nightmarish quality - it's complex and challenging. I felt it would challenge me in big ways.

"I had to take a break between reading each episode to get my breath back and calm down," he says. "It got me so charged. I loved the way it worked simply on the level of thriller, and yet it also felt very real, very authentic - particularly in its depiction of the politics of prison life. I was shocked and surprised and enthralled by it."

Whishaw plays Ben Coulter, a 21-year-old with a sensitive nature and a happy-go-lucky outlook on life, who finds himself charged with murder at the end of a drug and drink-fuelled night out.

"Ben is really a kind of everyman figure - it seemed to me he could be any one of us. He's young and open - an innocent. His story begins one fairly ordinary Saturday night when, through a series of minor events, he picks up a girl and spends the night with her and, within 24 hours, has been charged with murder. And so begins a journey that he couldn't possibly have anticipated and, in many ways, is not equipped to cope with. It's a test of his every resource.

"Ben's journey is an enormous one," continues Whishaw. "For me, it's really a story about how you keep a good heart in a system that's designed to break you. How do you hold on to the truth when everybody doubts you? It could be said that it's also a story about growing up - growing from child to adult and the hard lessons that transition brings."

Whishaw says he was intrigued by Ben's plight. He says, director Otto Bathurst advised him to base his character, more or less, on himself. "It's the first time I've approached a character in that way. I kept saying to myself: 'Keep it simple and keep it honest'. I just had to put myself in his situation and behave the way I would behave in such a situation. I wanted the audience to feel that they were Ben, and to feel what he feels."

He says, "Criminal Justice is a thrilling human story. It's about somebody who is unexpectedly taken to the extremes of human experience. I think the directors, Otto (Bathurst) and Luke (Watson), have done a fantastic job of making Peter's story exciting, and challenging, and moving. I think it may well be uncomfortable viewing at times, but sometimes it's important to feel uncomfortable."

Criminal Justice follows Ben's rollercoaster ride through the criminal justice system, where the truth is optional and what counts is playing the game. No one wants to hear Ben's side of the story - as soon as he is arrested, a complex game of cat and mouse begins, played out by his world-weary solicitor Stone (Con O'Neil, Learners) and the pugnacious DCI Box (Bill Paterson, Sea Of Souls). Ben's shocked parents don't know where to turn and deep down there is a terrifying doubt: their son could be a murderer.

Ben's world becomes the labyrinth of police station, prison and courtroom. As Ben steps off the prison bus he has to learn to survive alongside cellmates and hardcore career criminals Hooch (Pete Postlethwaite, The Constant Gardener) and Freddie Graham (David Harewood, Gunrush). Lost in this alien world, Ben has little sense of where things start or finish, and who is in charge.

Local - Piha Rescue, Monday 5 October, 8pm: Thousands of visitors flock to Piha in the summer months to enjoy the sand, surf, and wild terrain. However, many of those who visit the idyllic beach find themselves in desperate need of a lifeguard, as fickle water conditions make for dangerous circumstances.

Now in its sixth season, Piha Rescue (tonight at 8pm on TV ONE) brings the summertime action at Piha, right into viewers' living rooms. This season, the lifeguards are as busy as ever with record numbers of people visiting the beach. When the surf's up and the crowd is huge, it is hard work keeping everyone safe.

The majority of the lifeguards at the beach are volunteers who put in the hard yards to keep Kiwis safe in the water. They are required to have physical and mental strength, good people skills, quick reactions and the ability to cope with extreme levels of stress. The club also hits a milestone this season, reaching 75 years of service, and Piha Rescue was there to join in the celebrations.

Piha Rescue producer Eric Derks says, "Each year I am surprised at how quickly Piha beach can change from a calm, safe spot for swimmers and surfers, into a dangerous current, which is only suitable for the strongest swimmers amongst us - giving the rest only seconds to get to safety."

A frightening new trend noticed by the guards this season, is the increase in small children left to their own devices in the water. Children are defenceless once they drift into the rips and on some patrols the guards save life after life, while the parents remain oblivious.

Also this series, the first aid room sees its fair share of emergencies, and there's a welcome return for the Piha surf boat crews, who compete on the national circuit, and travel to France to compete in the (unofficial) World Championships.

Episode one sees guards work hard to save a man from drowning as extraordinary surf wreaks havoc between the flags, and a family has a terrifying ordeal.

Factual - Real Life: A WI Lady's Guide To Brothels, Tuesday 6 October, 9.30pm: Middle England met the sex trade head-on when the Hampshire Women's Institute emerged as an unlikely champion of the reform of prostitution laws in the United Kingdom. WI Members Jean Johnson and Shirley Landels led their 7,000-strong membership to advocate the legalisation of brothels in Britain.

Real Life: A WI Lady's Guide To Brothels (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE) sees investigative journalist Nicky Taylor join forces with the ladies of the Hampshire WI on a journey to find out what makes a best practice brothel, how the laws need to change to create it and whether it's possible to set up the UK's first legal brothel.

Johnson is the driving force behind Hampshire WI's mission to legalise brothels. The 62-year-old housewife says, "What we are asking for is safe working spaces for working girls. The reason for that is that there were five [working] girls murdered in Ipswich and they could be our daughters, or it doesn't matter whose daughters they are, they were somebody's daughters."

Landels is Johnson's partner in crime, and together they believe the British laws around prostitution are bonkers - while prostitution is legal, brothels - where the girls work - are illegal.

Johnson says they want to create safer environments. "I don't think our original idea was to have it in the house next-door to where we live, or the house next-door to anybody, where anybody lives, but if they are going to be their, I think they've got to be regulated the same as everywhere else."

Johnson and Landels embark on a global mission to investigate the effects the laws have on prostitution. In Amsterdam, they experience what it feels like to work in a window brothel; they continue their search for brothel nirvana by joining the line-up in one of Nevada's licensed sex ranches; and experience the luxury of an upmarket self-run prostitution co-op in New Zealand.

Meanwhile back in the UK, Taylor immerses herself in the industry to experience the reality of life for women working on the streets and in illegal brothels, to see for herself how vulnerable the lives of the 12,000 sex workers in the UK are. She mans an X-rated phone line, talks to lap dancers in licensed clubs, lends a helping hand as a prostitute's maid and offers herself for sale in a Winchester shop window.

Armed with their newly-acquired sex education, Johnson and Landels return to the UK where they are reunited with Taylor, and together they create and road-test their version of the perfect brothel on the streets of Hampshire before taking it to Westminster and Downing Street.

Documentary - Real Crime: Angel Of Death, Wednesday 7 October, 9.30pm: Real Crime: Angel Of Death shows the story of Scottish-born nurse Colin Norris, who murdered four elderly patients in a Leeds hospital in 2002, by injecting them with lethal amounts of insulin (tonight at 9.30pm on TV ONE).

The so-called 'Angel of Death' was imprisoned for the murders of four elderly patients in his care at Leeds General Infirmary. Suspicions were raised when Norris predicted the time of death of one elderly patient, which led police to investigate more than 70 other deaths at Leeds hospitals.

Leeds General Infirmary is part of the biggest teaching hospital in Europe. Norris worked on Ward 36, a general orthopaedic ward that sees hundreds of people treated for broken bones every year.

One of the patients killed was 86-year-old Ethel Hall. A typical patient, Mrs Hall was rushed to surgery after falling and breaking her hip. Five days later, on the road to recovery, she suddenly went into a coma. Doctors were baffled and ordered a blood test, only to discover her blood sugar - or glucose - level was so low that her brain had shut down. This might be expected in a diabetic patient whose body can't control blood sugar. But Ethel Hall didn't suffer from diabetes.

Investigations by the hospital concluded that Ethel Hall was deliberately attacked while in her hospital bed. The police were called in, and when Mrs Hall died a few days later, their investigation became one of murder.

Further investigation quickly established that Ethel Hall's death was part of a pattern. In the previous six months, two other patients had died unexpectedly after developing similar symptoms. However, as both were elderly, and suffering from a number of illnesses, neither death had caused concern at the time.

Police suspicion quickly fell on the staff who'd been caring for Hall that night. One person in particular stood out - but nurse Colin Norris had an answer for everything.

Norris admitted he was the last to see Ethel Hall before she went into a coma, and admitted being the last person to go into the fridge where the insulin was kept. He explained he had been on the scene all night, as he had been at work since 8.45pm: "I was doing my job."

When questioned about the other two deaths that occurred while he was on duty, Norris claimed to have been 'unlucky'. "The fact that I'm a nurse and I was in a hospital and someone died - that's the only thing that you've got? I'm not going to admit to anything that I've not done, and I never murdered anybody. I didn't inject anybody with anything. And I don't think these facts are good enough, I'm sorry."

Finding evidence to convict Norris was difficult - it took more than five years before he was found guilty of the four murders, and the attempted murder of another.

Real Crime: Angel Of Death shows exclusive access to West Yorkshire Police's three year investigation, including taped interviews with Norris; the key witnesses who helped convict him tell their story; and sees former colleagues and the relatives of his victims.

Factual - Friday Night Line-up, Friday 9 October, from 7.30pm: Three new series come to TV ONE tonight, starting with the Cook Yourself Thin at 7.30pm, where four fabulous foodies show viewers how to double the taste of food, while halving the calories; at 8pm, Who'll Age Worst? is a wake-up call to a generation of binge drinking, fast-food munching, chain-smoking, 20-something's; and Four Weddings at 8.30pm follows the journey of four fiances as they hurtle towards what should be the happiest day of their lives, in an attempt to win a five-star dream honeymoon.

Cook Yourself Thin is hosted by four cooks - Harry, Gizzi, Sal and Sophie - who regularly have their cake, eat it and still look gorgeous. Armed with their skinny secrets and a ballistic bomb calorie-counter, they prove it is possible to drop a dress size in six weeks and still eat plenty. Serious foodies, they don't make any compromises when it comes to flavour. Burgers, curries, and chocolate cake are all on the menu, and won't pile on the pounds if cooked their way.

Each episode of Who'll Age Worst? challenges two people to confess every aspect of their excessive lifestyles, and put their bodies under the scrutiny of a team of age-prevention experts. By joining up with a forensic artist and using the latest photographic technology, the team create future images of how these young fresh-faced beauties could age. Faced with the horrific truth of how they will look in 20 years, they are given a new regime, and in just two weeks they will be looking at their new future image again to discover Who'll Age Worst.

Four Weddings gives viewers a ringside seat for the planning, preparation and big day itself, as it follows the journey of four fiances. Each bride-to-be is involved in a competition, and while one 'contestant' is getting hitched, the other three guest brides must cast judgement and secretly score each special day. Everything must be taken into consideration, from the service and food, to the entertainment and even the groom. The bride with the highest score at the end of each episode wins the ultimate prize - a five star dream honeymoon.

Local - New Zealand On A Plate, Saturday 3 October, 5.25pm: New Zealand On A Plate showcases distinctive, award-winning Kiwi cuisine, and displays food and wine in a way that grabs viewers by the taste-buds.

Eleven of New Zealand's top chefs venture out of the kitchen to explore the Kiwi landscape and collect the freshest of regional delicacies. They then bring them back to the stove top create a meal that is uniquely New Zealand.

Today's episode (at 5.25pm on TV ONE) takes a look at the Bay Of Plenty, where chef Peter Blakeway visits a local kiwifruit orchard before receiving fresh fish straight off the boat for a wonderful beach barbecue. He cleverly combines the snapper and kiwifruit with other fresh produce to create a mouth-watering dish. "I'm going to be making a really simple starter, we're going to use that beautiful snapper straight out of the water, it will be sitting on a bed of the Zespri gold kiwifruit, and it will just steam in its own juices."

Blakeway employs the use of kiwifruit throughout the episode, sharing tips on its many and varied uses. While cooking steak on the barbeque for his main meal he explains that kiwifruit holds an enzyme that acts as a meat tenderiser.

"You're not actually going to eat this kiwifruit, all it's going to do is add the enzymes onto the meat, that'll tenderise and just change the structure of the meat ever so slightly."

He also goes on a guided tour of an avocado orchard, meets some distillery owners with a recipe for success and visits Heilala Vanilla to track down the perfect dessert ingredient.

Movie - Emprie Of The Sun, Saturday 3 October, 8.30pm: Internationally renowned director Steven Spielberg captures the story of a sheltered young boy (Christian Bale, American Psycho) separated from his parents and forced to endure the ravages of war in Empire Of The Sun (tonight at 8.30pm on TV ONE).

Based on the autobiographical best seller by JG Ballard, this movie chronicles Ballard's remarkable struggle to survive a childhood filled with betrayal, death and disappointment, while trapped in Shanghai during the World War II Japanese occupation.

The cast is led by Christian Bale, John Malkovich (Burn After Reading), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows), and Ben Stiller (Meet The Parents).

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