I Fifteen to One (Channel 4) 4.30—5pm. The Grand Final ofthe fast moving quiz. Unusually. the contestants are competing for a model of the head of Buddha. ‘And Bully’s Star Prize tonight . . it's aclasssic example of Gandharian art from the third century AD.‘
IThe Woman in Bed(BBCl) 9.3(l—lt).55pm. Gene Wilder wrote. directed and starred in this romantic comedy about middle-aged male fantasies. Wilder plays a San Francisco PR exee‘ who nearly hits it off with the beautiful Kelly Le Brock. but pulls back from the brink. Along the way to rediscovering family values there are a few laughs for the paunchy chums.
I Rita Rudner(Channel4)10.30—llpm. ‘Deadly but soft. sharp but gentle‘ — the American comedienne. whose press releases sound like a Charles Moore tribute to Thatch‘. gets an audience on Channel 4.
I Duel(BBC1)10.55pm—1.()5am. Spielberg‘s splendidly tense cinematic debut has travelling salesman. Dennis Weaver. involved in a deadly game ofcat and mouse with a large petrol tanker. Richard Matheson‘s strong script meant that although commissioned for TV the film booked its place on the big screen first.
I Beethoven Symphonies (BBCZ) 3.20—3.5(lpm. Over the next few days. commencing Sunday 23. the Becb will be serving up portions of baked Beethoven at tea-time. Each of his nine symphonies will be tackled by the London Classical Players on instruments that the composer himself might have written for. Today Brian Kay discusses the whole venture with conductor Roger Norrington. I Submarine (Channel 4) 8—8.50pm. Edinburgh‘s Barony Film andTV Productions were responsible for this evocative study of the motivating forces behind the unusual sculptures ofTom McKendrick. who earlier this year built a submarine in Glasgow. I Innerspace (BBC1)8—9.55pm. Lieutenant Tuck Pendleton. a test pilot who likes a drop or two. volunteers to take part in a top-secret miniaturisation plan. Unfortunately. instead ofbeing injected into a rabbit as planned. he finds he is plunged into the innards ofJack Putter — a _ hypochondriac supermarket employee. Although director Joe Gremlins Dante gets an A-plus for special effects. the dark humour that enlivened the small-creature film is sadly lacking.
I Branson Across a Fiery Sky (Channel 4) 8—9pm. In a balloon inﬂated by his own rhetoric. Richard Branson and Per Linstrand try to ﬂy across the Pacific Ocean.
I Down and Out in Beverly Hills (Scottish) 925-1 1 .2()pm. Richard Dreyfuss plays the rich but discontented owner of a palatial Beverly Hills home and a cute family dog. both of which are taken over by a tramp (Nick Nolte). Ofthe three of them it'sthe dog who gets the most laughs and sympathy in this increasingly desperate comic vehicle that has no particular place to go.
I Screen One Special: First and Last (BBC2)9.55—1 1.20pm. Michael Frayn’s Emmy-winning drama featuresJoss Ackland as an OAP determined to hike from Land's End to John O‘Groats. whose tenacity in the face of adversity eventually earns him the the grudguing admiration of friends and neighbours.
I 1900: Part Tvvo (Channel-4) l()pm—12.50am. The concluding part of Bertolucci‘s masterpiece which traces the history oftwo Italian friends from the turn ofthc century to 1945. Robert De Niro and Gerard Depardieu are the childhood chums.
I Slti Sunday (BBCZ) 6.30—7. 15pm. Spectacular falls and breathtaking views are on offer. even if today‘s featured event.~the women‘s slalom. doesn‘t grip you with excitement.
I Artists in Crime (BBC1)8.()5—9.50pm. Ngaio Marsh‘s Chief Inspector Alleyn bears the unique distinction among whodunnit solvers of being the only one who actually worked for the police. The rest were mere amateurs. Nevertheless. this murder yarn contains roughly the same ingredients oflust. blackmail. murder and the odd red herring.
I Tchaikovsky's Women (Channel 4) 10.30-11.55pm. Christopher Nupen‘s two-part musical biopic looks at the' composer‘s earlier works and the vulnerable young heroines in them. which were inspired by the composer‘s own complex relationships with women. Part two will be shown on Boxing Day at9pm. I The Big Easy (BBCZ)
10.35pm—12. 15am. Down the bayou in the Big Easy. New Orleans to you and me. the cops tend to see perks as part of theirjob. However. Special Prosecutor Ellen Barkin is determined to stamp out such corruption with or without the aid of sweet-talking Remy McSwain (Dennis Quaid). The problem for both of them is that the whole McSwain clan wear blue uniforms and some are more honest than others. After some bedroom and courtroom grappling a taut thriller emerges. driven along with gusto. ifnot subtlety.
I American Gigolo (Scottish)
11.2(lpm— 1 .20am. interesting ifﬂawed attempt to update Bresson‘s Pic/(pocket and set it in contemporary California. has Richard Gere getting his kit offat extortionate rates. until charged with the murder ofone of his clients. Though determinedly stylish the film's vacuous characters fail to stir the emotions.
I The Other Side 01 Gerry Sadowitz (Channel 4) 12.55—1.l()am. The same person who called him ‘controversial' would probably have described the Black Death as ‘a ﬂu virus‘. And. though Sadowitz is a very accomplished magician. Channel 4 must be trembling in their shoes about what he might do or say on TV.
I The Story of ABBA (Channel 4)
1 . l(l—2.(l5am. Sweden‘s finest sons and sonnettes tell their own story. interspersed with live footage.
I A Very Brady Christmas (Scottish) 1.30—3. 15pm. Vintage Brady Bunch antics with the family beginning to grow upand arranging not to be at home over Christmas. There won‘t be dry eye in the house. Representing one of the worst aspects of Christmas TV. it was perhaps surprisingly not made until 1988.
I Camelot (Channel 4) 2.30—5.45pm. Overblown and ill-fated musical version of the Arthurian legends. worth a look for the opulence of the set and the sight of Richard Harris singing. Both he and Vanessa Redgrave should hide their heads in shame.
I Carols From King’s College, Cambridge (BBCZ) 5—6pm. Traditional high-pitched carols from the youngsters at King‘s.
I Billy the Fish (Channel 4) 5.45—6pm. Just before Fishmania sweeps the nation with the screening of The Further Adventures of Billy the Fish (Christmas Day. 5.55pm). there is a chance to catch up on the story so far. Harry Enfield does the voices.
I Madonna in Concert (BBCZ) 9.3(l—lil.5()pm. Her BlondeAmbftt'on show captured live in Barcelona during August. The songs are mainly taken from the Breathless album.
I The Fabulous Singlettes (BBC?)
1050—] 1.25pm. Back in 1962. when Dame Edna was merely a twinkle in Barry Humphries‘ eye. three young Aussie girls arrived in a damp Earl‘s Court hopingto find fame and fortune. This 35-minute pastiche lovingly records their adventures interspersed with contemporary music from the Fabulous Singlettes.
I This is Spinal Tap (BBCZ) 11.25pm—12.45am. Masterful rot‘ktnnenmry recording the tensions of life on the road for Britain‘s foremost Heavy Metal group. Rob Reiner‘s film utilises hitherto unseen footage tothrow new light on the band and their controversial album Smell the Glove.
I Dad’s Army Christmas Special 1976 (BBCl)12.55—-1.30pm.Ahyes.l wondered who'd be the first to spot this one. Another hoary old chestnut is pulled out of the fire by the Beeb.
I Christmas Top of the Pops (BBCl) 1.30—2.3(lpm. ‘Rocktastic mate! That JC. what a nice bloke. does a lot of good work for charity y"know."l‘he hits of l99tlare mimed on‘stage. Be warned. they promise. footage of the St Winifred‘s School Choir. I ET (BBCl ) 3.t)S--5pm. The ultimate Christmas family movie. In the suburbs of Los Angeles a young boy befriends a space alien who missed his ﬂight to his native planet. Elliott and his siblings help the little mite ‘phone home‘.
I Moonralter (Scottish) 3.05—5.20an Traditional Christmas Day fare with Roger Moore tilting an eyebrow after being told that the Space Shuttle has disappeared. Spiffing tongue-in-cheek jibes at contemporary films and the usual location-hopping plot reminiscent ofa speeded-up Travel Show. One oftlte better Bond movies.
I Only Fools and Horses(BB(‘l) 5.1(1—6.25pm.Timcs have changed for the Trotters: Del is still wheeling and dealing while Rodders has a steady job and both have steady relationships. The boat is inevitably rocked by Del when he plans to help Cassandra spend more time with his brother.
I The Further Adventures of Billy the Fish (Channel 4) 5.55—(ipm. The amazing fish-like keeper in a newshort series of dramatic on and off-field adventures.
A. ca-..__. r13... I The Snowman (Channel 4) 6—6.3(ipm. Traditional Channel 4 festive fare. See Deathwatch.
I The Cunning Little Vixen ( BBCZ)
6.25—8. 15pm. For those of a more esoteric persuasion. Bill Bryden's opulent production of lanacek‘s 1924 opera.
I Beverly Hills Cop 2 (Scottish)& 10pm. Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is called back to LA to help out his old chums on the West Coast. Second time around. the characters are beginning to lose their appeal and the plot is stretched dangerously thin.
I Jean de Florette (BB(‘2)8.2()— l 0. 20pm. Arguably the arthouse epic of the last decade. Claude Berri's masterpiece has hunchbacked tax-collector Gerard Depardieu taking on the wily peasantsof Provence when he tries to realise his naive dreams of a rural idyll. The sequel Manon Des Sources. is screened on Boxing Day.
The List 21 December 1990— lOJanuary 199169