i—ITonighIMBJO (BBCI ) 7. 15—8. 15pm. Joan (‘ollins stars in the first ofa scriesof adaptations of Noel (‘oward plays.
I Hard News (Channel 4) 8.3(l—9pm. The series that investigates the newpaper industry returns. with presenter Raymond Snoddy replaced by David Jessel ofthe Rough Justice programme.
I Banned: thirtysomething (Channel 4) 9—9.45pm. An episode from the last series that caused a furore in the USA because it showed a post-coital scene with two men in bed together. Morecambe and Wise used to be shown sharing a bed all the time. but that just shows what a liberal nation we are. Doesn't it'.’
I Jeeves And Wooster (Scottish ) 9— 10pm. Return of the excellent Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in a new series oftheir lovingly-made Wodehouse adaptations.
I Banned: Scum ((‘hannel 4)
10.45pm— 12.30am. Alan (‘larke‘s violent Borstal drama. written by Roy Minton. caused controversy both as a BB(‘drama production. which remains unseen. and as a film. inspiring a judicial review after action was taken by .Mary Whitehouse.
I Horizon ( BBCZ) 8. “Lupin. Red Indians. sorry. Native Americans. seem to be in vogue in 1991. Horizon exarninesthe current plight of the ones who aren't collecting ()scars.
I Banned: The Truth About Lies - The Big Lies Of The 20th Century (Channel 4) ‘)—l(lpm. The biggest whoppcrs ofthe century. taking in Stalin. Hitler. McCarthy. Vietnam. and those naughty Chinese.
I Police Academy(8eouish)u— IIlpm. 10.40—1 1.30pm. ‘('arry ()n (‘opper’ goes Stateside as all kinds ofoddballs attempt .o enter the police force. ('ue loadsof slapstick and jokes at the expense ofevery conceivable minority. Iinjoyablein a trashy sort of way. Well. maybe. I‘ilm buffs should avoid.
I Banned: Damned In The USA (Channel 4) 10.3“ 11.45pm. A 'Without Walls'special that takes a humorous look at the battle between innovative artists like Robert Mapplethorpe. and religious fundamentalists.
I Banned: Freaks (Channel 4) 11.45pm—1am. A 1932 horror movieabout a colection of freakish circus attractions who take revenge on a trapeze artist who is revolted by her dwarfbridegroom.
I The Munro Show (Scottish) 6.30—7pm. More mouthy mountaineering with Muriel as she scampers up another couple of Scotland's Munros.
I Twin Peaks (BBCZ) 9-9.5(lpm. Return of the Strange Facts You Never Knew About Twin Peaks. No 4: Windom Earle is currently appearing in When Did You Last See Your Trousers .9 at the Prince Of WalesTheatrc. Llandudno.
I The Advocates (Scottish) 9—1llpm. Final episode of the legal drama starring Isla Blair. Stella (ionet and Ewan Stewart. I Kinsey(BBCl ) ‘).3(}-1().3()pm. Leigh Lawson as the troubled lawyer finds that desperate cases call for desperate
I Banned: From Russia With Laughter (Channel 4) 10— 10.30pm. A short profile of the satire scene in Russia. and the part it plays in subversion in an inefficient bureaucratic state.
I Banned: Life Of Brian (Channel 4) 1(l.3(lpm- 12. 15am. Teddy Taylor MP organised a picket of my local cinema when this movie first came out twelve years ago. but the Pythons had the last laugh. and the film is now on telly at long last. It‘s hilarious and only as tasteless as any other Python creation. All together now: 'Welease Wodewick!’
I The Longest Hatred: Enemies Of The People (Scottish) 1().4()—I I .4llpm. The documentary series looks at more recent examples ofanti-semitism. including movements and political groups in Poland. Austria and (iermany.
I The First Great Train Robbery(Seouish) 9—1 I .(lSpm. Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland star in a buddy movie with a difference. as a couple of Victorian crooks attempting to rob a bullion train. It escapes the cliches of most period movies. but suffers from an inability to decide whether to be a comedy or a thriller.
I Inside Story: Children Of God (BBCI) ‘).3()—l(l.2(lpm. The investigative documentary team explore the attitudes and procedures of the South African police force.
I Vic Beeves' Big Night Out (Channel 4) 10.30—1 Iprn. More inconsequential clowning from Darlington's greatest contribution to popular culture since Mickey Richardson and his Amazing Juggling Whippets.
I Banned: Brimstone And Treacle (Channel 4) I Ipm—lam. Dodgy Dennis Potter play made for the cinema. starring Sting asthe Devil in disguise as a young man who arouses a young girl from her vegetable state by raping her. Distinctlydubious. with Sting overacting like crazy.
I Floyd 0n Oz: Tasmania ( BBCZ) 8—8.3(lpm. ()ur gastronaut hero is in Hobart. cooking abalone in his hotel room. and inadvertently bringing out the Fire Brigade.
I 40 Minutes: Suburbs 0tThe Sky ( BBCZ) 9.30—10. 10pm. An exploration ofone of the world‘s most vital professions. that of air stewardess.
I Banned: Death Do The Rock (Channel 4) 9.30— 10.30pm. Thames's ‘This Week' investigation into the (iibraltar shootings was vindicated in the subsequent enquiry and its journalism justified. which is more than can be said for the viciousSimduy limes attack on the show at the time.
I Banned: All My Good Countrymen ((‘hannel 4) li).3(lpm—IZ.35am. Vojtech Jashy"s (‘zech film was circulated in the country for 20 years before it could be shown openly. It charts the upheaval in a small town where the new rulers and their opponents are close neighbours. and friendships are sacrificed because of political considerations.
Wigs, walks and war
In the first couple of scenes ofThe Advocates (Scottish) you are thrown instantly into the two interlocking worlds ofthe series. Stella (ionet as Alex Abercorn is taking the ()ath of Allegiance to become an advocate. surrounded by the pomp and paraphernalia of the legal profession; a swift cut away and we are in a sleazy Edinburgh ﬂat watching as a young prostitute is administered a lethal drug overdose. Get the drift‘.’
It's a punchy. ifsomewhat melodramatic start to a first episode that was riddled with First Episode Syndrome. ie most of the dialogue was employed to set the scene and identify the characters. At Ms Abercorn's celebration party. the head ofa legal practice Katherine Dunbar (lsla Blair in another of her ‘menopausal man’s crumpet'-type roles) conveniently explains about having recently lost two partners. and introduces us to sparky young solicitor Greg McDowell (Ewan Stewart). Eager-to-please minor characters fill us in on other details. and after a while. the cast can relax and start to be the people they‘ve so assiduously drawn for us.
Stewart is excellent as the awkward and ambitious McDowell. getting his teeth into a plot that encompasses civic corruption. AIDS clinics. heroin dealing. and a sinister hood. worn by an even more sinister hood Milligan ((‘al Macaninch). who carries around a bird of prey as his requisite nasty guy's accessory. Gonet is a little too much of a classical beauty and a tad ‘actressy' to convince us she‘s an incisive legal mind. but give her time.
Writer Alma (‘ullen has thrown plenty ofspice into the mixture. with Ms Abercorn keen to ditch her drippyboyfriend and take a little walk on the wild side (with McDowell as the guide I'll be bound). There‘s one hilarious scene straight out of ‘Moonlighting‘ as McDowell mocks her initial success in a trivial case revolving around the constitution of m‘armalade. and she is stirred into showing him she can handle a bit of rough. so to speak.
There are other familiar echoes of televisual cliche in the brooding music as the mean-looking baddies come into view. and McDowell has the requisite faithful sidekick who swaps grim lines with him about ‘pimps. hits and whores'. In this
The Advocates case. though. the sidekick happens to be his doting Mum. I'll be charitable and assume this is an inspired stroke ofsatire from the writer rather than a budget-conscious T\' station trying to cut back the cast. zidvm‘ules. despite its dark plot. is cheery stuff. in a funny sort of way. entertaining in aspects its producers might not quite have appreciated. There are two more parts to follow. with Scottish hoping to develop it into a series.
The Munro Show (Scottish) is‘ a terrific idea. Take the stuffiness out of hillwalking. show the beauty of Scotland's landscape. encourage people to get out in the open air. Unfortunately. it doesn‘t quite survive the Muriel (iray treatment. That haranguing perkiness of Ms (iray. that relentless spiky squeak of a voice. has the capacity to spoil the most beautiful walk. The camerawork in this programme is exquisite. but when you are in the process of wondering at the twin peaks of An Teallach. up pops (iray trying to be witty with the banal comment. ‘a real centrefold. the Page Three of Munros‘. The beauty is continually diminished by the irritating shots of unidentified feet dancing on tartan. and the ‘humorous’ bits like someone pretending to be a psychiatrist (yawn) and a Scots man in a pub saying ‘Aye‘ a lot (ho. ho). I'm no purist. and a spot of iconoclasm is fine in my book. but (iray comes across as patronising and insensitive and. despite the awe-inspiring pictures. the ‘peroxide pipsqueak‘ (copyright News International) looks like putting the kibosh on ‘The Munro Show".
‘I know it’s dangerous. but that's what makes it a good story.‘ said gung-ho photographer Sean I-‘Iynn (son of Errol). missing in Cambodia. In Celebration: DangerAt The Edge Of Town ((iranada for Scottish) war photographer Tim Page. backed by the mandatory Doors soundtrack. went in search of his old buddies Flynn and Dana Stone. There were no conclusive results. bar a general beliefthat they had been killed. A (‘ambodian regional chief. the distinctly nervous-looking Ta Supan. seemed to be fingered by the cameraman. if no one else. Ile denied all knowledge oftheir deaths. but stared uncertainly into the camera. biting his lip and swallowing hard. It was a telling shot. but somehow not half as memorable as Flynn‘s own photograph of American allies torturing a ten-year-old they believed was Vietcong. The movie‘s currently in production in Hollywood. I hear. (Tom Lappin)
74 The List 5 — 18 April 1991