DOCUMENTARY SERIES The Final Day
Scottish, starts Sat IO Jun, l 1pm.
This dramatised look at Marilyn Monroe’s final day creates a Zeppelin out of a limp blimp
The Final Day's ostensible aim is to unravel the rumocirs and contradictions surrounding the untimely deaths of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Buddy Holly and Natalie Wood This concept is little more than a clumsy excuse to trawl through the footage that surVived long after these four towering icons of popular culture tWiiikled their last.
Dramatic reconstructions are generally coy and ineffectual With plenty of gloomy muSic and leaden symbolism, the camera merrily running up and down blurred images of dead bodies and zooming in on ticking clocks. lntercutting between the final day's events and archive footage is
McCready & Daughter BBCI, starts Thu 15 Jun, 8pm.
Famin plot-solving from Patsy Palmer and Lorcan Cranitch
On IeaVing her role as fiery EastEnc/er Bianca Jackson, speculation abounded as to PatSy Palmer's next move. Would she follow in the footsteps of Nick Berry, Martine McCutc’heon and Sid Owen by pursuing an illustrious musical career? Or perhaps she'd take the lead of Ernmerc/a/e star Lisa Riley With a spot of TV presenting? Mercifully, perhaps, Palmer has chosen to stick roughly to what she knows With a new private detective series, Mc C ready 8 Daughter
The first episode of the show which may or may not bring to mind the 70s pairing of Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James in McMillan And Wife
awkwardly handled: ’at 9.15am Ivlarilyn went back to bed. She was plagued by insomnia. It was a problem that had affected her performance on The Prince And The Showgrr/.' Cue bal!room scene from said film.
Monroe's last 24 hours is the first of the beautiful people’s to be investigated. Even with all the ingredients of the classic locked-room mystery and the numerous conspiracy theories — everyone from the Kennedys to Norma Jean’s housekeeper were suspected of foul play these details are too familiar to have real suspense.
Unsurprisingly, the contributors are old men passing the usual banal commentary ’she was enormoust sexy and at the same time enormously innocent', dribbles one former director. The most persuasive new piece of eVidence thrown up by the programme is the possibility that the actress was killed by the administering of a drugged enema, but even this seems far-fetched, the programme creating a Zeppelin out of a limp blimp.
The series is pOintless but the clips are still enioyable, The Natalie Wood episode is the most satisfying, featuring a less familiar investigation and interesting contributions from director Robert Wise among others. There are also some unintentionally amusing moments, drawn mainly from crankier contributors. Writer Robert Slatzer claims to have been married to Monroe for 48 hOurs, while the two women who were simultaneOusly with James Dean on the day he died deserve Oscars for their onion- enhanced teary performances.
locates Michael McCready (Lorcan Cranitch) in the North London suburb of Kilburn Affectionately known as ’Little Ireland’ due to its deeply ingrained Celtic connection, McCready is the 'sheriff' of the patch, taking it upon himself to solve the locals' everyday problems. Caught up in a missing person’s case that develops into a tragic tale of estranged siblings, the matter takes on a personal resonance when Mc'Cready finds himself reunited with his headstrong daughter Clare
The comedy and the drama kicks off when circumstances conspire to have Clare set up shop With her da’ in a somewhat ternpestuous partnership You may be amused to note that her new role requires Patsy Palmer to be a badly dressed and stroppy young woman and subsequently, not a million miles away from her former persona
With the media's fevered attention being focused on Palmer, it has overshadowed the poignant circumstances which brought Lorcan Cranitch famed for his roles in Ba/lykrssange/ and Cracker to the lead character McCready was originally written for his Ba/lykis‘sange/ co-star Tony Doyle, but the actor died earlier this year during rehearsals. I was very shaken by his death,’ admits C ranitch ‘l was worried about taking it but I clec ided that Tony w0uld have Just told me to get on with it ' And so, this particular show has had to go on (Catherine Bromleyi
FILM PREMIERE The Texas Chainsaw Massacre FilmFour, Fri 16 Jun, midnight. Back in the bad old 19805 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was branded a ’Video nasty'. Probably the title was enough for reactionary types; if the film showed explicitly what that promised . But though many ’nasties' did eprOit the sex and Violence mix, Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror film sidesteps such gratuity. Taking his cue from the real events on which the film is based, Hooper adopts a semi-documentary style to tell a tale familiar to the genre; hippy youngsters driVing through rural Texas chance upon an old house by a cemetery inhabited by a craZy famin of cannibals. The ensuing massacre is depicted in unflinching detail, but doesn't dwell on the gore.
Rescued at last from video nasty hell
American critic Roger Ebert nailed it (albeit unintentionally) when he noted of this fine slice of American gothic: ’it is Without any apparent purpose, unless the creation of disgust and fright is a purpose'. Well, it is a horror film, isn’t it?
COMEDY SERIES Frasier Channel 4, Fri 9 Jun, 10pm.
Friday nights, I suppose, won't be the same again. In this two-episode finale to the current series, Niles and Daphne attempt to bite the bullet and set aside his neurotic dithering and her repressed, yet straight-talking, Mancunian ways as her nuptials loom ever larger.
To add to the tension, Daphne’s guest star family arrive in Seattle, her overbearing mum, Millicent Martin, and deadbeat brother Simon, played by Anthony LaPaglia. In a world too full of 'Will they, won't they?’ sitcom relationship matters (Friends, Spaced and Just Good Friends are among those which have provrded almost weekly cliffhangers), the antics of Frasier Crane’s brother and his dad’s
The one where Daphne and Niles unveil their feelings
home-help have remained among the most entertaining
Will Frasier’s advrce bring the pair together or drive them apart forever? Who Will make the biggest fool of themselves on the big day? Will Friday nights ever be the same again? One day, maybe, they Will. (Brian Donaldson)
CULTURE SERIES Artery Scottish, starts Mon 19 Jun, 10.30pm.
Loud TV made you want to turn your telly down (if not offl and The F Word caused many a sitting-room explosion of cursrng. But now, Scottish has gone back to an old favocirite as it tries to kickstart its arts coverage.
Artery opens up its new series With the tragic tale of Billy NlciCKCIIZIC in ’The Glamour Chase' The early I980s saw a brief but startling foray into pop stardom for a Dundee band led by the powerful vocals and writing of MacKen/ie While his reputation remained high, no one appeared Willing to give him another pop at the charts and, in 1997, he took his own life
If you are not too depressed to return to the series, c'heerier subjects await, the famous sons and
The tragic tale of Billy MacKenzie opens up Artery
daughters of Paisley, singer/songwriter Jackie Leven, Generation X author Douglas Coupland, African elephants at Edinburgh Zoo and the influence on our culture of Greek tragedy. (Brian Donaldsonl
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