DRAMA SERIES A&E
Scottish, Wed 11 Apr, 8pm 0000
It's gritty medical drama focusing on moral dilemmas. love affairs and dodgy practices in a hectic AcCident & Emergency ward. The main characters are highly stressed. good- looking individuals with a tendency to instantly generate sexual tension between each other. Hand-held. documentary-ster camerawork and gory scalpel shots abound — and it has a catchy acronym for a title. If it weren't for the nice British accents. you'd swear that George Clooney could walk in any second. Don‘t dismiss this just another in a long line of clinically dead medi- dramas though. because if the first episode. ‘Always & Everyone'. is anything to go by. A8E shows vital signs of developing into a powerful, audience- grabbing series. easily as compelling as its American inspiration. Fair enough, had ER never revitalised the genre. this would probably never have been made. but A8E is one case where imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.
DOCUMENTARY SERIES THE PEOPLE DETECTIVE 8802, Thu 12 Apr, 8pm 0
When will this documentary madness end? In this utterly half- baked and dreadfully- executed series. Daru Rooke — historian and museum curator — takes modern day punters back to examine the lives Of their 'remarkable' ancestors. Like a hideous cross between Laurence Llewlyn- Bowen and Dale Winton, Rooke
(Edwardian taste in clothes. Victorian tat :n his house. had facial hairi is truly dreadful as he blunders through SOII‘t’} insipid histon. failing completely to get a single pulse racing. The first laughable episode stretches a two— minute stery into half an hour. as Rooke fails to convnice Tracy Whitaker and the audience alike as to the importance of her ancestor Mary Bateman aka The Yorkshire Witch. Absurdly bad. (Doug Johnstone)
THE WHISTLE- BLOWER
BBC1, Sat 14 & Sun 15 Apr, 9.05pm 000
Easter is coming. and the people of Bligth are getting fat on chocolate eggs. hot cross buns. Jesus Christ Superstar and calorific two-part drama speCials. In The Whistle Blower. Amanda Burton is all ice and control as broker's clerk laura Tracey who uncovers a money- Iaundering operation and brings down her fat cat bosses. Irritatineg enough. Laura's married to nice every-bloke NeH Pearson with a pair of perfect children who become prime targets for a contract killer. Consequently. the whole family's despatched to a safe house in the north east of England.
There are a couple of nail-biting scenes here. but the 'deadly‘ hit— man's botched attempts to wipe out Laura are laughably similar to Wile E. Coyote's efforts to despatch Roadrunner. The plot twists and turns its way towards a daft
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THE MILES DAVIS STORY Channel 4. Sat 14 Apr, 8pm & Sun
15 Apr, 7.30pm 00..
This year is the tenth anniversary of Miles Davis‘ death; had he lived, he would have been 75 and undoubtedly still blowing. The anniversary will launch a plethora of books and re-issued records, but perhaps the most eagerly awaited
tribute is this two-part
documentary made by filmmaker Mike Dibb. Trumpeter Ian Carr, who wrote the best biography of Davis, acted as consultant and on-screen
The film takes the usual music documentary route, combining archive footage with many fascinating interviews (most of which were newly made for the film, although there are some older
clips, both with Davis and some of his associates) to build a multi- layered and absorbing account of the trumpeter’s colourful and controversial life.
To their credit, they pull no punches in depicting the less pleasant side of his character, notably his dealings with his children and the many women who were part of that life. They have unearthed some rarely-interviewed characters from that unsavoury past, including his first wife and daughter (he was estranged from his two sons by that marriage, and neither is featured).
The core of the film, though, lies in his vast contribution to post-war music, ranging from bebop to hiphop. His achievements are fully recognised, although it is one of the persistent ironies of music documentaries that the music itself tends to get fairly short shrift, limited to short snatches or film clips between the chat. When the chat is as interesting as it is here, though, that limitation can easily be overlooked. (Kenny Mathieson)
final revelation of the Miss Marple variety. Burton is fine as frosty. ambiguous Laura. while Bill Paterson barely breaks sweat as a tee though other characters are predictably anodyne ciphers for the silly tale. (Allan Radcliffe)
FANTASY ADVENTURE JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS Channel 4, Sun 15 Apr, 5.45pm & Mon 16 Apr, 5.55pm 00
It's not a good idea to remake a movie unless you. a) make a bad one better. or b) achieve something significantly new. The 1963 original is a classic AnCient Greek fantasy adventure; this new television film isn't.
Laughable conclusions to The Whistle Blower
1 12 THE LIST 12—26 Apr 2001
Ray Harryhausen's 'Dynamation' creature effects were groundbreaking almost 30 years ago and still impress now: this new version relies on increasingly passe computer animated monsters.
That said. new challenges are set for the seekers of the Golden Fleece. the best Of which is a nifty fire- breathing giant metal bull. However. the star cast (Dennis Hopper. Frank Langella. Jason London. Natasha Henstridge) turn in wooden performances reSLiIting in too many laughable moments. Sad to say. the best thing here is temptress Queen Hypsipyle's eyeliner. (Miles Fielder)
BOB MARTIN Scottish, Mon 16 Apr, 9pm 0..
Bob Martin is a programme about a programme. specifically a talk show. Michael Barrymore plays the eponymous host. who is an egotistic. uncaring. and thor0ughly unpleasant character. His staff. Keith Allen among them. are a Supercilious lot. vying
Neither documentary nor subject pull their punches
Anti-comedy from Noble and Silver
With each other for his attention and favour: the show itself is not the main focus. but rather the interaction between the people who put it together.
If all this sounds a bit like the UK's answer to Larry Sanders. you'd be right; but the makers of this are so wrong. As a comedy. it fails miserably; everything is just a little too staged and stilted. but as a drama. it's relatively interesting. as the various fOibIes Of human nature are exposed and exanuned.
The celebrity head- COunt is pretty high and among the luminaries in the opening episode are Clare Rayner. Eddie
Large and Richard Whiteley. However. the presence of famous; faces is no substitute for quality. and while there may be plenty of the former. there is very little of the latter.
COMEDY SERIES NOBLE AND SILVER
E4, Mon 16 Apr, 11pm .0.
Many an eyebrow was raised when the surreal meatpacking duo of Kim Noble and Stu Sit/er nabbed the Perrier Best Newcomer Award at last year's Fringe. Critics and audiences appeared to be split on the pair. admitting that their sketches of lunacy had