SIX FEET UNDER E4, Mon 9 Sep, 10pm OOOO ' .1“;
For those of you mourning the end of Six Feet Under. salvation is at hand with the launch of series two on good- old unwatched E4. Unlike The Sopranos where few issues were satisfactorily wound up at the end of a season. the tale of the Fisher family could quite easily have departed from our screens with the sight of Nathaniel disappearing back upstairs (feel the symbolism), having shepherded his clan to contentment.
Luckily. some recently crocheted wounds are wrenched open within the first couple of new episodes as Federico and Nate (Brenda's boy remains firmly at the heart of the show) both have bornbshells tossed into their laps.
The opener may be too heaw on the whole consolidation act but number two (directed by Kathy Bates) could well go down as one of the finest slabs of SFU to date. There are no Sunday supplement spoiler alerts here: just get that digital subscription sorted now. (Brian Donaldson)
MENACE Channel 5, Thu 12 & Fri 13 Sep, 9pm OOO
With Britain so shamefully lagging behind the US in TV drama stakes we're in desperate need of something memorable. Unfortunately Menace isn't it. Directed by Bill
Eagles (Beautiful Creatures) this two-part drama centres on Mark Adams (Stephen Moyers) a normal guy whose life and family start to fall apart when his dog is kidnapped. Perhaps not the best promise to prompt a dramatic demise. but Moyers does well to portray the trauma. And pets have. in the past. been used to good dramatic effect; the bunny boiler in Fatal Attraction being one obvious example. Tensions build and the Fagin-like baddie dognapper starts to up the ante. Despite these hammy characters. plucked from Dickensian undervvorlds (without the humour) Eagles creates a slick and sometimes cinematic piece.
It's as if an American lens has been turned on London but unfortunately the style undoubtedly supersedes the content. Not a bad effort though and certainly one of Channel 5's better offerings. (Ruth Hedges)
Channel 4, Sat 14 Sep, 5.30pm 0
It's inevrtable that for every Six Feet Under, Sex and the City or ER there must be some truly disastrous US TV imports to remind us that in the US. obesity. ludicrous gun laws and George Dubya still prevail.
The premise for Alias is
Alas, Alias is arse
1 10 THE LIST 53 108ep2002
DOCUMENTARY 9/ 1 1
BBC1, Wed 11 Sep, 8.30pm .000.
A documentary with real impact
When documentary-making sibling duo Jules and Gedeon Naudet set out to film the story of a rookie New York firefighter, they could have had no idea that they were to help record the most visually dramatic disaster since the Hindenburg exploded into flames or JFK’s head was shot to smithereens.
Thanks to the modern media, the footage of the jets smashing into the Twin Towers was captured from
almost every conceivable angle making the images captured in Lakehurst and Dallas seem like flukes. Yet,
there is still something quasi-psychic about the way the Naudets succeeded in being right on the button when the planes hit their targets; one second either way and the impact, almost literally, would have been
But after the initial hit, the drama really begins when they are allowed to follow the firefighters into the north tower (they witness, but don’t film, people ablaze). As the chiefs discuss their plan of action and the crew’s chaplain says a prayer in the tower’s lobby, we hear the sound of debris, both human and structural, thumping into the ground. All the while, we are acutely aware that some of these men we’re watching won’t live to tell the tale.
‘By the end of August, we had a great cookery show,’ notes Gedeon of the reels of tape devoted to Ladder 1’s evening feasts. By mid-September, they had captured tragic history. The cynic will picture them
rubbing their hands at this wicked twist of fate. But then you remember the tears of joy as the brothers are
reunited, each fearing that the other had filmed his last. (Brian Donaldson)
almost as thin as its wraith-like eye-candy of a leading lady. Jennifer Garner. She's Sydney Brislow. a brainiac college student who handily gets recruited as a double agent for the CIA's covert operation unit and is in constant battle to keep her bi-polar lifestyle under wraps. Rifling through the pockets of La Fern/ire Nikita and James Bond metrics for plots. Alias has neither the malevolent undercurrents present in The X ‘Fl/QS nor the humour and warmth of Buffy to redeem itself. Despite some passable performances from the supporting cast and some glit/y set-pieces. this is not so much 007 as OO—no. (Mark Robertsoni
THE BRITISH EMPIRE IN COLOUR
Scottish, Sun 15 Sep, 10pm coco
The British once ruled over one third of the world's population. don't you know? Yes. and look at what a glorious Technicolor mess we left behind in those areas of
the map that used to be COIOured pink to denote our colonial acguiSitions. Despite fears that this documentary series would use its newly discovered colour footage for yet more Jubilee-year nostalgic onanism. the pomp and Circumstance and quaint Empire Day celebrations are balanced out by a rare insight into the shame and eprOitatiOn of empire-burlding. The first programme flashes between the final days of the British Raj. leading up to the displacement and deaths of millions after partition. and the role of our colonial nations in World War II. This is a straightforward histOry of the British Empire's last days. from the dumping of Palestine to democratic change in Africa. augmented by some striking and surprising footage. (Allan Radcliffe)
WHITE TEETH Channel 4, Tue 17 Sep, 9pm coo
Stephen Poliakoff recently complained that British televiSion drama producers were afraid to make anything that wasn't sourced from a book or had a cop in it. In that light. it x'iould be an oversight had the most talked-about UK literan. debut in years not reached our small screens.
Zadie Smith's li/hite Teeth can‘e out in a flurry of tiber-hype before anyone could say Buddha of Suburbia. and here her tale of cross- generational multi-racial London gets the glossy adaptive treatment.
There's a fair degree of lypecasting going on with On‘ Puri again playing the austerer XVIII", Muslin‘ patriarch while Maggie O'NeHl is the bra/en hussy \.‘.’llll a taste for older men (remember her
humping Keith Barron in his taXi during Take me Honie’h. but John Simm and Phil Davis play well against type. A fine ensemble cast giye clarity to a complex story but iriaybe this will dray.’ a line .inder the raft of bookish, adaptations hitting our screens. Though probably not. iBrian Donaldsoni
A is for Acid (Scottish. Mon 9 Sep, 9pm) Martin Clunes plays the nasty 1940s killer John GeOrge Haigh. Ninewells (BBC1, Mon 5) Sep, 10.35pm) Dundee's legendary A&E department is the focus of this documentary. Seven Days that Shook the Spice Girls (Channel .1, Tue 10 Sep, 9pm) How the Girl Power dream died.
Liz Hurley's Brains (Channel -1. l/Ved l I Sep, 9pm) ls she actually brighter than we give her credit for"?
Out of Control (BBC1, Sun I?) Sep. time the; Tam/in Outhwaite stars in Dominic Savage's tough drama set in a young offenders' institution.