sncoM STILL GAME 8801, Fri 14 May, 9.30pm 000
Jack and Victor (aka Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan) are stuck in a rut. Breakfast. Lunch. Clansman. Hoose. Tea. Bed.‘ mumps Jack of his dreary daily agenda. hoisting his troosers to Oxter-level. 'And if ye want to live on the wild side: bookies.‘ Clearly it's time for a widening of the horizons by attending a first aid course that predictably ends in inebriated failure. Meanwhile. beleaguered publican Bobby is forced by the tumbleweed blowing through the bar to organise a pub quiz. hosted by the Clansman‘s resident gargoyle Edith.
This Chewin' the Fat spin-off manages to be as undemanding and irreverent as the original vintage. extending a warmth to its characters while never descending into drippy sentimentality. And special mention must be made of Hardip Kohli's misanthropic shopkeeper Navid. who even succeeds in making that decrepit chestnut. 'he c0uldnae get his hole in a barrel of fannies'. sound like a fresh spring gag.
HANNIBAL: THE MAN WHO HATED ROME Channel 4, Sat 15 May, 8pm 0000
Hannibal is. of course. legendary for marching his elephants over the Alps. but this excellent and authoritative documentary ably
shows there was much more to the famous Carthaginian general. Around 2008C. Carthage (now Tunis in North Africa) and Rome were vying for control of the Mediterranean trade routes. Hannibal's military march through Spain and France was audacious and brilliant. but although he was to spend years battling in Italy, his campaign ultimately ended in failure. This paved the way for Rome to become the dominant force in the world for centuries. changing history forever in the process.
All of this is covered brilliantly by this tightly paced and well-scripted documentary, and they get the blend of re- enactments. computer wizardry. informative voiceover and expert talking heads just about spot on. The intelligence level is also well-judged. neither too cerebral nor too sensationalist. making Hannibal a cracking historical ride. (Doug Johnstone)
ART DOCUMENTARY VINCENT: THE FULL STORY Channel 4, Sun 16 May, 8pm .00
Face it. Don McLean, you were wrong.
104 THE LIST izwx May 2004
Vincent van Gogh was no tortured artist. He was just a nice, middle- class Protestant kid with a penchant for long walks, self- flagellation and career change. He also had an amazing talent for falling in love with women who would spurn him in the most embarrassing way. This. along with letters to his brother Theo. lies at the heart of art critic Waldemar Januszczak's intelligent re- investigation of his life and times.
Spurning clever visuals and the opinions of art world cognoscenti, Januszczak simply follows van Gogh's path through life from Belgium to London and on to Paris and Holland by visiting the rooms, churches and art dealerships in which the artist spent much of his early life in. It's a fascinating stOry and the slightly shouty. breathin hysterical Januszczak turns out to be a warm, effusive guide. A fine art documentary series (note: without Matthew Collings) that may be worth sticking with. (Paul Dale)
PANORAMA: SITUATION ROOM
8801, Sun 16 May, 10.15pm .0
Whatever this country needs its forces get more and more embrOiled in the bloody mess in Iraq and dubious arrests are made under new terrorism laws. it doesn't need this. The BBC should be ashamed. Important questions of how our
THE MIGHTY BOOSH 8803, Tue 18 May, 10.30pm 0...
Once upon a time, the Boosh (aka Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt) were
the coolest comedians on the block. They were the post-Vic & Bob surrealist twins of mirth, they were rock’n’roll laughter, they may even have been cult gay icons, photo shots having captured them holding hands in Morecambe and Wise/Gilbert & George stylee. But then the bubble appeared to burst. Having scooped the Perrier Newcomer Award in 1999, they were dead certs to lift the grown-ups’ prize the following year. The List even stuck them on the cover that August, so sure were we that the Boosh boys were about to be handed their just desserts. Except, they didn’t win. They didn’t even get nominated. We all lost our jobs and No and Ju huffed off back to London to pursue alternative careers (Fielding performed solo stand-up and Barratt did the Metz ads). But now, thank Christ, they’ve returned almost at the beginning, transferring their first Boosh stage/radio show to small screens, filling 8863’s impressive outré sitcom gap vacated by Catterick, 15 Storeys High
and Nighty Night.
And, to anyone familiar with their wonky material and chatty delivery, it’s no surprise that it all works beautifully. Set in a run-down zoo, Howard Moon (Barratt) and Vince Noir (Fielding) are a pair of keepers with, frankly, very little going for them. 80, Howard forces himself into a boxing bout with a killer kangaroo (Killeroo) to impress a lady. Classic codswallop, all
told. (Brian Donaldson)
emergency service infrastructure could cope with a terrorist attack on London are exploited to scare the shit Out of viewers. Dramatised bombs on the underground are followed by the explosion of a lorry containing chlorine and reported in mock broadcasts.
Meanwhile. back in the Panorama studio. representatives of emergency. political and security services gather with war cabinet-like gravity to assess the impact. Concerns Such as tube staff not receiving training in terrorist strategy are clearly valid but this method of raising them is not. The programme cynically presses every panic button, including fears for children. advising viewers to ask headteacl’iers if they have an action plan in case of attack. It's not big and it's not clever. (Ruth Hedges)
SOCIAL. DOCUMlﬂNTARY HYPNOT S RUINED MY LIFE Five, Wed 19 May, 10pm 0
As usual. Five goes for the jugular With this barely inspired documentary based on the growing practise of stage hypnosis. This trite exploration adds little fuel to the ‘is it dangerous 'is it medically sound' debate and. as is proper \.'-.’lllt Five fodder. begins WIl“ the lowest common denominator. After eVil hypnotist murmurings lll Gibraltar. Bill believes he's lost his brain when a certain piece of music is played. Since the
hypnosis. he teen; " 5:. léllllll), betrayed n;ii‘ a":t has become .‘."Ill(t."£i.‘."‘ from them No .i":ie":,xhg issues there thee.
At the other end of the spectrum is Mai‘gaiet. who l)(}|l(}‘.'(}f3 her daughter Shai'ioi‘s death ll‘()ll‘. natuiai causes the day after hypnosis was a (iiiect result of her being a\.'./al\eii(:-d h). the illusion of a 10.000 electric volt shooting through her body. Even the obligatory Aiiiertcai‘. psychologist on hand 1;: add kudos to proceedings can't sane this insubstahtia? piece of '(loctiiiteiitaix' making. '/\.'lll;l Milar