brutally assaulted and murdered in the basement of her family home. It was obvious; her parents had killed her. Within days of the murder, however, DNA evidence was uncovered to suggest the perpetrator was actually someone else. This evidence - which would have effectively cleared the Ramseys — was never released by police.
This documentary follows up an ITV investigation from several years back and reports on the uncovering of a wealth of new evidence about the case which not only further exonerates JonBenet‘s parents. but attempts to reveal the actual murderer. The testimony of the Pls who uncovered this evidence is emotive and driving; a lone wish is that documentary filmmakers start resisting corny reconstructions which, far from augmenting the action. too often end up just distasteful or distracting.
Other than this minor gripe, the Real Crime series has produced a film of quality. While it doesn't fully fulfil the claim in the title (try finding a TV doc of late that actually does) it still raises serious questions about negligent police procedures and highlights the potentially detrimental effects of the media reportage and police actions in high profile criminal cases. (Mark Robertson)
SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY I HATE THE 608 8804, Sat 12 Jun, 9.50pm .000.
if Wu" ’it ':2"-'~ 'rléu was it?
Born in 1970, I've always had a grudge against the 608. Let's face it. the so-called Swinging Sixties are a myth, perpetuated by ageing, superior, smug. puerile goons. This fantastic programme blows that myth right out the water. and does so with a reasonable amount of intellectual rigour as well as having a few laughs along the way. And so every facet
of ‘the decade that was 1 too good to be true' ‘ takes a pasting here
from moral codes to
architecture. from the
inanity of flower power
to the transport system.
The hippy revolution was. of course. an
; abject lesson in vacuous
conformity. and the
: moral vacuum it left
allowed the rise of
; organised racism (Enoch Powell's ‘rivers of blood‘
speech.anyone?)and the exploitative sexism
of the 703. And there's
loads more: the rise of consumerism. the
: importance of image over content. the illusion
of eternal skinny youth as a good thing are all
kicked into touch. Fantastic stuff. (Doug Johnstone)
SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY THE REAL FLYING SAUCERS
1 Five, Wed 16 Jun, 9pm
After the moon landings and ‘genetic sexual attraction’, the Stranger Than Fiction strain turns its sensationalist eyes
~ towards the swirling,
bleeping. glinting objects that have obsessed a
. generation of conspiracy
theorists and sky- watchers. Yet. this is probably the least sensational of the series so far: odd that when you throw together
UFOs and Nazis (two
Five staples). you can come up with such a flat
The facts here are quite clearly less exhilarating than the fiction. No longer in denial of UFOs. governments of the West have been creating
their own saucery ' airships for decades.
Hitler thought this would be the key to winning
the war by attacking New York in the still of
night and making
Americans' worst HG
Wellsian nightmares come crashingly true. Perhaps ironically. the Russians blunted his plans by closing in on his bunker and within a decade the USA was planning its own flying
1 12 THE LIST 10—24 Jun 2004
saucer programme to
. get several steps ahead of the enemy as the Cold War warmed up.
As well as UFOs and
Nazis. Five appears to 3 be adept at overly
detailing the highly technical nooks and
: crannies of a subject.
This is presumably
3 aimed at making itself
seem serious. but only
a succeeds in turning off
viewers who may expect something else given
that title. The closing note of doom that circular weapons of
mass destruction have
. been created behind closed doors over the last 20 years gives the
show a more
thunderous climax that it
otherwise deserves. (Brian Donaldson)
QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY
Channel 4, Fri 18 Jun, 7.30pm 00.
Straight men are just. like. so totally uncool. They don't know how to dress. how to cook, how to shave. D'you know. what they need is to be shown how to live: the gay way. Enter New York's Fab Five — Charming. primped and primed y0ung men who have won the hearts of Americans — mincing their way into the life of an uninitiated straight guy's life and sorting him out good and proper. This week it's Butch under the queer quintet's critical eye. ‘Oh my grossnessl’ shrieks
IN SEARCH OF TONY BLAIR
Channel 4, Sat 12 Jun, 7pm .00
one as he discovers a pair of boxers with an incriminating brown stain. 'I think there was a car accident here because I see skid marks.‘ It's like mixing Graham Norton with Trinny & Susannah, Aggie & Kim and relocating relocating relocating to New York City.
Fortunately. they're all very endearing and
Butch takes it in good humour. An artist on the side. the challenge of the day is to get him and his apartment ready for an open view of his first exhibition. Snip goes the scraggy ponytail. out go the dungarees. on sprays the fake tan. Baby yOu're looking good. Butch and his sundance kids look like they're winning.
Man, monster or Maggie mark 2?
Who or what is Tony Blair? Is he - as his friends would have us believe - a man of principle? Or is our PM - as those whose skins start prickling whenever the famous jug-ears, gleaming rictus and disingenuous platitudes invade our screens maintain - a vacuous pragmatist blighted by his persistent self-aggrandisement? Alternatively, is he - as the man himself avows - ‘a pretty straight sort of guy’? In this hefty two-hour documentary, political historian Anthony Seldon sets out to unlock the essence of our ailing leader. This involves traipsing around Britain, from Fettes College to the Palace of Westminster, scavenging for clues among the people and places of Blair‘s formative years. The resulting portrait, while comprehensive and full of gossipy details from bystanders, contains very few eyebrow-raising revelations. Blair’s admiration for the iron-willed, not-for-turning style of Margaret Thatcher, for instance, is self-evident, as is the crippling tension with Gordon Brown. Those commentators baffled by Blair’s close relationship with George W Bush are pointed towards the well- documented religious zeal that drives his belief in social equality and justice, as well as his rather babyish views on the nature of good and evil. At one point, Gerald Kaufman drools that ‘all political leaders are monsters’. But Blair is neither a monster nor even particularly enigmatic. For all the morbid fascination that surrounded her, Mrs Thatcher was in essence a grocer’s daughter from Grantham who ultimately got too big for her blue bovver boots. Likewise, Blair is simply the latest in a long line of principled politicians made reckless by power, and the only unpredictable aspect of its implosion is the rapidity with which it has come
about. (Allan Radcliffe)