TV & Radio Friday September 30

by Fiona Rae / 30 September, 2011
A celebration of how ingenious we humans are for a change, and the splendiferious Stephen Fry is on Jonathan Ross's couch.


Human Planet (Prime, 7.30pm). One of those lovely BBC natural world series that spans the globe in living colour – three years of filming the ways that we ingenious humans have adapted to the Earth’s harshest environments. It begins with Into the Blue, featuring people who live semi-aquatic lives.

Rugby (Sky Sport 1, Sky 020, 8.15pm). Tonight’s RWC game is the pool D match in Albany between South Africa and Samoa, which could be gruelling for us and Samoa. Maori TV screens the game live from 8.00pm, and TV1 has highlights from 10.45pm.

Live to Dance (Prime, 8.45pm). It’s the final. Just sayin’. You’re not expected to actually watch.

The Jonathan Ross Show (TV1, 8.45pm). The splendiferous Stephen Fry – a recent visitor Wellington – is Jonathan’s guest tonight, although the veil of secrecy that has been draped over The Hobbit will no doubt be in effect. He can always talk about the darts instead (he loves them) or, in fact, anything at all. Also on Jonathan’s couch are UK comedian Peter Kay and Hugh Jackman.

7 Days (TV3, 9.30pm). On Paul Ego and Dai Henwood’s panels this week are Chopper, 
Steve Wrigley, 
Jeremy Elwood
 and Vaughan Smith.

Supernatural (TV2, 10.40pm). Guess Sam is okay after his collapse last week. Phew. A return to the series monster-of-the-week days (fun!) and a reference to the Mannequin films. The episode is called Mannequin 3: The Reckoning, and there’s this possessed mannequin, see …


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (TV2, 7.30pm). Or the magical story of how three British kids got on the Hogwarts Express and became very, very rich … The HP source, so to speak. This one established the trend of including highly respected British actors: in this case, John Hurt, Richard Griffiths, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Fiona Shaw, Julie Walters, Alan Rickman and John Cleese. (2001) 7 – Diana Balham

Aliens (Four, 8.30pm). As good as or slightly better than the original, this is vintage sci-fi with long, cool Sigourney Weaver in charge as alien ass-kicker Ellen Ripley. This time, Ridley Scott moved over and James Cameron took the reins as director (and writer). A 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes: that means no bad reviews. Nominated for seven Oscars and won two for effects. Here we have the true meaning of Girl Power – one female space pilot vs one very pissed off, slime-slick alien queen = a catfight to the bitter end. (1986) 9 – Diana Balham

Centurion (Rialto, Sky 025, 8.30pm). “Spare and savage” said the New Yorker of this movie based on the supposed disappearance of the Ninth Roman Legion in Scotland in AD117. It’s the Romans vs the Picts, and the imperialist invading force are coming off, for once, worse. The brilliant Michael Fassbender is the hero Quintus Dias, and although the girls (Imogen Poots and Olga Kurylenko) come along and spoil any historical accuracy there might have been, there are modern echoes, from Vietnam to Afghanistan, or even our own Land Wars. “Riveting storytelling, gorgeous cinematography and scenery, loads of gore” said Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir. (2010) 8


Music Alive (Radio New Zealand Concert, 8.00pm). Tonight's Proms concert features Mendelssohn’s Elijah, with Simon Keenlyside, Rosemary Joshua, Sarah Connolly, Robert Murray, the Taplow Youth Choir, Ulster Youth Chamber Choir, Chetham’s Chamber Choir, North East Youth Choir, Wroclaw Phil Chorus and Gabrieli Consort and Players, under Paul McCreesh.

Country Life (Radio New Zealand National, 9.06pm). A visit to Derrick and Jane Milton's scenic Southern Malborough farm, which overlooks the Clarence River; a chat with Jason Wargent, who is at Massey studying the effects of UV on lettuces; and Lincoln University Senior Lecturer Nic Lees discusses the increasing interest in agribusiness courses.

The Doors – No One Here Gets Out Alive (Radio New Zealand National, 11.06pm). Part three of this four-part documentary about the Doors which was originally released during the summer of 1979. The original four-LP set is as rare as hen's teeth; only 150 copies were produced, there was no repressing, and invariably, radio personnel who received copies kept them for their personal collections. Here's the Wikipedia entry about the box set (which is available on CD).

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