June 2-8: Including Shackleton's Captain and the Diamond Jubilee Concert

by Fiona Rae / 02 June, 2012


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV3, 8.30pm). Goodbye Marg Helgenberger, hello Academy Award nominee Elisabeth Shue. The original CSI gets a refresh with Shue’s character, a blood-spatter expert called Julie Finlay. Fresh blood indeed – there’s a ton of it splashed about in the episode, although not for the reason you might think. Between Shue and Ted Danson, CSI might actually be worth watching again.

A Night at the Classic (TVNZ Heartland, Sky 017, 10.30pm). An excellent little local comedy series that goes “behind the curtain” of the Classic Comedy Club in Auckland in an Office kind of way. The comedians prepare behind the scenes, and then real stand-up performances are filmed out front. Brendhan Lovegrove is the David Brent-like link between the two worlds. Funny because it’s true. Heartland – the Sky channel that rescreens content from TVNZ’s archive – this week is also replaying the moving drama Piece of My Heart, starring Annie Whittle, Rena Owen, Emily Barclay and Keisha Castle-Hughes (Friday, Sky 017, 7.30pm).


Walk on the Wild Side (TV1, 5.25pm). Animals filmed in the wild and given hilarious voiceovers! And we’re not talking about The GC! Cute wild animal show written by British comedian Jason Manford (his turangawaewae is Salford, Lancashire; Man City is his tribe), and voiced by Stephen Fry, Rolf Harris (koala, of course, among others), Barbara Windsor, Richard E Grant, Tom Jones and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

The Food Truck (TV1, 7.00pm). Apparently, sushi isn’t as healthy as it seems (say what?), so Michael Van de Elzen’s final challenge is to make his own version for Japan Day at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds.

Packed to the Rafters (TV1, 8.30pm). Another season finale, and although there is talk across the Tassie that Rafters is getting stale (Sydney Morning Herald headline: “Confronting the empty plot syndrome”), for us, there are still seasons five and six to come. Tonight, Ben and Emma go on their first date, Julie receives a response from the publishing house, and Erik Thomson sings at the Rafter Electrical launch party.

Shackleton’s Captain (TV1, 9.30pm). Craig Parker is a long way from Spartacus’s Roman robes and swordplay in Shackleton’s Captain, a dramatised documentary – they’re the latest thing – that comes to us thanks to NZ On Air’s Platinum Fund. Parker plays Captain Frank Worsley, the New Zealand sailor who saved Ernest Shackleton’s behind on the ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914. It is one of the great stories of endurance and survival, one that made Worsley a maritime legend for his extraordinary skill at navigating, first getting 28 men out of pack ice in the Weddell Sea to Elephant Island, and then leading six men in a leaky boat from Elephant Island to South Georgia, 1200km away. Director Leanne Pooley, who co-wrote the docudrama, uses interviews with experts, dramatisations of the events, and some of the amazing film and photographs taken by Australian adventurer Frank Hurley. Shackleton was a good PR man, remarks author Michael Smith, he knew he would need a photographer, although he got more than he bargained for. Hurley’s footage of the Endurance cracking and crumbling under pressure of ice is as dramatic today as then. The facts are these: Shackleton and crew set off from Buenos Aires in October 1914. They stopped at the Norwegian whaling station on South Georgia in November, picking up two tons of whale meat. The Norwegians warned Shackleton about the severe ice conditions, but “the boss”, who had been pipped to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen, was determined to press on and make the first land crossing of the Antarctic. It’s a story of hubris. Ignoring the Norwegians was Shackleton’s first mistake. His second was insisting that the crew continue into the Weddell Sea rather than make landfall north of their intended destination of Vahsel Bay. The Endurance became trapped in pack ice and the expedition was effectively doomed. They thought they could winter over and sail home in the spring – they ate seal and penguin and kept themselves occupied with games, plays, lectures and discussions. Worsley, something of a joker, famously took an ice bath. Worsley’s true skill became apparent when the men set out in the lifeboats for Elephant Island, and when Shackleton, Worsley and four men set out in the 6.9m James Caird for South Georgia. A dramatisation cannot do justice to the real deprivation of those journeys, although Shackleton’s Captain has a good crack at it. Besides, imagination fills in the rest.


2012 MTV Movie Awards (MTV, Sky 014, 1.00pm). Not the music awards, so no Gaga making an entrance in a “vessel”, or Kanye embarrassing himself in front of Taylor Swift. It’s the movie awards, where categories include “Best On-Screen Transformation”, “Best Gut-Wrenching Performance”, “Best Kiss”, “Best On-Screen Dirt Bag” and “Best Fight”. The Hunger Games, Bridesmaids, The Help, 21 Jump Street and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn all feature. The presenter is Russell Brand.

Rugby (Maori, 2.30am Tue). Maori Television has snapped up the rights to the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship tournament, which will be played in South Africa. It’s a good way to see All Blacks-in-waiting for sure; the junior side has been a great success – the most recent All Black training squad includes six of last year’s under-20 side. The New ­Zealand juniors have won three consecutive world titles and kick off the campaign with a game against Samoa. Maori is screening all New Zealand games live, with delayed coverage of the others. This match is repeated at the better time of 7.00am.


MasterChef New Zealand (TV1, 7.30pm). Semi-finals! Just three contestants left and it’s the “cookbook” episode, where the chefs must come up with three dishes for the book they will write should they win. Guest judge is cookbook queen Annabel Langbein.

Ade in Britain (BBC Knowledge, Sky 074, 7.30pm). Adrian Edmondson will always hold a special place in our Young Ones-loving hearts, and here he is in a series in which he is an unlikely champion for British food. There’s black pudding, jellied eels, Devonshire squab pie. Rubbish, in other words.

Intrepid Journeys (TV1, 8.30pm). Mm, guinea pig. We hear it’s tasty (something for The Food Truck’s next series?). Singer Annie Crummer can vouch for the yumminess or otherwise of cobayo after her intrepid journey to Peru, where the cute critters are roasted whole. She travels to Lima for the city’s 477th birthday, visits Puerto Maldonado, camps in the Amazon jungle (spiders!), comes too close to a baby piranha, and suffers altitude sickness on a three-day hike.

NCIS: Los Angeles (TV3, 9.30pm). The season finale, so – big explosion!


The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert (TV1, 7.30pm). Take That’s Gary Barlow is going to have a brilliant new career as an event organiser if all goes well: he’s in charge of this huge Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert, which takes place in front of Buckingham Palace and will be attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the royal family. The line-up includes Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Paul Mc­Cartney, Cliff Richard, Annie Lennox, ­Madness, Shirley Bassey, Jessie J and Tom Jones.

Bear Grylls’ Wild Weekend (Discovery, Sky 070, 8.30pm). He has already traumatised Miranda Hart in the Swiss Alps, and this week Bear Grylls hauls talkshow host Jonathan Ross off to La Palma, in the Canary Islands. There’s a rope drop from a helicopter into dense jungle, walking down an active volcano and sleeping inside a cave. And we thought Jonathan was smarter than the average Bear.


The Queen’s Palaces (Prime, 7.30pm). Celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II have been going on all year in the UK – and, much like the Queen herself, will continue (New Zealand will be visited by Prince Charles and Camilla in November). But this “bank holiday weekend” is the biggest celebration of all, featuring a maritime parade of 1000 boats on the River Thames (coverage on UKTV, Queen’s Birthday, 7.30pm), a concert in front of Buckingham Palace (see above) and street parties. For us, TV programmes are drifting in, including this three-part BBC series presented by Antiques Roadshow’s Fiona Bruce. The series begins with Buckingham Palace, named after the Duke of Buckingham, who built a house in 1708 where the palace is now. It was sold in the 1760s to King George III, a monarch of simple pleasures who bought many artworks and scientific gadgets, including the largest collection of paintings by Venetian artist Canaletto. Buckingham Palace, however, was created by George III’s son George IV, a man of lavish pleasures who, when his father died in 1820, demolished his opulent palace in London, to make way for work on a larger dwelling designed by the architect John Nash. The second episode features the Queen’s oldest residence, Windsor Castle, which dates back to the 11th century. Treasures at Windsor include table decorations in gold and silver and encrusted with jewels, and Queen Mary’s dolls’ house with working taps. In the final episode, Bruce is at Holyroodhouse Palace, where many of the famous events concerning Mary, Queen of Scots played out. Here, there is the spectacular Darnley Jewel, an enamel locket set with precious stones that Mary’s mother-in-law had made in the 1570s to commemorate the deaths of her husband and son.

Once Upon a Time (TV2, 8.30pm). That’s right. Blame the mother. Turns out evil queen Regina wasn’t always evil, it was her mother Cora, creator of all things dark and wicked and probably evil, wot made her that way. Bonus: Cora is played by Barbara Hershey.

Tagata Pasifika (TV1, 11.35pm). Tagata Pasifika covers the 2012 Pacific Music Awards, held at the Pacific Events Centre in Manukau. The awards were held on May 31, so hands over ears and say la-la-la if you don’t want to hear the winners. Nominees include David Dallas, who is nominated in practically every category except female artist and gospel; Adeaze; Te Vaka; singer Ria; and soul-funk groover STKS.
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