TV & Radio Wednesday April 11

by Fiona Rae / 11 April, 2012
Our favourite lightweight crime series returns, and Ben Hur gets a pretty, pretty update.


Titanic: Case Closed (National Geographic, Sky 072, 7.30pm). Lots of Titanic programming this week – here, historian and author Tim Maltin explains his new theory of one of the mysteries of the Titanic’s sinking: how did the ship’s lookouts not see a giant iceberg until it was too late?

Castle (TV1, 8.30pm). Hurrah! Our favourite time-waster returns at last. It’s as light as a helium balloon on a string, and approximately as much fun, bobbing around and teasing us with many cute will-they-won’t-they moments. You may remember that Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) was shot at the end of last season after a whole bunch of stuff surrounding the murder of her mother had emerged. Gosh, do you think she’ll survive? (Yes.) Will she remember Castle’s (Nathan Fillion) whispered confession of love? (No.) So, we’re sort-of back to where we started, although the station has a new captain, played by Penny Johnson Jerald (Sherry Palmer in 24).

The Almighty Johnsons (TV3, 8.30pm). Axl (Emmett Skilton) has been doing some very manly things lately, taking charge and making decisions. But what is he going to do with Loki (Shane Cortese, who really, er, lights up the screen) after he set fire to the forest thereby killing Agnetha? We predict a future showdown between the two. Meanwhile, Ty is apparently going to try to die and be brought back to life (clear!) so that he can get rid of his godly coldness and properly be with the lovely Dawn. Frankly, it would suck to be Hod. The Johnsons is currently screening on the SyFy channel in the UK; this person at Geek Syndicate has been blogging, and liking, it.

Ben Hur (Prime, 8.30pm). Slightly after the fact, but seeing as it’s just been Easter, how about a vaguely religious epic? A miniseries update of the Ben Hur story about a Jew (Joseph Morgan) sent into slavery by his former friend (Stephen Campbell Moore), a Roman. Morgan (Klaus in The Vampire Diaries) is no Charlton Heston and this is no Ben-Hur, you might say, but if you can forget the 1959 William Wyler classic, this Canadian miniseries rattles along quickly enough. The producers have wisely roped in Ray Winstone, Alex Kingston, Hugh Bonneville (as Pontius Pilate) and Art Malik to give the miniseries some heft, while Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) and Emily VanCamp (Revenge) pretty up the place.


Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Sky Movies, Sky 020, 8.30pm). I don’t feel I’d be doing my job if I didn’t mention this documentary about lil’ Justin Bieber on his 2010 concert tour. Thanks to his parents’ enthusiasm with the video camera, his every move from birth is also spliced into this glossy memoir that takes this “profoundly unthreatening little Furby of a pop idol”, as David Edelstein of New York magazine called him, from Stratford, Ontario, to Madison Square Garden. Squeal! (2011) 4 – Diana Balham


Appointment (Radio New Zealand Concert, 7.00pm). It would be an extraordinary affirmation of his strength of will if Mahatma Gandhi were to be Ken Taylor and John Perry’s guest in Philosophy Talk this evening. Unfortunately, they’re having to settle for the next best thing: an episode named after the famously non-violent leader of the Indian independence movement and featuring Akeel Bilgrami, director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University in the US, who will examine Gandhi’s way of looking at the world. – Diana Balham
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