TV & Radio Thursday April 12by Fiona Rae
The strangest of the Titanic documentaries, and the Breakers begin the grand final series.
Basketball (Sky Sport 2, Sky 031, 7.30pm). Go the Breakers. Game one of the grand final series against the Perth Wildcats is at Vector Arena in Auckland tonight – it's going to be a classic, says the Herald's Steve Deane.
The Nazi Titanic (History, Sky 073, 7.30pm). Possibly the weirdest of the Titanic docos: the bizarre tale of Joseph Goebbels’s attempt to make a German movie version of the sinking of the Titanic. It was so massive in scale that resources had to be diverted from the war effort to complete the film. After making critical remarks about the military, the movie’s director, Herbert Selpin, was arrested by the Gestapo and died in custody. The movie, which was meant as an allegory of British avarice, had a brief theatrical run in occupied Europe in 1943, but was eventually banned by Goebbels, who said the German people didn’t need to see any more death and panic.
Chawner's Last Chance (TV1, 8.30pm). Do we need any more of this British family on our screens? I'm thinking not.
Once Upon a Time (TV2, 8.30pm). Aw, we know all you romantics have been waiting for more Snow White-Prince Charming goodness, and tonight's episode is all about them and their Storybrooke counterparts, Mary Margaret and David. Also, dwarfs! You didn't know there was a dwarf called Stealthy, did you? Meanwhile, Emma is keeping an eye on the new guy in town.
Project Runway (TV3, 9.30pm). Joshua M won last week, so will probably be insufferable this week. It's a 70s-inspiration challenge, which could all go horribly wrong, but we are beginning to see which of the designers have real vision and skill.
Breaking Bad (Four, 10.30pm). We are so behind on this brilliant slice of New Mexico gothic – and there’s been a huge gap since season two of Breaking Bad, in which Walter (Bryan Cranston) set off a chain of events leading to a mid-air collision between two planes. Walter crossed the line when he allowed Jesse’s girlfriend to die, and season three is a little bit about trying to get back. But when he’s got Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) offering him millions – and a shiny new meth lab – it’s very difficult to say no. Gus is “simply the best villain ever on a continuing TV show”, said horror writer Stephen King last year (the two silent Mexican assassin brothers aren’t bad either). King named Breaking Bad No 1 on his list of 2011 pop culture favourites, and it was also No 1 for New York magazine, the New Yorker and Time. Admittedly, they were talking about season four, which is even better: please, Four, don’t leave it so long between seasons! Our interview with Bryan Cranston here.
The Next Three Days (Sky Movies, Sky 020, 8.30pm). Crash director Paul Haggis sticks to one story instead of many in this adaptation of the French thriller Anything for Her. Russell Crowe, in schlub mode, is the ordinary guy who plans to break his wife (Elizabeth Banks) out of pokey after she's convicted of the murder of her boss. Salon's Andrew O'Hehir liked it despite himself ("it exerts a powerful narrative pull"), Roger Ebert less so. (2010)
Music Alive (Radio New Zealand Concert, 8.00pm). London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane is the guest in this APO concert (conducted by Fabrice Bollon) direct from the Auckland Town Hall. Favourite Classics features Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale, Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor and Beethoven’s Symphony No 5 in C Minor. – Diana Balham
Ian McEwan’s tale of human-robot love links emotional and artificial intelligence in intriguing ways, writes Charlotte Grimshaw.Read more
The chemical residues on fruit and vegetables are not dangerous, but rinsing is still advisable.Read more
A three-month trial at Christchurch Hospital saw remarkable results.Read more
Until recently, the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s buildings were highly dysfunctional, says John Glen, the museum’s head of building infrastructure.Read more
More than 230 tonnes of plastic including straws, bags and toothbrushes found on Australian islands.Read more
Violent extremists are often depicted as “lone wolves”. But this belies the broader psychological, social and digital contexts in which they act.Read more
Seeing an NZ flag flying at a neo-fascist rally in Germany prompted David Hall to ask why violent radicalisation was affecting even his fellow Kiwis.Read more