Five Minutes of HeavenSunday, BBC2, 9pm Anonymous Monday, RTE2, 10.25pm Robin Hood Tonight, BBC1, 6.25pm Yes We Can! The Lost Art of Oratory Sunday, BBC2, 7.50pm Celebrity Bainisteoir Sunday, RTE1, 6.30pm
Published 04/04/2009 | 00:00
For those confused by the fact that this drama was gracing our cinemas less than a month ago, it was part-funded by the BBC, who thus get first dibs and a very early TV showing. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and written by Guy Hibbert, Five Minutes of Heaven could not be more timely in light of the recent events in the North, as it deals with the legacy and aftermath of violence. Its action flits between the dark days of the 70s and the present time, and follows the lasting consequences of a young man's folly.
Alistair Little (Mark Davison, above) is a Protestant boy from Lurgan who's drawn into the Troubles and drifts to the fringes of the Ulster Volunteer Force. Following an IRA threat at a factory, the UVF issues a counter threat to Catholic employees, and Alistair volunteers to carry out the killing. He shoots a factory employee, but the man's little brother, Joe, is in the street watching. In the present, Alistair (Liam Neeson) and Joe (James Nesbitt) have both been stunted by the memory, so Alistair suggests a meeting in the hope of reconciliation. But Joe has revenge in mind.
Ned Kelly (2003): The late Heath Ledger stars in this underrated drama as the son of oppressed Irish immigrants who became a celebrated Australian outlaw. With Naomi Watts, Orlando Bloom (Tonight, TV3, 11.20pm).
V for Vendetta (2005): Bold fantasy based on a novel by Alan Moore. Hugo Weaving plays a masked freedom fighter who leads a revolt against a totalitarian British government. With Natalie Portman (Sunday, TV3, 9pm).
Along Came Polly (2004): Ben Stiller plays a repressed risk assessor who has just embarked on a not-very-happy marriage when he meets and falls in love with an old school friend. With Jennifer Aniston, Debra Messing (Wednesday, RTE1, 9.30pm).
The Passion of the Christ (2004): Jim Caviezel is the man himself in this graphic Mel Gibson version of the Passion that's heavy on the suffering and light on the redemption. With Monica Bellucci (Thursday, RTE2, 9.15pm).
The Snapper (1993): In perhaps the best of the Roddy Doyle film adaptations, Colm Meaney is a dad who struggles to deal with the fact that his daughter is up the duff (Friday, TV3, 9pm).
The Others (2001): Supernatural thriller from Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, starring Nicole Kidman as the single mother of two light-sensitive children who begins to suspect that they are not alone in their remote Channel Island home (Friday, BBC2, 10.15pm).
Monday, RTE2, 10.25pm
During this series of the candid- camera show, Jason Byrne (right) has pulled the strings and urged celebrities disguised as mad civilians to ever greater excesses. His willing victims in this run have included Jason McAteer and Amanda Byram, but now it's his turn, as he dons a prosthetic disguise and attempts to persuade family and friends that he's someone else.
Jason's alter ego is Jim Keegan, security man, health and safety expert and general all-round bore. After his makeover, Jason dons a high-visibility jacket and a measuring tape, and sets out for south Dublin, where he attempts to wind up locals including his mother, his father-in-law and comedy friends Pat Shortt and David McSavage.
Killinaskully: Repeat of the last series about the fictional town populated by an eccentric bunch, most of whom look suspiciously like Pat Shortt (Tonight, RTE1, 6.55pm).
Scrubs: As JD and Elliot struggle to find a spark in their romance, Dr Cox considers accepting the job of Chief of Medicine. With Zach Braff, John C McGinley (Monday, RTE2, 9pm).
Shameless: Jamie puts Joe in hospital after finding out that he's been battering Mandy. With David Threlfall (Tuesday, C4, 10pm).
Friends: Joey thinks he's found his true love (Thursday, TV3, 6.30pm).
Worst Week: When Sam and Mel babysit for their nephew, he photographs them in a compromising position and includes the picture in a school exhibition (Thursday, RTE2, 11.40pm).
Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death: Wallace and hound become famous for their bread and cakes, but a mysterious 'cereal killer' is targeting local bakers (Friday, BBC1, 8.30pm).
Tonight, BBC1, 6.25pm
Now in its third series, this flashy, sexy take on the beloved English legend has done extremely well in the competitive Saturday-night ratings, peaking at 8.5 million viewers during its first season. At the end of the second run, fans were shocked by Marian's death at the hands of Guy of Gisborne, and Robin is a changed man. He has returned from the Holy Land and broken up the gang, leaving him free to plot his revenge on Gisborne.
Robin's dark mood seems to be spiralling out of control, but help arrives in the form of a jolly travelling monk called Tuck. Robin is played by Jonas Armstrong, Friar Tuck by David Harewood, Gisborne by Richard Armitage and Keith Allen is the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Lewis: When a religious maniac is murdered, a celebrity atheist whom he had attacked comes under suspicion. With Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox (Sunday, UTV, 8pm).
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: Mme Ramotswe suspects that her husband has bought a stolen car. Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose star (Sunday, BBC1, 9pm).
As time runs out for a young patient, Meredith fights for a death-row prisoner's wish to donate his organs to the boy (Monday, RTE2, 9.30pm).
24: Jack Bauer is back for a new series, combating technological terrorists. Kiefer Sutherland stars (Monday, RTE2, 12.05am).
The Wire: The BBC is showing the thoroughly brilliant Baltimore crime show night by night, and in this episode McNulty and co get closer to Barksdale and his drug supply (Tuesday, BBC2, 11.20pm).
Damages: The plot gets ever thicker in this atmospheric conspiracy drama as Ellen discovers that one of her FBI handlers has died of a suspected drug overdose (Friday, RTE2, 12.30am).
Yes We Can! The Lost Art of Oratory
Sunday, BBC2, 7.50pm
If reassurance and inspiration are two commodities in desperately short supply, Barack Obama has already proved that he's the man who can supply them. From his campaign performances to his inauguration speech, Obama's soaring rhetoric has marked a return to the high-minded speechifying of yesteryear, and proved a soothing antidote to the incoherent, semi-literate mumblings of his predecessor. Of course, Abe Lincoln is his primary inspiration, and in this light-hearted documentary Alan Yentob (above) traces the art of oratory back to its earliest origins.
Yentob travelled to Washington for the Obama inauguration and mingled with the crowds to witness the effect of the 44th President's words. He then moves on to trace the awesome power of orators, from the very inception of the art form in Greece to the great speechmakers of the 20th century.
Would You Believe: Pamela Izevbekhai explains her battle against deportation back to Nigeria, where she believes her daughters will be subjected to female genital mutilation (Sunday, RTE1, 10.20pm).
Written Off: Eight people address their literacy problems (Monday, RTE1, 7.30pm).
Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant: David Starkey presents this four-part profile of the Tudor (Monday, C4, 9pm).
In the Blood: Kilfenora Ceili Band: The history of the Co Clare ceili band that's lasted more than a century (Tuesday, RTE1, 10.30pm).
Not Enough Hours: Owen Fitzpatrick helps an art shop owner make better use of time (Wednesday, RTE1, 8.30pm).
Dragons' Den: The last group of hopefuls in the final episode of this series (Thursday, RTE1, 10.10pm).
Sunday, RTE1, 6.30pm
There aren't many people who look good in a GAA jersey, but Andrea Roche (above) is definitely one of them. Ms Roche is among the less likely contestants in this second series of the reality sports show. Clever, well made and cunningly simple in format, the first series did really well when aired last year, and seemed to tap into the parish and county loyalties so essential to the continuing success of Gaelic games.
The replacement coach for Westmeath side Maryland, Marty Whelan, triumphed over Gerald Kean's Cork club, Mayfield, in last year's final. Tonight, Andrea's Tipperary club, Rockwell Rovers, take on Roscommon side St Michael's, managed by John Waters, in the second quarter-final. It's sudden death, so the pressure is on. Before the game, Andrea and John train with All-Star mentors Tony McManus and Declan Browne.
Racing: Tracy Piggott introduces the Grand National (Today, RTE2, 2.45pm).
Rugby: Daire O'Brien presents what could be a rehearsal for the Heineken Cup semi, as Munster and Leinster meet in the Magners League (Tonight, Setanta Sports 1, 7pm).
Soccer: A round-up of Premier League games, including Arsenal v Manchester City, Fulham v Liverpool and Newcastle v Chelsea (Tonight, RTE2, 8pm).
GAA: Cork will be back to full strength for this intriguing Allianz League encounter with Kilkenny (Sunday, TG4, 2pm).
Soccer: Liverpool and Chelsea resume their seemingly endless rivalry in this Champions League quarter-final first leg (Wednesday, RTE2, 7pm).
Golf: The opening day of the Masters from Augusta, in which Irish interest will be especially strong (Thursday, BBC2, 9pm).