Tuesday 17 July 2018

TV picks for Thursday

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Victoria Smurfit
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Victoria Smurfit

Your must-see TV guide tonight

Pick of the Day

What better night than this to launch yet another iteration of Bram Stoker's vampire classic?

This one comes from the same production company that makes 'Downton Abbey' and 'Whitechapel', so its period bona fides should be sound.

It's also co-created by Daniel Knauf, a comic book writer and creator of the HBO series 'Carnivale', a short-lived but fondly-remembered oddity about Depression-era carnival folk in the US.

The 10-part series also marks the return to television of Cork native Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who was last seen on the small screen in 'The Tudors', which ended in 2010.

In fact, there's quite a strong Irish element involved in the show. Aside from Rhys Meyers, there are also key parts for Victoria Smurfit and Wicklow actress Katie McGrath, best known until now as Morgana in the BBC's 'Merlin' (she also starred in Channel 4's 'Dates' a few months back, playing the lesbian lover of Gemma Chan).

In this opening episode, the mysterious Count Dracula arrives in late 19th-century London posing as Alexander Grayson, an American entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to Victorian society.

Claiming an interest in the new-fangled technology of electricity, he throws a lavish party to win over the city's rich and powerful, but the real reasons for his travels prove to be rather more alarming.

It seems the bloodsucker is out to wreak revenge on those who ruined his life centuries earlier.

However, his plans look set to be thwarted once he encounters Mina (Jessica De Gouw), a medical student baring an uncanny resemblance to his dead wife.

His infatuation is instant, putting him on bad terms with Mina's beau Jonathan Harker (Oliver Jackson- Cohen) and roping her best friend Lucy (McGrath) into his web of sex and lies.

The cast also includes Thomas Kretschmann as professor Van Helsing, Nonso Anozie as Grayson's loyal confidante RM Renfield, while Smurfit and Ben Miles take on the roles of vampire hunters Lady Jayne and Mr Browning.

Dracula, Sky Living, 9pm

Film Choice

Many telly viewers might fancy a horror movie for tonight and while this remake of the 1980s stalk-and-slash flick won't change your life, it probably has enough scares and jumps to do the trick.

Here, a young man named Clay (Jared Padalecki) goes in search of his sister, who hasn't been seen or heard from since she was travelling to an area called Crystal Lake.

Though the locals warn Clay to stay away from the spot, it's the only lead he has. He soon encounters a group of thrill-seeking college students -- all perfect machete-fodder for hockey-mask-wearing psycho Jason Voorhees.

Friday the 13th (2009), RTE2, 9.55pm


Returning for another batch of episodes from the third series of the show, boy wonder chef Donal Skehan this week visits Sheridans Cheesemongers and then prepares a kedgeree, as well as lime and coconut chicken, and a lemon meringue pie. Skehan is flying it at the moment: he's also doing a live 'Homecooked Tour' around the country next month.

Kitchen Hero: Homecooked, RTE1, 7pm

Documentary pick

This new documentary series is filmed in the world's oldest psychiatric institution, the South London and Maudsley, with the intention of "challenging the myths, taboos and stigma around mental illness today". Anxiety has become the mental illness of our time, illustrated by the example of James, who's 23 and has a profound fear that he will lose control of his bowel movements in public.

Bedlam, Channel 4, 9pm

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