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Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave (Monday, Film4, 9pm)

Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave (Monday, Film4, 9pm)

Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years A Slave (Monday, Film4, 9pm)

Saturday: Spectre (2015) ITV, 8.30pm - The last theatrically released Bond adventure to date sees the newly appointed M (Ralph Fiennes) battling political forces, including Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), to protect the integrity of MI6 following a merger with MI5.

A cryptic message reveals ghosts from Bond's past and 007 (Daniel Craig) follows a chain of evidence that leads to Dr Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), daughter of fugitive Mr White (Jesper Christensen).

Aided by technical wizard Q (Ben Whishaw) and plucky agent Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Bond criss-crosses the globe 10 and infiltrates a menacing organisation named SPECTRE, fronted by the enigmatic Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz).

A robust tale of espionage and dark family secrets that can't quite live up to its tour-de-force opening at a Mexican day of the dead parade.

Sunday

The Mountain Between Us (2017) Channel 4, 9pm

Storm clouds amass over Salt Lake City, grounding all commercial flights. Photojournalist Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) is poised to marry fiance Mark (Dermot Mulroney) the following day in New York.

She charters a two-person plane from avuncular pilot Walter (Beau Bridges), and offers the second seat to Dr Ben Bass (Idris Elba). During the flight, Walter suffers a stroke and the plane careens into a snow-laden peak in the High Uintas Wilderness.

Walter perishes; Ben suffers bruises and broken ribs, and Alex's leg is injured. When she regains consciousness, the strangers confront the reality that Walter didn't log a flight plan so they are alone in the sub-zero wilderness.

Based on the novel by Charles Martin, director Hany Abu-Assad's drama remains airborne thanks to solid performances from Winslet and Elba.

God's Own Country (2017) Channel 4, 11.10pm

Shot on location in West Yorkshire, writer-director Francis Lee's award-winning, heart-breaking love story draws comparisons to Brokeback Mountain - albeit in chillier surroundings - for its tenderly observed coupling of a disenchanted farmer's son and a Romanian migrant worker.

John Saxby (Josh O'Connor) bears the heavy burden of running his family's farm now that his father Martin (Ian Hart) is partially paralysed following a stroke.

Adding to his woes, John is wrestling with his sexuality and he engages in fumbling encounters with local men, without any emotional engagement.

As the lambing season approaches, Martin hires a casual worker, Gheorghe Ionescu (Alec Secareanu), to help John repair damage to a stone wall. The two men bed down in an old outhouse and sparks of passion fly.

Monday

12 Years a Slave (2013) Film4, 9pm

Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) lives with his family in 1841 Washington City. Following a meeting with two seemingly respectable gentlemen, Solomon is sold into slavery. His first master, Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), is kind - up to a point - but fate delivers the lead character to sadistic Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).

This master spites his unfeeling wife (Sarah Paulson) by taking a shine to one of the slave girls, Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o), and Solomon is caught in the crossfire.

Based on Northup's autobiography of the same name, 12 Years a Slave made a big splash at the Oscars, and deservedly so.

Steve McQueen's bravura third feature is a sensitive yet unflinching portrait of suffering that delivers its message of brutality and endurance with the full force of a sledgehammer to the solar plexus.

Online Editors