TV Listings | Terrorism has never been this cool

June 15th, 2012

This article is more than 11 years old.

Imagine a world with minimal security at every transport hub. Where pre-interview screenings and bullet-proof screens are less common than Hailey’s Comet. Where airports include outdoor walkways from which passengers can fire a bazookas at planes. Welcome to the 1970s: not the day but the decade of The Jackal. It was a golden age for terrorism and this week’s pick, the brilliant 2010 French/German drama series Carlos, takes us right to the heart of it.

A series about Carlos the Jackal’s life was never going to succeed with a sympathetic or glamourous protagonist. Its cool-handed and journalistic approach has wowed the critics (94 on Metacritic). “Shot by shot, scene by scene, it’s a fluid and enthralling piece of work. I wasn’t bored for a millisecond,” enthused New York Magazine. And the LA Times chimed that it was a “hypnotic and sprawling five-hour-plus piece of cinematic genius”.

So why has DRK won the rights to screen it? Probably because it’s in no less than eight languages – most predominantly French.

They’re all Greek to me, but Go Greek for a week (DR2, Sat 21:35) isn’t in its account of how widespread corruption has led to financial meltdown. At least that’s the view of this British doc. Or maybe Michael Portillo and the Great Euro Crisis (DR2, Sat 20:45) will offer another side of the argument.

On the other side of the pond they’ve remade a British classic and it’s apparently not bad. Prime Suspect stars the always appealing Maria Bello as Detective Jane Timoney – notice how they’ve slightly altered the name. Clever.

Elsewhere, A short stay in Switzerland is a well-received, true-life drama about euthanasia starring Julie Walters; new series Teen Wolf (TV3+, Mon 22:00) can’t be any worse than the films; discussion show Same Sex Marriage Shouldn’t Be Legalised (BBC World, Sat 10:10 or 22:10) will provide glimpses of the human zoo; Aung San Suu Kyi in Oslo (BBC World, Sat 12:00) includes live coverage of her Nobel Prize speech; Feathered Cocaine (DR2, Thu 22:50) is an interesting exposé on falcon smuggling; Empire (DRK, Mon 20:00) is a five-part series that gets under the skin of what drives civilisations to colonise.   


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