This week´s TV | The day space travel changed forever
Disaster is an apt one-word summation of the 73-second flight that occurred on 28 January 1986 when NASA’s space shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, killing the seven crew members onboard.
In the aftermath, the Rogers Commission aimed to elucidate the events of the accident and found that NASA needed to improve its organisational culture, decision-making processes and reporting of technical concerns – not a matter of pride for the prestigious American agency.
The feature-length drama The Challenger Disaster is a 2013 factual drama based on these investigations, which were led by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (John Hurt).
Based on two books – one written by Feynman himself – it was produced by the Science Channel in collaboration with the BBC and scored 80 on Metacritic, 7.4 on IMDB and 92 on Rotten Tomatoes.
It has been praised for its acting (Brian Dennehy and Bruce Greenwood offer Hurt able support), its balance of science versus drama and its refreshingly unbiased standpoint.
STV1, Tue 21:00 Beckham in Brazil
Following the glut of single-word US drama series in recent weeks and ahead of the avalanche of girly TV that broadcasters tend to provide as an antidote to the World Cup (see below), it’s a pretty quiet week for television, although there is one programme that will please girls and football fans alike: Beckham in Brazil.
Becks swapped the pampered changing room of PSG for the Amazonian Rainforest, spending 12 days in an environment alien to him, although its terrain did remind him of Selhurst Park.
Less likely to please both demographics, Streak! The Man Who Can’t Keep His Clothes On (DR3, Thu 23:55) tells the story of Mark Roberts, a Liverpudlian who over the last 20 years has bared all in public over 500 times.
Yes, that guy.
There’s none of that smut in the classic drama Upstairs Downstairs (DR1, Tue 17:00), which over five series and 30 years follows the Bellamys and their servants from the end of the Victorian era through to the advent of fascism.
If you even vaguely like Downton Abbey, you will love this!
Not so sure about The Guilty (SVT4, Tue 21:00), another British murder miniseries that starts strongly and runs out of ideas. (BH)
"Will you check out the body… on that new fax machine?"
"Highest score? But you're a girl" No it isn't that PC revolution
Texas-based workplace drama Halt and Catch Fire, with a theme song penned by Denmark’s Trentemøller, premiered on AMC on June 1.
It tells the story of how some computer geeks in the early-1980s navigated the revolution of the PC, taking big risks to realise an idea that may change the world.
The reviews have been mixed (69 Metacritic) – critics say it lacks nuanced characters – but if you liked Mad Men, then Halt and Catch Fire will be right up your alley! (NGV)
Sport of the week:
TV2, Thu 21:00 2014 World Cup opening game: Brazil vs Croatia
Finally, it’s here … on TV2 because you can’t trust DR1 these days: the 2014 World Cup and its opening game of Brazil vs Croatia. What can compare to that? The Canadian GP? Put a cap on it, petrolheads! The finals of the NBA (DR3, Fri 17:00)? Get used to it: soccer rules! The X Games (DR3 all week)? Laters skaters! (BH)
Eurosport, Sat & Sun 15:00 French Open: women’s and men’s finals (Photo: Wikipedia)
+3, Sun 18:30 Canadian Gran Prix (Photo: Scanpix)
Film of the week:
DR2, Sat 23:25 Bonded by Blood
DR1, Sun 21:15 Robin Hood
DR3, Mon 21:50 Deception
Below-par British thug drama Bonded by Blood, like Rise of the Footsoldier, depicts the 1995 Essex murders.
Curiously, Terry Stone reprises his role as one of the victims, but with a different haircut this time.
It’s distracting – a bit like some of the Robin Hood accents over the years, although Russell Crowe is no Kevin Costner. (BH)