Film & TV

On TV This Week…(April 27th)

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Another jam-packed week sees the return of comedy legend Peter Kay and some great imports from across the pond, not to mention a ghostly new mini-series starring national treasure, Timothy Spall. Have your remote at the ready!

Panorama
Monday, 27 April – BBC One, 8.30pm

With just ten days to go until the country cast their votes in the most wide-open General Election in decades, it’s still anyone’s game!

Richard Bacon takes American statistician Nate Silver on a tour around the UK to meet the diverse voting public in an attempt to tease out a prediction of the final score come the ballot count.

Having successfully foretold the outcome of the last two US presidential elections, Silver has a solid score sheet on this front. This is a great opportunity to find out what the Britain is really thinking in the build up to what could result in a major shift in the country’s leadership. 

Empire (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Tuesday, 28 April – E4, 9pm

In the latest import from the US, ex-con turned hip-hop legend and music industry mogul, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), is forced to take stock of his legacy when he is diagnosed with a debilitating disease.

With his three sons to choose from as heir to the empire, Lyon decides his successor should be an artist as well as a businessman. However, no one candidate quite lives up to his ideals and so the battle for control begins…

Boasting a writing team that includes Lee Daniels (The Butler) and Danny Strong (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), this one has potential written all over it.

Peter Kay’s Car Share (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Wednesday, 29 April – BBC One, 9.30pm

Bolton’s favourite comedian is back on our screens after a ten-year absence from telly and a prolonged break from the stage.

In stark contrast to his previous hit sitcom, Phoenix Nights, Kay has opted for a low-key approach this time. Gone are the crowd of kooky characters (half of which are typically played by Kay himself) in exchange for an intimate main cast of just two: Kay’s DIY store drone and his overly-chatty colleague/car sharer Kayleigh.

The result is a gentler comedy than we are used to from Kay but while the laughs are more often wry smiles than belly chuckles, the impressively naturalistic script and endearing budding friendship between the two works perfectly.

The Game (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Thursday, 30 April – BBC Two, 9pm

Set in gritty 1970’s London, this cold war espionage thriller promises to appeal to fans of Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer.

When a KGB agent defects to MI5, he brings with him an ominous warning. The Russians are preparing to enact Operation Glass, a mysterious protocol that threatens to turn the heat up on the cold war. It’s left down to MI5 man Joe Lambe (Tom Hughes) along with his boss known only as ‘Daddy’ (played to perfection by Brian Cox) to crack the case and prevent the devastating attack.

The Walking Dead (Season 5 *Premiere*)
Friday, 1 May – Spike, 9pm

For those out there without a Sky connection, the long anticipated fifth season of the zombie apocalypse drama is finally hitting Freeview screens!

Re-join Rick Grimes and his band of merry survivors as they tear their way through hordes of flesh eating ‘walkers’ in evermore-inventive ways.

When we last left the gang, they were in their stickiest situation yet – and that’s really saying something for a group of zombie holocaust survivors! Tune in to find out how they get out of this one…

Dredd (2012)
Saturday, 2 May – C4, 10pm

The dystopian future in which the population is policed by a merciless squad of enforcers who wield the powers of judge, jury and executioner is brought to life in this superb comic book adaptation.

Lifted with faithful consideration from the pages of 2000 AD, this reboot succeeds where the Sly Stallone outing of 1995 failed miserably. This time around, Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) teams up with a rookie to infiltrate the high-tech high-rise occupied by drug lord Ma Ma (Lean Heady of Game of Thrones fame).

The result is an ultra-violent assault packed with stunningly choreographed shoot-outs and astounding slow-motion sequences that at times even put The Matrix to shame!

The Enfield Haunting (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Sunday, 3 May – Sky Living, 9pm

Timothy Spall stars in this three-part mini-series based on the “real-life” events of 1977 – the most thoroughly documented poltergeist activity in the history of the UK.

When amateur paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse learns of spooky goings on in a north London home, he is naturally drawn to the alleged haunted house. Initially suspecting a prank orchestrated by the children in residence, Grosse soon realises that there is something far more sinister afoot. Could this be the real thing?!