TV PICKS OF THE WEEK By Lisa Jewell
Our top three picks for your telly watching this week.
Film – Gravity
Wednesday 15 March, 9.35pm, RTE1
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as astronauts marooned in space after their space shuttle is hit by catastrophic debris. It’s a case of whatever can go wrong will go wrong and Bullock, as biomedical engineer Ryan Stone, is certainly tested on her first ever space mission.
The sequence of misfortunes and how the astronauts recover from them may sometimes test the boundaries of probability but if you get on board that it’s a sci-fi adventure film, you’ll go with the story’s ups and downs. Some beautiful cinematography will keep you gripped along the way.
Documentary – Mystery of the Man on the Moor
Thursday 16 March, 11.05pm, Channel 4
When the body of a man in his 60s was found on Saddleworth Moor in December 2015, police were faced with a true murder mystery. He had no signs of identification and was clearly not dressed for outdoor adventure. For nearly a year, detectives painstakingly searched for clues as to his identity and what had happened to him.
The documentary reveals the cause of death and the fact that he had bought a return ticket from London to Manchester. But did he ever plan to use the return portion?
“This film tells an extraordinary tale of mystery and intrigue through amazing long-term access,” says Channel 4 Commissioning Editor Tom Porter. “In a world where our every movement is seemingly tracked and monitored to the extreme, it’s almost unbelievable that someone can prove so hard to trace.”
Film – A Simple Plan
Saturday 18 March, 1.05am, BBC2
Crime thriller set in rural Minnesota that follows the story of three guys, Hank Mitchell (Bill Paxton), his brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton) and friend Lou (Brent Briscoe). They stumble across a crashed plane buried in snow that contains $4.4 million in cash. The trio take the money and decide to sit on it to see if it’s discovered to be missing when the snow thaws in the spring.
An easy plan but the three men soon start to doubt each other’s intentions and trust breaks down. The film definitely has shades of Fargo about it (funny when you think about Billy Bob Thornton later going on to star in the TV version of Fargo). While it didn’t perform as well in the box office as Fargo, A Simple Plan received critical acclaim for its storytelling and acting performances so it’s well worth viewing.