December 2007

[Saturday, 01st] What the Romans Did For Us [19:00, UKTV History] Adam Hart-Davis looked at Roman sewers, which will outlive Victorian ones thanks to their build quality; Roman hamburgers, flat glass for windows and a water pump for a fire brigade, which was reinvented in mediaeval times. Clever chaps, these Romans!
Disaster Zone: Volcano In New York (2006) [19:40, Sci-Fi] New York is having an energy crisis, there's a gang led by Matt building water-supply tunnels under the city and a crew drilling a geothermal energy shaft. Water pipes start exploding in the water tunnel and lava breaks into the tunnel, which collapses just before the gang bugs out! The US Geological Survey is called in to investigate and Matt's ex-wife, Susan, is on the USGS team.
   Volcanic gases wipe out 100 bums in Central Park. The FBI thinks it's a terrorist attack on the city's water supply. Sue's boss fires her when she tells the mayor it's not terrorism. Earthquakes, exploding manholes and house fires in the suburbs. No surprise that the drilling project at the centre of all the trouble. Matt & Sue track down the project, they're captured and they have to escape when lava erupts from the bore-hole.
   The city has to be evacuated. Matt decides to vent the lava into the sea via the tunnels under New York. Of course, the mad scientist confronts them underground, but the lava gets him and the city is saved!
CSI:Las Vegas [Lab Rats, 21:40, Channel 5] Hodges gets the rest of the lab crew to review the 4 Miniature Killer exhibits to look for a connection which the CSIs have missed. He uses Grissom's office while the boss is at an autopsy where a rat escapes from the corpse and goes on the run. The rodent is eventually found dead with a heroin capsule from the dead human mule inside it. Hodges spots bleach as a common factor after telling his Nemesis, Wendy, that it's his lucky day. Grissom buys the lead and gives him a 'good job'.

[Sunday, 02nd] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 2] The Jacksonville Jaguars had a must-win match at Indianapolis if they wanted to win their division, but they started the 2nd quarter 0-14 down. They got a TD back after a 16-play, 11-minute drive but having a tough but porous defence left them 7-21 down at half time. Another long TD drive in the 3rd quarter brought them close again, and they stopped the Colts with an interception.
   The Colts limited the Jags to a FG, and went 11 points up after their next drive. 17-28. A deflected pass going for an interception stopped the Jags. They sent the Colts 3 & out, scored a TD and a 2 point conversion, but the home team was able to keep the score at 25-28. Close but no cigar for the Jags and the Colts have their division sewn up barring a total meltdown.
Next up, a quick look at the Buffalo Bills beating the Redskins in Washington. The score was 14-16 and the Bills were about to try a 51-yard FG in the last few seconds. The kick went over but the Redskins had called a time out just before the snap. Then some idiot on the Redskins' side called another time out back to back and handed the Bills 15 penalty yards. The 36 yard kick sailed home and the Bills won.
Over to the Cleveland Browns in Arizona to see the Browns' opening drive stopped by an interception, which was returned for a TD. 0-7. The Cardinals then recovered a botched snap and turned this turn-over into another TD. 0-14. The Browns got a FG back at the end of the first quarter. Another interception did the Cardinals no further good and the Browns finished the half just 10-14 behind, having gained the benefit of a dead wrong call by the ref after a review.
   In the 3rd quarter, the Cardinals killed themselves with penalties but they notched up another turn-over when the Browns bogged a fair catch of a punt and the Cards grabbed the ball in FG range. Pope almost juggled a pass from the battered Warner to a Brown in the end zone but the Cards got a TD eventually. 10-21.
   The ref's name was Boger. It should have been Bludger or Bodger. He got another review completely wrong and the Browns were back to 18-21 after a TD and a 2-point conversion. The Cards sneaked away with a FG, the Browns crept back with a FG. 21-24. The Cards inflicted a big dose of James but they were kept out of the Browns' end zone and settled for a FG. 21-27 inside the last 2 minutes, and that proved to be enough.
   Not bad performances from both teams, apart from all the stupid penalties, but that ref!

[Monday, 03rd] NFL Special, Sunday Late Match highlights [20:27, Sky Sports 3] The Cincinnati Bengals in Pittsburgh. The Bengals used up half of the first quarter with a TD drive. They got the ball back by intercepting a tipped pass but the Steelers stopped them, and a flying Roethlisberger put the home team level mid-way through the 2nd quarter. 7-7. The Steelers got the ball right back by recovering a fumble of the kick off return, but they were held to a FG. 7-10. The Steelers closed the half in fine form, however, with another TD. 7-17.
   The Bengals scored in the 1st minute of the 3rd quarter by running back a fumble by Parker for a TD; which was wiped out by a review as Parker was ruled down by contact. A similar scenario on the next Steelers' drive, but the Bengals were allowed to keep this fumble recovery and got a FG out of it. 10-17.
   Ward set a franchise record with his 2nd TD of the day; no wonder they named the field after him! 10-24. Parker got away with another fumble in the 4th quarter but he coughed the ball up to the Bengals on the next play, and the turn-over survived a review. The Bengals had to punt, however.
   Holding cost the Bengals a sack on Roethlisberger in the end zone and a 3rd down safety. An interception gave them some hope but when they blew up on a 4th & goal at the Pittsburgh 3, that was the beginning of the end.
Luftwaffe 46 [23:00, History Channel] begins with a history of the Me 262, which was effectively the prototype for the post-war US jet fighters built with the aid of captured Germans. The Me 163 rocket plane was too crazy an idea, though. Going from defence to offence, the V1 next, and a look at a piloted suicide version used by the Japanese. The V1 was the prototype of the cruise missile.
   If the war had dragged on to 1946, the Luftwaffe hoped to have the Ju 390 in service; a bomber which could cross the Atlantic and bomb New York & Washington. A prototype did fly 6,000 miles on a return trip to within 12 miles of New York, but there were no more flights.
   Germany wanted to launch V2s against the US from submarines, but with a range of only 200 miles and a very complicated launch procedure, the idea was impractical. To close, a brief mention of heavy water and Nazi Germany's nuclear ambitions.

[Tuesday, 04th] NFL Special, the Monday Night Match highlights [15:30, Sky sports 2] The New England Patriots in wet & windy Baltimore. The Ravens handed out penalty yards like sweeties but they held the Pats to a FG. 3-0. The Ravens came back with a TD with a minute of the 1st quarter left, and added a FG 7 minutes later. 3-10. The Pats collected more free penalty yards on the way to an equalizing TD. 10-10.
   Lots of McGahee in the 3rd quarter, he went over 10,000 yards on the season, and he hit the NE end zone next. 10-17. The Patriots rebounded with a TD, so the Raven barged their way down the field to restore their lead at the start of the 4th quarter. 17-24. The Patriots added a FG after an interception and they were threatening as the 4th quarter ran out. 20-24.
   A time-out called on the sideline frustrated a Ravens' stop on a NE 4th & 1. The Pats false started but Brady had a HUGE hole in the middle of the field to make a 1st down. Holding by the Ravens let the Pats convert another 4th down on their way to a go-ahead TD. 27-24.
   The Pats kicked off from the Ravens' 35 after the Ravens gave up 35 yards in penalties after the TD. And the 40 seconds left were enough to get the Ravens to the NE 2. They could have ended the Patriots' winning streak but they blew it on with that 4th down time out. And 13 penalties giving up 100 yards.
CSI:Miami [Just Murdered, 21:00, Channel 5] The son's personal trainer was found at the home of the Athertons, a couple having a messy divorce. Then a dead guy was found in their 'stolen' car, which the wife had sold for $200 to spite the husband. The husband was busted for doing in the trainer, but her husband dunnit. The car killer used the wife's lawyer, and she persecuted Eric and had his competence called into question.
   She got his evidence against the killer tossed. The Athertons were busted for causing a riot in the bank where their safe deposit box had been emptied. Their lawyers demanded their house or they're dumped. Horatio did a deal with the car killer, who was screwed. Dad's lawyer was found dead.
   Horatio got the wife's lawyer disbarred. Calleigh tried to frame Nathan, the son, for killing the lawyer. But it turned out to be a joint enterprise by the Athertons because the lawyer had raided their safe deposit box.
Secret Luftwaffe of World War II [23:00, History Channel] continues last night's effort with a history of the Volksjager, which Heinkel designed in 72 days, and which would have been a winner if the war has lasted longer. Same story with the Henschel Hs 132, a jet replacement for the Stuka dive-bomber.
   The Fw Ta-183 was a fighter which would have been able to take out B29s at 45,000 feet with air-to-air missiles. It flew only as part of the Argentine air force after the war. The Focke-Wulf Triflügel was a VTOL fighter based on the helicopter and ramjets, which would have been impossible to land.
   The Horten Flying Wing flew in February 1945 and was the first stealth aircraft. One lay unnoticed in the Smithsonian in the US for 40 before the Yanks rediscovered it and pinched the design for their stealth aircraft. Finally, the Horten Amerika bomber would have been a radar-invisible, high-altitude flying wing bomber capable of delivering atom bombs to New York & Washington if the war has lasted another year.

[Wednesday, 05th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] A hijacked limo was pursued onto a building site and coke worth 30 grand was found inside. Dave, the battered driver, was suspected of being a dealer and his pregnant wife was found bashed at home. DS Turner was told that a woman called Jules was using limos to deliver coke; but it turned out that Dave was skimming his deliveries because she was blackmailing him. Dave was too scared to name his connection but Sun Hill CID got a guy called Carter for the assault on Mrs. Dave and he gave up a Piers Halston.
   The drugs are loaded into the limos at a valeting service. Shaun the hijacker was too scared to talk. Mickey went undercover to get close to Piers and was slugged by him. Very little coke turned up when the bust went down. Shaun admitted working for The Postman, who wanted Piers out of the way. And having done just that, Sun Hill CID were pissed off.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) [21:00, Film 4] John & Jane met in Colombia 5 or 6 years ago, got out of a jam and got married. They are both crack shots and there are lots of spaces between them. They both kill people for a living. They get the same guy as a target, they get in each other's way, the target gets away and they get each other as the next target.
   Jane's outfit wrecks the marital home and confiscates John's gear. He makes Jane's outfit trash their own base. They have a confrontation in a restaurant, which ends explosively, as does another at home. Their respective agencies want them dead for getting married.
   There's a car chase but John & Jane get away. They learn they were supposed to kill each other doing the Tank job then they decide to fight back and there's a whole lot of shooting.

[Thursday, 06th] Old Tricks [Father's Pride, 19:00, UKTV Gold] A bloke working at a photo-processing shop was killed by a robber while the police were raiding knocking shops in the rest of Soho back in the Seventies. The 'loot' turned up when a pub was being demolished. The usual grumps from the team about their problems.
   The photoshop was a dropping off point for dope, porn and sealed film containers; a bloke was running a legal (sort of) sperm bank. Jerry's cop not-daughter was roped in to entrap him and the killer was busted; the infertile wife of the bloke running the sperm bank, who was the sole donor. And at the end, Supt. Pullman got herself a bloke.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] Limo driver Trevor (DS Turner's mate) was found bashed with a tom, Chloe, who was carrying a lot of coke. Her pimp was hassled and so was Chloe's psycho ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, there was a ruckus at a cafe, the owner said it was just kids but the vandal turned out to be a drug dealer who didn't like Poles.
   The Postman had Chloe beaten up. Chloe said a blagger called Grant told her to sell drugs to punters. DC Jo busted Grant with violence. He said he's not the Postman, whom he'd been chasing for 2 months. He was just another competitor taken off the streets by Sun Hill CID.
   The cafe owner decided to sell out to an Olympic developer when his son decided he didn't want the business. DS Turner played musical mobiles to find out that Trevor is the Postman, but knowing this did him no good. Trevor had compromised him good & proper with payments into his bank account!
WW$ Raw [21:00, Sky Sports 3] 5 minutes' fillers then Y2J and Orton ranted a bit. Some tag team action from the divas, which ended abruptly when Glamzilla got her hands on Mickie. Backstage jawing. A lot of messing about by Kennedy in the ring until HBK saw him off. Hulk Hogan will be on next week, which is Raw's 15th birthday. Y2J versus Umaga, so off to some ads as they got started. Jericho got a good pounding then Orton joined in.
   The Little Green Bastard had to take on Carlito & Coach, so he called in the APA and the other guys had no chance! The Vault: Edge versus Orton. Jeff Hardy & Shitsky was an obvious mismatch but Hardy is too much of an attaction to be done out of a Swanton & a pin. But he's fair game for post match aggro until HHH brought his sledgehammer to the ring.
   Finally, Shawn Michaels versus Orton. So what would the swindle be? Kennedy attacked HBK on the outside, which let Jericho sneak up to kick Orton's sorry ass in the ring. Then Stephanie McMahon warned her dad not to turn up next week as he plans to be be in the same building as a whole bunch of guys who hate his guts.
ECW Late Night [23:00, Sky Sports 3] The Majors got to do a bit against Miz & Morrison but they weren't there to beat the tag chumps. A spot of fun; Kelly & Balls versus Victoria & Kenny; gave up a good bit of aggro and a win for the home team. Shelton 'Gold Standard' Benjamin did a rant before his match with Jimmy Yang. They put on an exellent show of small & fast against bigger & agile, and no surprise about the outcome.
   Finally, Punk had to choose between 500 lb Viscera & 400 lb Mark Henry for his match. A toss of a coin gave him Henry, but it didn't make much difference as Viscera joined in after Punk had received a bashing. So enter Kane with a steel chair to put the other 'bohemoths' to flight.

[Friday, 07th] NFL Special: Thursday Night Match replay [14:00, Sky Sports 2] The Chicago Bears in Washington. Both teams lost their starting QB in the first half, other players were dropping like flies and the field goal tries kept missing. Collins, the Redskins' QB sub, had the ball slapped out of his hand with 1 minute left but Griese was picked off by Springs, who returned the ball 54 yards to the CB 21. A TD pass to Yoder was the Redskins' next play. 0-7.
   In the 3rd quarter, Portis took the ball 54 yards to the CB 2 on a screen pass and a TD run by Sellers put the Skins 0-14 up. The Bears put together a drive containing some good plays but 6 penalties, most of them stupid, and they were lucky to get a FG. 3-14.
   They were almost robbed of a TD by the officials; a great diving catch by Berrian at the back of the end zone; which was awarded after a challenge. Our friend ref Boger must have had his contact lenses in for this match. 10-14. In the 4th quarter, a 33 yard pass play to Cooley helped to set up a FG for the Skins. 10-17.
   A big dose of Hester got the Bears to the WR 1, but they had to settle for a FG. 13-17. The Skins advanced to the Chicago red zone and Collins found Betts with a TD pass against a blitz. 13-24 with 2:41 left. The Bears got close, but there were just 30 seconds left after they kicked a FG and the final score remained 16-24.
Ghost Busters (1984) [19:00, Film 4] A gang of psychic investigators come across a real ghost in a New York library just before their funding is cut off. So they set up their own business in a derelict fire station. Their first client is Dana, who has a ghost in her fridge; but Dr. Pete is more interested in getting her into the bedroom. The next job is at a hotel, where the ballroom is trashed but the ghost is captured.
   Business picks up and they recruit a new guy. Something bad is about to happen to New York. Dana is grabbed by the thing in her kitchen and her geeky neighbour is possessed by a demon. Judgement Day is about to happen, and an EPA jobsworth letting all the ghosts out of safe storage makes a bad situation worse.
   Ray finds that Dana's building is designed to draw in psychic turbulence. The mayor gets the Ghostbusters out of gaol to save the city. They suit up and head for Dana's building, which now has a temple on top. The building starts coming apart but the Ghostbusters come up with a radical solution to the problem, and the city is saved!
NCIS [Shalom, Season 4, Episode 1, 21:00, Channel 5] Tony is in charge, Gibbs is beachcombing in Mexico and the Israeli Ms David was late for work, and ratted on by the new Chinese probie, because she saw her dead ex-partner, Avi, kill a Syrian prisoner and 2 FBI agents just before Mossad grabbed her. The FBI turned up to arrest David, who escaped from Mossad and called on Gibbs & NCIS (except the director) for help.
   Tony had to run rings around Agent Sachs of the FBI. Avi tipped the Feds off about where to find David, then blew up his safe house when they arrived. Avi's Iranian partner whacked him, but David outsmarted her and pinned the blame where it belonged. And the Feds got the glory.
WW$ SmackDown! [22:00, Sky Sports 3] Loads of jawing to start, then Miz & Morrison went to the same sort of swindle result with Jesse & Festus as before. Burkey got to bash Batista's knee a bit, but he soon ended up on the wrong end of a Batista Bomb. Noble versus Palumbo III went to a fluke like the previous 2 outings. MVP jawed with Freebird Michael T.S. Hayes, who can still do the stuff at the grand old age of 149. Buckets of fillers.
   Finlay versus a Greaser was a vehicle for the LGB weighing in with a fire extinguisher and Finlay using his club. Enter Khali, the Greasers stomped Finlay then Khali crushed his head. Edge versus Kane was a good work-out for the Big Red Machine while Edge lounged about on the canvas. Surprise! Edge went for a steel chair but ended up on the wrong end of it. Then Batista & Undertaker were thrown into the mix and Batista got to spear Taker.

[Saturday, 08th] Earthshocks: Megavolcano [20:00, National Geographic] Scientists working in different fields all round the world found traces of a volcanic eruption, such as huge amounts of sulphate in layers in Greenland glaciers and an amazing temperature drop of 5 deg.C in ocean temperatures over a few millennia. Everything happened 75,000 years ago but no known volcano could dump the required amount of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere.
   An expert in Toronto, who matches ash samples to their volcano, spent 6 years trying to find the volcano which delivered ash to places all over the world. He eventually received samples from the region of Lake Toba in Sumatra, which is 100 km long, 30 km wide and the caldera of a supervolcano. The ancient eruption caused an ice age, so we got horror stories about what would happen to life on Earth now if the volcano let go again.
Breach of Faith: A Family of Cops II (1997) [21:00, Five US] A priest is whacked in a church in Milwaukee; not robbery and the Russian Mob is involved. Meanwhile, Kate, the family's lawyer, gets a 12-year-old psychopath out of gaol. He promptly does an armed robbery, kills the younger cop's partner and ends up dead. Russians assault & threaten Inspector Fine (Charles Bronson). A scapegoat for the priest slaying is strung up by his ankles in a park.
   The Russians go after the younger cop then Kate. Detective Ben chats up suspect Boris's girlfriend. She tells him why the priest was whacked. The Russians find out and the entire Fine family become targets. Det. Ben's place is shot up. Dad goes after Boris, who gives up the organ grinder, who shoots his mouth off. He ends up busted and there's a Fine family gathering, with friends, to close.
Beverley Hills Cop II (1994) Axel Foley's team raid on a Detroit chop shop, his boss is killed and the Feds end his pursuit of the gang's leader. Axel follows him to LA anyway. The trail leads to Uncle Dave's Wonderworld theme park, where the bad guys are in charge of security. Axel does an heroic rescue while escaping from the bad guys.
   Axel causes a riot at an awards ceremony and the head bad guy so the Secret Service tells him to get out of town. Axel won't quit, he finds out what the bad guys are up to and they try to frame him for shooting Uncle Dave. Everyone but everyone is shot in the final battle at Wonderworld but the good guys all survive.

[Sunday, 09th] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 2] The New Jersey Giants in Philadelphia. The home team had a good opening drive, which produced a touchdown, but defences dominated the first half, which was 3-7 up to the last few seconds and only 6-7 at half time. The Eagles got the ball from the Giants in the opening drive of the 3rd quarter by recovering a fumble, but a false start then a sack meant that the drive ended in a FG. 6-10.
   Further solid defence. Westbrook fumbled the ball to the Giants in Eagles' territory, the Eagles should have had it back from a fumble by Toomer but the ref made a bad call after their challenge. This gave a TD to the Giants (13-10) and by the end of the quarter, the Eagles were 16-10 down following a FG for the Giants.
   The Eagles pulled a FG back 16-13. Burress, the TD scorer, made more big gains for the Giants, but the Eagles' defence made Jacobs fumble. The Eagles found some holes but they were stopped inside the last 2 minutes. The defence halted the Giants but the offence could get Akers no closer than 57 yards for a FG try and his kick hit the right upright.
Next up, the Pittsburgh Steelers in New England. The Steelers got a FG out of their opening drive. The Patriots came right back at them with a TD. 3-7. Roethlisberger was gang-sacked taking too much time, and that was the first quarter. The Steelers punted and the Patriots ran 1 play; another TD pass to Moss while the Pittsburgh defence was on a tea break. 3-14. A dose of Parker and a TD pass to Davenport put the Steelers close. 10-14.
   The Pats went 3 & out, but their punt was so short and bad that it hit a Steeler and the Pats grabbed the ball. The Steelers went after Brady, and the Pats managed 3 plays and missed a FG try. The Steelers almost blew up on penalties on the way to another FG. 13-14. Which left enough time in the half for a Pats' FG. 13-17.
   In the 3rd quarter, Brady tossed the ball out to Moss, who juggled it then tossed it back, which gave Gaffney time to dash 50 yards to the end zone to catch a TD pass. 13-24. The Patriots continued to pass; Brady making the only run in living memory; on the way to another TD and a small punch-up. 13-31.
   The Steelers blew up on downs at the NE 1. The Patriots dug themselves out of the hole and added a FG to their tally. 13-34 with 7 minutes left, and that proved to be the final score.
   The Patriots are looking unstoppable if Brady can't be hounded constantly, and they're still unbeaten. Elsewhere, following Detroit's one-point shock loss to the Cowboys, the Packers have won their division.

[Monday, 10th] Ancient Discoveries [19:00, History Channel] The programme looked at bits of kit in museums and structures from the ancient world and sought to prove that people back then invented all sorts of stuff from the modern world. The Greeks had railways, the Romans had cars and Leonardo invented a spring-driven one and a tank, a Belgian priest in China invented a steam car, a Dutchman invented the land yacht and a Chinese official blew himself up with a rocket-powered chair 600 years ago.
   Gunpowder was also used to make drag racers 600 years ago in Italy. We were invited to believe that the Ancients invented supersonic aircraft 1,000 years ago and the ancient Egyptians knew about helicopters and submarines, and they had the technology of flight 2,000 years ago. A very silly programme, but fun.
NFL Special, Sunday Night's highlights [20:15, Sky Sports 3] The Colts in Baltimore at 40 deg.F. The Colts opened with a TD drive. 4 plays later, the Ravens fumbled the ball away and they were soon 14-0 down with 6 minutes gone. The Ravens reached the Colts' 19, then Boller was picked off and 1 play later, they were 21-0 down and rain started. The Colts blocked a Ravens' punt for a safety to go 23-0 up after 13 minutes.
   Not much sign of the legendary Ravens' defence and the Colts were 30-0 up after 19 minutes. But a 94-yard kick off return by 16 gave the home crowd something to cheer about. Then Gonzalez raced 57 yards through big holes in the Ravens' defence to put the Colts 37-7 up after 24 minutes.
   In the second half, the Colts knocked the ball away from Boller, recovered it and scored another TD off a deep pass a minute later. 44-7. The Ravens got close but blew up on a 4th down interception in the end zone, but they were able to get another TD after 46 minutes. 44-13 after a 2-point try failed.
   The back-up QBs came on in due course and Troy Smith got to rush for his first ever NFL TD; and he kept the ball instead of spiking it and collecting a fine. 44-20 final and a relentless win for the Colts.
The Glimmer Man (1996) [22:00, Channel 5] Steven Segal plays Jack Cole, a bead-wearing New York cop tracking down a serial killer in L.A. with the aid of Jim, a tall, bald, black partner. Cole tackles a suicidal kid in a classroom and snubs his step-father. Big mistake as Mr. Devreau sets his Russians on Cole. Cole's ex-wife is done in, Jack finds the serial killer in a church and kills him after he says he didn't kill the first Mrs. Cole.
   Cole is suspended as a suspect for his wife's murder. Devreau is selling Russian chemical weapons to terrorists. He's also in league with Mr. Smith of the CIA who recruited Colel in Vietnam. Lots of shooting and martial arts and gratuitous violence, lots of people going through windows, a spot of abseiling when Jim goes through a window near the top of a tall building, Smith is shot up a bit, the bad guys are vanquished and Mrs. Cole's killer ends up spectacularly dead.

[Tuesday, 11th] NFL Special, Monday Night's highlights [14:00, Sky Sports 3] The New Orleans Saints in Atlanta. The Falcons couldn't recover from a sack, the Saints' opening drive blew up on a 4th down in their own half, but a 99-yard drive put them in FG range in the 11th minute and ended with a 25 yard TD. 7-0.
   The Falcons made some big pass plays and Redman found White with a 33 yard TD pass. 7-7 after 14 minutes. New Orleans returned to the red zone but could manage only a FG. 10-7. Brees carried on doing a good job of scrambling to keep plays going and the Saints scored another TD. 17-7 at half time.
   Stecker rushed well in another solid Saints' drive to open the 3rd quarter but a sneaky pass to Colston got the TD. 24-7. The Saints got another quick score when a pass bounced off the hands of a Falcons' receiver to Harper, who went 35 yards for a TD. 31-7. The Falcons recovered the ball at the NO 16 when the Saints fumbled a punt return, and got a consolation TD in the 51st minute. 31-14.
   Stecker notched up 100 yards' rushing on the way to another FG; 34-14 final. The Saints' play-off hopes remain alive and the season is now over for the Falcons, who have to sort out their QB situation now Micheal Vick has gone to gaol for 23 months (less TOFGB).
Ancient Discoveries: Chinese Warfare [19:00, History Channel] Think of a weapon and the Chinese had it first. Everyone knows they claim gunpowder but this programme added flame-throwers, rockets, guns, siege catapults and siege towers, landmines, repeating crossbows and 2-stage naval rockets with multiple payloads to the list. Damn clever, these Chinese!
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine [Second Skin, 21:00, Virgin One] Major Kira was grabbed by the Cardassians, who tried to convince her she was one of their own deep undercover agents. So Cmdr. Sisko had to recruit Garak, the station's resident Cardassian refugee, to a rescue mission. In fact, the Obsidian Order was trying to root out dissenters in its own ranks and Kira was rescued with the father of a Cardassian agent, who had been altered to look like a Bajoran and disappeared; the dissenter the Obsidians were looking for.
CSI:Miami [Burned, 21:00, Channel 5] Brett was killed by a fireball in his own bedroom and his girlfriend, who had a stalker, just got out in time. Suspicion fell on Mike, to whom Wolf owes a 10 grand gambling debt, because Brett owed him 100 grand. Horatio used private eye Elena to spy on Mike, who had an alibi because he'd sent Ron to kill Brett.
   There were 2 more bodies in the house because Brett and Claire had planed to burn up 2 bodies from a mortuary to escape from Mike; only the plan went horribly wrong for Brett. Ron and Mike ended up busted and Wolf was sacked for refusing to jump through Horatio's hoops.
CSI:NY [Cold Reveal, 22:00, Channel 5] A body with wings turned up in a church; the kid had had a big fall and he was attached to a cut bungy rope. The Chief of Detectives was trying to stick it to Mac for tossing a guy called Dobson off a roof and Stella's DNA was on evidence found at a crime scene in Philadelphia, so she got to work with a Philly cop to sort things out. Stella's foster father was dead and another girl fostered by the same family was presumed dead.
   Only surprise! She was still alive and she'd killed the foster father for abusing her. So Stella gave her a chance to disappear. Meanwhile, it emerged that Dobson had committed suicide to compromise Mac, and the kid had cut his own bungy cord in a fit of drunken stupidity to win a most daring stunt feature on a website.

[Wednesday, 12th] Ancient Discoveries: Egyptian Warfare [19:00, History Channel] focussed on the battle at Kadesh with the Hittites in the reign of Rameses II, who had modernized his army with borrowed technology. He gave them a penetrative bronze axe, the curved kopesh sword, composite bows, and light, fast chariots. The battle itself was a stalemate but Rameses claimed a great propaganda victory in Egypt, and Hittites eventually became the Egyptians' allies against the Assyrians.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] DS Turner paid back the cash which the Postman had sneaked into his bank account but Trevor wouldn't let him off the hook. Meanwhile, Vic in clink gave DI Manson the address of where the coke was cut but he made a bog of the raid. The Super suspected a tip-off and Manson closed down his loop, which still included Turner. An e-fit of the guy who rented the house told DC Jo that Trev was the Postman, and she ended up stuck in Turner's conspiracy.
   Turner tried to make Trev incriminate himself on tape, and made a bog of it. And he ended up on the inside when Manson staged another raid, which netted Manny & Carl. Mickey & Terry didn't believe these 2 chancers were running the coke operation, as they claimed. Kezia made Trev as the Postman next. Turner got a ride on Trev's getaway boat and when Trev was busted, he didn't drop Turner in it. So Turner shopped himself to Manson and quit his TV show.
Dino Autopsy [21:00, National Geographic] 67 million years ago, a hadrosaur croaked at Hell Creek, North Dakota and ended up a mummy with scales, skin and possibly muscles & internal organs preserved in stone. It was found in 1999. The CT scanner used by NASA for examining shuttle parts was tried out on the remains. The 3-ton body was impenetrable, but it showed that the dino's arse was 25% bigger than estimates made from skeletons. A crocodile was found fossilized next to the hadrosaur.
   The 1-ton tail could be scanned and the vertebrae were found to be further apart than the distance used in museum exhibits. The data collected allowed a computer model to be created to show how the dinosaur moved. It was estimated to have a top speed of 16 kph faster than T. Rex, its main prey animal.
Dino Death Trap [22:00, National Geographic] 160 million years ago, a whole bunch of dinosaurs perished in the Gobi desert, and new species were found stacked in 3 pits. They filled in gaps in the Jurassic fossil record; they were small versions of what would become stegosaurs and giant herbivores and carnivores 100 million years later.
   The remains were mainly of carnivores, which suggested that they had been overtaken by a catastrophe. Some had broken necks suggesting they'd been trampled. The investigators came up with a volcanic eruption, which had added glassy ash to marshland. They recreated the volcanic mud and found that an artificial dinosaur foot sank into the mud readily but it was almost impossible to removed.
   The explanation for the death traps was borrowed from the La Brea Tar Pits in California: a prey animal got stuck in the mud, smaller carnivores went after it for lunch and got stuck, and larger carnivores joined in and also got stuck.

[Thursday, 13th] Ancient Discoveries [19:00, History Channel] More things the Chinese invented: seismographs, drilling rigs for oil & gas, mass production of gunpowder, metal casting on a large scale, the odometer, gear engineering and the multiple-geared mill, multiple trip-hammers, terracotta armies, chromium anti-corrosion coatings and the Cosmic Engine; an astronomical computer.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] The DCI wanted some burglars caught and lo! Interlocking cases for uniforms & CID did it. The uniforms entrapped a bent pawnbroker, who had a videocamera containing compromising material. Ram-raiders visited his shop to recover it but he gave them the wrong one.
   Sun Hill's finest thought it showed a cheating wife, but she'd been doing the cheating in the office of a security bloke, and the video showed his delivery schedules (which the burglars had been using) as well as shagging. Elsewhere, PC Beff was done over by a very convincing con-man, who was busted eventually.
WW$ Raw [21:00, Sky Sports Xtra] Vince & family (but not Linda) with a rant on the 15th anniversary show. Enter HHH to rain on the parade. A ladder match for Jeff Hardy & Carlito for the Inconsequential Championship, so some concentrated bruising brutality and the wreck of Jeff was allowed to keep his title. RVD is back, and he got Santino for a 1-minute work-out. A fandango of fillers.
   A 6-man tag match: Orton, Edge & Umaga versus most of Evolution. It could only become a total shambles with Umaga being killed by Flair, HHH & Batista after Orton & Edge legged it. The Little Green Bastard versus Khali? Hulk Hogan to the rescue! Fun for Jerichoholics. Cade & Murdoch put their tag-titles on the line against Rhodes & Hardcore Holly; and lost them surprisingly easily.
   Finally, Vince got to suck on Mr. Socko courtesy of Mankind (a.k.a. Mick Foley), Undertaker strolled to the ring to deliver a choke-slam, Steve Austin treated Vince to a beer and a Stunner, and the whole gang trooped down to the ring while Austin & the LGB poured beer on the wreck of Vince, who was sprawled in a beery puddle at ringside.
ECW Late Night [23:30, Sky Sports Xtra] Punk & Kane kicked off against the Greasers, so a good crunching for Punk, Kane cleaned house and they ended things with double finishing moves on the Greasers.
   Miz & Morrison versus Yank & Moore was always going to be show-boating by the incredibly talented Yang and and the not-so-dusty Moore before they had to lie down for the tag chumps. Some diva aggro. Finally, Burkey versus Batista, who took a bit of stick but flattened Burkey in 3 minutes.

[Friday, 14th] NFL Special, Thursday Night highlights [14:00, Sky Sports 2] The Denver Broncos in Houston. The Texans opened the match with a drive finished by a 5 yard TD run by the new QB Rosenfels. 0-7. Denver were stopped and tried a short punt instead of a FG. Putting the Texans at their 5 did nothing for the Broncos, who got on the scoreboard in the 22nd minute with a FG from Elam. 3-7. A 50 yard run by Davis helped to set up a 41 yard FG by Brown. 3-10. Elam kicked a 47-yarder to make the half-time score 6-10.
   In the 3rd quarter, Dane made a 6 yard TD run in the 40th minute. 6-17. The Broncos had to punt but got the ball back when Bly intercepting a tipped pass and ran it back to the Houston 27. Scheffler went 12 yards to wave the ball over the end zone line before dropping it, and was awarded a TD which survived a Houston challenge. 13-17.
   A. Johnson increased the Texans' lead to 11 points with a 5 yard TD pass reception with 10 minutes left. 13-24. The Broncos were stopped after Williams got his 3rd sack of the match. A 28-yard pass got the Texans to the Denver 1 and fullback Leach hit the end zone from the half-yard line. 13-31 with 3:20 left; time enough for Williams to notch up another half-sack with 94.
Ancient Discoveries: Machines of the East [19:00, History Channel] We in the modern era haven't invented anything, we're mearly rediscovering things. 12th century Islamics like Al Jazeri invented automata, computers, water-powered pumps, navigation instruments, clocks, guns, torpedoes & rockets. Or did they? The programme also seemed to be suggesting that they were just improving things invented by the Romans, the Greek and the Chinese.
Charlie Jade [Thicker Than Water, 11/20, 20:00, FX] Charlie hooked up with Gemma, whom he used to know as a C3 orphan in the Alphaverse. She's now a hydrologist with Vexcor and he told her he's working for Brian Boxer, the company's boss, and 01 Boxer can travel between universes using water. Brian Boxer was decaying and he had molecules which he needed extracted from a Vexcor employee who'd been through the link 13 times; after making provisions for the guy's family.
   Charlie freaked out in front of Gemma, seeing a vision of Jasmine. He was caught by the security boss, Porter, when he went to Vexcor to steal data, so Gemma swapped herself for him, after telling Porter she'd rat on what Vexcor is doing in the Betaverse. Then she told Charlie she'd not bought his story about working for Brian Boxer.
   Karl ended up with a file on Krogg (who was found hanging), which said that if the link between the verses became permanent, Alpha, Beta and Gamma would collapse into one another and disappear.
NCIS [Escaped] FBI agent Fornell ran into P.O. Polson, a bank robber and escaped prisoner, who said he and Gibbs had got it wrong and demanded his case be reopened. Meanwhile, Tony was being a bossy boots at NCIS but Gibbs soon took the wind out of his sails when he returned. Polson nicked Tony's car containing a laptop with data on witnesses, so NCIS had to protect them. He also had a gun taken from Mickey, the old coot who had befriended him.
   Polson seemed to be after a missing witness called Nash, who became the prime suspect for the robbery but he was tossed off a balcony in Baltimore after being interrogated and shot with Mickey's gun. The team assumed that Nash had swindled Polson, but Mickey turned out to be the Head Bad Guy and he had antiques worth $5M in his house!
WW$ SmackDown [22:00, Sky Sports Xtra] Edge with a whinge then he got to start the show against Funaki. Tag team aggro from the divas, and Palumbo chased Kenny out of the arena on his motorbike. Kenny bashed Mysterio a bit, then he ended up on the wrong end of a 619, a leap off the ropes and a pin. Then some crap from that lazy bugger MVP.
   Batista versus Kane was all-action stuff from 2 guys who can do a bit. Slamming Kane onto the announce table failed to demolish it but the scriptwriter took over at the end. The Vault: Undertaker versus Bradshaw with more from the scriptwriter. Festus versus Miz was a crude brawl going to the obvious conclusion. Finlay hit Khali with his club then was wiped out. The LGB and Khali's translator also did a bit.
   Finally, Undertaker versus Viscera & Mark Henry. 300 lbs versus 900 lbs wouldn't work so Taker took some shots, sidelined Viscera and took out Henry with a slam. Then he was marmalyzed by 900 lbs of beef.

[Saturday, 15th] Ground Zero (2000) [19:00, Sci-Fi] Southern California is being shaken by a swarm of earthquakes, so divorced seismologist Kim is sent to a shack out in the wilds to monitor the equipment there. She takes Justin, her 'orrible kid. There are bad guys in the area because G-Corp is testing small nuclear weapons for sale to bad guys. Dramatic cracks open up, breaking the only access road and the bad guys are jamming Kim's satellite phone.
   Kim rescues Mike from a tree when his plane crashes. He says he's working for the NSA, but he turns out to be a mercenary working for a G-Corp rival to man-hater Kim's disgust. G-Corp plans to test a big nuke. Kim thinks this will crack the fault line wide open. Husband Robert and Kim's boss, Burt, go into the wilds to find Kim & the kid, everyone ends up being chased by G-Corp's soldiers. Mike sabotages the test, G-Corp is busted and Kim & Robert get back together again.
A Family of Cops III: Under Suspicion (1999) [21:00, Five US] The wealthy Chandlers are shot at home; a Mob hit? The son tries to leave the country with $400K. Eddy, the younger cop son, screws up, his team is shot to bits and he quits the force. Ben's guys crawl all over the bank which the Chandler son bought 2 years ago. Paw Fine blocked an investigation into the bank back then, but on the Chief of Police's orders.
   The Mayor wants Paw Fine as the next CoP. Ben thinks Paw is involved in something corrupt. In fact, it's the outgoing CoP who's in bed with the Mob, and he's blown away. Ben sets sister Kate on the Federal guy investigating the bank. He's looking for the Master Fixer. Caroline Chandler says mobster Vince is the Master Fixer and he had her parents killed Her brother is letting Vince use the bank for drug money laundering, and the Mayor is involved.
   The Fines recruit Fran the newslady to their cause and do a bust on Vince's cigar club, where most people, including the mayor, keep Cuban cigars. They make a bog of the raid and the crooked laywer, who's the real Master Fixer, does a runner then commits suicide by cop.

[Sunday, 16th] NFL Special: Saturday Night's highlights [10:05, Sky Sports 3] The Cincinnati Bengals in San Francisco. Defences ruled in the 1st quarter but the 49ers were in the red zone at the start of the 2nd quarter and new QB Hill hit the end zone on a bootleg. 0-7. The Bengals got close but had to settle for a FG. 3-7. The 49ers punted and the Bengals did better with a 52 yard TD pass to Henry. 10-7. The 49ers were able to get into FG range as the half ran out but Hill was able to take a shot at the end zone and found Davis with a 19 yard pass. 10-14.
   The 49ers went further ahead with a FG in the 22nd minute. 10-17. A sack by Gaethers stopped their next drive, but in FG range. 10-20. The Bengals made the red zone in the 4th quarter but had to kick a FG. 13-20. They stopped the 49ers with 6:15 left, they had to make 4th downs and they blew up on the 2nd when loudmouth C. Johnson got his feet down in the end zone but lost the ball when he hit the ground. The 49ers managed to make a first down, and that let them run the clock out.
NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 3] The Buffalo Bills and the Browns were holding a Snow Bowl in Cleveland, where the temperature was below zero, the pitch was covered in snow and snow fell throughout the match. As a result of the difficult conditions, the Browns were a modest 0-5 up as the 2st half drew to a close from a FG and a Bills' snap going over the punter's head and forcing him to kick the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety.
   Then, inside the last 2 minutes, the Browns shaped up for a 49 yard FG, the commenators were predicting a short punt but the snow stopped and Dawson made the kick! 0-8 at half time.
   CBS came up with a yard-marker graphic for the 3rd quarter, as some of the lines were visible but not their numbers. Both offenses spluttered and eventually, the Bills were faced with the task of going 70 yards in 1:51 with no time-outs left. They made some decent pass plays but they got as far only as the Browns' 10. So the Browns' post-season hopes remain alive.
Meanwhile, in Miami, the Dolphins were 13-16 up and hoping for their first win of the season, but the Ravens kicked a FG in the last second to send the match into overtime. The Ravens won the toss but Stover missed a 44 yard FG try. And Lemon & Camarillo won the match for the Dolphins with a 64-yard TD pass play! So the only team to rack up a perfect season avoided the humiliation of a winless, imperfect one. And Brett Favre beat Dan Marino's most career passing yards record during the Packers' latest victory.
The Philadelphia Eagles in Dallas. During the Eagles' opening drive, the officials failed to notice a helmet-to-helmet job, which put an Eagles' player out of the match, and a facemask grab. The Cowboys wasted a challenge on a dropped pass, James sacked McNabb on a busted flea-flicker and Akers missed a 47 yard FG try.
   In the 2nd quarter, Ratliff sacked McNabb, Romo completed his first pass and Witten took a pass 53 yards to the Eagles' 8. Romo was picked in the end zone by Micheal, who didn't take a knee, tried to run the ball and ended up fumbling it back to the Cowboys. Challenging the fumble cost the Eagles 2 time outs and the Cowboys got a FG. 0-3.
   The Eagles punted. No flag when J. Jones of the Cowboys spiked the ball. Romo was intercepted by Sheppard and Ratliff got another sack on McNabb. The officials slowed the Eagles down with a totally bogus false start penalty, but McNabb was able to scramble 28 yards for a 1st down in FG range. But he finished the drive with a 1 yard TD pass to a wide open R. Brown. 7-3.
   In the 3rd quarter, a 41 yard pass to Crayton set up another Dallas FG. 7-6. Ware sacked McNabb. The Eagles went further ahead with a FG early in the 4th quarter. 10-6. Owens made his first catch of the match after 47 minutes. No flag on the Cowboys for running into the Eagles' punter. Cole sacked Romo, who fumbled but the Cowboys recovered the ball.
   Westbrook rushed 29 yards but the Eagles had to punt. Patterson got a sack and the Eagles failed to recover another Romo fumble. The Cowboys made a 4th & 2 but they were stopped by an interception by Dawkins. Then as time was running out, Westbrook stopped a yard short of the end zone, which deprived himself of a TD but let the Eagles run the clock out safely for an unexpected win. Smart thinking, Mr. Westbrook!

[Monday, 17th] Ancient Discoveries: Machines of the Gods [19:00, History Channel] The focus was on Heron of Alexandria, the inventor & engineer, who created all sorts of gadgets for bamboozling punters in temples. The best machines made the most money for the temple, and he exploited pneumatics and magnetism to move statues, make them create noises and make them cry tears of blood.
   He also made a vending machine for holy water. Priests also used chemistry on the punters, including feeding them bark which made it look like they were peeing blood, a condition which the priest could cure by stopping the bark treatment.
NFL Special: Sunday Night's highlights [20:20, Sky Sports 3] The Washington Redskins were in windy New Jersey, where quarterbacks & kickers had problems. Suisham managed a 49-yard FG toward the end of the 1st quarter to put the Redskins 3-0 up.
   Collins completed his first passes in the 2nd quarter; 35 yards to Moss then 30 yards to Yoder to get the Skins to the Giants' 14. A sack by Pierce brought Suisham out for a 31 yard FG. 6-0. Moss dropped a deep pass then collected a 34-yarder to the Giants' 15, and a 14-yard run by Betts made the score 13-0 after 12 minutes.
   Landry made a play to stop the Giants, then kept their drive alive with a taunting penalty, which gave Tynes the chance to kick a 35-yard FG.13-3. Portis rushed 31 yards and a facemask penalty added put the Skins at the Giants' 26 after 29 minutes. Tuck sacked Collins and the Skins kicked another FG. 16-3.
   The Skins began the 3rd quarter from the Giants' 46 and Portis hit the end zone from 5 yards out. 22-3 after a 2-point try flopped. After more punting, Manning found Boss with a 19 yard TD pass. 22-10. The Giants were at midfield when the 4th quarter began but their drive ended in a missed FG try. In their next drive, they made 4th & 1, 4th & 2 but blew up on 4th & 5 at the Washington 20.
   The Giants were able to send the Skins 3 & out but they blew up on a 4th & 10, the Skins made a 1st down, and that was enough to let them run out the clock and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Stripes (1981) [21:00, Channel 5]. John loses his job as a taxi driver, his car and his girlfriend in the same morning, so he talks his mate Russell into joining the army with him. They end up at Fort Arnold under the control of Sgt. Hulker. Everyone is a psycho, including the officers who aren't useless but excluding the nice lady MPs.
   After their sergeant in injured due to a bungling officer, the misfits stay up late rehearsing for a passing out parade and get there late. But they impress the general with their fancy drill and he sends them to Italy. They are reunited with Sgt. Hulker at Fort Milano. John & Russell stroll off with the general's Urban Assault Vehicle to see their MP girlfriends in Germany.
   Their captain goes after them with the rest of the misfits, and steers them into Czechoslovakia and a confrontation with 200 Russians. So John, Russell & the ladies charge to the rescue in the UAV, show the Russians what's what and end up heroes.

[Tuesday, 18th] NFL Special: Monday Night highlights [15:00, Sky Sports 1] Kyle Orton was back at QB for the Chicago Bears in Minnesota. The Vikings sent the Bears 3 & out but their 2nd play was fumbled to Urlacher and the Bears got a FG out of the turnover. 3-0. The next Vikings' drive also ended in a fumble to Urlacher, but there was no more scoring until the 2nd quarter, when Longwell kicked a 42-yard FG to put the Vikings level at 3-3.
   The Bears carried on false-starting, they made a 4th and half a yard and Gould kicked a 47-yard FG after a 12 men on the field penalty. 6-3. Some punting then Jackson tossed a pass straight to Vasher, who returned it to the Vikings' 12.
   Muhammad was awarded a TD on the next play but the ball ended 1/4 yard short on review. So McKie got to run it into the end zone. 13-3. 23 seconds left after the kick off. A dumb penalty on the Bears let the Vikings into FG range and Longwell converted a 45-yarder. 13-6.
   Urlacher got a sack on the Viking's 2nd drive of the 3rd quarter but Jackson found Fergusson with a 71 yard pass and he went through 5 tackles to the Chicago 1. A TD run by Peterson left the Vikings 13-12 down after a bad snap and a missed extra point kick. McGowan got an interception but the Bears went 3 & out. Urlacher got another sack. Williams had a sack wiped out by a penalty on the Vikings but the Bears blew up on a 4th & 1.
   In the 4th quarter, the Vikings made a 4th & 1 and Bollinger came on to finish the drive when Jackson was hurt. Peterson made the end zone despite a clumsy hand-off, and Bolligner rushed for 2 points. 13-20. The Bears were stopped by a bad call by the officials. Time began to run out and Orton was picked going for a TD; his pass was just a whisker away from a score for Berrian.
Ancient Discoveries: Mega-Machines [19:00, History Channel] When you get on the subject of cranes used by the Greeks & Egyptians, you're never quite sure if the computer animations are based on real plans or something the ancients might possibly have built. But at least the Romans left pictures of their cranes.
   Did the ancient Egyptians have a mechanical stone-saw of sorts? Pliny describes a Roman mechanized water saw. Ancients also built mega-siege catapults. Some legends of Archimedes next, and back to Alexandria and the Pharos lighthouse.
300 Spartans: The Last Stand [20:00, History Channel] This is 2-hour look at the assault on Greece in 480 BC by King Xerxes of Persia: the background, the events and the aftermath. He decided to destroy Athens after Greek city-states helped dissidents in the Persian empire and suckered Xerxes' father at the battle of Marathon.
   Xerxes bridged the mile-wide Hellespont with a pontoon bridge of ships and marched on Athens. He had to go through the pass at Thermopylae, a natural choke-point, where he met 7,000 assorted Greeks led by Leonidas and 300 Spartans, a man born to be a soldier king, who knew he was fated to die because the oracle at Delphii had said so.
   Meanwhile, Thermistocles had the equally important task of taking on a Persian fleet, which outnumbered his 6-1, to prevent the Persians from landing troops behind Thermopylae. The Persians used an overland route instead, most of the Greek army withdrew and 1,000 Thespians stayed with the Spartans. They ended up just as dead but got none of the glory.
   The Persians won, at great cost, at Thermopylae, they marched on to sack Athens and, a month later, Thermistocles routed their navy at Salamis and forced Xerxes to withdraw. His punishment mission against Athens had served to unite the Greek city states and it was to lead to the swallowing up of the Persian empire by Alexander the Great in due course.
CSI:Miami [Born To Kill, Season 5/24, 22:00, Channel 5] Detective Frank uncovered 3 similar killings in Boston when a woman was found dead at the hands of someone who had brought a killing kit along. Lucas, a fisherman, was busted. He's XYY; he has the killer gene! Another body turned up while Lucas was in custody and Eric decided that Rita, Lucas' girlfriend, dunnit.
   Alexx pointed out differences from the earlier killing to Calleigh and she busted Lucas' sister. Lucas escaped from custody with a pal's help. Wolf, who was being harassed at the lab and made to go through old cases, supplied the clue that cracked the case. Lucas' older sister killed their younger sister in a childhood accident but he got the blame, and that's what made him a killer? A very weak season ending. Either the series has been dumped or it's supremely confident of coming back next year.

[Wednesday, 19th] Ancient Discoveries [19:00, History Channel] Wow, gosh! The Ancients had robots! Starting with the blessed Leonardo, the programme dived back to Heron of Alexandria and Phelon of Byzantium, who both built mechanical devices, and looked at Egyptian water clocks. Al Jazeri invented a mechanical clock in the 12th century and Leonardo is supposed to have built a self-propelling, programmable robot model lion.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] An OD in a bail hostel took Sun Hill CID to the prison where ex-DC Nadir is banged up. A lifer called Forbes was dealing in lethal heroin, the prison staff might be involved, and DCI Meadows was ordered by the Super to recruit Nadir as an inside man then told he had to be out of his mind by the same Super.
   Forbes was supposed to be getting a big shipment in a delivery of halal meat. A screw nearly screwed up the police operation but Nadir was able to unscrew things. Then surprise! Forbes escaped and the whole drug story was just a means of suckering the prison staff & police into taking their eyes off him. And when Meadows tried to drop the blame on him, Nadir told him the escape was his screw-up.
CSI:Miami [Kill Switch, Season 5/23, 21:00, Five US] Wolf is now working for a TV news channel. He extracts the face of a car-jacker from CCTV and the guy ends up dead on a beach. A vigilante claims the credit but Jason was already dead when the guy bashed him, and Wolf didn't get him killed. Calleigh gets on Wolf's case but he, being a stand-up guy, still gives her a vital clue.
   Jason was smuggling drugs with his boat and skimming. The car-jacked woman was in on a plot to get him. So was his brother, Paul, who took a shot at him; Wolf points out this happening on tape to Eric Horatio takes a posse out to bust Decker, the guy Jason was working for, who immediately confesses Jason's murder! And at the end, Wolf quits his TV job and demands his CSI job back from H.
Black Eagle (1988) [22:00, FX] An American F-11 fighter with a top-secret laser sight is shot down and crashes off Malta. Ken Tani, code name Black Eagle, finds that the CIA has shipped his kids to Malta so he can work on recovering the sight while spending time with them. Tani has a CIA priest as an assistant and a lady CIA agent looking after the kids at Valetta. Tani plays tag with the Russians and kills some of them.
   He has to zap more of them at his hotel and their leader lets him know that his cover is blown. The Russians recover the sight and plan to ship it out on their cargo ship Gorki. The Russians grab the 2 kids and their minder, one kid gets away and the police end up with him.
   Tani goes to the castle to rescue the other kid and the minder. Then he goes after the laser sight. With the priest's help, he recovers the sight and blows up the ship. The police invite him to leave town and he heads off to a holiday with his kids in Rome.

[Thursday, 20th] Ancient Discoveries [19:00, History Channel] did the Trojan war and it was rather short on inventions, although it did come up with the interesting theory that the siege engines, which had been around for 500-600 years by then, provided the inspiration for Homer's Trojan Horse. The Greeks had weapons on an industrial scale and arrow-proof body armour. Did the Horse exist? Lots of speculation but no conclusions.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] The Super threw a wobbly over Forbes' escape but he was okay about using Nadir as a resource at Sun Hill nick. Forbes was supposed to be trying to see his wife and trying to get back at the guy who ratted him out. Nadir gave DCI Meadows an ex-con called Leary, who sold a gun to Forbes.
   Mrs. Forbes was buying passports from a dodgy pawnbroker and running rings round DS Turner & DC Jo. Damien, the guy who ratted Forbes was found dead. PC Will got a free pop at Nadir for getting PC Honey killed. Nadir cracked most of the case; the wife was in league with Ms Brice, who ran Forbes' club.
   She'd been ripping him off, Vince the manager had been blackmailing her, Brice was planning to run off with Mrs. Forbes and Forbes was planning to kill them. Nadir got no gratitude for cracking the rest of the case and he did all the hard work of busting Forbes while Meadows lurked out of thumping range. Then he got to put some flowers on Honey's grave.
WW$ Raw [21:00, Sky Sports 3] The divas started after some ear-ache from Jillian. The wreck of Vince crawled to the ring, where Jeff Hardy compared him to Saddam Hussein. Vince threw a sit-down wobbly in a corner so HHH arrived to razz him up and Vince put him in a match with Regal & Coach, who both got to do a bit before being flattened.
   Hardcore Holly & Rhodes had a return match with Cade & Murdoch, who benefitted from a blind ref but didn't get their belts back. Kid Cody got the pin while Hardcore was busy on the outside. Flair with a rant before his 'lose and you're gone' match with Umaga. A good battering for the old fool but Umaga self-destructed conveniently to let the old fool 'win' by the skin on his teeth.
   The Vault, Orton versus Val Venis. Jericho & Bradshaw jawed. Santino & Carlito versus London & Kendrick turned out to be entertainment & a shambles rather than anything to do with wrassling. Wow! Flair has to fight HHH in a fortnight! Finally, Hardy & HBK versus Kennedy & Orton, so good moves from the first 2 and the usual mindless bashing from their opponents. Orton was flattened by Hardy in the ring as Michaels & Kennedy scrapped on the outside.
ECW Late Night [23:00, Sky Sports 3] Miz & Nitro versus Yang & Moore again; a pair of clunkers against 2 guys full of talent. Surprise! Talent was allowed to win after a 20-minute battle. No surprise, it wasn't a title match. Benjamin wasted some time on a stooge. Gold Standard? Obviously one Gordon Brown has debased.
   Kenny pounded Nunzio, who was dressed as one of Santa's elves. A RAW recap. Finally MVP versus Punk was long and tedious when MVP was doing his mindless bashing & booting. At least Punk leaps about a bit when he does booting. MVP got himself DQ'd for being tedious, then Chavo ran in to be equally tedious.

[Friday, 21st] NFL Special: Thursday Night highlights [15:00, Sky Sports 2] The Pittsburgh Steelers at St Louis. The Rams went 3 & out but almost got the ball back by making Rossum fumble their punt return. The Steelers were stuck at their 4 but a pass from Roethlisberger to Holmes put them at the Rams' 13! They were pushed back, losing Parker for the season with a broken fibula on their next play but a TD pass to Washington put them 7-0 up with 4 minutes gone.
   The Rams responded with a solid drive and Bulger found Jackson with a TD pass. 7-7 after 8 minutes. The Steelers shaped up for a punt on a 4th & 7 but a pass from the punter to Davenport got them 32 yards. Glover got a sack and the Steelers kicked a FG as the first play of the 2nd quarter. 10-7.
   Stanley returned the kick-off to midfield, Jackson took a pass 36 yards to the Steelers' 14 and Bruce took a TD pass for 10-14 after 17 minutes. The Steelers replied with a TD pass to Davenport just before the 2 minute warning. 24-14. And Wilkins added a FG for the Rams. 24-17.
   At half time, Marshall Faulk had his Rams' 28 jersey retired.
   Davenport extended the Steelers' lead with a 1 yard TD run. 31-17 after 35 minutes. Bulger & Bennett hooked up for a TD pass in reply. 31-24 after 42 minutes. Another sack for Glover, the Rams' 4th. In the 4th quarter, the commentators were just saying Bulger hadn't been sacked. Bang! Farrior!
   The Steelers chewed 7 minutes off the clock on the way to a FG. 34-24, 5 minutes left. The Rams had to go for a 4th down and when Taylor returned an interception for a TD, that was the match-killing move. 41-24 final and the Steelers still have their sights set on winning their division.
Ancient Discoveries: Super Ships [19:00, History Channel] The Egyptians had obelisk barges capable of transporting 300 ton blocks of stone down the Nile, the Greeks had fast triremes with lethal rams on the bow, the Egyptians had ships which were the equivalent of a modern aircraft carrier in size and Archimedes came up with a 200-foot cargo ship with a complement of marines and weapons to repel pirates.
   Some concrete evidence: a Roman wreck used for transporting building stone and cargo. The ship is completely buried in the bed of the Mediterranean 45 metres down but the cargo is visible; and there may be over 75 tons of it! Okay, the Ancients had big ships, but there was nothing in the programme to suggest they pioneered modern ship-building methods.
Charlie Jade [Choosing Sides, 20:00, 12/20, FX] Vexcor Security killed one of the staff at an industrial plant and Charlie killed them, thinking they had killed Gemma. Karl reckoned there was a reason why Charlie was in the Betaverse, which will collapse if Vexcor restarts the link to the Alphaverse. Julius Gold didn't believe his expert when she said she had been all over Kroog's report and she couldn't see a problem.
   Porter had the female Vexcor employee killed as a message to other wobblers, and Rina was lurking around at Vexcor. The Capetown police arrested 01 Boxer for a murder at his club. Karl suggested that 01 might be able to take Charlie with him to the Alphaverse, so Charlie went to police HQ posing as a CIA agent to retrieve 01. Vexcor Security also showed up with forged documents.
   A red-headed lady detective didn't believe Charlie but he ended up with 01 when the trouble started. Boxer gave Charlie 12 good reason why Charlie shouldn't blow his brains out (off-camera).
   The head of the Vexcor rescue mission was written off for failing. And Charlie let 01 go because he couldn't take him to the Alphaverse.
WW$ SmackDown! [22:00, Sky Sports 3] Ranting to start. Khali & his midget translator versus Finlay & the LGB was jolly fun. Flair with a rant. Mysterio, Punk & Kane versus Henry, Viscera & that tedious twat MVP was more jolly fun aimed at letting Mysterio, the world's smallest man, pin Henry, the world's strongest man. The Vault: Orton versus Undertaker.
   Jamie Noble made a bog of his date with Michelle. A Santa match, Festus versus a Greaser, was just a question of when the Greaser would be zapped in the absence of a swindle. Bradshaw with a rant. Finally Edge versus Batista had to involve a swindle; 2 helpers for Edge and another shameful display of WW$ sporting values.

[Saturday, 22nd] The Big Easy (1988) [19:00, Five US]. DA Anne Osbourne sets out to clean up the corrupt police department in New Orleans and runs into Lt. Remy McSwain. More bodies turn up and the rumour is that cops did the killings. IAD sets up Lt. Remy for running a protection racket but he calls in a favour and gets someone to park a big magnet in the police property story next to the incriminating videotape. Case collapsed.
   Annie is kidnapped and dragged to Remy's Cajun celebration party. More bodies floating in the river. Remy tells the Captain to take him out of the 'Widows' & Orphans' Fund'. The killings are over 20-30 kilos of heroin. A mobster tells Annie there's no drug war going on just before he's whacked by someone in an unmarked police car.
   Annie busts the PD and finds the car. Remy's brother is shot while wearing Remy's raincoat. The Captain tells Remy he wants to go out a winner. Remy admits to Annie that he's corrupt. The Captain is shot by his confederates when he tries to get rid of the dope, Remy shoots them and he ends up in the clear and married to Annie.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) [21:25, BBC 2] A dolphin display and a crap theme tune to start. They've made Ford Prefect black for no apparent reason. The incidental music is a heavy diluted version of the original scores for the radio & TV versions. Stephen Fry ain't no Peter Jones as The Book, the graphics of which are surprisingly crude.
   The Vogon's aren't bad. Zaphod Beeblebrox's other heads is lurking out of sight, as is his third arm. Marvin is a midget which is mostly head and looks like one of Darth Vader's white plastic armoured soldiers, which has shrunk in the wash.
   The script has been messed about a lot and some new stuff has been stuck in, presumably to stretch it to 100 minutes. So the guys end up on Vogsphere, rescueing Trisha, instead of going directly to Megrathea. They do a walk-by of the original Marvin on Vogsphere. The back to the script, the Earth rebuilt, but they've mucked up the ending.

[Sunday, 23rd] NFL Special: Saturday Night's highlights [11:00, Sky Sports 2] The Dallas Cowboys started in Carolina with a botched snap and were sunk by holding. They survived a fumble by Barber in their next drive and got the first score when T.O. went 10 yards through a tackle to the end zone. 7-0. Punting into the 2nd quarter.
   A big run by Barber got the Cowboys to the Panthers' 17, and Barber hit the end zone from 6 yards out. 14-0. A 37 yard run by Williams got the Panthers to the Dallas 11, and Moore found Smith with a TD pass on the next play. 14-7. Owens went out for the match injured and the Cowboys kicked a FG at the 2 minute warning. 17-7.
   The Panthers opened the 3rd quarter with a good kick-off return, and some tough gains by Smith & Williams. The a false start and sacks by Ratliff then Ellis made them kick a FG. 17-10. Romo was getting ridiculous amounts of time to make his passes but the was thwarted in the 4th quarter by Davis, who picked him at the Carolina 3.
   The officials ignored blatant pass interference and the Panthers got nowhere. The Cowboys kicked another FG. 20-10 with 8:17 left. After some punting, Canty got a 3rd down sack but Smith went 57 yards to the Dallas 9 on 4th & 9. Tank Johnson had a sack called back for a helmet-to-helmet strike on Moore. The Panthers kicked a FG with 3 minutes left, but the Cowboys were able to run out the clock and the final score stayed 20-13.
   Lots of players injured on both sides, which makes the Cowboys' need for a by-week even more pressing.
NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 3] The Cleveland Browns got nothing in the first half at Cincinnati. The Bengals kicked 2 FGs then a 44 yard interception return by 41 put them at the Browns' 5 and Palmer found Houshmandzadeh with a TD pass as the next play. 0-13. Anderson's next play was picked by 29, and a 1 yard TD run by Watson made the score 0-19 after a 2-point try failed. 2 TDs inside the last 2 minutes for the Bengals!
   Anderson was almost picked again in the 3rd quarter in FG range, then the ball bounced off another Bengal's helmet in the end zone to 41; but the Bengals had to punt. The Browns struck back with a 2 yard TD pass to Edwards. 7-19. Lots of punting in the 4th quarter. The Browns went no huddle into the red zone, only for Anderson to be picked by Joseph. But Palmer's first play was intercepted by 28 when H'zadeh fell down, giving the ball right back to the Browns.
   Another TD pass to Edwards put the Browns just 14-19 down with 6 minutes left. Watson fumbled the ball to the Browns, they were in the red zone inside the last 2 minutes, but the Brown ran out of time.
Meanwhile, the Packers were killed in Chicago by their great divisional rivals, which hands home-field advantage in the playoffs to the Cowboys.
Next, the Baltimore Ravens in Seattle, where it had been raining all day. Lots of punting to start, and the first score came in the 2nd quarter when Hasselbeck found Burleson with a 21 yard TD pass. 0-7. Tapp & Peterson combined to sack Smith and Burleson returned the Ravens' punt to their 45.
   Alexander took the ball to the 29 but Hasselbeck was intercepted by Martin. A fumble by 38 was recovered by Hill, who returned it for a TD. 0-14 after a Ravens' challenge failed. The rain got worse. A 14-yard TD run by Alexander put the Bengals 0-21 ahead. Smith lost the ball and Peterson grabbed it, but that was it for the first half.
   Punting to start the 3rd quarter then the Seahawks got into FG range and Brown kicked a 42-yarder. 0-24. Then the Browns botched a hand-off to their running back and the Seahawks were back in business at the Cleveland 20. A sack held them to a FG. 0-27. Punting into the 4th quarter.
   Wallace came on for Hasselbeck and the Seahawks went 3 & out. Then Smith found Mason with a pass which he took 79 yards for a TD! 6-27 after a 2-point try failed, so no shut-out. And that was the end of the scoring.

[Monday, 24th] NFL Special: Sunday Night highlights [14:10, Sky Sports 2] The Washington Redskins in Minnesota. The Skins went 3 & out but an interception by Smoot helped the Redskins to the Vikings' 1 foot line. Sellers had a TD taken away on review so the Skins got a safety on the next play. 2-0. Cooley found the end zone on the end of a 33 yard pass to put the Redskins 9-0 up, and Longwell missed a 53 yard FG try at the end of the 1st quarter.
   Henderson got a sack and the holder dropped the ball when the Vikings tried a 51 yard FG. After an exchange of punts, Springs made an interception and set up a 32 yard TD pass to Moss. 16-0. The Redskins' next drive ended with a trick play; a pass back to Portis, who chucked a TD pass to Randle El. 22-0 at half time.
   After stopping the Vikings on a 4th & 1 in the 3rd quarter, the Redskins advanced to the Minnesota 2 but ended up kicking a FG. 25-0. The Vikings drove to the Washington 2, but Jackson was able to find Kleinsasser with a TD pass. 25-7. The Vikings then recovered a surprise on-side kick but went 3 & out after a sack by 29.
   In the 4th quarter, the Vikings reached the Redskins' 5, went back 2 yards then Jackson rushed into the end zone. 25-14. The Skins tried a quick snap after a dodgy sideline pass completion and Collins botched the snap. The Vikings grabbed the ball but lost it when Coach Gibbs challenged and had them done for 12 men on the field!
   A 13 yard TD run by Portis put the match beyond dispute at 32-14. Jackson managed a 1 yard consolation TD run after pass interference by the Redskins in their end zone, 32-21, but the on-side kick try was a disaster and there was no further scoring.
Bulletproof Monk (2002) [21:00, Film4] A Nazi arrives in Tibet in 1943 looking for a scroll which will give him eternal youth. He shoots up the monastery and the monk with the scroll goes over a cliff. 60 years later in New York, the monk is looking for a successor and Kar, a young thief, starts fulfilling the prophecies. Cue the first bout of a lot of kung fu-ing.
   The Nazi has been chasing the monk for 60 years and he has set up a bogus humanitarian foundation in the city. His blonde grand-daughter leads his band of thugs, who create carnage across the city. The Nazi gets the scroll he wants, but it turns out to be a recipe for noodle soup. Kar takes a fancy to Jade, the daughter of a gaoled Russian Mafioso.
   The Nazi finds that the monk has the text of the scroll tattoo'd on his body. He starts to rejuvenate but finds the last verse is in the monk's memory. A grand battle and Kar gets the monk's job and the tattoos. Jade is shot but she turns out to be bulletproof, so she become co-guardian of the message with Kar.

[Xmas Day, Tuesday, 25th] NFL Live [01:05, Channel 5] The last Monday Night match of the season was the faltering Denver Broncos in San Diego. The Broncos advanced quickly to the SD red zone but Cutler lost the ball while scrambling and Cooper recovered it for the Chargers. They got stuck the Denver 22, and Kaeding came on for a FG. 0-3. Denver went backwards on penalties and punted. Rivers found Chambers with a 30 yard pass to the Denver 12, holding, but Tomlinson made a 12 yard run to the end zone. 0-10.
   A sack for Hart, another for Castillo in the 2nd quarter and the Broncos punted to the SD 1. So a false start didn't cost them much! The Chargers made some progress but punted after a sack by Mallard. A sack by Phillips made Denver punt.
   The Chargers' next drive produced another FG. 0-13. After sending Denver 3 & out, they reached FG range with 9 seconds on the clock. A shot to the end zone failed so Kaeding kicked a 29-yard FG. 0-16 at half time.
   In the 3rd quarter, Gates made a superb one-handed catch for 24 yards, L.T. went over 100 yards' rushing, the Broncos challenged a superb sideline catch by Jackson and lost, and a 14-yard TD pass to Chambers made the score 0-23. The Broncos got close but Hart picked Cutler. Volek came on for Rivers, botched a hand-off and Denver had the ball at the SD 7. But all they could manage was a FG. 3-23.
   In the 4th quarter, Cutler rushed twice to keep a Denver drive going but they blew up on a 4th down at the SD 1. They went out on downs at the end of their next drive. The Chargers got nowhere but burned up some time and contained the Denver offense. And a pick by Jammer inside the last 2 minutes let the Chargers run the clock out.

[Boxo Day, Wednesday, 26th] Rameses: The Great Pharaoh [19:00, Discovery Knowledge] According to the interpreters of the Bible, Rameses I was the Egyptian pharaoh pursued Moses & his Hebrew followers into the Red Sea. Small problem, Rameses would have been too old and frail to do it. So the programme concluded that his first-born son, who was supposed to have been killed in one of the plagues, did the chasing.
   The programme makers had a skull with what could have been a fracture caused by a blow. So they had to go through a process of fitting a few facts into a web of legend, twisting the legend to fit and coming up with their own version of history, in which the co-pharoah son pursued the Egyptian prince Moses into the Sea of Reeds, not the Red Sea, and he was done to death there by a guerilla force of rebels.
Jurassic Park (1993) [21:00, ITV 2] Dino experts Drs. Grant & Saddler lured from Montana to locate to Dr. Hammond's island off Chile and Jurassic Park, where the computer guy is involved in industrial espionage. The dead dino experts get to see some live ones and a cartoon presentation how they're made. The experts and Dr. Hammond's grandkids get a tour of the park, and they're stranded there when the spy screws up the computer system while he steals some dino embryos. The T. Rex eats the accountant and another dino eats the spy. Dr. Grant is burdened with the horrible kids, so lots of dino peril & pursuit.
   The computer control system has to be switched off so that it can be rebooted. The horrible kid doesn't get fried on the electric fence. Booo! All the dinos get loose and cause havoc. More of the staff are eaten but not the horrible kids. And a handful of survivors escapes from the island in a helicopter.

[Thursday, 27th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] DC Terry went to meet his snout, Barry, who'd been invited to join a security van robbery led by Jimmy Duncan. Meanwhile, PC Ben almost got himself run over by a hoody stealing a car; Barry's son, who'd been recruited in his place as the getaway driver. The uniforms also busted 2 girls who'd been causing trouble at a taxi firm.
   Barry told Terry the job's off while he and new DS Carter (ex-CO19) were watching Duncan set the job up. DS Carter suggested making Barry the driver on the job, keeping the kid out of serious trouble, to get inside information. A taxi driver was found at home; bitten by the poisonous snake which Paula had brought home for her boyfriend Mike, Tiff said. Their 2 boyfriends turned up at Sun Hill nick and had to wait.
   Terry found Barry, his snout, who'd been shot by Duncan. The robbery went down with no warning. Duncan & another guy were busted at the scene and Craig Foster got away with the loot. Terry was hauled out of the boozer blotto and parked in a cell. Meanwhile, the boyfriends went away and came back with guns! To be continued . . .
WW$ Raw [21:30, Sky Sports 3] was a Tribute to the Troops made in Iraq, so lots of stars meeting troops and words from the troops. Orton & Jericho battled for 25 minutes then the scriptwriter chucked Bradshaw in again. Jeff Hardy versus Carlito was all-action with the good guy winning again; without a DQ. Vince with a rant, mercifully brief, then the divas did a bit. Only to be interrupted by ranting Vince. So Cena strolled out in a Santa suit, did some jawing and gave Vince an FU.
   Rey Mysterio had to tackle Mark Henry again, so lots of chucking about for the little guy before he snuck up on the world's strongest man for an unlikely pin. DX was revived for 15 minutes for a match with Umaga & Kennedy. Shawn Michaels did most of the work, beating up Kennedy and being flattened by Umaga. Then HHH came in for a couple of minutes and grabbed the glory.
The ECW guys had a night off, with Tazz & Joey doing a greatest hits compilation, so off with the TV to finish the current book: "Sherlock Holmes & the Hentzau Affair" by David Stuart Davies.

[Friday, 28th] The Bill [19:30, Granada] The getaway driver for the blokes with guns started shooting when a CO19 guy asked him what he was doing in a stolen car, so a siege in Sun Hill nick. Duncan, the blagger & killer, offered the bad guys some advice. Inspector Gold took over the local pub, where most of the CID was lurking, as a command centre. Tiff got ill; a drug mule with a burst condom. The bad guys asked for a bus. DC Terry woke up in his cell and phoned some info to DI Nixon, then his battery ran out.
   Duncan got a gun off the driver and shot him. Then he grabbed Sgt. Wright. Duncan phoned Craig to arrange a meeting then he made Terry start a bonfire in the canteen. Duncan escaped in the confusion (how not explained) so Terry went after him with PC Will. And he got to beat Duncan up a bit and nick him.
Charlie Jade [Through A Mirror Darkly, 13/20, 20:00, FX] Charlie took 01 Boxer prisoner to question him with as much violence as necessary. He wanted to know why 01 killed Elliot Kroog. He was the only guy who knew how to rebuild the link, 01 told him, the others having been caught in the reactor explosion, which hurled Charlie into the Betaverse. He also had the entire board of the Betaverse Vexcor arrested. "It's all a matter of keeping the Link down," 01 said.
   As Charlie killed Vexcor's head of security, 01 reminded him, they both have blood on their hands. 01 didn't kill Katie Grayle, so Charlie went to 01's club where he saw a recording which proved 01's innocence. So they had a drink and Charlie let 01 go instead of shooting him.
   Meanwhile, Vexcor had a sample of a compound which didn't originate in the Alpha, Beta or Gammaverse. So where did it come from? And at the end, Karl told Charlie: "That sick bastard 01 has done more to hurt Vexcor than either of us."
UK Strongest Man [21:00, Sky Sports 3] First up, rolling a car through 360 degrees then rolling it back to the starting point. The heat winner took 15½ seconds. Only one guy managed 300 kg in the brick dead-lift. Only 4 of the 8 managed to carry the stone and drag the anchor.
   Heave a 165 kg Daddy Dumbell into the air with one arm? The current champ managed 12 repetitions, which put him 8 points ahead with one event to go; the Customs House Load – heaving a stone, a chain and a barrel into a skip then dumping a log on top of it. The champ finished 4th, but he'd already won. So Glenn Ross, 36, 31 stone & Irish, is the UK's strongest man.
WW$ SmackDown! [22:00, Sky Sports 3] was doing a greatest hits show, so we baled out.
Red Rock West (1992) [22:05, ITV 4] Jobless Mike ends up in Red Rock where bar owner Wayne mistakes him for Lyle from Dallas, who's supposed to kill Mrs. Wayne. Mike warns Suzanne, who offers him double to take out Wayne. He takes her money and leaves town.
   Driving in rain, he hits a guy standing in the road and takes him to hospital. The guy is Suzanne's boyfriend, he's been shot. Wayne turns up; he's the sheriff! He makes a bog of shooting Mike, who gets a lift from Lyle. Mike has to escape from Lyle & Wayne. He tells Suzanne she needs to get out of town. Suz decides to burgle Wayne's office, where there was $500K in the safe; until Wayne moved it.
   Wayne's deputies bust him; he's an embezzler and he and Suz are top of the FBI's most wanted list. Lyle makes Mike help him bust Wayne out of gaol. The cash is buried in a cemetery, and everyone starts shooting everyone else when it's dug up. Suz turns out to be as bad as her old man. She and Mike get on a train with the cash, destination Mexico, but Suz tries to shoot Mike, so he dumps the cash off the train and dumps her for the cops.

[Saturday, 29th] Hercule Poirot's Christmas [19:00, ITV 3] Simeon Lee's partner tries to kill him in the diamond fields of South Africa in 1896. A lady with a port-wine stain on her face rescues him, he has his way with her then he splits.
   40 years later, the Belgian detective, whose central heating is kaput, is invited to Lee's big house for Xmas, which gives him a chance to meet the family: the sponging son George, MP, and his fraudster wife; the eldest son, Albert, and his okay wife, the black sheep son, Harry, and the grand-daughter, Pilar.
   Simeon Lee is done to death horribly and his uncut diamonds disappear. The local police superintendent lets Poirot take the lead and he rescues CI Japp from a horrible Xmas at home with his family. Lots of red herrings and Pilar is exposed as an imposter. Poirot suddenly spots a resemblance between a portrait of Simeon Lee and the superintendent.
   Poirot explains how the locked-room murder was accomplished, then he locates the vengeful old lady with the port-wine stain and exposes the superinendent, her son, as the killer. So CI Japp gets to make another arrest.
Over to Keith Barry: The Escape – Live [started 21:00, Granada]. Mr. Barry was going to blow himself up in a garden shed but first, magic tricks with alleged celebrities. Who wrote the script for their reactions? It was DIRE! Finally, will Keith escape from a shed containing explosives and 30 litres of petrol. He was tied to a chair with 100 feet of really thick rope, which meant that the bonds and the knots wouldn't be too tight. And when the shed blew up, he appeared with fireworks miles away. Booo!

Patriots' helmet[Sunday, 30th] Live NFL [01:00, Sky Sports 3] The New England Patriots in New Jersey. A win would do nothing for either side's standings in the play-offs, so on the line was a perfect season versus being the team that spoiled a perfect season.
   A running play then a 52 yard pass from Manning to Burress got the Giants to the NE 18. The Giants wasted a challenge on an incomplete pass on the next play but Jacobs ran through a couple of tackles to take a 7 yard pass into the end zone. 0-7. The Patriots had no problems with a 4th down in Giants territory but they were held to a 37 yard FG from Gostkowski. 3-7.
   The Giants had to punt after a 3rd down drop by Toomer. A sack by 58 was wiped out by an illegal contact penalty and the Patriots went on to start the 2nd quarter with a 4 yard TD pass to Moss. 10-7. The Pats kicked off from their 15 after a delay-of-game penalty for a spike by Moss and Hixon ran the kick back 74 yards for a TD! 10-14. The Patriots' next 2 drives ended in FGs of 46 and 37 yards, and gave them a 16-14 lead.
   Inside the last 2 minutes, the Giants reached the NE 19. Punch-up! The Giants called a time-out but got it back when NE collected a 5 yard penalty. Manning scrambled to the 4 with 21 seconds left. Then he found Boss with a TD pass. 16-21 at half time.
   The Patriots went 3 & out to start the 3rd quarter. Jacobs made a lot of ground but the Giants' drive ended with a 19 yard TD pass to Burress. 16-28. Brady continued to be battered, Welker gained a lot of ground, the Pats got to the Giants' 1 on end-zone pass interference, they went back 5 yards for an illegal formation but Maroney rushed into the end zone. 23-28.
   Thomas got a 3rd down sack to force a Giants' punt, and more punting took the match into the 4th quarter. Moss dropped a big one, but Brady chucked another to him on the next play and his 65 yard TD made the score 31-28 after a successful 2-point conversion. By then, more records had fallen, Brady had 50 TDs for the season and Moss had 23.
   Manning was intercepted by Hobbs. The Pats survived a sack by Torbor and a 4 yard TD run by Mahoney put them 10 points up with 4½ minutes to play. The Giants seemed to go slow-down instead of hurry-up! They were at the NE 16 by the 2 minute warning. A 3 yard TD pass to Burress put them a FG behind at 38-35 with a minute left.
   The on-side kick try went to the Patriots so The End of the Giants' hopes of an upset and the Pats now join the '72 Dolphins as the only other team to notch up a perfect regular season.
NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 2] The New Orleans Saints had to win in Chicago to keep their playoff hopes alive but they were 0-10 down at the end of the 1st quarter. They spent 6 minutes on a TD drive only to see the Bears come back at them in less than 3 minutes with a trick play; a pass (off sorts) from running back Peterson to Berrian in the end zone. 7-17.
   Some impressive rushing by Thomas set up Colston's 2nd TD just before the 2 minute warning. The Bears replied in 2 plays, the 2nd being a 55 yard TD pass from Orton to Hester. 14-24. Which left time for the Saints to go 3 & out, Peterson to fumble the ball to them on the next play, Tillman to intercept Brees then fumble the ball back to the Saints and Gramatica to kick a 48-yard FG! 17-24 at half time.
   The Saints started the 3rd quarter by going 3 & out, then Hester returned the punt 64 yards for a TD! 17-31. The defences dominated to the 4th quarter, when Brees fumbled when sacked and gave the ball to the Bears, but Orton was picked by David. An exchange of punts left the Saints at their 3, and holding by them in the end zone gave the Bears a safety. 17-33. The next time the Saints had the ball, they went hurry-up and Thomas got a consolation TD, but the final score of 25-33 (after a 2-point conversion) left the Saints, like the Bears, out of the playoffs.
Next, the Dallas Cowboys in wet Washington. The Cowboys sacked Collins during the Redskins' opening drive. They had an interception by Hamlin called back for pass interference during the next Redskins' drive, which produced a 23-yard TD run by Portis as the next play. 0-7. Springs intercepted Romo's first play but Portis fumbled the ball right back to the Cowboys.
   In the 2nd quarter, Moss had a 36-yard diving catch ruled incomplete after a challenge but he hung on to a 21-yarder to help set up a 46 yard FG by Suisham. 0-10. With the rain 'still coming down pretty good', Hurd was awarded a big pass completion after a challenge, but the drive ended in a missed FG try and a punch-up!
   Collins had the ball knocked out of his hand by Ware and the Cowboys grabbed it at the WR 18. A challenge cost the Redskins a time out. Folk didn't miss this FG. 3-10. After an exchange of punts, Moss lost another catch to a review but he hung on to the next, and the Redskins' drive ended with just enough time for a FG. 3-13 at half time?
   No, some messing about first. The clock had run out but the Redskins were offside on the kick-off so the ref awarded the Cowboys one untimed down from the WR 36. Which let Wilson sack Romo to send him in for his cup of tea feeling battered!
   The Dallas starters got nowhere on their last series. The Skins replied with a long drive to a 1-yard TD run by Portis. 3-20. Brad Johnson came on as Dallas QB. Lots of punting into the 4th quarter. Collins found Moss with another big pass for a TD. 3-27. Austin took a 35 yard pass from Johnson but dropped a pass to the end zone. Wilson got to sack the replacement QB and the Cowboys kicked a FG. 6-27. Colins took a sack, the defences stood up, and the Redskins ended up in the playoffs.

[Monday, 31st] NFL Special: Sunday's late highlights [13:30, Sky Sports 2] The Tennessee Titans needed to beat their divisional rivals @ Indianapolis. They scored a TD at the end of their opening drive and they held the Colts to a FG in the 20th minute. 7-3 at half time. Sorgi came on for Manning in the 3rd quarter, and got swamped by Titans on the first play. The Colts went 3 & out but got the ball back from and Titans' fumble and, helped by penalties on the Titans, went on to score a TD. 7-10.
   The next Titans' drive almost blew up on penalties, but they managed a FG. 10-10. Collins had to come on as Titans' QB when Jones was injured half way through the 3rd quarter. Bironas kicked a 54 yard FG to make the score 13-10. Odum got a huge sack to ruin Sorgi's day further. The Titans ate up the clock and kicked another FG with 3 minutes left. 16-10. The Colts went 4 & out, and they didn't resist when the Titans ran the clock out and booked a trip to San Diego.
Morse @ the Albert Hall [19:00, ITV 3] Introduced by (Sir) Parky, this was the music from the TV series played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra + a choir and guests. Clips from the TV series were shown on a big screen. Colin Dexter read a bit of character analysis of the great detective by DS Lewis, then Kevin Whatley did a tour of some locations. Barrington Pheloung, the composer of the music for the series, joined in as guest conductor for the main theme. Quite an interesting concept and some nice music to go with it.
Hero and The Terror (1988) [21:00, Bravo] 2 dozy cops strolled into the lair of a crazy killer without calling for back-up and Danny barely survived an encounter with The Terror. The newspapers called him The Hero and Simon Moon ended up in a looney bin. 3 years later, Danny had got his shrink pregnant after 6 months' therapy and she was moving in with him (but marriage off the list).
   Surprise! The Terror escaped from the bin and drove over a 400 foot cliff. He was written off as dead but no body was found. The mayor of L.A. poured $14 million into a derelict area, and a gala do was held at the theatre, in which Moon had taken refuge. So a starlet had her neck snapped.
   Kate started having her baby. The cop staking out the theatre shed his radio & gun before doing some running; and ran into The Terror. Danny eventually he spotted Moon's hideout and steamed in again without waiting for back-up. Danny & Moon had a battle in almost complete darkness, so not much to be seen most of the time. The Terror took a dive through a skylight, and The Hero ended up marrying his shrink.

Created for Clyde E. Wydey by HTSP Web Division, 10/12 SK6 4EG, GB.
Sole © Clyde E. Wydey, 2007.