December 2008

[Monday, 01st] Tony Robinson's Romans [20:00, Discovery Knowledge] did Julius Caesar part 2. Wanted in Rome for sleaze, Caesar was stuck in Gaul after his English adventure and the place wouldn't stay conquered until he had sorted out Vercingetorix. Then his alliance with Crassus and Pompey fell apart and he ended up in a civil war with Pompey after taking his army across the Rubicon.
   Pompey was murdered in Egypt, where Caesar, 52, dallied with Kleopatra, 20. Caesar returned home to write up more memoirs as part of a big PR job. He behaved like the boss of the universe, he collided with vested interests, he did the world a favour by introducing the Julian calendar, he got himself made dictator for life and, on March 15th 44 BC, he was done in at the theatre built by Pompey.
NUMB3RS [The Art of Reckoning, 21:00, Five US] A guy on Death Row offered to clear up 5 murders if he could see his daughter. When he talked about the murder of a senator's son 10 years before, the Feds found the body of a gang boss, not a kid. Charlie suggested a strategy for dealing with the killer, who passed a polygraph test.
   Agent Sinclair & a DAG were ambushed by the gang boss's hoods, but survived. Charlie suggested using FMRI on the killer, who was found to have hidden the truth behind false memories. So the DAG got to bust the gang boss for killing the senator's kid. And Larry returned from the ISS even weirder than before!

[Tuesday, 02nd] NFL Special, Monday Night replay [15:00, Sky Sports 3] The Jaguars at the Texans, who were having their first every outing on a Monday night. The Texans started with a confident TD drive, the Jags went 3 & out. A pick by Mathis gave the ball back to the Jags but Garrard promptly threw an interception back to the Texans, who went on to kick a FG. 0-10. The Jags drove into the 2nd quarter but missed a FG try. And the Texans lost a FG try to a bad snap as the half ran out.
   In the 3rd quarter, the Texans stopped the Jags and kicked a 50 yard FG. The Jags managed a FG in the 12th minute but an on-side kick try went to the Texans. The Texans false started, Slaton went 45 yards to the Jags' 2 but the drive ended in a FG. 3-16. In the 4th quarter, the Jags made a 4th & 2 with a big pass to Jones but they blew up on a 4th down at the Texans' 5.
   Williams stripped the ball from Garrard, causing a sack/fumble, after the Texans had punted, and Claton had an easy run to the end zone. 3-23. Some tough running by Jones-Drew set up an easy, record-equalling TD run for Fred Taylor. 10-23.
   Another on-side kick try didn't work for the Jags and the next play was a TD run by Claton. 10-30. The Jags then went into their 2-minute drill, which produced a TD for Williams. 17-30. The Jags' 3rd on-side kick went to the Texans. The End.
The A Team [Road Games, 20:00, Bravo] Gentleman Jim, the compulsive gambler, lost the family foster home in an illegal game so his daughter called in the A Team. They robbed Johnny and shot up his club to plant Face as an infiltrator. They shot up the mobile casino to let Face replace the equipment with gear rigged to pay out big, and the bad guys, inevitably, ended up behind bars after a chase and a massive punch up.
CSI:Miami [Tunnel Vision, 21:00, Channel 5] A road rager took a well deserved dive into a big hole, which opened in the road. Someone had dug a tunnel to a bank to rob it and the assistant bank manager was dead in it. The CSIs did the usual rousting of everyone they could think of. The gang was rolled up one by one. Boa Vista, newly qualified to carry a gun, got to shoot Dan the loser.
   Eventually, we discovered that the daughter of an orange juice zillionaire had taken up with Carlos the drug dealer, who'd made a compromising video, which her dad had extracted from the bank. So he confessed all to Horatio & gave up Carlos as a bonus.

[Wednesday, 03rd] Murdoch Mysteries [Still Waters, 21:00, Alibi] This is CSI:Toronto set in Victorian times, with Det. Murdoch and the lady coroner not daring to admit that they fancy each other. A floating body turned out to be a rich kid, who had ousted a talented gardener from a rowing team training for the Olympics.
   Murdoch got to use a pneumograph; an early lie detector; on the rowing team and found that the dead man had survived an initiation designed to drive him off the team. Then Murdoch's forensicking showed that the violent scumbag had been drowned in a bath by the gardener to protect his fiancee, whom the gardener fancied, and who had just ditched the rich kid.
Taggart [Football Crazy (2000), 22:00, Alibi] There are dodgy goings on at Strathclyde FC. First a ref is found dead clutching his red card. The doctor thinks it was a heart attack and a bad joke. Then the boss of the club, who's trying to get rid of the manager, has his vintage car, and a red card, parked on his chest. Then the scheming coach gets a bottle of poisoned champagne and a red card.
   DCI Jardine gets tough with the acting boss. DS Jackie discovers that the coach bribed the goalie to throw matches. Another body, another red card; Mr. Murray, the financial director.
   Mr. Hamilton, who's almost the major shareholder, is raked in and admits trying to ruin the club so he can sell off the site for redevelopment and make a bundle. He's also done for the murders. But unless Jackie makes the connection, homicidal Emily, the mother of the guy who ends up as coach, looks like getting away with it.

[Thursday, 04th] Underworld: Kingdoms of the Ice Age [Malta & Bimini, 20:00, Discovery Knowledge] Modern man has been around for 100,000 years but human history goes back only about 10,000 years. Diver Graham Hancock believes that as there are megaliths put up by experienced builders in places like Malta, and no signs of where the builders learnt their craft, then the place to look is on the sea bed.
   There were great floods 14,000 and 11,500 years ago; sudden event cause by Ice Age melts. Mr. Hancock believes that Atlantis could have been a victim of the last of the great floods. He also suggested that Maltese archaeolgists have been deliberately destroying inconvenient evidence. In the last quarter of the programme, he went to the Bahamas to see the Bimini Road, which could be natural or a vandalized piece of submerged construction.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles [Brothers of Nablus, 21:00, Virgin One] James Ellison was almost killed by a lookalike Terminator; but it was terminated by the Cromartie Terminator, which was looking for Cameron & John Connor. The Connors, meanwhile, had been robbed of their diamonds and ID documents by a burglar because Riley forgot to set the security system. So John got the blame for telling her the code. Ellison was busted for the murder of a guy, whose clothes the Ellison Terminator had stolen.
   Cromartie tracked down the "Baum" residence but their neighbour warned John and Riley sent it packing. Sarah tracked down the thief's parents. Ms Weaver visited Ellison in gaol then impersonated the detective to get the witness, who saw the Ellison Terminator arrive in an energy bubble, dismissed as a nutter.
   Cameron shot the thief and 2 of his mates. Sarah let a 3rd kid live. So, of course, the Cromartie Terminator caught up with him.
Over to WW$ Raw [started 21:00, Sky Sports 3] to see Bradshaw ranting at HBK and offering him a job. Dolf Ziggler, another Swagger type, proved to be great at leaping out of the ring in his match with Batista. He ended up cocky but dead meat. Nitro made Finlay look old and slow and, surprise! Nitro didn't get a whack from the club and went on to win. Rey Mysterio came out with a bandaged arm for a match with Mizrabul but, surprise! It wasn't an alibi and he won.
   Finally, Kane & Cena bashing each other included Jericho getting an incidental bashing during the match, and a bit more after Cena had 'won'. Then Cody, Manu & Orton attacked Cena to let Jericho indulge in a spot of ritual humiliation.
ECW Late Night [23:00, Sky Sports 3] Ricky Ortiz got to do a bit against Swagger before it was time to lie down and let the grinning buffoon keep his unbeaten streak going. Some theatre of Finlay & Henry. DJ Gabriel wiped out another unknown. Finally, MVP, the lazy sod, had to do a bit of work in a lengthy tussle with Matt Hardy before lying down to keep his losing streak going.

[Friday, 05th] NFL Special, Thursday night highlights [20:00, Sky Sports Xtra] The struggling Raiders at the struggling Chargers. The Chargers were held to a FG on their opening drive but they got the ball back at the Raiders' 12 from a sack/fumble, and Tomlinson hit the end zone. 10-0. They began their next drive at their 4, false started a couple of time, got the benefit of a personal foul penalty on the Raiders, made a 4th & 1, and sent Sproles into the end zone early in the 2nd quarter. 0-17.
   Russell was picked off by Cooper at the SD 37 and Rivers found a wide open Jackson with a 59 yard TD pass. 0-24. Another pick by Cooper produced a FG for the Chargers and left 23 seconds of the half. So Miller returned the kick off 92 yards for a TD. 7-27.
   The Raiders sent Walter out for Russell, who had a twisted ankle, in the 3rd quarter. Both teams kept the score sheet clean. Sproles scored another easy TD mid-way through the 4th quarter. 7-34. He also returned a punt to the Oakland end zone, but had the play called back on a penalty.
   Reid caused a Chargers' fumble on a punt return as time ran down but Walter threw an interception right away. The End, and the Chargers' 11th win in a row over the Raiders.
Burn Notice [Wanted Man, 22:00, FX] Fee is a bounty hunter in competition with Wayne the giant, so Mike has to help her catch Tommy, who's supposed to have stolen a brooch worth $2M. Sam comes up with Cristo the fence and Mike is looking through his dossier, trying to spot the job that got him burnt.
   The thief turns out to be Lawrence, a hotel owner with cashflow problems and a criminal history. Mike decides to scam him and use Psych Ops as he looks for a way to get at Phil the Spy, who had him burnt. Mike does a deal with the Libyans. The wheels come off the scam but the Libyan deal works out.
   Mike sets Lawrence up as a bank robber and he's busted at the bank when he goes to deposit the brooch in its vault. Then Mike tells Phil the Spy there's be more embarrassment on the way if he doesn't get the lowdown on his Burn Notice.
Over to WW$mackDown! [started 21:00, Sky Sports 3] HHH & Jeff Hardy made short work of Hawkins & Ryder and got into a shoving match. Then they got stuck in to Mizrabul & Nitro. This episode went on a lot longer than the first one, and ended with a double count out as HHH & Jeff H. bashed each other on the outside.
   Matt Hardy versus Chavo Sux was a set up for Koslov to bash Hardy some more. Xmas fun with Khali. Finally, Undertaker versus Big Show in a steel cage was mainly Big Show to begin. Taker did a bit and gave up a chance to climb out of the cage in favour of self-destructing while trying to stick one on the fallen Big Show. So more pounding until Taker applied his killer submission hold.

[Saturday, 06th] Time Travel - The Truth [20:00, National Geographic] Professor Michio Kaku thinks it's inevitable because there isn't a law of physics which rules it out, and all we have to do is understand what time is. Accepting that space/time is a fabric which can be distorted, time travel may be possible.
   All astronauts are time travellers in a small way; the faster you go, the slower time passes. Using speed is offers a one-way trip to the future, but bending space/time with gravity, to go forward and back, would need the energy resources of a whole galaxy! A tunnelling effect might work.
   Lasers might be used to create a time machine for sub-atomic partices; which could send data back into the past. Then off with Prof. Kaku into parallel universes and some words of wisdom from Prof. Hawking.
TNA Impact [21:00, Bravo] The Dudleys took the lead in the Front Line for a new revolution and kicked off loadsa jawing. Samoa Joe took on Booger T for his fancy belt in a street fight. Lots of impacts with the ring furniture on the way to a crude swindle finish. Is that the real Sarah Palin with the Beautiful People?
   Awesome Kong and the Big Fat Fruity Baddy took on Christy and AJ Styles, which was mainly Steiner versus Styles. Kong made Christy look like lunch; until Christy & Styles combined to deliver a DDT.
   Backstage, Beer Money got Abyss rat-arsed. Rave, the Guru & Davari versus Creed, Lethal & Eric Young? No, Daivari walked out so, despite the ref's help, his team mates were crunched. And Eric sorted Daivari out afterwards. Surprise! Abyss was cheap-shotted with a beer bottle backstage.
   Kurt Angle with a rant. Finally, Rhino versus Sting with lots of brutality. Rhino shed some blood, Angle joined in and AJ flattened him, then Rhino gored Sting down and out. Not much sign of a revolution, though.

[Sunday, 07th] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 2] The Falcons @ the Saints: The Saints went 3 & out but David intercepted Ryan, Bush made a big run and he took a TD pass. 0-7. Defences dominated until early in the 2nd quarter, when the Falcons lost an interception when challenged and the Saints went on to kick a FG. 0-10.
   White took a pass 59 yards to the NO 15 and Turner completed the drive with a run. 7-13. The Saints were held to another FG and the Falcons came back with a jump ball for Finneran in the end zone. The TD survived a no-hope challenge. 14-13. The Saints went into their 2-minute drill and regained the lead with a FG. 14-16.
   After an exchange of punts to start the 3rd quarter, the Falcons made a 3rd & 21 after holding, Ryan did a great job of keeping the drive going to a FG. 17-16. The first play of the 4th quarter was a 46 yard pass to Henderson on the way to a TD run by Thomas. 17-22 after a 2-point try failed.
   The Falcons came back with a drive that gave Ryan his first ever NFL TD and the Falcons made their 2-point try. 25-22. Thomas returned the kick off 88 yards to the Falcons' 16, the Saints got a 4th & 1 when the Falcons lost a challenge on the spot, and another TD for Thomas put the Saints 25-29 ahead.
   The first sack of the match on Ryan made the Falcons punt and the Saints ran the clock out. An excellent show by both teams.
Next up, the Dolphins at the Bills played in a dome at Toronto. After an exchange of punt, the Dolphins started near midfield and Pennington tossed a 20 yard TD pass to Fasano. 7-0. The Bills replied with a FG. 7-3. In the 2nd quarter, Carpenter put the Dolphins further ahead with a 50 yard FG. 10-3. At this point, we were down to 6 officials; the Umpire was out, injured.
   Lots of punting. The Bills got a sack. The Dolphins made a 4th & 1 foot to get into FG range as the half ran down, Williams had a trip to the end zone called back for holding and the drive ended with a FG. 13-3.
   In the 3rd quarter, Losman ran all over the field to make a 4th down pass to Reed, but the Bills had to punt. Another drive, another pass to Reed got the Bills to the Miami 16. But a pick in the end zone by W. Allen survived a challenge. The Dolphins punted in the 4th quarter. Porter sacked Losman.
   The Dolphins reached FG range again. 16-3. A botched kick off gave the Bills a short field, but they went out on downs. Carpenter missed a 48 yard FG try with 2:09 left. Losman was sacked by Starks & Torbor, then he fumbled when sacked by Porter on the next play and the Dolphins got the ball. The End.
Over to Pittsburgh where the Steelers were really struggling against the Cowboys. They were 13-3 down and they failed to punch the ball into the end zone on a 4th down at the Dallas 1. Roethlisberger went down to the 5th Dallas sack of the 2nd half but Reed was able to kick a FG. 13-6. The kick off went out of bounds but a sack on Romo sent the Cowboys 3 & out.
   The Steelers had to make a 4th & 2" on the way to a TD pass to Miller. 13-13, 2:04 left. Romo was picked by Townsend! Who returned the interception for a TD!! 13-20!!! 1:35 left and the Cowboys went out on downs. Phew! The Steelers really had to struggle for this win.

[Monday, 08th] Terry Jones' Great Map Mystery [19:00, History] was an attempt to follow the first route in the first British road map, which was published by John Ogilby in 1675. Mr. Jones tried to get to Aberystwyth (the back of beyond in the 17th century) using a map created by a bloke with a good imagination, and concluded that the 'maps' showed how Britannia's future could be if the drovers' tracks were developed into proper roads. Aspirations rather than actuality.
Highlands [19:30, History] John Michie (DI Ross from Taggart) went to the wilds of Scotland to find out what life used to be like there; quite grim and limited. He touched on the mysteries of the clan system then took a look at Highlanders' weapons and visited Loch Ness.
Tony Robinson's Romans [20:00, Discovery Knowledge] did Caligula, who was made a virtual orphan and who had to cultivate the oppressive Tiberius to survive. He was the natural heir, age 25, with the Pretorian Guard behind him. After a 6-month 'honeymoon' to start his reign, he had a 3-month period of breakdown and returned a cynic and let his vicious streak take over; he was bad rather than mad.
   He never actually made his horse a member of the Senate. Both he and the Senate thought they were in charge, and they never got on. Caligula proved himself a soldier by stabilizing the German frontier but his invasion of England never crossed the Channel. He set himself up as a god and made himself popular with the people by abolishing sales tax.
   His war with the Senate continued, and when he mocked the leader of the Praetorians once too often, that was it for Caligula and his family. But rather than a republic with the Senate in charge, Rome got another emperor: Claudius.
Taggart [Homesick, 21:00, Granada] Ziggy, a Polish migrant, was murdered on a building site and Kate, a Polish woman who appeared settled in Scotland, was shot at the hotel where she worked. Mr. Fisher, the gang-master, got a lot of grief from the polis. Paula, the Polish lawyer, was also out to get him for exploiting Polish workers.
   DCI Burke rampaged a bit. A shock-jock phone-in radio show got what seemed to be a call from the killer; which wasted some of Stuart's time. DI Ross was in Paula's apartment, getting pally, when a petrol bomb came through the windy. Fisher admitted the opportunist attack on Paula but not the murders.
   The pathologist found that Kate & Ziggy were cousins. Jackie & Ross came upon Kate's husband threatening Paula with a gun but he was a rotten shot. And he'd killed the cousins because he though, wrongly, that they were having an affair and Kate would go back to Poland.

[Tuesday, 09th] NFL Special [15:00, Sky Sports 2] The Buccaneers @ the Panthers, a clash of 9-3 teams. Garcia was sacked as the Bucs went 3 & out. Delhomme was sacked when he should have thrown the ball away, but the Panthers were still in FG range. 0-3. The Bucs missed a FG and in the 2nd quarter, they lost a challenge to keep a drive going. But an interception by Barber, which survived a Panthers' challenge, gave them the ball back at the TB 23.
   Diggs nearly got a pick for the Panthers, then the home team was done out of a fumble recovery by a premature whistle. A 52 yard pass on the next play got Lucas to the CP 2, but the Bucs were held to a FG. 3-3. A 40 yard run by Jackson helped to set up a TD for Stewart. 3-10.
   In the 3rd quarter, Delhomme was picked again and Garcia chucked a 50 yard TD pass to Bryant. 10-10. The Panthers came right back with a TD pass to S. Smith. 10-17. The Bucs made a 4th & 1" after a terrible spot, Bryant took a huge pass and a TD for Williams levelled the scores again at 17.
   In the 4th quarter, Stewart restored the Carolina lead with a 4 yard TD run. The Bucs punted after a sack by Peppers. Williams rushed 41 yards, Stewart rushed 30 and Williams rushed 16 yards for a TD. 17-31. The Bucs were dropping balls all over the place but an amazing one-handed catch in the end zone by Bryant put them 23-31 behind after the PAT was blocked.
   2:29 left. An on-side kick try went to the Panthers, and Williams made a TD run on 3rd down. 23-38 and a total of 301 yards for the 2 Carolina running backs. When the Bucs went out on downs, that was it. This was real shoot-out and the normally sound Tampa Bay defense was shredded!
Terry Jones' Great Map Mystery [19:00, History] took the road from London to St. David's, the furthest tip of Wales and not a place anyone would want to visit in 1675. Mr. Ogilby spent £20,000 on sending surveyors to measure 26,000 miles of roads and tracks. The first part of this road went past one posh home after another (all potential clients for the maps). Mr. Jones was told this was the worst possible route to St. David's, so no wonder it went wonky along the way!
Highlands [19:30, History] John Michie visited the stamping grounds of the 17th/18th century Covenanters, including Scone and Inverlochy, and the site of the Montrose massacre of Campbells, which precipitated a war between the Wild West Highlands and the soft Lowlanders. After a trip to Fort Williams, he moved on to Glencoe, site of King Billy's revenge on the McDonalds (Mr. Michie's clan), who were noted cattle rustlers.
NUMB3RS [Under Pressure, 20:00, Five US] The FBI were tracking a terrorist with a load of cash and Agent Sinclair upset Don Epps by busting the guy as he was about to kill a market porter. Charlie was struggling to work out the terrorist cell's structure and being twitted by a wiseguy army captain. The bad guys were planning a sarin attack on L.A.
   Pa Epps upset Don by helping Charlie and coming up with the water supply as the target. He even put the Feds on to the right stretch of pipe. And Don got to bust the wiseguy captain, who had turned jihadista.
CSI:Miami [Hard Place, 21:00, Channel 5] A jet-skier was killed by a piece of slate paving which was dropped on him from a bridge (not a very likely killing method), and the slate came from Alexx's garden, so her stroppy son, Brian, was a suspect. The dead guy was just out of gaol, having gone down in 2000 for making Y2K uppers. Mary led him into the trap on her jetski and Trey, a vandal and Brian's buddy, dropped the slate.
   Alexx caught Brian with Trey after he'd been stabbed (by Mary) but the kid wouldn't talk and did a runner. Trey & Mary said they were working for Agent Sylvestri, who busted the drug manufacturer back in 2000. So he was busted and Brian got off. And Alexx is being written out to spend more time with her family.

[Wednesday, 10th] Terry Jones' Great Map Mystery [19:00, History] Why did Mr. Ogilby do a road from St. David's to Hollywell, both sites of Catholic shrines, at a time when Catholicism was banned? Mr. Jones added a celibate, teetotal pirate to his collection of odd bods, and decided that the road, which went through bogs and bandit country, also went to a useful invasion port for the French. But he still hasn't decided what the maps are for!
Highlands [19:30, History] John Michie followed the trail of the Jacobites along the A9 to Braemar and Eilaan Donan castles, and trod a road built by General Wade, which was used both by his troops and Highlanders. On to Glen Finnan and Bonnie Prince Charlie & all that, and a finish at Culloden, which would never have been a battleground if Charlie hadn't turned back at Derby.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] Kelly, an underage junkie tom, was found murdered in an alley. DCs Mickey & Jo got on the case of the landlord of a nearby pub, another runaway and Andy, who groomed runaways and turned them into junkies to control them.
   DC Jo went on a guilt trip because she'd busted Kelly a couple of months before and not saved her. Andy's latest girlfriend said she was the killer but Andy's cousin Jake looked a better bet; but there was no evidence. At the end, the Super was all fired up to close down a nationwide network trafficking underage girls. To be continued . . .
Murdoch Mysteries [Belly Speaker, 21:00, Alibi] Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was tossed into the mix. He wanted to reopen a cold case and prove Chinaman Mr. Lee innocent. But Mr. Lee had croaked. Doyle also thrust his beak into Murdoch's latest case; a violent father apparently done to death by his ventriloquist son, who spoke through his doll. "Mad as a box of frogs," the boss decided.
   Doyle spent some time in the drunk tank. Harcourt, the ventriloquist, had a twin brother, Mycroft, who'd been given up for adoption. Mycroft became the prime suspect and Harcourt was released. Then Murdoch found the remains of Harcourt, who'd been killed aged 10, and realized that the Toronto police had released the mad killer Mycroft! But he did sort out Doyle's problems over his dying wife.
Taggart [Falling In Love (2000), 22:00, Alibi] Members of a tango club went sky diving; only one had a sabotaged parachute. DCI Jardine & Co. ran into a web of jealousy, and found that 2 of the club members were bank robbers, who had done time but kept their loot. The usual string of bodies gave the doctor plenty to do.
   Would Jackie go through with her wedding or would she run off with DI Ross? Lots of red herrings and people involved in crimes other than murder, and jealousy turned out to be the key. The hairdresser with the crazy missus was killing Amanda's boyfriends because his wife wouldn't let him join their ranks and the crazy missus killed Amanda because she was enjoying herself too much. And Jackie did get married.

[Thursday, 11th] Terry Jones' Great Map Mystery [19:00, History] concluded with a trip from Chester to Holyhead, the port for Dublin. The road hops from castle to castle, and then involves walks along sands and mud flats when the tide is out! Mr. Jones decided that the book of maps is a political document, a way for Charles II to sneak in French troops (with warnings about places to avoid) to bring Britain back to Catholicism and make himself into a Chinese copy of the Sun King. The book is a map of a future which never happened.
Highlands [19:30, History] John Michie delved into the Highlands post-Culloden, heading north from Fort George, which cost more than the GDP of Scotland to build, to Ullapool, where Highlanders emigrated to America & Canada after Gen. Wade's ethnic cleansing. He visited an area where locals bought back the land of their ancestors in the 1990s and went right up to the north coast to one of the last villages cleared in the 19th century to make way for sheep.
The Bill continued the pursuit of Andy & cousin Jake, with limited help from Jen, Andy's girlfriend. Mickey went undercover and busted a den of vice. DC Jo lost it in an interview with Jake when she had nothing solid on him. Jen disappeared and PC Mel 'got heavy' with Dawn, another underage tom, for info.
   Jake gave Sunhill CID the slip but more info from Dawn helped DC Jo to deliver some police brutality to Jake and an exchange of girls with the Scottish connection was foiled. Andy was persuaded to talk, and he sank Jake, who was charged with Kelly's murder.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles [Mr. Fergusson Is Ill Today, 21:00, Virgin One] Cromartie caught up with Sarah but John wasn't there. The night before, Cameron had warned John off Riley, so he took a trip to Mexico with her. They were busted when a guy, who recognized John from when he was there before, tried to shake him down. The cops made him call Mom, which set Cromartie heading for Mexico with Sarah in the boot of his care.
   James Ellison was tipped off by another FBI agent that John Connor was in Mexico. He was in the police station when Cromartie started shooting the place up, which was 10 seconds after John & Riley had escaped from a cell. Ellison, John & Riley escaped in Cromartie's car and found Sarah in the boot.
   Derek & Cameron were at the Mexican police station when Sarah phoned Derek. Cromartie was ambushed in a church and shot to bits. Ellison helped to bury the de-chipped remains then Sarah told him to pretend she'd died again as she couldn't return his family and his former life. Then she trashed Cromartie's chip with ultra-violence
WW$ Raw [23:00, Sky Sports Xtra] was a 3-hour 2008 Slammy Awards show. Mizrabul & Nitro were the Tag Team of the Year. Then Nitro took on Punk, who had to pretend to have a bad ankle but he still got to win. The Best Finishing Maneuver was Evan Bourne's shooting star press off the post. MVP versus MVC went to a popular win for the Most Valuable Charlie (Haas). The Xtreme Moment of the Year award went to Jeff Hardy. No contest.
   Jeff Hardy versus Jericho was tough and extended. The Swanton bombed and Jericho went on to pick up the win. Couple of the Year were Edge & Vickie. Fix. Santino & Glamzilla versus Finlay & the LGB was a spot of jolly fun, which continued with Melina when Glamzilla received the Diva of the Year award.
   The "Oh, My God!" award was CM Punk cashing in his briefcase against Edge for the world title. Kofi versus Mysterio was an unusual match of 2 specialists in leaping about, with Mysterio as the obvious winner. The Vault: a very young-looking Batista versus HBK. Match of the Year: HBK versus Flair at WrestleMania 24. That's enough for one night!

[Friday, 12th] NFL Special [16:00, Sky Sports 1] The Saints at the Bears, both 7-6. D. Manning returned the kick off 83 yards for a TD to put the Bears 0-7 ahead. In the 2nd quarter, the Saints pinned the Bears at their 1 with a punt, and a bad snap let Vilma claim the ball for the Saints. A TD pass to Thomas levelled the scores at 7.
   Manning returned the kick off 52 yards to the NO 41, pass interference moved the Bears on to the 5 and Forte made a TD run. 7-14. As time ran down in the quarter, Orton had a pass dropped in the NO end zone, so he rushed for a TD on the next play. 7-21.
   In the 3rd quarter, both teams had drives stopped by interceptions. The Saints turned one into points with a 42 yard TD run by Thomas. 14-21. They added a FG 6 minutes into the 4th quarter for 17-21, and struck again with a TD pass from Brees to Colston. 24-21, 3:05 left.
   The Bears had 70 yards to go, and ended up kicking a FG with 2 seconds left. 24-24 and overtime. The Bears won the toss, pass interference on Hester put them at the NO 15 and Gould had no problems with a winning FG. 24-27 final.
Raw (the rest of it) [18:00, Sky Sports 3] HHH & Batista versus Cody, the 10¢ Punk & Manu was always going to a swindle, with the help of a blind ref. DAMN! Moment of the Year – the Khali Kiss Cam, which was topped off by a Jillian squawk. R-Truth did all the moves against Dolph Ziggler, but ended up flat on his back on the outside.
   Superstar of the Year, Chris Jericho? Fix. Finally, Cena versus Edge was an obvious swindle candidate. Jericho ran in to be run out of the arena by Cena and HHH and Jeff Hardy took pops at Edge.
Highlands [5, 19:00, History] was a trip south from Betty Hill through Sutherland, from which thousands of people were cleared to make way for profitable sheep, which devastated the landscape. A trip to view the "Mannie's Monument", and the episode finished at the coast, where some of the displaced Highlanders took up fishing and its service trades.
Highlands [6, 19:30, History] John Michie ended his visual essay with a look at where the emigrants went. Even Lowland migrants to the US and Canada adopted a veneer of Highland culture, so a look at a Highland festival. On to Balmoral castle. Some displaced Highlanders ended up in mills, where the life wasn't too bad. Then some speculation on what the Highlands might have been like if the clearances hadn't taken place.
Poirot: The Chocolate Box [20:00, ITV 3] Chief Inspector Japp was getting a gong in Belgium, which gave the great detective an opportunity to reveal the truth about the murder of Paul, whose wife had fallen down the stairs 2 years before his death. Constable Poirot was told not to investigate by his boss, but that didn't stop him. The man who became the mayor of Brussels ended up under a cloud but, many years later, Poirot revealed that his mother had done Paul in because he'd murdered his wife and he was about to mess about with the Catholic church in Belgium.
Burn Notice [Hard Bargain, 22:00, FX] Mike did a dance with a bureaucrat who was investigating his burn notice. Sam deflected him to rescue Dawn, who'd been kidnapped. Nick, her boyfriend, was a house-sitter but he'd let everyone believe he was seriously rich. Nick screwed up and Mike ended up with one of the gang of kidnappers.
   He said he was just a hired hand for Mr. Reyes, so Mike got Sam to set up the kidnapping of Fee to find out where Dawn was being held. Reyes got impatient so Mike got Sam & Fee to extract Dawn and Reyes got to meet some cops. Dawn dumped Nick as soon as she knew the truth.
   Mr. Clark agreed to visit Mike at his home; and promptly tried to kill him. But Mike had home field advantage and 'Clark' ended up dead. Sam decided that the assassin had been sent by the guy who had Mike burnt. And Fee got a birthday present which she appreciated.
WW$mackDown! [23:00, Sky Sports Xtra] Jeff Hardy jumped HHH for script reasons, and Vickie was decked. R-Truth took a battering from MVP, who kept his losing streak going. Kennedy tried to cheer MVP up when he delivered a whinge. The Kendrick creep versus Primo could have been worth watching if Kendrick hadn't become a lazy clown.
   The returned Hurricane Helms' winning streak reached two after his encounter with Shelton Benjamin, during which the surgically repaired Hurri-neck got a good pounding. Jawing and Matt Hardy flattened by Koslov.
    Khali versus Hawkins & Ryder was a massacre. The Vault: Kennedy versus HBK. The Bella sisters versus Maryse & Natalya was a good day for the ladies in pink. Finally, Jeff Hardy versus HHH was a bruising battle, in and out of the ring, then Edge did a run in. Boring.

[Saturday, 13th] A Life on the Box: Arthur Lowe [19:10, BBC 2] One of the stars of Dad's Army got the full career review treatment; his films and his parts in Coronation Street and other TV series; with clips and talking heads being complimentary. Mr. Lowe would have been very pleased with the tribute.
Missing Presumed Wiped [19:55, BBC 2] is an indictment of the BBC's cultural vandalism when it threw out black & white recordings when colour came in and wiped videotapes used for all sorts of historic TV series. The 1960s & 1970s vanished, including episodes of Dr Who, The Likely Lads, Dad's Army and lots more. Luckily, two lost episodes from Series 2 of Dad's Army turned up on film in rotting cans in a garden shed when the Beeb made an appeal.
   A very early Benny Hill and a couple of Comedy Playhouses featuring Derek Nimmo joined the ranks of the saved. But there are 3 more episodes of Dad's Army's 2nd series yet to find.
Dad's Army in Colour: Room at the Bottom [20:25, BBC 2] was introduced by Ian Lavender. The Beeb reused colour videotape after the broadcast & repeat to save money. But a reference copy of the programme was made on black & white film. And by a miracle of modern technology, the colour information is still coded onto the film! Which allows the original version to be recreated in not too bad colour.
   In the episode, GHQ realized that Captain Mainwaring had made himself a captain, so he had to lose a pip. Then Lt. Mainwaring was found not to have a commission. So he ended up as a private with Sgt. Wilson in charge of the platoon. But, of course, he got his pips back and he was able to tell Wilson that he'd been promoted to sergeant when Mr. Mainwaring lacked the authority to hand out stripes.
TNA Impact [21:00, Bravo] Loads of jawing. Daivari got into a scrap with the ref in his match with Eric Young and ended up on the wrong end of a pin. "Sarah Palin" is still making mugs of Beautiful People. Fillers, including everything you never wanted to know about Angelina Love. Jay Lethal had to look out for both MC Machine Guns in his match with Alex Shelly and ended up outnumbered. Then Suicide wiped out the Guns.
   Storm versus Abyss in a Beer Bottle On A Pole match was bound to be a shambles involving the rest of their gangs. Everything you didn't want to know about Consequences Creed. Curry Man's contract is up and he's off back to Japan. Bummer. Sojournor versus Christy started off sporting, went into bashing and became a post-match brawl after Christy's pin.
   Angle & Bubbah Dudley sent their guys out of the building then they had a brawl which left the ring and headed into the back when Bubbah crashed through the set. Bubbah shed a dramatic amount of blood. Both men were DQ'd but they battled on to the inevitable ambush by the MEM. Bubbah ended up in a dumpster.

[Sunday, 14th] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 2] The Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons had offense, defense and Michael Turner, so they looked like going in at half time 0-10 up. But the Bucs had defense and an interception by R. Barber as the half ran out gave B. Griese a chance to toss a TD pass to A. Bryant. 7-10.
   In the 3rd quarter, the Falcons lost a TD to a fumble on review and the Bucs' defense were awarded a touch back; which did the offense no good. Farnworth intercepted Griese but the Falcons got nowhere. The Bucs missed a 53 yard FG try in the 4th quarter with 4 minutes left. But Clark blocked a Falcons' punt and the Bucs' offense took the field at the Atlanta 22.
   A sack by Abraham for a 3rd & 8 then holding left the Bucs kicking a FG from the Falcons' 20. 10-10 and overtime. A 17 yard run by Turner got the Falcons to the Tampa Bay 17 with 6 minutes left and a FG from Elam gave the Falcons a well-earned 10-13 win.
Next up, another battle of the defenses at Baltimore when the Steelers confronted the Ravens. The Steelers' defence intercepted Flacco with 3 minutes of the first quarter left, but a sack by R. Lewis stopped the visitors. In the 2nd quarter, the Ravens took a big punt return to a FG. 0-3. The Steelers battled through blitzes to a FG with 6 minutes left. Then the Ravens went ahead again with another FG in the last minute of the first half. 3-6.
   In the 3rd quarter, Smith sacked Flacco with 4 minutes gone and Reed returned the compliment on Roethlisberger. A Ravens' punt stuck the Steelers at their 1, the ball was stripped from Holmes and Reed recovered it at the Steelers' 16. Just another FG, though. 3-9. The Steelers gained some ground from a muffed punt catch try by Holmes but as the 1st play of the 4th quarter, a sack/fumble gave the ball to the Ravens at their 22; but the turnover did them no good. The Steelers kicked a FG with 9½ minutes left. 6-9. A sack knocked the Ravens out of FG range.
   After the punt, the Steelers had 3:36 to go 92 yards. They were into FG range inside the 2 minute warning, and Holmes was awarded a TD after a review; he had both feet in the end zone and possession, even though the ball looked like it never crossed the plane. 13-9, 43 seconds left.
   The Ravens reached the Steelers' 38 then Gay intercepted Flacco in the end zone. But why did he run the ball out instead of taking a knee!?! Whatever, the Steelers made better use of their offense and that was good enough.

[Monday, 15th] Tony Robinson's Romans [20:00, Discovery Knowledge] reached Nero, who was the world's first rock star, corrupted by having to live through Uncle Claudius' reign of terror and his pushy mom, and the victim of posthumous smears. He became ruler of half the world at 16 and put the Senate back in charge. A pushy mistress made Nero see off mom and his first wife, and he was thoroughly corrupt at 23.
   Nero was miles away when the Great Fire of Rome started. Imposing a Fire Tax for rebuilding, and claiming one-quarter of the city for his Golden House, upset the mob. Nero upset the aristocracy by going on tour with his theatre act instead of conquering new territory. And that's what got him killed at 30.
NUMB3RS [Money for nothing, 21:00, Five US] A truckload of cash and medical supplies was ambushed while Don Epps was with his shrink, who wanted Charlie to attend a session. The bad guys were after the cash and they kidnapped 2 people, who wouldn't talk. Charlie & Pa Epps joined in the hunt and there was a Vulture Fund guy after the cash, too. The Feds ran into 2 goons sent after the money by the VF guy.
   Dr. Matthews was found, dumped & half dead, which left Gwen in the hands of the bad guys. The Feds eventually wrapped up the job, the Vulture Fund guy didn't get his $50 million and Charlie went to see the shrink and told Don some home truths.
Hands of a Murderer (1990) [22:00, ITV 3] is a TV film which features the Equalizer (Edward Woodward) as Sherlock Holmes, Magnum's butler as Dr. Watson, Superintendent Dalziel as Col. Booth, the sinister pre-MI5 bloke, and Anthony Andrews as a pleasingly lizard-like Professor Moriarty.
   The Professor escapes from the gallows, uses a lady hypnotist to bamboozle a young man in Mycroft's office then kidnaps a surprisingly skinny Mycroft Holmes to get the key to the cypher for the secret report which his agent Stubbs stole. The evil Prussians are after that secret.
   After a lot of dashing about, Holmes is blown up at Moriarty's very elegant retreat, there is a chase after Holmes' 'funeral' and Moriarty disappears into a lake in his carriage. And Holmes's biggest fan turns out to be Queen Victoria.

[Tuesday, 16th] NFL Special, Monday night highlights [15:00, Sky Sports 3] The Browns @ the Eagles. The Eagles opening drive worked well to a TD pass to Curtis. 0-7. A good drive in reply gave the Browns only a FG. 3-7. The Eagles survived an almost pick in the Cleveland end zone and kicked a FG. 3-10. In the 2nd quarter, Jones picked McNabb to stop an Eagles' drive but Samuel intercepted a pass by Dorsey and returned it for a TD. 3-17 with 5 minutes left.
   The Eagles' 2 minute drill got them to the Cleveland goal line with 9 seconds left and no time outs. Instead of kicking a FG, they ran a play, McDonald intercepted McNabb, and he returned the ball 97 yards but not for a TD.
   In the 3rd quarter, the Eagles were back in the red zone after 10 minutes, and kicked a FG after a sack by Wimbley. 3-20. The Eagles kicked another FG in the 4th quarter and an interception by them set up a 2-play drive and a TD pass to Lewis. 3-30.
   Heavy rain started, Kolb got a run out for the Eagles, and was intercepted by McDonald, who caught a tipped pass and returned it for a TD. 10-30. Demps sacked Dempsey. The End.
It was bridge night on Discovery Science. First up [Extreme Engineering, 18:00] was a look at how to build a $100 billion bridge across the Bering Strait using existing technology to make it resistant to extreme weather and massive icebergs. Assuming anyone would be mad enough to try the project in the first place and was actually given all that cash to waste.
   Next up [Mega Builders, 19:00] was an account of how the 3rd Avenue bridge in New York was replaced with a new swing bridge; a job which has actually been done. The new bridge had to be brought by sea and manoeuvred onto a set of barges using gear right out of Thunderbirds! Then there was a concrete shortage when they wanted to pour the central pier. Then the Harlem River took its time about rising when they were working against the clock to move the bridge in place. So lots of grey hairs generated by the time the deed was done.
The Professionals [Wild Justice, 20:00, ITV 4] Bodie was screwing up in tests and a lady shrink thought he should be benched for a while. But his problem was that a bunch of bikers had killed a member of his old unit and looked like getting away with it. So he got Doyle to beat 'King Billy' at a motorbike trial, made the bikers go after him and shamed a witness into talking.
CSI:Miami [Down The Wire, 21:00, Channel 5] A bloke was blown away by a SWAT team sent to his home by a malicious phone call, apparently from a neighbour in dispute with Mr. Maddox. The neighbour said he'd caught some guy was up his tree, and it turned out to be Mr. Rossi, a private eye hired by Maddox to spy on his wife. Maddox had had a fender-bender with Charlie, Mrs. Maddox's boyfriend, so Charlie was popped.
   Maddox was also having problems with his business partner, Mr. Cullen. Wolf unravels the 911 call back to Cullen's secretary's office. She's found dead, shot with Cullen's gun. Rossi gets Calleigh pulled off the case; her credibility is still shaky thanks to D.B. Cooper's website. Eric takes over but Rossi has had his shrink bugged. Cullen gets to walk. H. decides to destroy Rossi.
   Charlie was being controlled by Rossi, so Horatio used him to make Rossi and Cullen shoot their mouths off enough to get them busted. Then the CSIs got to dig into Rossi's data vault and destroy their own files.

[Wednesday, 17th] Extreme Engineering [18:00, Discovery Science] The Japanese are planning a city in a monster pyramid built in Tokio Bay. It will consist of a framework of hollow tubes, used as a transit system and forming 55 pyramid shapes the size of the Great Pyramid at Giza, from which skyscrapers will dangle inside.
   It looks as likely to get off the ground as the Bering Strait bridge because even if the carbon nanotube and robots were created to build it, it would need more power to run it than Japan could ever hope to supply.
Mega Builders [19:00, Discovery Science] looked at the palm-shaped island resort, which has just been completed off Dubai in time for the credit crunch. Lots of dredging, with repairs taking 6 weeks because the gear has to fixed in France.
   The biggest man-made island ever built had to be proof against earthquakes and storms. And it had to complete with the demands on quaries for rival projects. It has villas, hotels and a 21st century version of Atlantis, and the locals have plans for even bigger and better palm islands up the coast.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] An old bloke was bashed by a young lady, who had turned her dad's Santa's grotto at a market into a burglary operation with Ricky the elf. DS Turner & DC Stevie picked up Lisa in a trap, and found that she was trying to pay off her useless dad's debts.
   Mr. Crossley, the loan shark, put Ricky in St. Hugh's and he was busted with 2 passports in his safe. He gave up his customer, but an operation to pop him was called off when DC Stevie recognized an undercover guy. More next time.
The Murdoch Mysteries [Child's Play, 21:00, Alibi] Howard, a philanthropist was done in and Murdoch, who had a gadget for seeing round corners and an Identikit kit, found out that his glue factory was using horses stolen by kids who had been sent over from England for a better life. Worse, his adopted daughter was in league with one of the kids.
   Murdoch discovered that Howard had been molesting his adopted daughter, and he had molested and killed his natural daughter. The wife was busted with a good story to tell the judge, and Murdoch & the inspector shamed Mr. Baker, who was doing well out of his homes for the British kids, into looking after them better.
Taggart [Death Trap, 22:00, Alibi] Johnny, an agitator against a new development, was shot. His dad, Cllr. Innes, was the most powerful politician in Glasgow and pushing the development. Johnny Innes was done in by Kennedy, who blamed DCI Jardine for sending him to gaol even though he deserved it and Innes had made the screw up when at the Fiscal's office.
   DCI Burke crashed in because of Jardine's history with Innes and the 'team' went into mutiny mode. It took a long time to find out that Kennedy was no longer in the Bar L, and his next victim was McLain, an undercover copper who had infiltrated the protesters.
   Kennedy staged his own death but Jackie saw though the illusion eventually. Jardine found out that the development site was contaminated with chromium compounds and Innes was being paid off; but Kennedy killed him before he could do anything with his knowledge.
   Jardine's death looked like suicide, which the team didn't buy. Kennedy strolled past armed police, planning to kill Innes at a meeting in the Armadillo. But the polis had found the gun which he had planted and both he and Innes were popped. At the end, Michael got a proper copper's funeral.

[Thursday, 18th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] DC Stevie recognized Mr. Towler, who was her target on a previous undercover and who has 10 kilos of heroin stashed from his last bust. He was suspected of slashing Sophie, then 16, across the face, but Sophie's mum had been done for perjury over the case. DC Stevie went undercover again and Sun Hill CID teamed up with a DS from Manchester to thwart Towler's deal.
   PC Will discovered that the slasher was McCardle, Towler's associate, which meant that the withdrawn statement about Towler from Sophie's mum had been a lie. The drug deal became a shambles & a shoot-out, and Towler was last seen disappearing into the distance on the back of DC Stevie's motorbike. More to come.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles [Complications, 21:00, Virgin One] Sarah went down with a bug and started having bad dreams on the way back from Mexico. Derek's pal Rachel took a guy prisoner and claimed he was Charles Fisher, who worked for the machines. He denied it and Derek didn't know what to think.
   Cromartie's body wasn't in the hole when John Connor & Cameron went back to Mexico. Sarah went back to the shrink from a few episodes ago, but she kept lying to him and he knew it. Cameron questioned Ellison with violence but he said he didn't dig Cromartie up.
   Rachel bagged the 2007 version of Fisher and Derek tortured him until Fisher admitted the machines had sent him back as a reward. Rachel told Derek that Fisher had tortured prisoners to show the machines how to pretend to be human, and Derek had been one of them.
   Derek didn't remember any of that, which set him wondering if he'd managed to change the future, which was why he had come back to 2007, and he and Rachel were from different futures. Rachel killed Fisher. His 2007 version, who was freed, was busted by the FBI because his future self had been messing about with a computer at his place of work. And Ellison gave the Cromartie body to Ms Weaver, the machine, at the end. No more now until Feb.
WW$ Raw [started 21:30, Sky Sports 3] Jericho turned up in a suit for a match with Hacksaw Jim Duggan and went on strike. Punk & Kofi versus Mizrabul & Nitro was for the tag titles, so they had no chance of a 'win'. After Kofi had lain down for Nitro, Kane killed Mizrabul. HBK has given up wrestling in favour of being Bradshaw's batman.
   Dolf Ziggler killed Santa Claas. Wow! Jeff Hardy is the WW$ Champ! Finally, Batista & Cena versus Orton, Cody & Manu ended with another load of crap from Orton's scriptwriter, who deserves to be bombarded with shoes.
ECW Late Night [23:30, Sky Sports 3] Jawing. Matt Hardy & Chavo had a tough battle for a quarter of an hour, then Chavo was flattened for shooting his mouth off. Gavin Spear did a lot of agonizing in his match with Finlay and proved that he's not bad at lying down, either. Fillers. An Xmas poem from Mark Henry. Finally, Kofi, Punk & Ortiz versus Nitro, Mizrabul & Swagger was always heading for a shambles and a swindle.

[Friday, 19th] NFL Special, Thursday Night highlights [15:00, Sky Sports 2] The Colts at the Jaguars. Garrard & Northcutt opened the scoring with a 28 yard TD pass. The Jags made a 4th & 1 in their next drive with a QB sneak and Garrard finished the drive in the 2nd quarter. 0-14. Manning got the Colts on the score board with a 41 yard TD pass to a wide open Wayne. 7-14. With one minute of the first half left, the Colts missed a FG but the Jags converted one as time ran out. 7-17.
   The Colts started the 3rd quarter with a drive which ended with an easy 10 yard TD pass to Rhodes. 14-17. Jones-Drew continued to do a grand job for the Jags, they recovered his fumble at the Colts' 2 and Owens made a TD run. 14-24.
   In the 4th quarter, the Colts were stopped twice at the Jags' goal line but a TD pass to Clark on 3rd down made the score 21-24. Vinatieri managed a 45 yard FG for 24-all. Then Ratliff intercepted Garrard and hit the end zone. 31-24 with 5 minutes left.
   The first sack of the match (by 79) stopped the Jags. They stopped the Colts, got close but a sack by Freeney ended their hopes of overtime. So that's the Colts into the playoffs.
WW$mackDown! [21:00, Sky Sports 3] Lots of fireworks & paper bits for new WW$ champ Jeff Hardy and a whinge from Edge. Hurricane Helms & R-Truth versus Benjamin & MVP went to a screw up by MVP, who felled Benjamin and let the Hurricane get a pin to keep the MVP losing streak going.
   Nitro versus Festus was comedy with posturing. The Vault: Flair versus MVP. Off to some ads before Edge could get started against Matt Hardy, so we deserted the WW$.
Burn Notice [False Flag, 22:00, FX] Mike needed a new set of ID documents (a.k.a. the false flag) to get to DC but the guy he went to tried to arrest him for the FBI and Fee had to rescue him. Luckily, Lucy could offer him a job and a new ID as payment. Unluckily, Mike was suckered by Evelynn.
   She said Doug, her husband, had run off with their kid, but she started shooting when Mike caught up with Doug, who turned out to be an accountant, whom the Mob wanted dead. Doug became the client and Evelynn, who was a fan of Mike's since a clash 7 years before, let him know that everyone he knew, including Mom, was at risk unless she got to Doug.
   Lucy had to be saved next. Sam got Doug into witness protection. Mike foiled Evelynn's assassination attempt so she jumped off a building. Lucy got to plug the leak which had given up Doug and Mike got his new ID. Which he didn't need because Sam found out that the guy who had issued the burn notice was coming to Miami.

[Saturday, 20th] Mythbusters [19:00, Discovery] "Going down like a lead balloon" was the challenge for Adam & Jamie. They made an icosahedron & a sphere of aluminium foil as a proof of concept, then Adam designed a 10-foot, cube-shaped balloon, which could be assembled flat by taping together squares and triangles of lead foil.
   Meanwhile, the Juniors were trying to find out if dynamite tossed into a body of water would produce a surfable wave. A 'proof of concept' seemed to suggest it might work. Grant built a paddling robot to get the surfboard moving, but a radial wave created by 200 lbs of TNT just petered out. Myth busted.
   Jamie calculated that Adam's balloon needed helium cut with air to avoid giving it excessive lift. And lo! When inflated, the balloon lifted off with the guys fixing tears, and it went up and up like a lead balloon! Myth busted.
TNA Impact [21:00, Bravo] Rhino versus Rock was a quick bit of battering to set up rants by the Front Line. Chris Sabin versus the Guru involved lots of leaping and near finishes until the Guru was flattened. Gov. Palin was still messing the Beautiful People about. Lots of fillers, including the first of a set of mini-biogs.
   The Big Fat Fruity Baddy & Booger T versus Morgan & Abyss was always going to a crude swindle behind the ref's back. Kurt Angle with a rant. Consequences Creed versus Kiyoshi was full of good stuff, and the Japanese outsider got the pin.
   Rhaka & Raisha versus Christy & ODB didn't last long before Raisha was killed on the outside and Rhaka was flattened in the ring by Christy. Kong came out to join in but Suicide chased her away.
   Finally, Sting & Nash versus Joe & A.J. in a steel cage left Joe at the mercy of his opponents when A.J. had used Nash as a step ladder to escape the cage. Then the rest of the MEM joined in the crude assault. Which Mick Foley had said wouldn't happen. So much for him

[Sunday, 21st] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 3] The Jaguars at the Titans. The Steelers started their 2nd possession with a short field after pinning the Titans near their goal line. A fumble by Roethlisberger gave the ball to the Titans, who kicked a FG to end their next possession.
   Another fumble by R'berger set up a 3-play Titans's drive and a TD pass from Collins to Gage. 0-10. R'berger scrambled for a 1st down then a diving catch in the Titans' end zone by Holmes made the score 7-10. As the half ran out, the Steelers survived another fumble but missed a FG try.
   5 minutes into the 3rd quarter, a TD pass to Ward put the Steelers 14-10 ahead. Harrison got a sack, the Titans went for a 4th & inches at the Steelers' 21 and a TD run by Johnson put them ahead again. 14-17. An interception by Griffin put the Titans back in business. They made a 4th & 3 and set up for a short FG as the quarter ran out.
   No, a penalty on the Steelers gave them a 1st down and White opened the 4th quarter with a TD run. 14-24. Another sack for Jones. The Steelers recovered another fumble by R'berger but had to punt after Jones got another sack. Jones' 4th sack and a pick by Griffin ended the Steelers' hopes of a comeback.
   The Titans are top dogs of the AFC and the only team to get more than 300 yards' offense against the Steelers this season.
Next, the Falcons @ the Vikings. A solid opening drive by the Falcons was matched by a dodgy TD pass from Jackson to Shiankoe. 7-7. The Falcons went 3 & out but a strip from the punt returner gave them a short field and Norwood rushed 8 yards for a TD. 14-7. Jackson evaded a sack but a fumble by Peterson gave the ball to the Falcons.
   A sack by Edwards stopped the Falcons. Jackson ran 29 yards to midfield against a blitz. But another fumble by Peterson gave the ball to the Falcons, who finished off the half with a short FG. 17-7.
   In the 3rd quarter, the defences held up until Ryan tried a 5 yard dash to the Vikings' end zone. He lost the ball but Blalock grabbed it in the end zone. 24-7. The Vikings had to punt but their offense returned to start the 4th quarter because Atlanta had 12 men on the field!
   The Vikings kicked a FG. 24-10 and kept going for 4th downs. Jackson was in a rushing contest with Peterson and Shiankoe collected another TD pass. 24-17, 2:44 left. The defences took charge, the Vikings' eventually went out on downs, and the Falcons are in the playoffs.

[Monday, 22nd] The A Team [Body Slam, 20:00, Bravo] featured Hulk Hogan and assorted other WWF 'superstars' in a tale of gangsters harassing the woman running a kid's play area. The father of Sonny Carter had done 30 years in gaol for a security van robbery, 15 gold bars were buried on the plot in question and their value had shot up to $¾ million since 1958.
   Face 'borrowed' an FBI agent's ID and put the Feds and Col. Decker in competition for custody when the A Team was busted. While they were arguing, 'General' Murdoch liberated the guys in time to stop the gangsters from strolling off with the gate from Hogan's charity wrestling event.

[Tuesday, 23rd] NFL Special [14:00, Sky Sports 3] The Packers and the Bears had a tough time in Chicago, where the temperature was 12 below zero, thanks to the wind-chill factor. The first quarter was scoreless and the Packers were having to rely on Rodgers' passing.
   They scored a TD in the 2nd quarter but Manning returned the kick off 71 yards to the Green Bay 39. Montgomery got a sack and the Bears kicked a FG. 7-3. The Packers went further ahead with a TD with 4 minutes of the first half left. 14-3.
   The 3rd sack on Orton stopped the Bears in the 3rd quarter but their punt hit a Packer and they were back in business at the GB 27. A TD pass to Olsen made the score 14-10. The Pack missed a FG try toward the end of the quarter but an interception by Woodson put the Packers' offense back on the field.
   The Pack made a 4th & 1 at the Chicago 9 but a sack by Harris left them kicking a FG after all. 17-10. Forte did some power running, a generous spot gave the Bears a 4th down conversion, and Forte made the end zone with 3 minutes left. 17-17. The Packers reached FG range but the kick was blocked! So Overtime.
   The Bears started, drove into FG range and kicked a FG on 3rd down. 17-20, and the Bears' season isn't over yet.
The rest of WW$mackDown! by accident! [18:00, Sky Sports 3] Edge versus Matt Hardy was 10 or so minutes of action before Matt had to lie down for script reasons. Carlito didn't have much chance against Jackson the bodyguard, but at least the Kendrick was flattened on the outside. Maria versus Maryse for a shot at Michelle's title went to the blonde Canadian.
   Kennedy tried to cheer up MVP, the serial loser. Finally, Koslov versus Jeff Hardy was an obvious massacre in the making, so Edge joined in to get Koslov DQ'd. HHH joined in and saw off the bad guys, letting Jeff deliver a parting shot to Edge.
CSI:Miami [Going Ballistic, 21:00, Channel 5] A new lady ME lasted about 30 seconds before she was shot at a defenestrated Mr. Ortega, so a bloke called Dr. Welmer took over. Horatio ran into an undercover ATF agent, who was after an arms dealer in South Florida. Ron was raked in, and he was about to marry Julia, mother of Kyle, Horatio's horrible kid.
   Calleigh blew up her lab with some rusty ammo but the CSIs eventually got their hands on scammer Brad for the murder of Ortega & the ME. Then he was taken out with an illegal fused-alloy round, which Ortega had been selling.
   Brad's partner was busted for the drive-by shooting, but he'd been made to do it by Ortega's brother, who was busted with the illegal ammo. Horatio tried to get Julia & Kyle to leave the country, but he ended up shot at an airfield, and is Mr. Wolf involved? End of Season 6.

[Wednesday, 24th] Mythbusters [19:00, Discovery] Adam & Jamie gave themselves a couple of days to build a huge Rube Goldberg gadget, which gave them endless hassle but which worked in the end. The Juniors tackled myths. First; how do you keep the needles on a Xmas tree? The grower reckoned just water would do but adding bleach, sugar, aspirin or Viagra to water, or spraying the tree with hairspray or polyurethane, all did a better job.
   Can a falling frozen turkey do serious damage? It did a lot to one of Kari's artificial feet. And the zombie dogs suffered terminal injuries! Will a radio or TV transmitter cook a turkey with its microwaves? The Juniors weren't allowed up a radio station mast so they had to use a mobile TV van and a ship's radar antenna. Neither of which worked. So Tori blew the turkey up in a microwave oven.
Midsomer Murders [Days of Misrule, 20:30, Granada] DCI Barnaby & Sgt. Jones had to do Xmas team-building with the new acting Super but an explosion on the local TA colonel's estate saved them. The bomber looked like being a soldier but Barnaby was short of a motive. The colonel's late wife's mother gave him another suspect, Jamie, her grandson, a thoroughly bad lot.
   Alex Grainger, a criminal from Spain, was found dead, which gave Barnaby another chance to get away from the real pain of a Super. Jamie was busted on suspicion of murder but the pathologist said he didn't do it. Grainger had been trying to extort cash from Jamie. Some speed camera footage helped Barnaby to make a connection.
   Grainger had realized that Jamie was smuggling hot cars into the country and getting one of his dad's officers to rebuild them for resale. The bomber confessed. Then the colonel admitted the murders. Grainger was self defence and Jamie was justifiable homicide because he was the hit & run driver who'd put the wife of the colonel's sergeant/batman in a wheelchair. And Barnaby was able to give the Super his time sheets filled up with overtime.

[Thursday, 25th] Dad's Army Xmas Special (1976) [20:00, BBC 2] It's Xmas so the BBC is full of repeats. The 'lads' dressed up in white for a winter war then they took part in a charity do, at which Mr. Mainwaring was done over buying one of Mr. Hodges' sour oranges for his wife, who had the hump because she'd tried to take an unexpected bath after he'd given it a coat of enamel.
Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf & Death [20:35, BBC 1] is probably about the only prog on the Beeb that isn't a repeat! Wallace acquired a homicidal lady admirer after saving her from the crocodiles at the zoo. But she had it in for bakers, one of which Wallace had become. Gromit found out that she was hoping to use his master to complete a baker's dozen of victims. But the large assassin ended up inside the crocodiles and Wallace aquired her dog.
WW$ Raw [22:00, Sky Sports 3] Messing about then Kane inflicted 10 minutes of destruction on HBK, who got a 'win' as an Xmas present. Kofi versus Manu was high flying versus big bashing, and another Xmas present for Kofi. A squawk from Jillian heralded a diva tag rumble.
   Mysterio versus Bradshaw was another obvious mismatch, which the contestants kept going for an amazingly long time. Then the script kicked in and Shawn Michaels, who's now Bradshaw's hireling, attacked the boss to get Mysterio DQ'd. Orton versus Batista? No, Batista had a night off and Orton got a free ride.
   Another long battle between Jericho & Punk. As we were in Trono, Canada, Jericho was the crowd's favourite and he got to 'win'. Finally, Santino & Glamzilla should have taken on Cena & Kelly Kelly, but the script gave Kelly the night off and dragged Canadian Trash Stratus out of retirement for a last ride to a win in front of her home crowd.

[Friday, 26th] ECW Late Night [00:00, Sky Sports 3] was doing a greatest hits of 2008 rather than a new show, so we gave up and went to bed.
The Mythbusters [19:00, Discovery] did the 2nd part of their James Bond myths: the exploding pen (busted), shaken versus stirred martinis (confirmed), Jaws biting through a steel cable with blunt teeth (busted) and Odd Job's hat (busted).
Dad's Army (1974) [20:00, BBC 2] was the Turkey Dinner as a morale-booster episode, in which Pike painted gravy all over Mr. Mainwaring's posh eating out outfit.
Meanwhile, Crocodile Dundee (1986) [started 20:00] was having another run out on Channel 4. After an expedition into the bush with his lady journalist, and saving her from a crocodile, Mick was persuaded to go to New York City, which he found to be a mad house. They let him smoke in a lift!!! He could walk the streets with a bloody big knife in his belt. And he got the girl in the end, of course.
Burn Notice [Loose Ends 1/2, 22:00, FX] Mike is too focussed on trying to meet Philip Cowan, who had him burnt, to help Sam with a blackmail job, so Sam has to pay Fee's extortionate fees. Gillian & Melissa are being blackmailed by Melissa's drug-dealing boyfriend for becoming stooges in a scheme to import heroin from Turkey. But Melissa and Kent, her husband, are conning Gillian.
   Sam has to call in Mike, who is having the usual problems with his appalling family, to help with compromising Mel & Kent. Mike saves Gillian from a car bomb. Mel & Kent have an RPG delivered to their car by the drug gang, which grabs Sam. Fee has to run for it. So does Mike after he meets Cowan, who is shot after telling Mike he's making Cowan's boss nervous and Cowan didn't burn him.
   Mike has to use brother Nate to escape from the government assassins. Fee is still on the run with the drug gang closing in. And the characters are left in maximum peril for the next episode, which is the season finale.
WW$mackDown! [started 22:00, Sky Sports 3] The Kendrick versus Carlito included the Jackson taking out Primo at ringside then Jackson's boss being zapped in the ring. The WW$ Tribute to the Troops in Iraq, including a message from Pres. Bush.
   Michell & Maryse had a battle with Maria as ref. Maryse, who had bunged the scriptwriter the price of the Diva belt, was incidental to the bad-tempered business between Michelle and Maria, which continued afterwards for about the duration of the match.
   Khali had to bend down so that MVP could bash him in the mush! But that didn't put a dent in MVP's losing streak. Jimmy Yang versus Koslov didn't last long. Big Show versus Jeff Hardy was an obvious lost cause but the guys kept things going for a fair time to an unlikely count-out against Big Show for scripting reasons.

[Saturday, 27th] WW$ Smackdown (the first bit) [17:00, Sky Sports 3] HHH with a rant, so Vickie fed Chavo Sux to him. The former superhero Hurricane Helms had a long run out against Shelton Benjamin, who had bunged the scriptwriter the price of keeping his belt. The Vault: The 2006 Royal Rumble shambles. Then Carlito versus Kendrick, which is where we came in.
TNA Impact [21:00, Bravo] A rant from Mick Foley at the MEM. Kiyoshi was just making up the numbers against Mr. Sabin in the X Division eliminator. Then Suicide sorted out Daivari. Lots of fillers. Samoa Joe is taking a break to be with his new son. Eric & Mr. Shelley had a brawl, which went to the ring and became a general shambles.
   Booger T & the Big Fat Fruity Baddy versus D'Von & A.J. was always going to be a shambles. The MEM joined in, the Front Line got their collective asses kicked then Mick Foley & Mr. Socko weighed in to put the MEM to flight.
   The ladies had an 8-Knockout tag Xmas street fight, which was always going to be a shambles, with Santa's little helpers victorious. Finally, Angle versus Rhino was another shambles in the making and the actual match was incidental to the plotting on in the script.

[Sunday, 28th] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 3] The must-win Patriots at windy Buffalo. Most of the plays were on the ground because of the wind. The Patriots, playing with the wind, scored first with a FG in the 1st quarter. The Bills threw their first pass in the 2nd quarter, when they had the wind behind them, but when their kicker tried a FG, he sent the ball well left but it just whizzed across the face of the goal post and missed wide right. A truly amazing sight!
   The Patriots had to wait until the post was straightened before they tried another FG at the other end. Same result: a kick down the middle whizzed off wide right. Fred Jackson continued to do a grand job, rushing for the Bills. They were in FG range at the end of the half but made a total bog of their clock management, and no kick.
   In the 3rd quarter, Williams stopped the Pats with the first sack. A sack by Green made Edwards fumble the ball back to the Pats. Cassel's first pass went to a wide open Welker to the Buffalo 2 and a TD run by Jordan made the score 10-0. The Pats drove into the 4th quarter and made a short FG with the less fierce wind at their backs. 13-0.
   Edwards found he could pass successfully, Green got another sack and the Bills went out on downs. Cassel did a punt which rolled to the Buffalo 1. The Bills continued to try to avoid a whitewash but didn't manage it. So the Patriots' playoff hopes continued.
Over to the Giants versus the Vikings, where the home team was 19-17 down inside the last 2 minutes and going for a FG. The Vikings made a bog of their clock management but they were inside a dome and Longwell had no trouble making a 51 yard kick for a final score of 19-20, so the Vikings win their division, in which the Lions finished 0-16 after losing their last match of the season to the Packers.
Next up, the Dolphins at the Jets. Goodman picked Favre during the Jets' 2nd series but a trick play from the Wildcat flopped when Williams dropped a deep pass, and the drive blew up on penalties. In the 2nd quarter, the Jets lost a pick to a penalty but Thomas forced Pennington to fumble when sacked, and the Jets were on their way to the first score: a TD pass to Coles. 0-6 after a botched PAT try.
   With 2:25 left, Pennington found Ginn with a 27 yard TD pass and Carpenter made the extra point. 7-6. Favre was intercepted by Merling on the next play and he ran the ball back 25 yards for a TD! 14-6. Which left the Jets with enough time in the half to kick a FG. 14-9.
   After stopping the Dolphins, the Jets took the lead with a TD run by Washington and a 2-point conversion. 14-17. The Dolphins came right back with a 44 yard pass to Ginn and a 20 yard TD pass to Fasano. 21-17. In the 4th quarter, the Dolphins blocked a Jets' punt at midfield and went on to kick a FG. 24-17. 9:20 left.
   An interception by Goodman stopped the Jets, the Dolphins made a 4th & 1 and Favre had just 17 seconds to make something happen when he got the ball back. We had a couple of episodes of mad laterals then the clock ran out. So the Dolphins are top of their division and in the playoffs after going 1-15 last year.
   The Titans, Steelers, Dolphins, Colts, Ravens & Chargers are in for the AFC and the Giants, Panthers, Vikings, Cardinals(!), Falcons & Eagles are in for the NFC.

[Monday, 29th] This season's Royal Institution Xmas lectures [19:15, Channel 5] are on the theme of computers. Professor Chris Bishop started with microprocessors, semi-conductors, transistors and integrated circuits, and illustrated the problem of getting rid of all the heat generated by a CPU with a demonstration of how a PC can be used to poach an egg!
Superman Returns (2006) [20:30, BBC 1] Superman, who disappeared for 5 years after astronomers discovered the wreck of his home planet, returns to the Kent farm as Lex Luthor is plundering his Arctic retreat. Clark Kent returns to the Daily Planet to find that Lois is the unmarried mother of a sickly child.
   Superman saves Lois yet again and returns to fighting crime and stalking Lois. Luthor is planning to use crystals from Krypton to create his own continent and drown the United States! Lois's asthmatic boy turns out to be spawn of Superman, not Lois's boyfriend.
   Metropolis starts dropping to bits when Luthor creates his island. Superman has to save Lois & her family, he gets a beating after discovering that Luthor's new island is laced with green kryptonite, but Lois & family save him.
   Luthor's plan unravels. Superman ends up dead in an ER. Luthor, his girlfriend Kitty and her dog end up stranded on a tiny tropical island when their helicopter runs out of fuel. And the Man of Steel comes back to life for a final chat with the Kid of Steel and Lois.

[Tuesday, 30th] The Royal Institution Xmas Lectures [19:15, Channel 5] Professor Chris Bishop started with small computers and went on to liquid crystal displays and 3D displays. His theme for the night was making computers so easy to use that people don't realize they're there! Like computers in washing machines and mobile phones, and whole-basket scanners for supermarkets, which read RF trackers on packaging.
Taggart [Lifeline, 21:00, Granada] started with a 'suicide' in a car and Jackie talking to the police counsellor. The widow didn't believe that Mr. McGrath had killed himself. He volunteered at Lifeline Central, a phone-in help centre. Jackie was being pursued by a debt collector, her phone account had been suspended and she wouldn't talk about her problems to her colleagues.
   McGrath was full of rohypnol and the polis went after the supplier. The widow had no idea that, like her, her husband had been having an affair. DS Jackie decided she was a victim of ID fraud and someone was out to get her, and she kept clashing with DCI Burke.
   DC Stuart discovered that a rapist, who had got away with it, had been killed. Then the violent husband of a woman at Lifeline Central was run down in the street. DCI Burke tracked down the woman who bought the rohypnol for the killer. She had a credit card belonging to Jackie's late husband, and that was the key to the mystery.
   Jackie found the killer in her hoose. He told her that he had been on remand for 3 months, branded a pervert, thanks to her husband. And as he couldn't inflict misery on the dead husband (the way he'd taken out other bad guys) the killer had put Jackie in the firing line. So Jackie broke his arm.

[Wednesday, 31st] The Royal Institution Xmas Lectures [19:15, Channel 5] Prof. Bishop did software and data-compression, and chatted on a satellite link with Bill Gates. He then went on to talk about the advances in computing power offered by the quantum computer, which offers a way to tackle incredibly complex calculations.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] It was New Year's Eve & snowing in Sun Hill, so cue a stabbing at a hot-spot club. PC Mel's brother became the prime suspect and he kept lying to the police. Jordan said he just tried to stop the bleeding and there was a suspicion that stabbed Josh had assaulted Kelly, Jordan's girlfriend.
   After much messing about, the PCs found that the brother of Alex from the club died of drugs and drug dealer Josh was stabbed by accident while Alex was trying to get the knife off him. Mel's bro gave her a hard time for being a copper but Smiffy dragged Jordan to the end of shift drinks.
Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) [21:00, Film 4] is a remake of the 1976 John Carpenter original. It's New Year's Eve, it's snowing and there's just a skeleton crew at the 13th Precinct house, which is due for demolition after it closes at midnight. The crew includes of Sgt. Jake, who's damaged goods, and Jasper, who's on the verge of retirement.
   Bishop, a major criminal, is busted for stabbing an undercover cop and the prison bus ends up at the 13th Precinct because of a storm. Two cops are shot when the assault starts and the survivors find they have no phones and no radio due to jamming. Sgt. Jake finds that the besiegers are dirty cops in Bishop's pay, who will go to gaol forever if they let Bishop live. And they plan to kill everyone in the building.
   There are 2 break-out attempts but everyone is killed, so Sgt. Jake abandons his pain-killers and takes control. Jasper finds a way out in the basement but the bad guys are waiting at the other end of the escape tunnel; Jasper sold them out because he didn't think Bishop was worth dying for. But he does the right thing and keeps the escape going.
   Marcus, the head bad guy, puts a bullet in Bishop. Marcus & Jake shoot each other. And Jake lets Bishop get away before help arrives.

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Sole © Clyde E. Wydey, 2008.