December 2013

[Sunday, 01st] NFL Sunday [17:30, Sky Sports 2] The Cardinals at the Eagles. The Eagles stopped the AC opening drive with a sack/fumble/recovery, so had a short field for an opening TD. 0-7. A pick gave the ball to the Eagles again, but a sack helped to send them 3&out.
   The Eagles punted 3 minutes into Q2, the Cardinals fumbled the return but recovered it; only to cough it up again? No, Arizona ball on a review. The Cardinals struggled but Palmer eventually fired a TD pass to Fitzgerald on 3rd & 20 for 7-7 with 4 minutes left. The Eagles kicked a FG after a sack on Foles and still had time to score a TD with 16 seconds left. 7-17.
   The Eagles started Q3 with a TD drive. The Cardinals promptly replied in kind. 14-24. Both QBs were sacked then Palmer threw a pick; but the Eagles went 3&out. In Q4, Palmer was sacked again, the Cardinals punted and a TD from the return was wiped out by holding. 2 more sacks for the Cardinals, then the Eagles made it 5-all in sacks.
   The Cardinals scored a TD with 4:45 left. 21-24. Foles threw his first pick? Wiped out by holding. The Cardinals went out on downs at their 15 and a holding penalty let the Eagles run out the clock.
Next, the Broncos in KC. The Chiefs drove to the DB 2, then Smith was picked in the end zone. Manning was picked to stop the Broncos, KC pounded on the ground and scored with a pass. 0-7.
   Q2 started with a 41-yard TD pass play for the Broncos, followed by a return of the kick off 108 yards for a TD! 7-14. Manning was picked again at the DB 22. The Chiefs lost a TD to a penalty but got the job done. 7-21. The Broncos replied with a TD for 14-21 and a bad penalty call cost the Chiefs a chance to score again before half time.
   The Broncos got level 4 minutes into Q3 with a bomb to Decker. Another defence splitting bomb set up a go-ahead TD pass to Decker. 28-21. The Broncos started Q4 with a 4th TD pass to Decker. 35-21. KC stopped the Broncos when they went for a 4th & 1, and pounded on for a TD by Charles, who leapt over the pile. 35-28. KC's next drive got close but no cigar. Broncos win.

[Monday, 02nd] Righteous Kill (2005) [21:00, 5*] Detective David Fisk of NYPD is confessing to killing 14 people; all scumbags who deserved it. It all started when a child-killer got off, and then got fitted up courtesy of Fisk. His confession continues through the film. No. 10 was a skateboard pimp. A fit-up of a dealer blew up in the faces of Fisk and his partner, and they got to spend a lot of time with the department shrink.
   The cops didn't want to believe that one of their own was taking out bad guys – like a paedophile Catholic priest. The killer had to change the rules when the Russian wouldn't die; he went for the unforgiveable. Surprise! The killer turned out to be Fisk's partner, who lost faith in him when he planted evidence to get a bad guy put away. He made Fisk shoot him and Fisk did his confession out of guilt.

[Tuesday, 03rd] Elementary [21:00, LivingHD] Mycroft crashed into Sherlock's life. Someone was trying to kill a horse belonging to Nigella Mason, Mycroft's ex-fiancée, whom SH shagged. There had also been a murder. SH found fingerprints on a tree and a drug connection. Nigella was shot at. SH deduced that the real Silver Blade was dead and Nigella had swindled a cartell boss out of a stud fee with SB's brother.
   SH spotted El Mechanico, who was busted. But his prints didn't match those at crime scenes. Fake fingerprints, said SH, who found the grave of Straw Dog Jed, whose hands had been used. El Mechanico was sunk, Nigella was bumped out of the stud business and had to repay her victims, and Watson had shagged Mycroft.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries [22:00, AlibiHD] Miss F. was in the sticks. Oscar, her client, wanted a suspicious death investigated. But he became suspiciously dead and the local constable joined the gang at Maiden Creek trying to prevent Miss F. from poking around. She had to call in Inspector Jack and he prevented a premature cremation of what was clearly a murder victim.
   Inspector Jack had his hat shot off then the local copper did some body-snatching. The hotel madame and the doctor were also conspirators. It all went back to the 1918 wine festival, when the madame had murdered Oscar's father and the others had covered up for her. But Oscar had worked out what had happened. At the end, Constabule Hugh proposed to Dot.

[Wednesday, 04th] Hitman (2007) [21:00, Film4HD] Interpol Inspector Mike Winter has been chasing a killer for 3 years, and the killer has caught him. He's from a CIA-sponsored outfit; kidnapped as a child, tattoed with a barcode on the back of his head and trained as killers. Jump back in time to when the killer took out Belikov, the Russian president.
   The killer was betrayed to the FSB, who told Inspector Mike to get lost. The Russians tried to pretend that Belikov was still alive but he'd been replaced by a surgical look-alike. The assassin kidnapped Belikov's $300 slavegirl; he was planning to finish the Belikov job and get some answers. He took out an older assassin from the same stable and then a bunch of skinheads of his own age.
   The assassin told the slavegirl that he was No. 47. Having killed Belikov's arms-dealer brother, he planned to take out the double at the state funeral. 47 grabbed "Belikov" in the cathedral and shot him. Inspector Mike was allowed to bust the assassin but the CIA ambushed him and strolled off with the prisoner. Back in the present, 47 gave Insp. Mike a body and proof that he'd nailed the super-killer, then 47 headed back to St. Pete to prevent the slave girl from being killed.

[Thursday, 05th] Unseen Universe [21:00, Eden+1] The super-slow images of high-speed photography show us the world as we can never see it. A power-mover in Hamburg harbour, the flight of birds and insects, the punch-rate of a female boxer, a Shaolin monk bursting a balloon with a needle hurled through a pane of glass, a juggler's accurate movements, how cat-feet helped the tyre industry to solve the problem of aqua-planing and finally, water in slo-mo and Darren's soap bubbles.
Air Jaws [22:00, Dmax+1] There is a kill zone around Seal Island, near Cape Town, where great white sharks leap out of the water while attacking seals. A team of experts set out to discover why they go airborne here but nowhere else.
   They towed various targets to study shark leaps and used underwater camers to measure the depth at which an attack starts, and the speed. One guy also ventured down to the bottom of the murky waters to profile the sea bed. He found that the bottom drops sharply to 15 metres at the start of the "ring of death", which gives the shark room to manoeuvre and room to build up vertical speed for the attack.

[Friday, 06th] Graceland [21:00, Universal] Briggs called in a favour from D.J.: making Agent Badillo's car disappear in Mexico, only it had been stolen for use as a getaway car. Briggs had to tell D.J. that he'd killed Badillo. Briggs joined Clinton's crew for the robbery and Mike joined in unexpectedly. He ditched Briggs at the crime scene to get to the car first.
   Johnny invited himself into Charlie and the Federale's pursuit of Odin. Briggs retrieved his stash of run away cash and documents. Mike had Clinton's crew busted, but when he searched the car, Badillo's recorder, with his incriminating messages about Briggs, wasn't there.

[Saturday, 07th] The Secret of Lincoln Jail [19:50, More4HD] is a Time Team look at the punishments available to prisoners during the period when there was a gaol inside Lincoln Castle. The death penalty applied to almost anything in the 18th century, so pictures of mass hangings. Transportation also helped to rid Britain of its moral refuse. But in the 19th century, a new gaol was built in the castle; a penitentiary, where the inmates would repent their crimes.
   They were forced to do huge amounts of pointless labour on a bad diet, and there was a Separation System, under which the inmates wore hoods when in common areas to keep them completely isolated. But everyone in the gaol suddenly went down with gaol fever due to a design failure in the sewage system, and the whole idea was abandoned.

[Sunday, 08th] NFL Sunday [17:30, Sky Sports 3] The Lions in Philadelphia, where it was chucking it down with snow, so the lines and numbers had to be added electronically, like the blue down line and the yellow first-down line. The Lions had 2 promising drives, both ending in a fumble to the Eagles.
   A 2nd quarter interception put the Lions at the PE 20. They went for a 4th & 2 instead of trying a FG in appalling conditions, and followed it up with a TD run by Bell. 8-0 after a 2-point conversion. At the end of the half, the Eagles tried to make a 4th & 7 instead of trying a FG, and went out on downs.
   The next score came well into Q3; a 52 yard punt return for a TD by Ross. The Lions didn't make 2 points and went 14-0 up. The Eagles came back with a TD drive but no 2-pointer. 14-6.
   Q4 started with a TD run by McCoy, and a penalty gave the Eagles a 2nd shot at a 2-pointer. 14-14. So Ross ran the kick off back for a TD for the Lions! A extra point try was blocked. 20-14. Another breakaway run by McCoy, 2 points made, 20-22.
   The next Eagles drive went to a 4th down QB sneak by Foles, no 2-points, 20-28. The Lions had a promising start to their drive but a rogue snap gave the ball to the Eagles. Polk burst through a crowd to make a TD run. 20-34. At the end, the Eagles chose to run out the clock over scoring another TD. Job well done by the home team.
The Seahawks in San Francisco [21:25, Sky Sports 3] The 49ers opened the scoring with a FG. Sack, punt, block; San Fran at the Seahawks' 34. But just another FG. The Seahawks went ahead with a TD run by Lynch in Q2. 7-6. The 49ers could manage just a FG in reply. 7-9. Wilson, R. to Willson, L. for a TD. 14-9. But the 49ers managed a TD at the end of the half to take a 14-16 lead.
   The defences took charge in the second half and it wasn't until 8 minutes into Q4 that the Seahawks took the lead with a FG. 17-16. A big run by Gore into the Seattle red zone in a clock-eating SF drive let the 49ers kick yet another FG with 26 seconds left. 17-19 and that was enough.

[Monday, 09th] Nazi Megastructures [21:00, Nat GeoHD] Being bombed to bits, the Germans needed somewhere to build their wonder-jet, the Me 262, and that led to the biggest construction project of the war; building a vast complex of tunnels under a huge hill, which had once been a porcelain mine. 12,000 slave labourers were brought in from all over Europe.
   The Allies invaded France 1944 and the work carried on. When production started in early 1945, the aircraft had to be hauled up a 25 degree slope to a perilously short runway on the top of the hill to be sent on. The plan was to build 700 Me 262s per month. When the Allies overran the site in April 1945, just 24 had been contributed to the war effort.

[Tuesday, 10th] MNF replay [19:00, BEHD] The Cowboys in frozen Chicago. Both teams started with a TD drive. McCown went flying over some Cowboys for the next Bears' TD in Q2. 7-14. The Cowboys levelled the scores but the Bears went ahead with a FG toward the end of the first half. And left themselves with time enough to stop the DC and hit Jeffrey with a TD pass to the back of the end zone. 14-24.
   The Bears started Q3 with a FG, then they went for 2 points after a TD drive to get a 21-point lead. 14-35. The Bears added another TD in the first minute of Q4. 14-42. Dallas came back with a TD drive but an on-side kick try didn't work. The Bears kicked a FG with 3:47 left and ex-Bear Kyle Orton came on for Romo and managed another TD for the Cowboys. 28-45 final.
Elementary [21:00, LivingHD] A stabbed woman landed on the roof of a delivery truck. SH & JW deduced the location of the crime scene. Hayley was a kept woman by computer icon Ian Gale, who had been AWoL for 6 weeks. He'd had a heart transplant and the dead girl was his daughter. Mycroft told SH that their father would try to blackmail him into returning to London.
   Watson tried to make Mrs. Gale the killer. The cops turned up Hayley's violent ex-boyfriend, but he had an alibi. Gale croaked and Watson wondered if his death was the key. And set about proving that Mrs. Gale, a doctor, had dunnit. And it's Mycroft, not Dad, who's behind the plot to oust SH from New York.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries [22:00, AlibiHD] Louisa murdered at radio station 3JA. The inspector was on another job, giving Miss F. a licence to run riot. Someone had been threatening the station and 4 other had been attacked. The dodgy sports reporter was an obvious suspect. Surprise! The inspector was working undercover at the station.
   Miss F. offered her acting talents as well as her detective skills. She and Insp. Jack foiled an arson attack. Dodgy Dodger dunnit, but he was found dead. Jack busted Hazel & Clarence, who ran 3JA. Surprise! Hazel was being poisoned with thallium. Clarence was doing it to stop her taking a new job, and he was a murderer who'd changed his name and Louisa had found him out.

[Wednesday, 11th] Dynamo: Magician Impossible [21:00, WatchHD] was in Brazil and not speaking Portuguese to the customers. But he was still able to bamboozle them, starting on the beaches and moving through the living quarters to that statue at Rio for his big finale. Our hero was trying to find himself after the death of his grandfather and identifying with the communication spirit of Carnival.
Derren Brown : Something Wicked This Way Comes [22:00, WatchHD] takes place in a theatre. And with an English-speaking audience. He picked a helper with a flung monkey to set up the finale, then it was who's got the black ball?
   In part 2, hammering a nail up his nose, the Prestoni broken glass routine with the blood flow to his brain stopped (!), count the buttons with a slapped face, the finale with the briefcase with the combination lock and then an "explanation" of how he had forced the word picked from the Daily Mail on the audience.

[Thursday, 12th] Battleground (2010) After the Vietnam war, in Flint, Michigan, a gang of bank robbers, one wounded, flees with loot. The second getaway vehicle isn't in place and the price of a flight out on the following day goes up to 10% of the $3.2M haul because 2 cops were killed. The gang holes up in a huge building in a forest and the cop-killer is shot. Bigger shares!
   After a stormy night, they find their van gone. And the cop-killer's grave is empty. Three of the thieves find a woman in the forest. The guy with the money clobbers the remaining thief and legs it; but he ends up with a couple of arrows in his chest. The woman says a crazed killer did her boyfriend in and he's been stalking her.
   The killer is a demented Vietnam veteran, who has Viet Cong tunnels under the area. The thieves start a war with him, and they are whittled down to 2 men. People appear to be killed but turn up still alive. The money is blasted with a claymore mine and the woman is killed. The head thief thinks he's can get away with a gutful of buckshot. But the crazy guy kills him last with a bazooka.

[Friday, 13th] TNF highlights [18:00, Sky Sports 4] The Chargers in Denver. The Broncos took their opening drive to a TD. The Bolts replied with a FG and held Denver's next scoring drive to a FG. 3-10. The Chargers levelled the scores in Q2 and went ahead with a TD at the end of the half. 17-10.
   Another TD drive by the Bolts in Q3 put them 24-10 ahead. The Broncos managed a TD in Q4 for 24-17. They were stopped by a pick later in the quarter and the Chargers got a FG out of their turnover. 27-17. Inside the last 2 minutes, the Broncos chose to bank a FG and try an on-side kick. Didn't work. 27-20 final, the Bolts still have playoff hopes and Denver haven't secured their divisional title.
Graceland series finale [21:00, Universal] Mike put out a BOLO on the vanished Briggs, who put a fugitive from Jangles on a boat to Ecuador with a new ID, and stayed in town to dig up Agent Badillo's keys. T.J. told him about the missing recording. The Bureau started an investigation. Briggs told T.J. he thinks Cortez, Charlie's Federale, is Jangles!!
   Briggs went burgling, found Cortez's jangly keys and added one of Badilo's. Then Charlie turned up and they both ended up prisoners. Cortez was just about to kill Charlie when Mike arrived to shoot him. So that was Briggs with revenge for Jangles turning him into a junkie.
   Mike was offered a top job in D.C. There was some talk about keeping Graceland open. The Feds assumed Cortez killed Badillo. And at the end, a kid found the cassette recorder stolen from Badillo's car in a pawn shop, and bagged the incriminating tape.

[Saturday, 14th] Super Collider (2013) [18:00, SyfyHD] Will the Zero Point Collider cause the end of the world? Looks like we're heading that way. An umbrella assassination before the titles. The news meeja are suitably alarmist before the collider comes on line. Boom! when it does. The world becomes a weird, blasted landscape and Victor thinks everything should be different; there shouldn't be tornadoes and his daughter didn't die at age 3.
   He finds a phone of a type no one else recognizes, which he parked in the control room just before everything went to hell. It shows pictures of his daughter's 7th birthday party. Company goons go after him as he decides that everything has been shifted to an alternate universe, where nothing but bad things happen.
   Victor is captured and tortured. It's all a corporate plot. "How do you make money out of free zero point energy?" asks the boss, who made things go wrong in the first place. Victor's first attempt to put things right is foiled by his stoopid buddy Chuck, who eventually lets Victor escape from the collider site after setting it to explode. Suddenly, everything is okay again.
Basilisk: The Serpent King (2006) [20:00, SyfyHD] A monster appears during a total eclipse in 2nd century Cyrenaica, but the locals petrify it whilst being done in. In modern times, American archaeologists finds petrified bodies and the snake, and lug everything back to their university. Harry, our hero, meets Rachel in the run-up to an exhibition on eclipse day.
   Harry's minions find that the human "statues" are bodies with a shell of rock and they're all grave robbers. Gulp! The monster unpetrifies and starts rampaging. The National Guard bumps the local cops. Rachel decides it's a basilisk. Colonel Douglas ain't happy to be chasing the monster under the streets and also having to track down the sponsor who stole the sceptre.
   The monster invades a mall. Rudi, the lab rat, finds that it's full of eggs. Everyone arrives at the university, where the sponsor is eaten and Harry is sprayed a bit with venom. Rudi decides they have to use the sceptre at the local nuclear plant to zap the monster. And things do work out; but not quite to plan.

[Sunday, 15th] NFL Sunday [17:30, Sky Sports 2] The Patriots in Miami. A long opening drive by NE got them a FG. Then the defences took charge. In Q2, the Dolphins looked threatening, they were sacked out of FG range, recovered, but the snap hit the holder's head because he wasn't ready for it! The Patriots scored a TD inside the last 2 minutes but the Dolphins needed just over a minute to bag one of their own. 10-7 at half time.
   NE missed a long FG try in Q3 and the Dolphins got the scores level after 9 minutes. Brady took another sack. The Dolphins started Q4 with a TD. Another long NE drive yielded a FG. 13-17. Then they blasted through the Dolphins to go ahead with a TD. 20-17.
   4 minutes left. Miami 3 & out? No, they went for 4th & 5, and on to a TD with 1:15 left. 20-24. And when Brady was picked in the MD end zone with 2 seconds left, that was it. Miami win.
Next, the Packers in Dallas. The Cowboys started with a long FG. Crosby managed one from 57 yards in reply. 3-3. And then it all went horribly wrong for the Packers. Their offence became totally useless, and the defence became even more Swiss Cheese than usual. FG, TD, FG, FG, TD. 3-26 at half time and all the Packer fans in deepest despair.
   A Q3 drive with 2 big plays yielded a TD for the Pack. The Cowboys kicked a 50 yard FG. 10-29. GB scored another TD at the end of the quarter, and yet another early in Q4. 24-29. An interception by GB was wiped out by a review. Oh, no! The Cowboys went further ahead with a TD. 24-36.
   The Packers came back with a TD drive, and a pick by Shields set up a go-ahead TD for Lacy. 37-36 after a 2-point try didn't work. 1:31 left. Romo intercepted. The Packers win!!

[Monday, 16th] Shadow Man (2006) Steven Seagal goes to Romania with his daughter and she's kidnapped by a female taxi driver. He's ex-CIA and everyone thinks he has some data on an awful bio-weapon. The bad guys include the Russian FSB and rogue CIA agents. Our hero demands answers from Harry, the guy from his past who just happened to turn up at the airport.
   There's a lot of mayhem and the local cops are working for the Russians, so our hero has to sort them out. He goes after the kidnapper but the CIA kill her partner and grab his daughter. Our hero finds the chip that everyone wants and organizes a trade.
   He shoots down a helicopter then confronts the local US ambassador. Lots of murder and mayhem in a library. The head Russian gets his eyes popped. Our hero's computer geek makes the bio-weapons lab self-destruct with the boffins inside it so that the weapon is no longer a threat. And our hero rides off into the sunset with his daughter and the taxi driver.

[Tuesday, 17th] Elementary [21:00, LivingHD] A classic bridge suicide with a weighted gun. The woman tried to frame the guy who kill her sister for murder but Holmes saw through the trick. Lucas, the killer, visited SH's apartment to tell him to back off and Holmes began to regret putting the cops on the right track. SH gave the detective on the sister's murder the hump, and also upset Watson, who thinks SH should tread more lightly.
   Lucas started playing tricks on SH so he decided to take a leaf out of Samantha's book and frame him; only do a better job this time. Then he realized he didn't have to. Holmes saved a woman Lucas had kidnapped and that was his hash settled. Then Holmes told Watson he doesn't do nice.

[Wednesday, 18th] Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries [19:00, AlibiHD] Dot went fishing and caught a body; a refugee from the slave labour laundry run by the nuns who do Miss F.'s washing. The Commissioner put a Catholic and useless inspector on the case instead of Inspector Jack. Miss F. went in undercover in a laundry basket.
   Dead Bernadette was dumped in the docks and drifted up river. A Belgian captain, de Vere, tried to abduct her. The Commissioner was determined to keep Jack off the case. Miss F. went ship-burgling and found girls sold into slavery. Then she was caught.
   Inspector Jack defied the Commissioner and searched the ship. The nuns were selling the girls at £10/head and the Commissioner was covering it up. So he was busted, too.

[Thursday, 19th] The Tuxedo (2002, Jackie Chan) Agent Wallace, partner of Clark Devlin, is bumped off. Expert taxi driver Jimmy is trying to ask the girl in the art gallery for a date. Devlin of the CIA; smooth, sophisticated and everything Jimmy wants to be; recruits him as his driver. A skateboard bomb puts Devlin in hospital.
   Meanwhile, the bad guy is plotting to create water that makes people thirsty! Jimmy puts on Devlin's electronic tuxedo, pants and watch and finds himself transformed into the ultimate secret agent. Devlin is assigned a new partner; Agent Blaine is pushy, female, new to field work and she doesn't know Devlin. So she accepts Jimmy as Devlin and the watch can give him all sorts of spy kills.
   A bug-planting operation is a big flop so infiltration next; it's a sort of success. So Blaine & Jimmy try to do it again at the bad guy's mansion. Blaine pulls a gun on Jimmy and grabs his outfit when she realizes he's not Devlin. She tries to go it alone and gives the outfit to the bad guy.
   The cavalry doesn't arrivie but Tong, James Tong turns up in a spare suit. The bad guy is done in by his own invention then the CSA tries to help Jimmy get a date with the girl in the art gallery. But he blows it.

[Friday, 20th] Blood Work (2002, Clint Eastwood) [21:00, Alibi] An ancient FBI-guy, Terry McCaleb, chased a suspect at the scene of a serial killing by someone who leaves messages for him. Had a heart attack, shot the guy, needed a transplant. 2 years later and 60 days after the transplant, he was approached by the sister of his heart donor; she wanted him to investigate her sister's murder as the 2 cops on the case were useless.
   McCaleb tied in more cases. His doctor told him to stop as it was too soon after the transplant. McCaleb rousted a suspect, who clobbered him and vanished. McCaleb talked to the sister and realized that the killer approached him at one of the crime scenes. The killer planted evidence on the fugitive and killed him. The local cops wanted to close the case but McCaleb didn't buy it.
   McCaleb realized that his rare blood type was a key factor and the killer phoned 911 BEFORE he shot his donor and kept her alive. After another red herring, McCaleb worked out that the Code Killer had given him a transplant donor to get him back into circulation: he needed to have McCaleb chasing him to massage his ego.
   The killer abducted the donor's sister and son. McCaleb realized he was the guy on the neighbouring boat at the marina, who had been driving him around. So a nocturnal confrontation with no back-up on a wreck in the harbour, a shoot-out with both men catching some lead and dead Gloria's sister got to drown the killer.

[Saturday, 21st] Annihilation Earth (2009) [20:00, SyfyHD] The EVE Project of 2010 solved the Europe's energy problems by using super-colliders to make clean electricity. Electromagnetic Vacuum Energy is about to be shared with the rest of the world but Raj, who was chucked off the project, thinks it's going to be turned into a weapon. Arab terrorists infiltrate the collider near Geneva using Raj's ID and blow it up, hoping to reinstate Middle East oil as a major energy resource.
   Eve boss David, Raj's pal, tries to protect him. Then there are massive earthquakes around the world. David tells the boss that he and Raj knew that the collider system could destroy the world if someone messed with it. David takes a team to Ground Zero to find out exactly what happened.
   Arab terrorists grab Raj. David's boss kidnaps David's family. Aircraft are pulled out of the sky down to ground zero, and satellites in orbit follow, including the ISS. David & his gang escape to Geneva, where the boss's stooges grab them.
   Terrorists try to blow up EVE at Barcelona next. A battered Raj takes out the terrorist leader. Raj tries to prevent David from shutting down the remaining 2 reactors but their boss orders it done. David shuts the system down and that's it for the planet. Extinction.

[Sunday, 22nd] NFL Sunday [17:30, Sky Sports 2] The Saints in N. Carolina. A monster pass to Steve Smith got the Panthers close but Newton had a tipped pass picked. A sack-fest began for the defences. The Saints scored first with a FG, then surprised everyone with an on-side kick, which worked and gave them another FG. 6-0. Brees was picked after the 2 minute warning and that set up a TD run for Williams on the next play. 6-7 and the Panthers 5-2 up in sacks.
   In Q3, a bad penalty did the Saints out of a FG try and the Panthers kicked a FG after another sack on Newton. 6-10. Rain came absolutely bucketing down! The Saints got going again in Q4 with a TD pass to Graham. 13-10. Brees took sack #6 with 4 minutes left. Sack #4 on Newton on the next play.
   The Saints punted with 1 minute left. Ginn got into FG range but Newton hit Hixon with a TD pass! 13-17! A Hail Mary from Brees didn't reach the CP end zone. The Panthers are in the play-offs.
The Patriots in Baltimore [21:25, Sky Sports 2] The 2nd NE drive got to the BR 1 via pass interference and set up a TD. Then a pass by Flacco was batted for a pick, and suddenly, the Patriots were 14-0 up. In Q2, the Patriots went further ahead with a FG, Gostkowsky racked up 1,001 career points, and they took a 17-0 lead into Q3.
   The defences dominated. The Patriots kicked a FG after a takeaway for 20-0 and in the first minute of Q4, the Ravens missed a long FG try. A successful challenge and pass interference by the Patriots got the Ravens to the NE 2, and Flacco went in for a TD. 20-7.
   The Patriots toughed it into the BR end zone with 2 minutes left. Then things got crazy. A botched snap sent the ball flying into the BR end zone to be grabbed by the Patriots for a TD. 34-7. Then Wilson returned an interception 74 yards for another TD in the last minute. 41-7 and that's as bad as it got for the Ravens.

[Monday, 23rd] Dragnet (1987, Dan Ackroyd) [17:55, ITV4+1] Bad guys are on the rampage in LA and all who stand in their path are Joe Friday's grandson and his flaky new sidekick. Capt. Gannon, Joe's former partner, is in charge of the detectives. Lots of laughs, lots of rampaging, lots of shooting and no one ever getting killed, and our heroes triumph over all adversities eventually. Natch.
The Detonator [21:00, SyfyHD] US agent Sonny Griffith is sent to Budapest, where an arms dealer who owns a football team is hoping to make a lot of loot out of a stole Russian bioweapon. His accountant has stolen $30 million from him and the accountant's wife is on the run with the cash in his safe after slitting his throat.
   Griffith is great at getting himself into shoot-outs, fights with all sorts of handy implements, car chases, explosions, etc. The arms dealer lets the widow know that she won't have a life until she returns the money. And he has her son. As an added complication, there's a traitor in the local CIA office, and the boss is a prime suspect.
   Come the day of the big match involving the arms dealer's team, everyone collects at the stadium, where Griffith crashes the party and causes a riot. He exposes the real traitor, and he ends up dead, like Nadia and her son, but only officially. And Nadia still has her late husband's loot.

[Tuesday, 24th] MNF replay [11:30, British EurosportHD] The Falcons in SF. The 49ers kicked a long FG half way through Q1. A huge pass to Davis with lots of YAC, got the Falcons to the SF 5 and a TD run by Jackson. 7-3. The Falcons reached FG range in the last minute of the half. 10-3.
   Q3 belonged to the 49ers and a 47 yard pass to Crabtree set up a TD for Boldin. 10-10. A dreadful pass interference call gifted SF a FG. 10-13. Kaepernick went in for a TD 3 minutes into Q4. 10-20. White scored for the Falcons 7 minutes in. 17-20. A big run by Hunter set up a TD for Gore. 17-27.
   Gonzalez scored a TD just before the 2 minute warning. 24-27. The Falcons recovered an on-side kick at the SF 30! A one-handed catch by 44. But a tipped pass went to Bowman who returned it most of the length of the field for a killer TD. 24-34 and the 49ers are in the play-offs.
Midsomer Murders [The Christmas Haunting, 21:00, ITV1+1] A bunch of ghost-hunters doing Fright Night in an old house; Connor is done in with an antique sword. Sgt. Jones is a DI and gone, Sgt. Nelson has taken over. Morton Shallows was voted England's most haunted village in 2003 and it's trying to live off it. It's also a hotbed of affairs and agendas.
   Brendan, who runs the cafe, is trying to run the village and spending cash he doesn't have. Connor broke his daughter's heart and drove her away. Connor's wife is doing leaflets, trying to stop the ghost-hunting. And there's Ollie, a lurker haunting the village.
   Sgt. Nelson goes to a ghost night at the pub, Barnaby makes Ross, the landlord, a suspect and the guy is stabbed! And a ghost-faker is caught. The owner of the haunted manor is the next prime suspect. Ollie was kicked out of school for something Connor and Ross did, and he's a major in the army with PTSD and AWoL.
   Barnaby decides that Brendan is either a target or a killer. He's neither; he's just planning to steal the money he collected for the village to visit his daughter. So he's busted. Crazy Pippa wants to kill Olly to keep her family at the manor together in misery. So she's busted.
   Nelson gets an offer of digs, DI Jones has sent a Xmas card to DCI Barnaby's dog and Brendan's daughter arrives for a Xmas visit.

[Wednesday, 25th] SNF replay [4oD] What better way to spend Xmas morning than catching up with the Chicago Bears at the Philadelphia Eagles, trying to secure their divisional title whilst the Eagles have to keep winning to make their coming confrontation with the Cowboys meaningful?
   On the night, the Eagles were in devastating form and they could do little wrong, so the Bears were slaughtered. Job done for the Eagles. A championship confrontation with the Packers in store for the Bears next Sunday.
Snow Beast (2011) [17:00, Horror+1] There's a monster in the frozen woods killing people, and the usual dysfunctional research team looking for snow lynx and dreaming of a trip to Antarctica in an area where the RCMP have a missing snowboarder. More people vanish. The team finds strange tracks and hears noises outside the cabin. One wrecked snowmobile by a creature which walks upright.
   The team is right in the middle of the local sheriff's incident reports. The leader finds a body stashed in a snow cave. Jim decides the creature is too dangerous to investigate and they have to leave. Marcie doesn't agree, goes off on her own and ends up dead.
   The truck won't start and the creature has eaten everything else in the area. There's just Jim, his stroppy daughter and Rob left. Jim goes for help and crashes. Emmy wants Rob to take her to the monster's cave to look for her dad. 4 trank darts slow the monster down. Dad's not dead but Rob is pretty soon.
   Jim starts an avalanche to get away from the monster and manages not to kill himself and Emmy. They're labelled "Survivors of the Hoax" in the national press. Natch, the monster ain't dead.
Great American Rock Anthems: Turn It Up To 11 [21:00, BBC 4] They're big, they have to be cranked up, everyone is involved, everyone is totally bown away every time the anthem is played and they will live forever. Just an hour of them with words of wisdom from the people who created the monster riffs and the rush of the chorus. It catching lightning in a bottle. And the artform was invented by the Brits in the 1960s, natch! [MMXIV???]

[Thursday, 26th] Iron Man (2008) [21:00, Film4HD] Hummers in Afghanistan. Kaboom! Everyone dead but the guy with the drink, whose company made the weapons that blew up the US troops. He's grabbed by terrorists. Tony Stark is a genius in weapons development. He's constitutionally incapable of being responsible. He was demonstrating a new missle when he was grabbed. The head terrorist, who wants to be boss of the world wants him to build a Jericho missle from the bits he's collected.
   Stark is full of shrapnel but there's a doctor prisoner, who's built a magnet system to keep the metal bits away from his heart. This evolves into some sort of cannister embedded in Stark's chest. Stark builds himself an armoured exoskeleton and makes himself more than a match for 2-bob terrorists. But it comes apart when he flies out of danger and crashes in a sand dune.
   He's rescued and he decides to stop making weapons, which doesn't go down with the guys at the company who are making a living out of them. Stark goes to work on another suit and his board wants him gone. Meanwhile, the terrorists have dug up the bits of the first one. The world-dominator wannabe goes on the rampage in Afghanistan. Surprise! The guy running Starks company is in league with him.
   The trusty Miss Pepper is caught getting the goods on the traitor, who pulls the gadget out of Stark's chest and installs it in a monster ironman suit. But there's a spare. Stark has to fight the traitor, who's bigger and stronger, but Stark is smarter. Another Kaboom! for the traitor.

[Friday, 27th] A day off from the TV mainstream in favour of a Trip to Dave for some QI [21:00] and then Have I Got A Bit More News For You [22:00] with that weird sculptor bloke who dresses up in women's clothing on Paul Merton's team.

[Saturday, 28th] Mission Impossible II (2000) [18:40, Film4HD] Ethan Hunt is after Chimera, a monster virus, which rogue agent Ambrose has. Part of the job involves recruiting Naia, a lady thief; not for her talents but because she was once shacked with Ambrose, who doesn't care if she's an IMF stooge. The boss of a pharmaceutical company wants to use Chimera to make money out of Bellerophon, his antidoe.
   Hunt tries to destroy the virus to leave Ambrose with a cure but no disease. Big battle, they collide over the last virus sample and Naia injects herself with it and makes herself worth $37 million! With 20 hours to live. Ambrose dumps her in Sydney. He plans to take over the pharmaceutical company and make BILLIONS. He fills Hunt full of lead but we know it's one of Ambrose's guys in a mask. Big chase to liven things up, and a punch-up. Ambrose loses and Maia gets the cure.

[Sunday, 29th] NFL Sunday [18:03, Sky Sports 3] The Ravens in Cincinnati. Graham blew Dalton's pick-free streak on the first play but a Bears' challenge held the Ravens to a FG. Then it was Ihedigbo's turn for a pick and another FG. 6-0. A 53 yard pass to Green put the Bengals into a 6-7 lead. Then the defences held up until well into Q2. A FG for the Bengals with 6½ minutes left put them 6-10 up, and a TD pass to Jones in the BR end zone inside the last 2 minutes made it 6-17. Which left enough time for Flacco to be sacked.
   In Q3, the Bengals were stopped by a pick by Webb and the Ravens kicked a FG. 9-17. A dreadful punt gave the Ravens a short field, and a TD pass to Brown got them to 17-all after a 2-point run by Rice. In Q4, pass interference put the Bengals at the BR 1, and Dalton ran in untouched for a tricky TD. 17-24. Flacco was picked by Crocker, FG, 17-27 Bengals.
   The Bengals reached the BR 1, but the ball was grabbed away from their receiver in the BR end zone! The Bengals gave away 2 stoopid 15-yard penalties together but got away with it. The next score was a pick of a pass by Flacco returned 21 yards for a TD by Kirkpatrick. 17-34, 4 minutes left. And that was the final score.
The Packers in Chicago with the divisional title on the line for both sides. A big return by Hester + a personal foul on the Pack put the Bears at the GB 39; to go 3 & out. Rodgers was back. The Packers reached the CB 10 then a terrible pass was picked by Conte in the CB end zone. The Bears then mounted a solid drive to a TD pass to Forte. 0-7.
   The Pack survived another interception by the Bears. A sack on Rodgers was wiped out by a bad penalty on the Bears, and the Packers were held to a FG in Q2. 3-7. Mulumba sacked Cutler and the Bears punted.
   The Packers got close then Rodgers had the ball knocked out of his hand from behind. It flew forward, Boykin picked it up and he eventually dashed for the CB end zone with his coaches screaming it was still a live ball! TD. Shambles. Good job by the officials in not blowing a whistle. Great defensive play by Peppers that went horribly wrong. 10-7.
   The Pack recovered a fumble by the Bears and returned it to the CB 28 with 1:47 left; mostly wasted. FG for GB. 13-7 at the half.

[Monday, 30th] The plan was to watch the rest of the match via the daytime highlights on Sky Sports, but those useless bastards bumped it to 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning. How we hate those useless bastards at Sky Sports.
The Mechanic (2011) [21:00, Film4HD] Mob boss goes for a swim, ambushed in the pool by an athletic hitman, who doesn't have much of a private life. His next job offer is his old mate Harry, who sent a team of 5 operatives to South Africa to be killed for a $20M pay-off. Harry has to go in 48 hours. Bishop, the Mechanic, meets Steve at the grave. Harry never thought much of his son, the estate is mortgaged to the hilt and Steve wants to be Bishop's apprentice.
   They run into a rival from another outfit. Steve make a real mess of the kill. The boss isn't happy about Bishop bringing Steve into the business. Next job; a junkie/glutton cult guy in Chicago. Steve bogs up again and it turns into a shooting match and running battle.
   Bishop spots one of the 5 "dead" men, who admits he killed the others and Harry was framed. He's soon dead. A crew visits Bishop's boat. Another goes after Steve. So Bishop goes after the boss. Steve finds out that Bishop killed his father.
   The boss admits that Harry's life brought in $50M. The boss's convoy is trimmed in crashes on the street and the boss ends up more bullet holes than boss. Steve puts Bishop in the middle of a gas station explosion and takes over his home and his car. Big mistake. Everything blows up, taking Steve with it. And, natch, Bishop ain't dead.

[Tuesday, 31st] NFL Special [01:20, Sky Sports 2] It's early in the 3rd quarter, the score is still 13-7 and the Packers have just punted the ball 50 yards. A 49 yard return by Hester to the GB 30 and a 5 yard TD run by Forte. 13-14. The Pack ran the ball straight back at the Bears with Lacy & Starks, then a 7 yard TD pass to Cobb. 20-14. Cutler to a wide-open Jeffrey, 67 yards to the GB 1? Should have been a TD but no challenge, so another TD for Forte. 20-21.
   The Bears started Q4 at the GB 5 and Marshall made a great catch at the back of the end zone. 20-28. Nelson took a pass 34 yards past 4 Bears, Rodgers fired a pass past Conte to Quarless to the CB 6, Lacy made a TD run. 27-28, 11.28 left. Then the defences took over.
   The Packers made a 4th & 1 at their 44 with less than 2 minutes to go. With 1.35 left, they had to make 4th & 8 at the CB 48, and went on to a TD pass to a wide-open Cobb. 33-28 after a 2-point try flopped. 38 seconds left for the Bears. Cutler's Hail Mary with 6 seconds to go went to Shields. The Pack win and take the divisional title.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries [18:00, AlibiHD] It's Xmas in July and Miss F., Aunt Pru and a whole gang were off to the mountains to find that Len was dead beside the Xmas tree. Dr. McMillan was there to spot electrocution. Auntie had shares in a gold mine, which was closed after a crew was trapped in the 1919 cave-in. Len sent the last shift down. So who's after revenge? Vera, second wife of Nicholas, a co-owner, was done in next, just before Inspector Jack arrived and a storm cut off the big house.
   Nicholas was shot in the hen-house. Quentin scarpered. Auntie and the doctor survived their assassination attempts. Miss F. came up with a 12 Days of Xmas plot to kill 10 guests and 2 coppers. Someone had been in the mine recently. There was a plot to steal a new gold seam from investors like Auntie. Nicholas came back from the dead; but he was no match for Miss F.
Bangkok Dangerous (2008) [21:00, 5USA] Our hero, Joo, is a hitman on his last job with 4 kills to make in Bangkok. He recruits a gopher there. Job #1 goes off okay. The gopher owes cash to local hoods and screws up a bit, but Joo keeps him on. Kong decides he wants to be Joo's apprentice and Joo actually starts training him.
   Job #2 is a drowning ambush of a swimming bad guy (c.f. The Mechanic). Joo takes a shine to a deaf girl working at a pharmacy. The hitman lessons continue and Joo has to tell the client to stop looking over his shoulder, or else! Job #3 becomes a shambles but it's done. Joo has to kill 2 guys who go after him behind the deaf girl's back; she runs away, terrified, when she finds blood on her back.
   The client decides he needs to erase everyone in the know, including Kong and the deaf girl. The hitman hesitates too long, doesn't pull the trigger on Job #4 and nearly gets shot to bits by the cops. Time to run for his life. He rescues Kong and Kong's sister with mucho shooting. Surat, the client, becomes Job #4. Joo kills himself with a bullet that also takes out Surat. Very neat and tidy but rather stoopid and defeatist.

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