Geek shows and movies on UK TV in the coming week

Paul Merton's Birth Of Hollywood, Human Target, Lead Balloon and lots of Doctor Who in our look ahead at the UK TV week...

The holiday weekend telly schedule starts tonight, Friday, May 27th, with Paul Merton’s Birth Of Hollywood at 9:30pm on BBC2. In the first of three episodes in a new series, the comedian looks at the early silent comedies of Charlie Chaplin and the pre-Police Academy Keystone Cops, and also reveals the first ‘cliffhangers’, for those not familiar with the serialised start of much of the earliest motion picture entertainment, with an unflinching look at the career of DW Griffith, all in celebration of Hollywood’s hundredth anniversary.

Human Target enjoys a season 2 double-bill tonight, Friday, May 27th at 8:00pm on Syfy. The first episode, Ilsa Pucci, is followed by The Wife’s Tale at 9:00pm, in the first two of thirteen last ever episodes. And in those two titles you’ll find what we suspect was the downfall of the show, the needless introduction of two female characters when the three male leads were supplying a consistently fun show week after week. Human Target is only one of the victims of the recent TV exec axe. You’ll find others here. But if you want to get all the Jackie Earle Haley you can get while the getting is good, now’s your chance.

On Saturday, May 28th at 6:45pm on BBC1, The Almost People brings us the conclusion to the two-part Doctor Who episode that left us with our most recent cliffhanger, two Doctors. We have clips for the upcoming episode here and we’ll have our review as soon as we can dash it out after the programme airs and see just what mysteries are solved this weekend, and what new secrets, twists and teases may be on the way.

Without realising it, Jack Dee’s comedy show about a fictional comedian and writer, Rick Spleen, had two more series after we first discovered and watched it. And that first series wasn’t bad. We feel sure you can jump into the new fourth series of Lead Balloon without any continuity problems. It launches with an opening episode, the first of six, called Pig, on Tuesday, May 31st, at 10:00pm on BBC2.

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Another BBC production will have a second run on Gold, and while the subject of a middle-aged couple’s post-work chats wouldn’t normally make this page, we anxiously followed their funny and bittersweet stories when they aired last autumn. Roger And Val Have Just Got In is an intimate living portrait of a couple whose strong affection buffers them from life’s trials and insulates their own quirks and eccentricities, for as long as it can. It’s compelling viewing, due to fine writing and the brilliance of its two stars, Dawn French and Alfred Molina. If it’s not for you, it’s surely recommendable to someone in your own family. It starts Wednesday, June 1st at 10:00pm on Gold, with The Guarantee, the first of six episodes.

Now, on to those films showing through the weekend and a bit beyond.

Three Doctor Who movies feature this week, with Peter Cushing and Daleks, and Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, so we can fill up before our own current Doctor is whisked away until autumn after next week’s epsiode airs.

Wallace & Gromit and Wall-E also show up for some fun viewing with the young ones over the extended weekend, and Innerspace, a film we’ll always find room for, as we have a fondness for “shrinky movies”, ends our week of family fare to share and brings us into June with a smile.

As always, if we missed anything interesting, have a shout in the comments, with our thanks.

Please also note: the ordinal numbers for dates will help you scan through this simple list with your browser’s search function. Enter ’28th’ in your browser’s Find box or window to highlight and/or tab through all movies shown on Saturday. Enjoy!

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A Few Good MenOn: Channel 5    Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 10:00pm

Batteries Not IncludedOn: ITV3Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 3:40pm (and 4:40pm ITV3+1)

Boogie NightsOn: ITV4Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 11:35pm (and 00:35am 30th May ITV4+1, midnight/1:00am 1st/2nd June)

Burden Of DreamsOn: Sky Arts 1   Date: Wednesday 1st JuneTime: 11:40pm (and 2:30pm 2nd June)Clash Of The Titans (1981)On: Channel 4   Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 12:20pm (and 1:20pm 4+1)

ContactOn: Channel 5    Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 2:10pm

Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 ADOn: WatchDate: Saturday 28th MayTime: 12:20pm (and 1:20pm Watch+1, 10:05/11:05am 29th May)

Doctor WhoOn: Watch   Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 2:00pm (and 3:00pm Watch+1, 11:55pm/00:55am 28th/29th May)

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Doctor Who And The DaleksOn: Watch  Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 10:45am (and 11:45am Watch+1, 8:30/9:30am 29th May)

Dodgeball: A True Underdog StoryOn: Channel 4    Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 10:00pm (and 11:00pm 4+1)

EquilibriumOn: Channel 4   Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 00:10am (and 1:10am 4+1)

EntrapmentOn: E4  Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 3:50pm (and 4:50pm E4+1, 12:05/1:05pm 30th May)

Face/OffOn: BBC 1   Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 10:25pmFor Your Eyes OnlyOn: ITV1  Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 3:10pm

From Dusk Till DawnOn: Film4  Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 10:55pm (and 11:55pm Film4+1, 11:10pm/00:10am 1st/2nd June)

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Groundhog DayOn: Watch   Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 3:00pm (and 4:00pm Watch+1, 10/11:00pm 30th May)

Home AloneOn: Channel 4    Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 5:00pm (and 6:00pm 4+1)How To Train Your DragonOn: Sky Movies Premiere  Date: Friday 27th MayTime: 10:00am (and 11:00am Premiere+1 & 8/9:00pm, ten daily at similar times through 2nd June)

InnerspaceOn: TCMDate: Thursday 2nd JuneTime: 6:10pm

Innocent BloodOn: horror channel   Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 10:55pm

Jaws 2On: SyFy   Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 8:00pm (and 9:00pm Syfy+1, 2:40/3:40pm 29th May)

Kill Bill: Vol. 1On: BBC 3  Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 9:45pm (and 10:00pm 1st June)Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of LifeOn: BBC 3   Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 7:10pm

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Little Big ManOn: TCMDate: Tuesday 31st May 2Time: 11:40pm

Little Miss SunshineOn: more4  Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 10:00pm (and 1:05am 29th May)

Lucky Number SlevinOn: Film4    Date: Friday 27th MayTime: 10:50pm (and 11:50pm Film4+1)

Mad Max 2: The Road WarriorOn: ITV4Date: Wednesday 1st JuneTime: 10:00pm (and 11:00pm ITV4+1)

North By NorthwestOn: TCMDate: Saturday 28th MayTime: 12:15pm (and 5:00am 29th May)

Ocean’s ElevenOn: GOLD   Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 10:00pm (and 11:00pm Gold+1, 9/10:00pm 30th May)

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Office SpaceOn: Film4    Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 11:25pm (and 00:25am 31st May Film4+1)

On Her Majesty’s Secret ServiceOn: ITV1  Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 2:20pmPirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestOn: BBC 1  Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 9:00pmPresumed InnocentOn: BBC 1Date: Thursday 2nd JuneTime: 11:35pm

Rear Window (1954)On: 5USA    Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: noon (and 1:pm 5USA+1)The Astronaut’s WifeOn: ITV2   Date: Thursday 26th MayTime: 10:45pm (and 11:45pm ITV2+1, 11:45pm/00:45am 28th/29th May)

The Curious Case Of Benjamin ButtonOn: Channel 4   Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 9:00pm (and 10:00pm 4+1)The Deer HunterOn: ITV4Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 9:50pmThe ExorcistOn: TCMDate: Saturday 28th MayTime: 11:05pm

The Hitcher (1986)On: ITV1   Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 02:30am

The Italian Job (1969)On: Channel 4    Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 7:10pm (and 8:10pm 4+1)The MaskOn: TCMDate: Monday 30th MayTime: 3:00pm (and 6:45am 31st May)The Muppets Take ManhattanOn: Watch   Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 5:10pm (and 6:10pm Watch+1, 1:10/2:10pm 30th May)

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The Night Of The HunterOn: TCMDate: Thursday 2nd JuneTime: 01:20am

The RainmakerOn: BBC 1  Date: Friday 27th MayTime: 11:30pm

The Red BalloonOn: Sky Arts 2 HD    Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 5:25pm (and midnight)

The Running ManOn: Sky1Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 10:00pm (and 10:00pm Sky2 29th May, 10:00pm Sky1 31st May, 10:00pm Sky2 2nd June)The Silence Of The LambsOn: Universal Channel   Date: Saturday 28th MayTime: 10:00pm (and 11:00pm Universal+1, midnight /1:00am 30th/31st May)The SquareOn: Film4  Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 11:00pm (and midnight Film4+1)

The ThingOn: ITV4Date: Thursday 2nd JuneTime: 10:00pm (and 11:00pm ITV4+1)

Three KingsOn: TCM   Date: Friday 27th MayTime: 9:00pm (and 1:10am 28th May)

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UnforgivenOn: ITV4  Date: Friday 27th MayTime: 10:00pm (and 11:00pm ITV4+1, 20/11:00pm 31st May)

WALL-EOn: BBC 1   Date: Monday 30th MayTime: 5:00pmWallace And Gromit: A Grand Day OutOn: GOLD  Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 6:00pm (and 7:30pm Gold+2, 4:25/5:25pm 30th May)

Wallace And Gromit: The Wrong TrousersOn: GOLD   Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 6:30pm (and 7:30pm Gold+1, 4:55/5:55pm 30th May)

Wallace And Gromit: A Close ShaveOn: GOLD  Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 7:10pm (and 8:10pm Watch+1, 3:30pm 20th May BBC1, 5:35/6:35pm 30th May Gold/+1)X-MenOn: Film4Date: Sunday 29th MayTime: 9:00pm (and 10:00pm Film4+1)