Geek shows and movies on UK TV in the coming week

Dirk Gently, Doctor Who, Primeval, All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace and Wallander are amongst this week's UK TV highlights...

Douglas Adams’ holistic detective, Dirk Gently, has a return engagement tonight, Friday, May 20th at 9:00pm, this time on BBC 2. We reviewed this pilot here, and the reaction comments were mixed. The show’s expected to return with new adventures next year, so now’s your chance to get a foot in the quirky agency’s door, and let us know what you thought of the first show and your hopes for future episodes.

Doctor Who airs at 6:45pm this week, tomorrow night, Saturday, May 21st on BBC1. The first of a two-parter, The Rebel Flesh was written by Matthew Graham and we spoke to him recently about the upcoming episode. Of his two stories, he told us: “The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People are different [from Fear Her, penned specifically for children]. As far as I’m concerned, this is proper, across the board Who. Adults, kids- if they can watch it, because it is scary. I showed it to my wife the other night, and there were a couple of images in it where she went, “Actually, that’s quite scary. That’s not very pleasant.” And I notice that it’s going out a bit later. I wouldn’t be surprised if they put a warning out beforehand.” You can read all of the interview here, and we’ll have our review up as soon as we can on Saturday night.

There’s a second chance, too, to catch the excellent Swedish detective series, Wallander, on BBC4 on Saturday, May 21st at 9:00pm. This is the Swedish-language version, adapted from the novels, with the second series starting with The Revenge. At ninety minutes, each episode is more like a feature-length film, with thirteen episodes in each series. It’s well worth the investment of time, with excellent performances from a strong cast of characters.

Monday, May 23rd brings us the start of a new BBC2 documentary series by Adam Curtis, All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, detailing, in surprising and unique ways, how computers have become machine-assisted nature in our lives and affected our monitored view of ourselves and the world around us. The initial episode, Love And Power, looks at the idealised future that was envisioned at the start and we’ll be fascinated to see where that beginning leads in the remaining two instalments. The series launches at 9:00pm.

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Here’s a tantalising trailer for the programme:

Primeval returns on Tuesday, May 24th, having moved to Watch for its fifth series. The channel will show all of series 4 episodes (which we reviewed here) in succession, earlier in the day, starting at 9:00am, and the new series premieres at 8:00pm, with the first of six episodes of the ARC team’s constant struggle with the anomalies. Diehard fans fear not, as we’ll be continuing with reviews of the show.

Now, on to those films showing through the weekend and a bit beyond. As if to combat the trend of remakeitis, the original (and best) versions of Flight Of The Phoenix and The Italian Job feature this week.

And another entry, Ravenous, could have easily made our list of Dinner invitations you should probably decline. It’s not for suppertime viewing, but fans of Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle are in for a feast.

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

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Please also note: the ordinal numbers for dates will help you scan through this simple list with your browser’s search function. Enter ’21st’ in your browser’s Find box or window to highlight and/or tab through all movies shown on Saturday. Enjoy!

Back To The Future Part IIIOn: ITV1   Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 4:20pm

Carlito’s WayOn: ITV4Date: Tuesday 24th MayTime: 11:15pm (and 0:15am 25th May ITV4+1, 10/11:00pm 25th May)CellularOn: Film4Date: Tuesday 24th MayTime: 11:25pm (and 00:25am 25th May Film4+1)

Changing LanesOn: more4  Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 9:00pm (and 11:05pm 25th May)

Cop OutOn: Sky Movies Premiere  Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 10:00am (and 11:00am Premiere+1 & 6/7:00pm, then daily at similar times through 2nd June)

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Déjà VuOn: BBC 1  Date: Saturday 21st MayTime: 10:25pmFlight Of The Phoenix (1966)On: Film4   Date: Wednesday 25th MayTime: 2:25pm (and 3:25pm Film4+1)FranticOn: TCM  Date: Tuesday 24th MayTime: 9:00pm (and 1:20am 25th May)

Freeze FrameOn: ITV1   Date: Tuesday 24th MayTime: 10:35pm

Ghostbusters IIOn: 5*Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 9:00pm (and 10:00pm 5*+1, 7:50/8:50pm 21st May)

Good Morning, VietnamOn: Film4Date: Thursday 26th MayTime: 9:00pm (and 10:00pm Film4+1)

GremlinsOn: TCM   Date: Thursday 26th MayTime: 11:25pm

InnerspaceOn: TCM   Date: Monday 23rd MayTime: 6:40pm (and 10:55am 24th May)

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Iron Man 2On: Sky Movies Premiere   Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 3:45pm (and 4:45pm Premiere+1 & 8/9:00pm, then daily at similar times through 26th May)

Judgment NightOn: BBC 1    Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 00:20am

Knocked UpOn: ITV2Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 10:00pm (and 11:00pm ITV2+1, 9/10:00pm 24th May)Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of LifeOn: BBC 3Date: Wednesday 25th MayTime: 9:00pmLara Croft: Tomb RaiderOn: BBC 3  Date: Saturday 21st MayTime: 9:00pmMars Attacks!On: ITV4  Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 7:55pm (and 8:55pm ITV4+1, 8/9:00pm 23rd May)

MirrorsOn: Channel 4    Date: Monday 23rd MayTime: 10:00pm (and 11:00pm 4+1)

MoonrakerOn: ITV1   Date: Saturday 21st MayTime: 3:05pmOffice SpaceOn: Film4   Date: Wednesday 25th MayTime: 11:00pm (and midnight Film4+1)

OrphanOn: Channel 4   Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 9:00pm (and 10:00pm 4+1)

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Queen Of The DamnedOn: TCMDate: Friday 20th MayTime: 11:30pm

Ransom (1997)On: BBC 1   Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 11:30pmRavenousOn: horror channel    Date: Thursday 26th MayTime: 00:40am

Rear Window (1954)On: 5USADate: Saturday 21st MayTime: 1:40pm (and 2:40pm 5USA+1)Se7enOn: TCMDate: Saturday 21st MayTime: 9:00pm

SpaceballsOn: SyFy  Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 1:30pm (and 2:30pm Syfy+1)SpiderOn: Film4  Date: Tuesday 24th MayTime: 01:10am (and 2:10am Film4+1)

SupermanOn: TCMDate: Saturday 21st MayTime: 3:00pm (and 7:20am 22nd May)

Tango And CashOn: ITV1   Date: Monday 23rd MayTime: 10:35pm

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TenebraeOn: horror channel  Date: Wednesday 25th MayTime: 00:50amThe Accidental TouristOn: TCM   Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 6:40pm (and `0:25am 23rd May)

The Castle Of CagliostroOn: Film4   Date: Tuesday 24th MayTime: 5:05pm and 6:05pm Film4+1)

The China SyndromeOn: 5USA  Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 12:30pm (and 1:30pm 5USA+1)The Evil DeadOn: horror channel   Date: Thursday 26th MayTime: 10:55pm

The FugitiveOn: ITV2Date: Tuesday 24th MayTime: 00:05am (and 1:05am ITV2+1)

The Italian Job (1969)On: Film4  Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 7:10pm (and 8:10pm Film4+1)The Last King Of ScotlandOn: Film4  Date: Tuesday 24th MayTime: 9:00pm (and 10:00pm Film4+1)

The Last SamuraiOn: TCMDate: Saturday 21st MayTime: 11:30pmThe Loved OnesOn: Film4Date: Saturday 21st MayTime: 11:15pm (and 00:15am 22nd May Film4+1)The ShadowOn: ITV4Date: Friday 20th MayTime: midnight (and 1:00am 21st May ITV4+1, midnight/1:00am 22nd/23rd May)The ShiningOn: ITV4   Date: Monday 23rd MayTime: 10:10pm (and 11:10pm ITV4+1)

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The Way Of The DragonOn: SyFyDate: Saturday 21st MayTime: 00:10am (and 1:10am Syfy+1)The WitchesOn: Sky Living)    Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: noon (and 1:00pm Sky Living+1)The Witches Of EastwickOn: TCMDate: Thursday 26th MayTime: 9:00pm

TightropeOn: ITV1  Date: Saturday 21st MayTime: 10:15pmWaterworldOn: ITV2Date: Saturday 21st MayTime: 10:45pm (and 11:45pm ITV2+1)Willy Wonka And The Chocolate FactoryOn: ITV3  Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 2:10pm (and 3:10pm ITV3+1)

Wolf CreekOn: Film4   Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 11:10pm (and 00:10am 21st May Film4+1)

Young Sherlock HolmesOn: Film4Date: Friday 20th MayTime: 6:45pm (and 7:45pm Film4+1)

ZodiacOn: BBC 2     Date: Sunday 22nd MayTime: 22:00pm

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