Alan Titchmarsh, that endlessly enthusiastic ray of sunshine, does a DIY: SOS on the garden of triple amputee Mark Ormrod. Mark, 36, a former Royal Marine, was catastrophically injured after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2007.
He has since raised huge amounts for forces charities with gruelling sponsored events, so Alan and the gang think it would be nice to make Mark a present of a super new garden, somewhere for him to rest and relax.
As they face the scrubby wasteland at the back of the house, with its awkward, uneven surfaces and neglected play area (Mark and his wife have three young children), Titch decides that it must be packed with palms to give it a “Treasure Island feel”.
It’s a genial little adventure and no one, thankfully, piles on the peril with a pointless melodrama about time running out. It’s just a lot of nice people doing something good for someone who deserves it.
Metropolitan Police officer Paul Molyneux is about to retire after 30 years’ service. So he talks freely to the camera about life in The Job.
After arresting a PPO (Prolific Persistent Offender), captured after a high-speed, dangerous car pursuit, he tells us: “The police are running themselves ragged trying to catch [criminals] and then the courts let them go. That really p***** me off. I was a nice person when I joined [the Met], now I’m bitter cynical and twisted.”
He says this with a laugh, but you can tell he’s had enough and doesn’t care who knows it.
In another enthralling episode following officers on a series of investigations, we also eavesdrop on the murder of a disabled man, beaten to death in his own home, which was later set alight by the killer.
A follow-up by film-maker Patrick Forbes to his tremendous Brexit: a Very British Coup?, returning to the subject almost a year later to get the inside story on what’s happened since. That documentary was fuelled by the betrayals, twists and shifting momentum of the campaigns both for Leave and for a new Tory leader. This one can’t offer such a clear narrative but it retains its impressive access to influential or outspoken politicians, with Nick Clegg, Emily Thornberry and Boris Johnson among those interviewed.
As well as the machinations that have underpinned the start of the Brexit process in government, we follow Nigel Farage to the US as he attempts to make a new home in Donald Trump’s lap, and shadow Gina Miller as she tries to check Brexit in the Supreme Court.
Another chance to catch Riz Ahmed greatly boosting his profile in the US by carrying off the onerous lead role in a remake of BBC1’s Criminal Justice. He’s the ordinary, vulnerable guy who we’re fairly sure isn’t guilty of murder – can he survive being chewed up by the legal system?
As one of the slogans used to promote the video put it – “Robbery, blood, violence, torture all in the comfort of your own home.” Yes, the film that many consider the most influential of the 1990s reached our televisions uncut and with its reputation intact, in spite of the revelation that it bears more than a passing resemblance to Hong Kong action director Ringo Lam’s City on Fire. Shot in just five weeks on a tight $1.2 million budget, the film was a runaway success, much to the surprise of its debuting writer/director Quentin Tarantino who was hoping for a cult hit rather than a phenomenon that would inspire countless wannabes to churn out bungled blag flicks of their own. Working wonders with Tarantino’s pacey, attitude-laced dialogue (packed with references to pop music, TV shows and hip movies), the ensemble cast is uniformly excellent, with Michael Madsen’s sadistic, ear-slashing Mr Blonde and Steve Buscemi’s exasperated Mr Pink particularly outstanding. Brash, abrasive and unrelenting, this is a must-see.