Prometheus, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Great Expectations, Dirty Dancing, Where Eagles Dare: films on TV today

Aliens, alley cats and pussy-footed spies: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

Prometheus ★★★★
9.00-11.25pm Film4


Ridley Scott insists that Prometheus isn’t a “direct prequel” to Alien but it shares “strands of Alien’s DNA”, which means that you can treat it as part of the franchise. I do. Scott’s return to the series that he launched in 1979 was always a delicious prospect, and his visual touch is much in evidence as another spaceship lands on a barren planet and another motley crew go investigating — with monstrously gooey results. Using a “star map”, archaeologist couple Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green seek to discover humankind’s ancestors, but existential wonder is quickly extinguished when an alien virus gets on board ship. The narrative framework — from a screenplay by Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Jon Spaihts — mirrors Alien’s, but the unbearable tension, deep backstory, stunning visuals and horrible deaths will seal the deal for fans. Actually, all the British and Irish thesps — Idris Elba, Sean Harris, Michael Fassbender, Rafe Spall — make it feel like Alien3.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ★★★★
12 noon-1.45pm BBC2 

Elizabeth Taylor snaps and Paul Newman smoulders in this adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s famous play.      

Great Expectations ★★★★★
10.35am-12.55pm More4 

Still the greatest film adaptation of a Dickens novel? Quite possibly. David Lean’s atmospheric Oscar-winner stars John Mills as orphan Pip, and a young Alec Guinness.    

Dirty Dancing ★★★★
9.00-11.10pm 5★ 

Have the time of your life all over again with Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze steaming up the dance hall at a 1960s summer resort. Keep an ice-bucket handy.    

Where Eagles Dare ★★★★
9.00pm-12.10am Spike 

As Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood infiltrate a Nazi stronghold, the double and triple-crosses come thick and fast. It’s exciting and funny, often at the same time.     


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