Oranges and Sunshine, What Richard Did, The Karate Kid : films on TV today

British kids shipped into slavery, a Dublin lad does wrong and kung fu kicks back : the Radio Times team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today



Oranges and Sunshine ★★★
11.35pm-1.15am BBC1

Don’t be misled by the deliberately ironic title, which comes from the false promise made to children in care in the UK in the 1940s and 50s, who were forcibly shipped to Australia (and other outposts of Empire) for a better life in Paradise. Emily Watson, an actress defined by serious, difficult roles, plays the Nottingham social worker, Margaret Humphreys, who exposed the scandal many years later when she discovered adults who’d in fact been put into slave labour, some believing their parents were dead. Directed by feature debutant Jim Loach – who in terms of political expedience and passion is a credit to his father, Ken – this often painful drama makes good, comparative use of locations in sun-bleached Adelaide and the grey East Midlands, and will swell your heart with indignation (Ken Loach’s collaborator on Ladybird, Ladybird, Rona Munro, writes this moving screenplay) over an institutional crime that seems unthinkable. (As Watson’s character says, Why has no one ever heard about it?).

What Richard Did ★★★★
12.35-2.00am C4 

Jack Reynor is Richard, the guy who is cool, handsome, fun, brave, intelligent and wise. But Richard is about to be tested, to an almost biblical extent, in this fabulous Irish drama.

The Karate Kid ★★★
7.30-10.15pm E4 

Bullied Jaden Smith is instructed in self defence by school janitor Jackie Chan in this decent remake of the 80s teen classic, and learns that kung fu fighting is about mind as well as might.

Death Race ★★★
10.00pm-12.10am ITV4 

Futuristic action flick in which prisoners are forced to take part in a reckless reality TV tournament that always ends in flames – except when it’s Jason Statham behind the wheel. It’s the perfect vehicle for him.

The Forbidden Kingdom ★★★
11.20pm-1.25am 5★ 

An action comedy which does for kung fu what Galaxy Quest did for sci-fi. A boy obsessed with martial arts movies finds himself whisked to ancient China where he has to do lots of fancy fighting alongside genre heroes Jackie Chan and Jet Li.


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