Archie is 82 years old and has dementia. The death of his wife just three months ago has knocked his world. Neighbours, friends and family say he’s looked frail and out of sorts ever since. And now Archie (an ex-Para) is missing.
Police in Darlington are alerted by Archie’s son Peter that his dad has vanished, apparently leaving his home for one of the long walks he’s so fond of. But he’s been gone far too long and Peter is worried.
Without wishing to sound tasteless – the safety of an elderly and very vulnerable man is at stake after all – this is another enthralling episode (though, sadly, the last) in an excellent, too-short series.
There are layers to the story and, initially, a disturbing undercurrent when officers feel there might be more to Archie’s disappearance than they are at first led to believe.
In 2009, Royal Marine Commando Andy Grant was on a routine patrol in Afghanistan when he was blown up by an IED. He had 15 operations to try to restore his shattered right leg but his army surgeon knew Andy would never regain full use of it. “Life at a snail’s pace wasn’t for Andy,” he said and he was right because eventually Andy decided on amputation.
The photos of his injuries are unflinching but this documentary is mainly focused on Andy’s determination to be something more than a former soldier who now has only one leg. He set out to be the world’s fastest single-leg amputee over 10k. Andy is remarkably pragmatic about his experiences so when his coach refers to him as inspirational, he won’t have it. “Nah, I’m selfish – I’m just enjoying running,” he says.
Wherever a bunch of Brits gathers, the subject of class rears its head. Even on the sun-drenched hillsides of Tuscany it’s inescapable. One participant in this curious experiment tells us about her new friend; “Karen might have gone to private school and I might have gone to the roughest school in Cardiff, but we’ve still got the same values.”
Why “values”, whatever they are, should have anything to do with schooling is unclear, but Second Chance Summer doesn’t dig into anything too deeply. Certainly not when there are olives to harvest. Not everyone lends a hand. One nonconformist magnificently refuses point blank to take part (though she’s probably fed up with being bossed about by men).
I Was Born on One Born
Seeing your own birth must be a rather strange thing. In this series of All 4 shorts, six babies from One Born Every Minute – now all primary school age – will watch a censored version of how they came into the world.
Simon Pegg squeezes into some very small shorts for this cheeky offering directed by former Friends star David Schwimmer (with whom he co-starred in Big Nothing). As titular “fatboy” Dennis, Pegg looks doomed to failure when he signs up for a marathon to prove his love to former flame Libby (Thandie Newton). She’s tough to please though, which is understandable as Dennis left her pregnant at the altar five years earlier. Schwimmer gets plenty of comedy mileage out of Dennis’s shortcomings – including the inevitable locker-room confrontation with Libby’s hunky new fiancé (Hank Azaria). A few of the gags are obvious and lazy, but overall there’s a good balance of laughs and emotion, with Pegg managing to be endearing even as he molests a shop mannequin. The last leg of his journey (a race across London), while a bit contrived, will surely raise some hearty cheers.
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