Blitz Street (Prime, 7.30pm). Tony Robinson of Time Team (although he’ll always be Baldrick to us) leads a team of historians, builders and pyrotechnic experts who reconstruct a typical World War II street as it would have been during the Blitz (although dummies fill in for people). The street of terraced houses, which was constructed at a remote military base, is bombarded with large-scale bombs and incendiaries similar to those used by the Luftwaffe. In some ways, it’s a celebration of that good old British spirit that got them through – despite 57 consecutive nights of bombing London, the casualty rate was less than 10% of that expected and those who lived through the bombardment didn’t crack under pressure.
My House My Castle (TV2, 8.00pm). Tonight: homeowners concerned about cellphone towers in their neighbourhoods.
Desperate Housewives (TV2, 8.30pm). Are we bored yet? Bit of a lacklustre season, and now Susan is told that if she doesn’t get a new kidney, she is going to die. Yeah, right.
Castle (TV1, 9.30pm). Plenty of cute comedy in tonight’s episode, which has a magic theme: the owner of a historic magic shop is murdered. Also, two of the show’s characters are in a relationship and keeping it a secret; there’s a change in Castle’s relationship with Gina; and Beckett gets to say “Alakazam, jackass.” Twice!
Nurse Jackie (TV3, 9.30pm). Season three and she is so busted. Or is she? As everyone knows, probably because of programmes like Nurse Jackie (it’s educational, innit?), drug addicts are expert liars and even better manipulators, so Jackie (Edie Falco) totally denies she is addicted. The season is about defiance, says executive producer Liz Brixius: “She knows that people know now, and it’s about damage control. It’s not about secrecy any more, it’s about managing information.” Fun fact: the episode is directed by Steve Buscemi.
The Late Show with David Letterman (Prime, 11.35pm). Tonight, Ray Romano, with music from the Arctic Monkeys.
Moon (Rialto, Sky 025, 5.10pm). Duncan Jones is turning out to be a director of note; his second feature, Source Code, is “a thinking person’s thrill ride”, said our reviewer David Larsen, and his debut, Moon, is a thoroughly clever, concise pice of work that references a number of sci-fi classics, including 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sam Rockwell holds the picture together with a compelling performance as a worker on the Moon who is about to end his three-year stint gathering the fuel source helium-3. But two weeks before he’s due to leave, he gets into an accident, and wakes up to find he has a spooky visitor. Kevin Spacey is the voice of HAL, er, GERTY, the computer. (2009) 9
Ninja Assassin (Sky Movies, Sky 020, 8.30pm). Slicey, dicey fun, which is more than you can say for director James McTeigue’s first movie, the Alan Moore adaptation V for Vendetta. Korean pop star Rain was supposedly stolen as a kid and trained to be a ninja-for-hire. (That seems like a plot hole right there: you give guys the skills to kill anyone, anywhere, anyhow and don’t expect that to blow up in your face?) Anyways, Rain rebels, leading to plenty of gory encounters with the other trained-from-childhood ninjas. In the mix is Naomie Harris, a researcher who is targeted when she discovers the existence of the clan. It’s all just an excuse for a succession of cartoonishly violent action sequences, said Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek, but Rain is very pretty, and Harris is a good foil for Rain’s smouldering. (2009) 7
Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan (Radio New Zealand National, 9.00am). Today includes 91-year-old Franki Wood, who has written a book about seniors finding love; world-renowned chef Madhur Jaffrey; and urbanist Tommy Honey. Info and audio here.