What Now? (TV2, 8.00am). Local telly for the younger humans returns for its 31st year. Extraordinary. And from Monday at 4.30pm, The Erin Simpson Show is back for another year with a mix of music, sports, entertainment and food.
Soccer (Sky Sport 1, Sky 030, 4.30pm). That tops-off thing at the end of the game is going to be especially brisk this weekend: Wellington Phoenix play Gold Coast United at Westpac Stadium, after a Supreme Court ruling in Australia cleared the way for Gold Coast to finish their season, after Gold Coast owner Clive Palmer had his licence revoked by Football Federation Australia. In other Kiwi teams in Australian sports leagues news, the Warriors play the Sea Eagles at Eden Park today at 2.00pm (Sky Sport 2, Sky 031).
Sunday (TV1, 7.30pm). Tonight: A chat with Lucy Lawless who recently protested on a Shell drilling boat in Port Taranaki. Also, Sunday has David Tamihere’s first television interview, although the Herald reports that doing the show might have sent him back to jail. And, a feel-good story about Andre Agassi and his good works.
60 Minutes (TV3, 7.30pm). Melanie Reid sits down with David Bain for his first major television interview, as they say. I think this is what in the television news business they call a “get”.
Top Gear (Prime, 7.30pm). We’re beginning to suspect that Top Gear is really just free travel for Clarky, May and the Hamster. Tonight, Jeremy Clarkson and James May are in Beijing, where they meet the Stig’s Chinese cousin. It appears he knows kung fu. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond goes to Texas to investigate Nascar racing. See what we mean about the travel? Jammy.
Offspring (TV1, 9.30pm). Tonight, a tragedy at work brings Patrick and Nina closer. Like we couldn’t see that one coming.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Four, 8.30pm). Lots more dinos going crazy in the modern world but Sam Neill and Laura Dern bowed out of this one. Julianne Moore and the late lamented Pete Postlethwaite joined the gang and Steven Spielberg hung on for a sequel that does what most do: goes nowhere. A bit like dinosaurs, really. (1997) 5 – Diana Balham
The Stone of Destiny (Maori, 8.30pm). In which a cheeky Rotorua joker decides to call himself a bishop and invents a religion that makes him really, really rich and unbelievably pleased with himself. If only Brian Tamaki had something solid to base his claim to greatness on … Actually, this is about a big lump of sandstone – the Scottish stone of kings that the English stole from Scotland in 1296 and plonked in Westminster Abbey. This thoroughly appealing fact-based drama of Caledonian derring-do is set in 1951 – the year Glaswegian student Ian Hamilton and three of his friends decided to right a wrong and pinch a rock. It is directed by American Charles Martin Smith and is heavy on Scottish whimsy; the project really irritated critics further south, who felt it was anti-English. Maybe, but it’s a sentiment heard all over the colonised world that bears repeating. Nice work by Charlie Cox, Robert Carlyle, Billy Boyd and Kate Mara. (2008) 6 – Diana Balham
The Fog (TV2, 11.25pm). Thick and impenetrable. (2005) 3 – Diana Balham
Composer of the Week (Radio New Zealand Concert, today and weekdays 9.00am, and Monday 7.00pm). In the first Composer of the Week for 2012, RNZ Concert presents two weeks of music to mark the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy’s birth. Debussy (1862-1918) and Maurice Ravel were two of the most prominent figures in music’s impressionist movement, although Debussy hated having his work labelled and confined in this way. He is unquestionably one of the most important of all French composers, and a central figure in European music of the turn of the 20th century, his music virtually defining the transition from late-Romantic to 20th-century modernistic. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as symbolism – a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant. Debussy’s musical output consists mostly of works for ballet, voice, keyboard or orchestra. Frequently not settling around one key or pitch but moving restlessly onwards, his music combined modernism and sensuality to produce works whose beauty sometimes obscured their technical innovation. Their tranquillity masked a turbulent private life punctuated by a series of affairs: he was prone to depression brought about, it’s thought, by trauma suffered during childhood that he never discussed. It’s said he couldn’t compose unless he had his favourite porcelain frog with him. Debussy was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. It’s not known whether the frog was present at the time. – Diana Balham
Spectrum (Radio New Zealand National, 12.15pm). If chanting and drumming sessions, sleeping in a yurt and living on watercress soup sound like your cup of organic chamomile tea, the sound garden workshop in Okuti Valley on Banks Peninsula might just fit the bill. In Planting the Seeds of Sound, Deborah Nation meets Courtenay Stickels, a sound-therapy devotee who received the “divine awakening” in India and now passes on the power of the voice to others. Leave your coconut-fibre sandals and inhibitions at the door … – Diana Balham