The week in UAE TV: July 12-18
There is a definite theme running through this week's TV highlights: high crimes. From the ever-popular sleuthing of Sherlock Holmes to the sheningans of Danny Ocean and a murder investigation in a remote 1950s prison, the cat is chasing the mouse all over the place. There is, at least, some golf to calm things down at the end of the week.
The Series: Sherlock (episode 2, "The Blind Banker")
When: Sunday 12, 22:35
First screened in 2010, this was the pick of the first trio of BBC Sherlock episodes, with a mysterious break-in at a bank in the City, coded messages, kidnapping, a Chinese smuggling ring and Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson in the form of their lives. It’s also a self-contained episode so it works even if you’ve never watched an episode of Sherlock before. This will almost certainly be the best 88 minutes of TV you’ll see this week.
Channel: BBC Entertainment
Mini-Series: Spies of Warsaw (episode 1)
When: Monday 13, 21:45
First of the two-part mini-series, based on the acclaimed Alan Furst novel and adapted by the all-time great TV writing duo of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. David Tennant plays the military attaché at the French embassy drawn into the world of betrayal and intrigue in pre-WWII Warsaw with killers, femme fatales and the looming global conflict. If you’re not looking to get sucked into another long series, this is a great little espionage tale.
Channel: BBC Entertainment
Classic film: Ocean’s 11
When: Tuesday 14, 17:00
The original 1966 version with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack may not be as slick as the George Clooney remake, but it has a charm all of its own. From the Saul Bass opening credits to the Reservoir-Dogs-style walk at the end (with brilliant use of Vegas’ marque signs) and a far superior soundtrack this is Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop at their Rat Pack peak. And for the best part, that’s more than enough.
Channel: Turner Classic Movies
Sport: The Open Golf
When: Thursday 16, 11:00
The start of this year’s British Open golf tournament at the Old Course in St Andrews. Although the Claret Jug won’t be lifted until sometime on Sunday early evening — probably by Rory McIlroy who is the hot favourite to retain his title — some of the best stories happen in the first of the four days with big names failing to make the cut and players you’ve probably never heard of before having the round of their lives. Day off work in front of the TV?
Channel: OSN Sports 1
Modern film: Shutter Island
When: Friday 17, midnight
Even lead star Leonardo DiCaprio later admitted he didn’t know what was going on at times in this Martin Scorsese film, but it actually gets better on repeated viewings. Set in the 1950s, the investigation into an escaped murderer at a hospital for the criminally insane has enough twists to have you doubting your own mind, but while the first-viewing is shocking, watching again lets you pick up all the clues you missed first time around. Mark Ruffalo gives a superbly understated performance.
Channel: MBC 2