Jul 05

Tuesday, July 7

A different British drama: Glue. Photo: SuppliedFREE TO AIR

MasterChef Australia, Ten, 7.30pm

Tonight’s episode is, explains Gary at the beginning of tonight’s episode, “tougher than a normal day” in the MasterChef kitchen, as celebrity chef Shannon Bennett returns to oversee a very special challenge in tonight’s fight for an immunity pin. After a herb-off, in which four contestants battle it out over identifying everything from Thai basil to chervil, the big twist will be revealed – and it’s not just that Matt Preston’s pants are confined to just one colour.

Outback Truckers, 7Mate  8.30pm

The beauty of Outback Truckers is that its featured truckers are not always strictly in the outback (although every episode does follow at least one driver’s hairy journey across corrugated red dirt roads), and it tends to be the non-outback drivers that are the most interesting. And so it is tonight as Carl Andrews, an expert in driving ‘‘oversized’’ rigs, face a ludicrously monster challenge – transporting a 250-tonne electrical transformer (worth a mere $9 million) from the Newcastle docks to a power station. It’s not a huge journey but the logistics are insane – he must use a 50-tonne road train comprised of several trucks and stretching 150 metres. His road train is effectively heavier than the world’s largest airliner and must, for inexplicable reasons, be driven down suburban streets in the dead of night.

Glue, SBS2, 9.30pm

Technically a “teen drama”,  This is is a depiction of England’s green and pleasant land as you’ve never seen it. Written by Jack Thorne, who wrote the series This is England and Skins, Glue is loosely based on his own childhood in rural Berkshire. It follows a groups of teenage friends in the fictional village of Overton, where racehorse breeding and farming are the main industries, and teen ennui is alleviated with casual sex, a seemingly plentiful supply of drugs and potentially deadly antics. But when one of the gang, 14-year-old Romany boy Cal is found dead, the ensuing investigation threatens to reveal the village’s dark secrets. The young cast, among them Yasmin Paige (Submarine), Charlotte Spencer (Line of Duty), Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown in the Harry Potter movies), Faye Marsay (Fresh Meat) and Jordan Stephens, half of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks, in his acting debut – are excellent. Kylie Northover


V for Vendetta, (2005)GO!, 8.30pm

During the live telecast of 2014’s Martin Place siege, debate ensued among commentators over whether the Arabic banner gunman Man Haron Monis had ordered placed in the window of the Lindt cafe was jihadist. Waleed Aly said it wasn’t, stating it was a commonly used spiritual message (‘‘There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God’’). Others disagreed, claiming it was jihadist because its wording had long been employed on jihadist banners and was used as a test during the 2013 Kenyan Westgate siege to separate Muslims from non-Muslims and kill the latter. To the lay observer, what had seemed at first like an open-and-shut case of discernible fact – the flag was or wasn’t jihadist – soon descended into a murky confusion over intent and interpretation.

Similar confusion followed the decision of the ABC’s Q&A to allow former terrorism suspect Zaky Mallah to verbally challenge parliamentary secretary Steven Ciobo and accuse the federal Coalition government of pushing young Australian Muslims into joining IS. The ABC has since admitted it made an ‘‘error of judgment’’. However, discussions about terrorism have always been fraught with difficulty, as the Wachowski siblings discovered after writing and producing V for Vendetta (directed by James McTeigue).

Inspired by the story of Guy Fawkes, who in 1605 decided to blow up London’s Houses of Parliament, Vendetta is set in the 2020s and tells the story of Evey (Natalie Portman), who is rescued from rape by a man in a Guy Fawkes mask, V (Hugo Weaving). He is an anarchist intent on bringing down the neo-fascists running Britain and he will go to any lengths to achieve his aims. The film is a fascinating and swirling exploration of almost every conundrum facing modern men and women – Evey offers to impersonate a child prostitute to kill a paedophilic priest; a television star pretends to be a womaniser to hide his gayness; V is genetically modified – but Vendetta upset many who felt it was an apology for terrorism. The film – like the Mallah debate – raised the issue of what constitutes a serious attempt to understand what causes people to think slaughtering others for spiritual, cultural or political grounds is a good idea. Meanwhile, Guy Fawkes is celebrated every November 5 with fireworks displays.

The Killing of Angel Street, (1981)ABC, 12.20am (Wednesday)

Highly regarded Australian film about a Sydney woman (Elizabeth Alexander) battling corrupt developers ripping down historic waterside terraces. Based on the life and unresolved disappearance of activist Juanita Nielsen.Scott Murray

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