Pat Stacey’s weekend TV review: Gripping thriller Munich Games harks back to terrorist horror


At the time of writing, the news had just broken that Queen Elizabeth II had died.

he protocol when this sort of event transpires is that the BBC’s programming across all its channels are suspended and replaced by rolling news and pre-prepared documentaries and tributes. ITV and Channel 4’s schedules are also likely to change significantly.

Tonight

One of history’s most shocking terrorist atrocities in history casts its long shadow over new Israeli thriller series Munich Games (Sky Atlantic, 9pm & 10pm).

Fifty years after the Olympic Village massacre, in which five Israeli athletes and six coaches were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, Munich is hosting a commemorative football friendly between Germany and Israel.

Mossad agent Oren Simon (Yousef Sweid) comes across something on the dark web suggesting an attack is planned. He’s reluctantly paired with German agent Maria Kohler (Sayneb Salah), but can he trust her?

Expect a gripping yarn from Michal Aviram, who penned the espionage thriller Fauda.

When the dust finally settles, who will be the victor in television’s big fantasy showdown? I fervently hope it’s the visually stunning The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Amazon Prime), if only to further annoy the nauseating racist fanboys for whom the cast isn’t sufficiently white.

The Late Late Show (RTÉ1, 9.35pm) boasts some pre-recorded star power as Ryan Tubridy nips over to London to meet George Clooney and Julia Roberts, who talk about their new romcom Ticket to Paradise.

Back in the studio, it’s familiar business: Amy Huberman plugging her new children’s book, a few contestants from Ultimate Hell Week: The Professionals plugging that, and a musical interlude from Megan O’Neill.

Part two of the impeccably produced The American Presidency with Bill Clinton (Sky History, 9pm) looks at how those presidents who made the most impact on the country all had a particular vision of what the country could be.

You can pretty much take it that a certain New York real estate owner and reality TV blowhard won’t be figuring in the shake-up.

At the time of writing, I hadn’t had a chance to catch any of Mike (Disney+), which landed yesterday. Frankly, I’m not so sure I want to.

Video of the Day

Turning the life of boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson, played as an adult by Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes, into a drama miniseries is a dubious choice, especially for this particular streamer, and by all accounts it gives him a pretty easy ride.

Hard to believe it’s the fifth season of Cobra Kai (Netflix), a sequel to the original The Karate Kid that nobody asked for but lots of people seem to like. It opens with Daniel (Ralph Macchio) deciding to close down his dojo.

Close

Katie (Rosa Salazar) finds her wedding day is pure murder

Tomorrow

You know how it is. A woman has just tied the knot when, out of the blue, her brand new husband and his entire family drop dead from poisoning at the reception. This is the bizarre premise in the thriller Wedding Season (Disney+).

Rosa Salazar stars as the woman in question, Katie, who finds herself having to go on the run with Stefan (Gavin Drea), the man with whom she’d been having an affair. Both suspect the other one, while on their tail are a couple of dour detectives and a posse of angry relatives out for blood.

Hit BBC thriller The Missing (Drama, 9pm & 10.20pm) and its spin-off series, Baptiste, eventually collapsed under the weight of tiresome plot convolutions and multiple timelines.

But this first season from 2018, which unfolds leanly in two timelines and stars James Nesbitt and Frances O’Connor as a couple whose young son disappears during a holiday in France, is gripping and ultimately haunting. It’s showing in weekly double bills.

The name Fred Kuhn means nothing to most of us today. In the 1930s, however, he was infamous as the self-styled representative of Adolf Hitler in America.

The story of how he led his troops through various American cities and filled Madison Square Garden with his supporters is told in The American Fuhrer (PBS America, 6.55pm). Hitler was displeased, yet could do nothing to stop him. Neither, more importantly, could the FBI. As a companion piece to new drama Munich Games (see Friday), repeated film Munich’s Black September (Sky Documentaries, 11.45pm) tells the story of the terrorist attack.

Sunday

Episode two of the middling North Sea Connection (RTÉ1, 9.30pm) sees Swedish drugs squad detective Tuva Palsson (Alida Morberg) arriving in Roskillane, where she immediately clashes with local cop Sgt Egan (Dennis Conway), a walking cliche who refuses to accept anyone in his sleepy little community could be involved in drug dealing. Yeah, very believable.

Can this really be the third season of the anodyne Keys to My Life (RTÉ1, 830pm)? Yes, it can — and is. Brendan Courtney accompanies Majella O’Donnell to her childhood home in Thurles, as she recalls her difficult relationship with her father, and to Tenerife, where she first met her future husband.

I Survived 9/11 (More4, 9pm) is self-explanatory: harrowing testimony from some of those who narrowly escaped death in the attacks on the World Trade Centre 21 years ago.

Among them is an English lawyer who had only been in America a few weeks and still suffers post-traumatic stress disorder.



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