[Friday, 01st] Mr Monk and the Election [20:00, Hallmark] Natalie stood for election to her daughter's school board to keep it open. Her opponent was another patient of Monk's shrink, who really upset our detective by having a much closer relationship with the Doc. Someone shot up Natalie's election office but she refused to drop out of the contest. Captain Stottlemeyer made the Lt. her bodyguard.
Someone tossed a grenade into Natalie's house, so Monk put it in the fridge! Then Monk spotted The Guy. He was an arms dealer who had just been released from gaol. He had managed to destroy most of his incriminating documents when busted earlier, but there was a list jammed in the photocopier, which Natalie had bought for her campaign. And Natalie didn't win the election, which meant that she got to carry on looking after Monk.
Mission Impossible (1960s) [Odds On Evil, 20:00, Five US] Mr. Briggs, not Mr. Phelps, got the mission [Martin Landau was in the episode, however]. "This material will decompose in 5 seconds!" It was on a What The Butler Saw machine rather than a tape recorder. The plan was to sabotage a casino-owner prince's attempts to buy arms. So the strong man got to wear a 90 lb computer, which could predict the winning number at roulette. Some card sharping removed the rest of the prince's ready cash, and the deal fell through.
WW$ SmackDown! [22:00, Sky Sports 3] Batista is the champ again. King Booger wanted a match with him but Finlay made it Triple Threat. The bad news for London & Kendrick was that they had to lie down for Mercury & Nitro. The good news was that it was a non-title match. Next, it was triple-threat time. Each man took a turn to shine, usually while the 3rd man had a rest. Finlay used his club but it did him no good, and Batista got to pin him.
Some tedious crap from Chavo before his match with Benoit, who dished out 3 Germans but only 2 Amigos before being swindled. Leila & Kristal bashed each other and there was no sign of the Boogerman coming for Kristal. Finally, MVP and Undertaker took turns to bash each other until MVP tried to walk out. Kennedy tried to chuck him back into the ring but Kennedy ended up being zapped in the ring. Then Kane joined in for some double destruction until MVP and Kennedy legged it.
[Saturday, 02nd] Stargate SG-1 [10/7, Counterstrike, 20:00, Sky Two] Vala saw her daughter on another conquered world then the Jaffa used their weapon on Dakara to wipe out all life on the planet. Bra'tac told Gen. Landry that the Jaffa Council saw tthe weapon as their only means of fighting back against the Ori. The Jaffa and SG-1 had a punch-up over the Ori ship, which brought had Vala's daughter to the planet.
Gen. Landry confronted the Jaffa leader, who was hoping to capture enough Ori ships to be able to fight back. The daughter took control of the Ori ship and headed for Dakara. She announced that enough Ori ships were coming to convert the galaxy within a year. The Jaffa tried to use their weapon on the orbiting Ori ship so Vala's daughter zapped the weapon.
Bra'tac and Gen. Landry escaped through the stargate. Everyone on Dakara was wiped out. Five more planets fell to the Ori. The only hope left, the Earthers decided, was Merlin's weapon.
Changing Lanes (2002) [21:30, Channel 4] Ben Afflec plays Gavin, a lawyer, who gets into a fender-bender with Doyle (Samuel L. Jackson), a member of Alcoholics Unanimous, who is trying to stop his wife taking their kids to Oregon. Gavin offers Doyle a blank cheque at the scene but Doyle, who's a real bean-counter, wants to do everything right. So Gavin drives off. Doyle was heading for a family court hearing, and he arrives just after it finishes.
Gavin gets to court and he finds he's a document short; he wrote his name on it and gave it to Doyle. He has to get the file back by the end of the day or his firm in in big trouble. Gavin gets a hacker to make Doyle bankrupt to force him to return the file. Meanwhile, Dolye is involved in a fruitless scheme to buy a house for his wife; which falls through when the bank sees bankrupt on his credit rating.
Meanwhile, the partners at Gavin's firm, including his father in law, want him to forge a replacement power of attorney. They won't let Gavin look at the trust fund documents, so he sets off the sprinkers and finds they have stolen $3 million. Then he makes Doyle solvent again, but the hacker can't do anything about the bankruptcy. Doyle takes the nuts off a wheel of Gavin's car and watches him crash. Gavin gets him arrested.
Gavin's father in law tells him the guy who set up the charity trust was an exploiter, just like everyone else, and he's filed the forgery with the court. Doyle brings the original file back to Gavin and they say sorry to each other. So Gavin decides to blackmail the partners into returning the $3M. Then he persuades Doyle's wife to let him see the kids again.
[Sunday, 03rd] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports Xtra] The San Francisco 49ers at the New Orleans Saints. Half a dozen punts before the 49ers put together a drive, which stalled at the NO 12 and produced a FG. 3-0. A 48 yard kick off return got the Saints close to SF territory. In the 2nd quarter, Bush took a pass 25 yards to the goal line with 3 49ers hanging off him. The 49ers challenged his TD rush and lost. 3-7.
Thomas then Cooper sacked A. Smith and the 49ers punted. Simeoneau got a sack next time they had the ball. The Saints made a 4th & inches at the SF 47, Breed got off a pass to Bush while 'in the grasp' and Bush scored with a 8 yard TD run. 3-14.
The Saints started the 3rd quarter by going 3 & out. The 49ers gave them a dose of the run and finished the drive with a 48 yard pss to Bryant. 10-14. Then they pulled off a successful on-side kick. But A. Smith's first play was picked by McKenzie and returned the ball 56 yards before tripping up and losing the ball. The 49ers grabbed it, the Saints challenged and McKenzie was ruled down by contact at the 6 after the review. Carney kicked a 19 yard FG. 10-17.
Grant sacked Smith. Brees rushed 17 yards, then McAllister rushed 18 yards, and Bush finished the drive with a 5 yard TD run. 10-24. In the 4th quarter, Smith threw a deep pass, but he was picked off by McKenzie at the NO 10. On a 3rd & 11, Bush went 74 yards and finished the drive off with a 10 yard run for his 4th TD (with his college coach in the crowd). 10-31.
SF challenged the TD and lost. McAllister ate up the clock after the 49ers punted, and the Saints kicked a 33 yard FG. 10-34. And when 29 picked Smith, the Saints were able to run the clock out.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys at the New Jersey Giants. Half of the 1st quarter had gone and new kicker Martin Gramatica had missed a 44 yard FG try. Manning, under pressure, found Shockey in the end zone for an opening TD. 0-7. A pass by Romo bounced to a Giant but he fumbled and the Cowboys were back in business. Pass interference in the end zone put the Cowboys at the 1 (26 yard penalty). A TD run by Barber levelled the scores at 7.
In the 2nd quarter, Romo was intercepted but the Giants punted after a stupid penalty by Burress. Dallas recovered a fumble by Romo and punted. The Giants blew up on a 4th & 1 inside the last 2 minutes. A 25 yard run by Barber got the Cowboys to the Giant's 23 and Gramatica kicked a 41 yard FG. 10-7.
In the 3rd quarter, the Giants went 3 and out. The Cowboys challenged a backward pass rule and won to save 5 yards but still punted. The Giants recovered a fumble by Barber but they were stopped at the Cowboys' 4 and kicked a FG. 10-10. The Cowboys replied with a 35 yard FG. 13-10.
In the 4th quarter, Jacobs went miles on a screen pass to the Dallas 19 and Feely levelled the scores at 13 with a 22 yard FG. The Cowboys drove down the field to the Giants' 5, they got the benefit of a half the distance penalty, then they false started. Barber finished the drive with a 7 yard TD run. 20-13. 3:28 left.
After the 2 minute warning, Barber took a pass 28 yards to the Dallas 13 and a 5 yard TD pass to Burress levelled the scores at 20. 1 minute left. A 44 yard pass to Witten got the Cowboys to the Giants' 26; into FG rainge in 1 play. A false start pushed the Cowboys back 5 yards but Gramatica was able to kick a winning 46 yard FG. 23-20.
In Conclusion: This was a close one. The Giants killed themselves with penalties and the Cowboys got the job done on the road and claimed the top spot in the division.
[Monday, 04th] Broken Arrow (1996) [21:00, Sky One] Captain Hale & Major Deacon have to fly a mission in a stealth bomber loaded with 2 nukes as a test of US detection systems. Only Deacon is planning to steal the nukes and let Hale take the blame. He makes Hale eject, blames him for the crash, dumps the nukes and ejects himself. Hale is found in the Utah desert by a female park ranger, who tries to arrest him.
Deacon & Co. bamboozle the US Military into thinking the bombs have split open. Hale shoots down their helicopter, almost writing the ranger off. Hale and the ranger manage to capture the Hummer carrying the nukes and take them into a mine. Deacon catches up with them, removes one nuke and leaves Hale & the ranger to be blown up by the other one.
Hale & the ranger escape and the nuke goes off safely underground. Everyone ends up on a train. By now, Deacon has disposed of his client and he's following his own plan; which is to blow up Denver, not Salt Lake City, Hale deduces. Lots of shooting, lots of fighting. Hale Deacon for the nuke's remote control. Deacon dies horribly, Hale & the ranger get off the train and there is a huge train wreck. Which the nuke survives.
[Tuesday, 05th] NFL Live [01:20, Channel 5] The Carolina Panthers at the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles started with the temperature around zero. 3 punts before Carolina got the first 1st down. Williams took a pass 42 yards to the PE 12 and a 9 yard TD pass to Smith opened the scoring. 7-0. The punting continued into the 2nd quarter.
Finally, the Eagles put a drive together and Garcia found Westbrook with an 8 yard TD pass just before the 2 minute warning. 7-7. There was time for an exchange of punts, then a 38 yard pass to Smith got the Panthers into FG range, pass interference put them at the PE 1 and K. Johnson collected a TD pass. 14-7 at the half.
The Panthers started the 3rd quarter with another 3 and out. The Eagles moved into CP territory and Garcia, while scrambling, found Stallworth with a 30 yard TD pass. 14-14. The Panthers came straight back with a TD from Williams, who took a screen pass 35 yards. 21-14.
In the 4th quarter, a well-crunched Garcia got the Eagles to the CP 1 but Akers had to kick a FG. 21-17. A 45 yard FG from Kasay put the Panthers 7 points ahead again. 24-17. The Eagles levelled things up with a 29 yard pass to Westbrook then a 41 yard TD pass to R. Brown. 24-24.
Delhomme was picked off by Dawkins and the Eagles added a 25 yard FG to their tally. 24-27. 3:12 left. Inside the last 2 minutes, the Panthers reached the PE 8, but Delhomme was picked off in the end zone by Sheppard. The End!
This was a 'must win' match for both teams. Defences dominated early but the offenses took over as they tired. The Eagles did enough to win it.
CSI:Miami [21:00, Channel 5] A kidnapped woman made a wrong number call and ended up talking to Horatio. Wolf is chasing Boa Vista, who's going out with him to spite neglectful Eric. A suspect is blown away when SWAT homes in on a cell phone; only his live-in found it in the street.
Brenda, the kidnapped wife, ditched her boyfriend, who paid a guy to scare her. The guy spent the $500 then recruited an assistant, who decided to kidnap Brenda for real. Mitch, the husband, got an ear and a ransom note. Alexx decided that the ear had been removed from a corpse.
H. went after Mitch's boss and arrived as Mitch was trying to make his embezzling boss pay the ransom at gun-point. H. busted a cleaner at a cosmetic surgery class and rescued Brenda. Then he went to watch Eric's sister have her chemotherapy.
[Wednesday, 06th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] Sun Hill's finest keep finding a lad handcuffed naked to things. He's a mate of a chavvy bloke, whose mum won the lottery. DCI Meadows set in motion an operation to bust Jose Alvarez & Paul Haskew after Ava Garcia came to in hospital. DI Manson was messing about with James, missing Amy's dad, who had a date with the courts.
The Serious & Organized Crime Agency rained on Meadows' parade just as the bust was about to go down. They were after a £6 million shipment of coke. DC Nadir, of course, had tipped Kristen off to keep her out of the way. Dan had a big fight coming up and shot himself full of steroids.
The chavvy bloke was cautioned for possession of Es. Kristen & Nadir found out that Paul is recording traffic to her mobile. James didn't go to gaol and Dan went steroid mad and left his opponent needing CPR in the ring.
Stargate Atlantis [3/08, McKay And Mrs. Miller, 21:00, Sky One] Jean, Dr. McKay's sister, went into a mathematical frenzy and came up with material which Col. Carter believed that her theory offered a way to extract safe zero point energy from a parallel universe. McKay was recalled from Atlantis to get her to sign a confidentiality agreement.
When she wouldn't do it, not trusting the military, she was beamed aboard Daedalus, where Col. Carter told her that her discovery was needed to protect the planet she was staring at. Jeanie got a trip Atlantis. Another McKay appeared in the containment chamber when the experimental rig was fired up. He wanted the experiment shut down as it was endangering his Atlantis.
Atlantis2 came up with a solution, which would destroy Atlantis1 and put a tear in the fabric of universe1. Jeanie found a way to collapse the bridge between the universes but the ZPM was depleted completely. Sheppard showed Jeanie a message from her brother, recorded 2 years before, to prove that he did think about her occasionally. And Dr. Weir didn't fire McKay for rendering their ZPM useless.
Memory Run (1994) [22:00, Sci-Fi] Andrel Fuller, a high-tech burglar in a state run by the corrupt Life Corporation, ends up framed for a murder by one of his gang. The LC police stick a probe in his head, edit his memories to create 'evidence' and find him guilty of Murder One. At LC's Medical Division, a stroppy patient called Celeste, the woman murdered in the burglary, has a metal pill, a goad, implanted in her brain as a control device. Celeste turns out to have Andre's brain implanted in her body by Dr. Monger!
The good doctor helps Celeste to escape. The bloke who killed her is amazed when she shows up, and even more amazed to hear that he's looking at Andre in a new body. An LO death squad arrives and Celeste is picked up by a terrorist group called the Union, which is headed by Gabriel. Celeste & Gabriel find Dr. Monger under house arrest. They learn that LO is planning to harvest young bodies and move the brains of ancient LO executives to rejuvenate them.
Monger is released, and he decides that Celeste is pregnant (having shagged Andre just before her death). Celeste, Gabriel & Monger infiltrate LO, where the chief executive's brain has been transplanted into Andre's body! He shoots Monger so Celeste blasts Andre's body to bits. In the closing shot, Andre as Celeste has had the baby which Andre fathered, and Gabriel is still around.
[Thursday, 07th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] Being pushed out of the drug operation by SOCA, the Super needed a reason to keep the undercover going 'by the end of the day'. Will threatened to tell Inspector Gold about Dan's steroid problem. The lottery-winner chavs were still causing bother and they look like they're a semi-permanent fixture. The estranged husband was dragged into tonight's saga.
Paul has changed his coke importing plans and Kristen is sticking with him as she stands to make £1.5 million out of the deal. DCI Meadows tried to rattle her cage over a £10K coke deal, which DS Hunter uncovered, but she called his bluff and there was no fingerprint evidence to make it stick.
The bloke Dan was fighting turned out to have a known heart condition, so what happened wasn't his fault. SOCA terminated the Sun Hill operation. Paul told Nadir that the drug import goes off on February 14th. June got a key to the headmaster's place. Dan admitted taking steroids and Inspector Gold sent him home. And Nadir, who's planning to beat it with Kristen, told his bosses that everything happens on March 14th.
WW$ Raw [21:00, Sky Sports 3] Cena with a rant, then he gave the bum's rush to Melina & the Musclepiece. Messing about. The Highlanders dedicated their match against Cade & Murdoch to Roddy Piper, who had cancer. Lots of battering and double-teaming, but the good guys won out. A brief bit of violence from the divas. Cryme Tyme did some criminal carols at an old folks' home.
Benjamin versus Super Crazy gave us a few good moves and a few miscues before Crazy had to take a dive. Cena had to take the Musclelock challenge for his title. The ref was crunched a bit when Cena broke the hole and then he applied a full nelson of his own to make Masters submit. Umaga arrived to kick Cena's ass and chuck him over the announce table at J.R. So cue a huge shambles.
Viscera took on Carlito after some earlier apple-spitting. There was an unconvincing 'win' for Carlito after Torrie joined in and suffered a wardrobe malfunction. Mucho messin' Finally, a shambles involving DX, the Hardys, Edge, Orton, Mercury & Nitro. It ended with 15 minutes of the programme slot left, so Sky bunged in a load of fillers.
ECW Late Night [23:00, Sky Sports 3] A tearful Paul Heyman announced that Lashley is the new ECW champ. RVD & CM Punk took on Test & Hardcore Holly for a battle of the battered. Punk was in a winning position when he was attacked by Heyman's goons. Enter the wreck of Sabu to bash them with a steel chair. Then one goon suffered all 3 finishing moves. The wreck of Tommy Dreamer saw of Daivari then Khali killed him some more.
Kelly Kelly versus Ariel lasted about 30 seconds, with KK sneaking up on her opponent for a pin. Then Mike Knox dumped her again with violence. Finally, Big Show had a return match with Lashley with the title at stake. It was pretty even-steven until Lashley tried to lift Show for a body slam and found himself struggling out of a pin. Show punished Lashley's back and applied an Abominable Stretch. Lashley's 3rd try produced a slam of sorts and another, better slam proved decisive!
[Friday, 08th] Inventions That Changed The World [18:00, UKTV Documentary] This extremely watchable series by Jeremy Clarkson concludes with an account of the birth of television both the mechanical Baird system and its electronic rival, which eventually won the day. Betamax versus VHS with the better system winning for once. This series is well worth catching next time it's on.
Voyages of Discovery [19:00, BBC 4] Aussie explorer Paul Rose charted the history of the Nansen expedition into uncharted territory in the North, which began in 1893. Nansen hoped that his specially designed ship, Fran would be carried to the pole by the ice. But when that didn't happen, he and another member of the expedition set off to the pole with dog sleds.
Nansen invented the kit used by modern polar explorers but, sadly, he didn't actually get there. He found himself heading north on ice that was travelling south at a faster rate. A miraculous tale of survival follows. Another very watchable programme.
Mission Impossible [Wheels, 20:00, Five US] We're still in the era when Martin Landau was just a guest while his missus was a cast regular. This week's job was to prevent a terrorist regime from fixing an election with a rigged voting machine. Which they probably sold to the state of Florida for the election which put Dubya Bush into the White House.
[Saturday, 09th] WW$ SmackDown! [17:00, Sky Sports Xtra] Kennedy with a rant about the hearse in the arena. It drove to ringside with no one at the wheel, and Undertaker put Kennedy to flight. London & Kendrick took turns to dominate with Regal & Taylor, and the bigger blokes got to crunch the smaller ones. A rant from Cena among others. Finlay & Batista had a lengthy and well constructed brawl, which fizzled out into a crude assault when Booger T joined in.
Jimmy Yang made short work of Jamie Noble with a shot at Helms' title at stake. Mucho messin'. Benoit made short work of Granier. Scotty didn't get to worm the Miz, whose streak continued. Then the Boogerman got shot of Miz. Some crap singing from Kane before his match with Kennedy, which was a clash of Titans, which ended in the usual shambles & scriptwriting devices.
Stargate SG-1 [10/8, Memento Mori, 20:00, Sky Two] Vala is a waitress in a diner! 3 weeks earlier, she was kidnapped by Athena, a Goa'uld member of the Trust, who thinks her memories contain the location of an Ancient treasure. SG-1 raid Trust safe houses but Vala escapes just ahead of a huge explosion with amnesia. Vala wanders to a diner and the owner gives her a job. SG-1 work out who Athena is and what she is up to.
Back in the present, Vala attracts the attention of a cop when she foils a robbery at the diner, and a missing person report on her reaches both Gen. Landry and Athena. A fake Col. Carter picks up Vala but she causes a car crash. Col. Mitchell catches up with her but he is wounded, he becomes her prisoner and Vala believes nothing he tells her.
SG-1 eventually catche up with Vala and Daniel shakes lose some memories. She recognizes him and returns to the SGC. After Vala gets a clean bill of health, Gen. Landry makes her an official member of SG-1. So the gang goes out for a celebration and Daniel has to explain that he and Vala aren't an item.
[Sunday, 10th] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports Xtra] The Baltimore Ravens at the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs started a day of stupid penalties and missed opportunities with a missed 32 yard FG try. On the 2nd Ravens' possession, Stover kicked one from 41 yards out. 3-0. Then Reed picked off Green at the KC 35, the KC defence held up and Stover kicked a 23 yard FG in the 2nd quarter. 6-0.
The Ravens recovered the ball when Suggs forced a fumble from Green but they ended up punting to the KC 6. A 47 yard rush by L. Johnson and a personal foul on Baltimore got KC to the Ravens' 27. Reed picked Green again but the Ravens had to punt. Price sacked Green and a roughing the kicker penalty on a KC punt let them keep the ball and run out the half.
The Ravens started the 3rd quarter with a punt to the KC 2. R. Lewis got the 4th sack on Green and KC punted. McNair promptly found a wide open Clayton, who took the pass 89 yards for a TD! 13-0. KC reached the Ravens' 21, Thomas got a sack and Tynes kicked a 49 yard FG. 13-3. Surtain grabbed a fumble by J. Lewis (no challenge by the Ravens) but KC punted a minute into the 4th quarter.
McNair fired a 39 yard pass to Williams against a blitz and gained 3 first downs himself with QB sneaks with an empy back-field. J. Lewis ended with 9 minute drive with a 1 yard TD run. 20-3. KC put a spurt on and a 5 yard TD pass to Hall made the score 20-10 with 1:20 left, but the Ravens recovered the on-side kick try. The End.
In Conclusion: This was what the Ravens do, great defence and decent offense now that they have a decent QB. The Chiefs were all over the place.
The Denver Broncos at the San Diego Chargers. The Broncos, with Cutler replacing Jake Plummer, started with a false start, and punted. Rivers found Jackson with a 35 yard pass but SD punted. T. Bell recovered a fumbled snap and the Broncos punted again. Starting at the Denver 45, Tomlinson rushed to the 27, Gates took a pass to the 14 and he collected a 12 yard TD pass despite the attention of 2 defenders. 0-7.
T. Bell had to recover another fumble from a sack on the way to Denver's 3 & out. After another big pass to Gates, Neal rushed 5 yards to the end zone. 0-14. In the 2nd quarter, T. Bell hit the SD end zone but he stepped out of bounds at their 24 after a 51 yard dash. A 34 yard FG from Elam got the Broncos on the scoreboard. 3-14.
Parker took a pass 34 yards to the Denver 2 and L.T. went in from a yard out. 3-21. The next Chargers' possession saw Manumaleuna take a pass 18 yards through a herd of smaller Broncos, and a 7 yard TD pass to Gates made the half time score 3-28.
The Chargers went to sleep in the 3rd quarter. Cutler found Marshall with a 13 yard pass and Scheffler with a 28 yard TD pass. 10-28. Denver recovered a SD fumble on the kick off return at the 27 and scored again with an 11 yard TD pass to Scheffler, who juggled the ball but got control of it. 17-28. A big pass to Scheffler got the Broncos to the SD 39, they got to the 15 on pass interference then Cooper got a sack and Elam kicked a 33 yard FG. 20-28.
The Chargers woke up in the 4th quarter. Jackson took a pass 55 yards to the Denver 12, Rivers was sacked on 3rd down and Kaeding kicked a 34 yard FG. 20-31. Denver blew up on a 4th & 2 at midfield. A 19 yard pass to Gates and a 35 yard FG extended the SD lead to 20-34. Plastillo sacked Cutler on a Denver 4th & 3 and a 6 yard TD run by Tomlinson made the score 20-40.
Merriman stripped the ball from Cutler and the Chargers recovered it at the Denver 7. The Broncos challenged, wanting an incomplete pass ruling; no chance! Tomlinson's TD was an NFL single season record 29th. 20-48. And that was more than enough to make the Chargers AFC West champions.
[Monday, 11th] NUMB3RS [2/8, In Plain Sight, 21:00, ITV 3] The FBI started off trying to bust a meth lab, which got an agent killed in an explosion, and ended up chasing a paedophile. Flock Theory was Charlie's buzz word, and he was feeling guilty because he hadn't saved an abused child while just a nipper himself. The bad guy turned out to be a child abuser who was getting the FBI to find his estranged wife and his daughter! And when he was busted at the train station, everyone else felt a bit better about themselves.
[Tuesday, 12th] CSI:Miami [Open Water, 21:00, Channel 5] A bloke went overboard from a cruise ship and was eaten by a gang of sharks. Mike was drugged and $70K was missing from his safe. He'd also been married for just 3 days. Eric's sister has been questioned by Agent Wynn, who wants to bust Horatio for running a dirty lab. H. responded with a death threat.
The ship was dumping garbage illegally, which attracted the sharks. Alexx did a necropsy on a shark and found a bit of Mike, which told her that he'd been stabbed. There was a crazy woman with bird flu loose on the ship, and Eric tried to frame the captain for her murder. Calleigh tried to frame the ship's magician for stealing the dosh. H. tried to frame the ship's first officer for killing Mike.
The missing woman turned up dead in the garbage and H. completed the frame around the captain. His new step-daughter was busted for doing Mike in. But H. wasn't busted by the federal authorities.
Ticker (2001) [22:00, ITV 4] A senator is held hostage in his mansion. The FBI and ATF surround the place while the bomb squad go looking for a device in the basement. World War 3 breaks out as Glass, the bomb guy, decides the device is a decoy, the car park blows up and the head bad guy gets away. A year late, Officer Nettles, an ex-detective, on the garbage detail, and his partner walk in on the bombers, the partner is killed, the Irish bad guys get away but Nettles hangs on to the woman with them.
Alex Swan, the Head Bad Guy starts blowing up San Francisco to get her back. Nettles is allowed to hook up with the bomb squad. Swan visits the police station and gets his stroppy associate shot by the police. Then he blows up the guy's car. He phones the precinct captain to tell him he has to release the girl in an hour or the city gets it.
More bombs go off. Claire is released and she evades the police. Then she blows up Swan's car with him in it. Her next target it City Hall. She wants revenge for the death of her criminal husband. Nettles gets to flatten Claire in the City Hall basement and he has to disarm a device while Glass is tackling another on the roof. So no BOOM!
[Wednesday, 13th] Stargate SG-1 [10/09, Company Of Thieves, 20:00, Sky One] Odyssey goes looking for a second supergate and falls into a trap. Anateo, a member of the Lutian Alliance thinks that if he can capture Odyssey and SG-1, the Alliance will make him the leader in place of Natan. Vala gets hold of an alkesh, which is a piece of junk, and the rest of SG-1 go looking for Odyssey's subspace beacon. Vala & Daniel fall into another trap at a chop-shop for spaceships.
Col. Mitchell the Alliance HQ using the drug that Daniel used in Episode 515 Summit. Vala & Daniel escape from custody and Vala beams Anateo into space. With one bound, the crew is back in control of Odyssey, which has no shields, weapons, communications & hyperdrive. Natan reveals that he knew all along that Mitchell isn't Keflin! When Natan Odyssey, Daniels surrenders the ship to give Carter time to make repairs.
Mitchell bamboozles the aliens into shooting at each other, and he and Teal'c are beamed back to Odyssey. Vala gets the hyperdrive working and everyone heads for home. And Earth is now at war with the Lutian Alliance as well as the Ori.
Stargate Atlantis [3/9, Phantoms, 21:00, Sky One] Sheppard & Co. go looking for a missing team on another world. They find some ancient Geni corpses; they killed one another and the big question is, what happend to the guys from Atlantis? More bodies turn up in a cave and McKay finds the source of the energy. The missing men are found shot dead, their major is missing and he killed his own men.
Sheppard orders a return to Atlantis, the group jumps at shadows along the way, and the major attacks and destroys the DHD. McKay says he needs to shut down the device. He thinks it's a Wraith experiment which the Geni found, tinkered with, then shot up in an effort to switch it off, destroying the control panel.
The major wings Teyla. Ronan sees a Wraith and goes after it. Everyone but Teyla starts hallucinating, Dr. Beckett about the wounded and dead of their party. McKay thinks it's an effect of the Wraith device. Sheppard starts thinking he's in a desert in Afghanistan. Ronan shoots down a remote piloted vehicle from Atlantis, which frustrates their attempts to find out what his going on.
Sheppard & Ronan start shooting at each other. McKay thinks the device is overloading but he realizes it is an hallucination just before Sheppard shoots him. Teyla forces Sheppard to help her disarm the device and everyone comes back to their senses. Atlantis provides them with supplies and they have to wait for Daedalus to pick them up.
[Thursday, 14th] WW$ Raw [21:00, Sky Sports Xtra] Estrrrrada tried to buy Cena off with cigars, his watch and cash, but a brawl started. Estrrrrrada didn't get to use his brass knuckles and Nitro cheap-shotted Cena after he's 'won'. Jerry The Idiot & Carlito had some jolly fun with the Musclepiece & Viscera, then more fun backstage with Cryme Tyme. The Highlanders got to be bounced about by Haas & Benjamin, who have re-formed the 'World's Best Tag-Team'.
A blast from the past featuring Jerry The Idiot cheating to win the main event of a ppv. Edge versus Triple Tedious lasted about 3 minutes before Orton, Michaels, Kenny & Flair joined in. So the Coach put them in a 6-man tag match. Lots of action for 20 minutes, Flair saw off Kenny and the sledgehammer saw off Edge when he resorted to a steel chair.
Victoria crossed Torrie off her list. Torrie ended up in a Musclelock until Carlito & Jerry The Idiot chased Masters away. Jeff Hardy versus Umaga? That could only go one way, and the ref ended up splatted on the canvas beside Hardy. Finally, Cena bashed Nitro, some vice-versa for a while, then Cena got to do his trademark moves after 10 minutes. The end.
ECW Late Night [23:00, Sky Sports 3] The usual recap to start. RVD versus Test was athletic moves against brute force, and one-of-a-kind flexibility had no answer to Test grabbing the ropes to get a pin. A rant from Striker, helped by Balls Mahoney. CM Punk versus Hardcore Holly was more 'moves versus strength'. Holly got himself DQ'd, which wasn't very Xtreme, and he ended up in Punk's submission hold.
Tommy Dreamer challenged Khali but got Daivari instead. So he kicked Daivari's ass and was killed again by Khali afterwards. Finally, Lashley took on both of Heyman's goons, so lots of cheating & double-teaming, but Lashley got the job done on both goons.
[Friday, 15th] Mission Impossible [Ransom, 20:00, Five US] Egan, a gangster, kidnapped the daughter of one of Mr. Briggs' friends and offered to swap her for a witness against him. The DA had the witness surrounded, so the IM Team had to winkle the guy out of his hotel by putting something nasty in his water. They then performed a switch under the nose of a police lieutenant. Egan pulled a swindle on the first exchange attempt so Briggs insisted on doing it his way next time. So a scam went down, the daughter was freed and Egan got to meet the grand jury.
WW$ SmackDown! [22:00, Sky Sports 3] What's Cena doing here? A rant with a bit of help from the local yokels. Kendrick, London & Yang took on Regal, Taylor & Helms. Some bashing & cheatin', then Regal & Taylor walked out leaving Helms at Yang's mercy. Matt Hardy & Mercury did a lot of bashing and a few moves before Mercury was zapped.
MVP & Kennedy got to face the Brothers of Destruction, who did the early bashing. Taker took a bit of punishment then it all fizzled out on the ramp and Kennedy & MVP legged it. Chavo did a whinge then Funaki had to let himself be bounced around. Then Benoit put Chavo in a single leg boston to show him who's boss.
Vito versus Granier was the usual waste of time and a joke long gone stale. Miz proved he's a sick, disgusting person and the Boogerman joined in. Finally, Cena & Finlay did lots of bashing, Cena tossed the Little Green Bastard at Bradshaw, Finlay was dastardly but, surprisingly, Cena got to win in his home town. Then Booger T & Batista joined in.
[Saturday, 16th] The Cheap Detective (1978) [19:00, Five US] This Neil Simon film stars Peter Falk in what looks like a pilot for Police Squad. Set in a sort of San Francisco in 1939, we get a pastiche of Casablanca mixed with the Maltese Falcon.. Private Eye Lou's partner is killed and he's in the frame for having an affair with the widow. He runs into all sorts of weirdos based on characters from the 2 root films, the search for the 'missing object' comes up empty but at the end, Lou gets to drive off into the fog with all the other ladies in the film except his dead partner's homicidal widow.
Sunset (1988) [21:00, Five US] This Blake Edwards film has Bruce Willis as Tom Mix, the Hollywood cowboy. He plays Wyatt Earp in a 1920s film with the real Marshal Earp on the crew as a technical advisor. Earp is approached by the wife of the sadistic studio boss, Alfie. Her drunken son, Michael, is in trouble. Earp & Mix walk in on the murder of Candy, a club owner, and they split with Michael just ahead of the corrupt cops.
Earp gets involved with Cheryl, Candy's daughter, and Dutch, a gangster who's in league with both Arnie and the cops. Mix takes Earp for a ride in his plane then our heroes stage their own OK Coral shoot-out at Mix's ranch. A lawyer steers Cheryl to her mom's fortune and a letter from Candy saying she saw Alfie kill his first wife.
Alfie puts his second wife in hospital in a terminal condition. A trip to the first ever Academy Awards ceremony, where Alfie's sister does a lot of shooting. Alfie's battered chauffeur drives his boss into the harbour, Mix saves the chauffeur then Alfie attacks him. So Earp plugs Alfie and heads back home.
[Sunday, 17th] NFL Sunday The Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Chicago Bears. Both teams went 3 and out then Jones found some rushing room for the Bears and Clark finished their 2nd drive with a 24 yard TD pass. 0-7. Grossman was sacked by 84 & 56 next time the Bears had the ball, and the Bucs got their hands on the ball from a fumble during the next Bears' drive. But they had to give it back after a challenge got Brown ruled down by contact.
More work for the punters into the 2nd quarter, then the Bucs got to the Chicago 26, the defence held up and Bryant kicked a 45 yard FG. 3-7. Another Chicago drive ended in a 5 yard TD run by Jones. 3-14. Rattay came on for Gradkowski but the Bucs went 3 & out yet again. Lots of punting then the Bears started moving again with a minute and a half left of the quarter. A 4 yard TD pass to Clark made the score 3-21.
More punting in the 2nd quarter and 23 of the Bucs got a sack. Gould kicked a 38 yard FG for Chicago with 9½ minutes gone. 3-24. Then the Bucs came back. A 14 yard TD run by Alstott was the first Bucs' TD since Thanskgiving! 10-24. Hester, the Bears' wonder return man, fumbled the kick off return and suddenly the Bucs were at the Chicago 16, and a 10 yard TD pass to Smith made the score 17-24.
The Bears responded with a drive which ended with a 4 yard TD run by Benson. 17-31. Then C. Harris picked Rattay's first pass. But the Bears went 3 & out but a good punt gave the Bucs a long field. Rattay was half killed by a hit from Urlacher while getting off a successful pass from the end zone. But he made a 30 yard pass play with Galloway, who took the next play 64 yards for a TD. 24-31.
The Bucs sent the Bears 3 & out, then took just 2 plays to find the end zone again with a 44 yard TD pass to Hilliard. 31-31!!! A 3rd down sack on Grossman stopped the Bears, more punting and we were into overtime. [Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Barber scored for the Giants with an 11 yard TD run. 0-7.]
The Bucs started but Smith fumbled the 2nd play to the Bears and Hovan gave up an extra 15 yards for helmet hurling. The fumble survived a review, the Bears couldn't move the ball much and Gould came out for a 37 yard FG try on 3rd down. And missed! [Meanwhile, Buckhalter scored an equalizing TD for the Eagles. 7-7.] Punt, punt, punt. Davis took a pass 28 yards to the Bucs' 20, Peterson rushed inside the 10 and Gould made no mistake from 25 yards. 31-34 final.
In Conclusion: This one should have been an easy win for the Bears given the recent lack of scoring by the Bucs' offense. Instead, the Bucs made the Bears really work for their home field advantage through the playoffs, and this was a really good match.
Over to the Philadelphia Eagles versus the New Jersey Giants with 5 minutes gone in the 2nd quarter and the Eagles driving; and then punting. Dawkings picked off a pass by Manning, Shockey gave the Eagles an extra 15 yards, the Giants' defence stopped the Eagles at the goal line, so Westbrook leapt into the end zone on 4th down. 14-7. The 1 minute left was time enough to get Feely into position for a 47 yard FG. 14-10.
Manning was sacked on the Giants' opening drive of the 3rd quarter. Garcia found R. Brown with a 28 yard pass, Emmons sacked him, the Eagles were stopped at the Giants' 30 and Akers missed a FG try. Burress took a pass 52 yards to the PE 10 and Feely kicked a 23 yard FG. 14-13. Demps made Garcia fumble at the start of the next Eagles' drive. The Giants recovered the ball and got 'half the distance' as well to the PE 7. A challenge of the fumble ruling failed, the Eagles' defence held up and Feely kicked a 24 yard FG in the 4th quarter. 14-16.
A 64 yard kick off return put the Eagles at the Giants' 36. Westbrook scored with a 28 yard TD run on 3rd & 2! The Eagles went for 2 points but kicked the extra point after a pass interference penalty. 21-15. The punter just managed to get the ball down for Akers after a high snap!
Dawkins stripped the ball from Shankle and Sheppard recovered it for the Eagles. Then Garcia lost it. He collected a penalty for taunting via a spike and threw a stupid interception, which was returned 53 yards with the aid of a lateral pass. Pass interference on Burress got the Giants to the PE 1 and Jacobs put them ahead with a TD run. 21-22 after a 2-point try flopped.
The Eagles showed them how to do it by following an 18 yard TD pass to R. Brown with a 2-pointer to Smith. 29-22, 3 minutes left. Manning was hit by S.Brown on the first play of the Giants' drive, the ball shot up into the air, T. Cole caught it and returned it for a TD! 36-22. The Giants tried to go hurry-up, they made a 4th & 5 but they blew up on another 4th down. The End.
In Conclusion: This was another exciting match. The Eagles looked as if they might have thrown it away at one stage but they had the toughness to settle down and win it all over again. So the NFC play-off picture remains as confused as ever.
Diagnosis Murder [Down & Dirty Dead, 19:00, Hallmark] A mad motorcyclist call Spleen was killed while working for Kyle, a cheapskate video maker. Good old Doc Sloan's prime suspect was Jake, the son of a pal of Lt. Steve Sloan's. Jake was eager to take over from Spleen, and he put himself in hospital while being framed for murder. Doc Sloan was able to prove that Kyle was faking his video stunts, so a bit of barmy biking before Kyle gave up.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent [Inert Dwarf, 20:00, Hallmark] had a somewhat topical episode. A theoretical physicist was poisoned with radioactive samarium while trying to prove the Theory of Everything proposed by Dr. Manotti, a character loosely based on Steven Hawking. Vince the Nutter got to harass him good and proper, and he decided that Manotti was a killer who was manipulating everyone around him, and he wasn't as confined to the wheelchair as he let on.
NUMB3RS [Toxin, 21:00, ITV 3] Someone was product tampering in LA County and the conclusion was that he was trying to send a message to the cops. Charlie decided that information theory was the key, but the killer told all to an underground paper before Charlie got too far. A pharmaceutical company was being targetted and Brock, the suspect, had once worked there. He had issued warnings, which had been ignored, about a drug which had to be withdrawn.
Brock was looking for rancher McHugh, a federal fugitive. Brock turned up dead after the FBI found that the pharmaceutical company had a private eye on his trail. Charlie used group theory to find McHugh. And it turned out that the pharmaceutical company had provided him with defective antibiotics for his cattle and he was innocent of all charges. The PI was busted for murder and the pharmaceutical company boss also went down.
[Monday, 18th] NFL Live [1:02, Channel 5] The Cincinnati Bengals at the Indianapolis Colts. Palmer coughed up the ball when Freeney sacked him but the Colts were held to a FG. 0-3. The Bengals replied with a FG of their own. 3-3. And that was the first quarter.
The Colts went ahead with a TD pass to Harrison, 3-10, and sent the Bengals 3 & out. But the punt reception was muffed and a 12 yard TD run by R. Johnson levelled the scores at 10. Robinson got a sack, Manning scrambled for a 1st down and Harrison collected another TD pass inside the last 2 minutes. 10-17.
The Bengals stopped the Colts in the 3rd quarter but they were able to add only another FG to their score. 13-17. A long rush by Addai got the Colts to the Bengals' 6 and another TD pass to Harrison increased their lead to 13-24. The next Colts' drive ended with an 18 yard TD pass to Wayne in the corner of the end zone. 13-31. Watson took a pass 46 yards to the Indy 24 but the drive ended with another FG in the 4th quarter. 16-31.
Palmer was hit as he was delivering the ball and the Colts tried blew a challenge on an attempt to get an incomplete pass ruling and a fumble recovery by themselves. The Bengals went 3 & out and the Colts replied with a FG. 13-34. Freeney produced 2 more sack/fumbles during a period of punting, and there was no further scoring.
In Conclusion: The Bengals knew that they could run the ball against the Colts and they more or less abandoned their passing game. Which proved to be their undoing.
[Tuesday, 19th] Diagnosis Murder [Drill for Death, 19:00, Hallmark] Community General was doing an earthquake drill when a pushy hospital administrator was bludgeoned to death and the hospital was flooded with patients from a real disaster! This episode features people from the various incarnations of M*A*S*H [Elliot Gould, Hotlips 1&2, Klinger] A patient was killed next; but he'd been dead for 12 years according to official records. Luckily, the killer was fluorescent and she was eventually busted.
The Bill [20:00, Granada] CID were harassing a Mr. Hanson while the uniforms were dealing with a punch-up at an Irish funeral. Terry & Turner crashed an undercover and busted DC Masters & Seth Mercer, her old supergrass (the former Eddie Scott). Seth had been intimidated into running guns for his loan shark, Dougie Clark. Masters, who was in Sun Hill unannounced, wouldn't talk but DCI Meadows insisted on knowing what was going on.
One of the Irish brothers had swindled the other over their mother's will. He was in a wheelchair and he had a history of fraud. His brother was eventually busted for driving his car at the wheelchair to prove that the fraudster could leap for his life. DS Turner was doing his best to sabotage Masters' job. Meadows set up a joint operation with Nottingham Serious Crime Squad. Hanson recognized Seth. Armed police steamed in and Turner let Hanson drive off with Seth.
CSI:Miami [Shock, 21:00, Channel 5] A woman who was famous for being famous was electrocuted in her bath, so the CSIs tried to frame everyone in sight on what was to be the day of a wedding between Horatio & Eric's sister. The trail led them to a drug dealer, whose assistant was blown away. Some female prisoners were liberated at the drug factory.
The dealer was busted, then another drug factory. Meanwhile, Calleigh & Wolf were frantically trying to frame someone; anyone! A drug inventor was busted and another prisoner was free. Eric was shamed into going to the wedding and the episode ended with H. in a sniper's sights! To be continued on Boxing Day.
[Wednesday, 20th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] DC Masters played the loose cannon as Sun Hill CID looked for supergrass Seth's body and Mr. Clark, whom they assumed was after the £20K bounty placed on Seth's head by bad guy Mr. Castle. The uniforms were supervising evictions and Tony did his best to help fit up the council's bailiff for assault while Honey got to the truth. Clark turned up dead in the boot of his own car, and the guy busted in the car said Seth had paid himto dump it, but he had taken it for a spin.
DCI Meadows went ballistic and Mr. Hanson got to walk. Masters found Seth at his son's grave, and Castle joined the party. Seth pleaded self-defence over Clark's killing. Sun Hill CID turned up mob-handed, so there were plenty of police witnesses when Clark shot Seth, so he was an easy bust and a certain conviction. At the end, Meadows offered Masters a job.
Stargate Atlantis [3/10, The Return (Part 1), 21:00, Sky One] McKay's triumph of creating a stargate bridge connecting the Pegasus & Milky Way galaxies was diluted by the detection of a ship crewed by Ancients; survivors of a battle with the Wraith. Helia, captain of the Ancient ship Tria asked Daedalus for help, but when she arrived at Atlantis, she gave it a new ZPM, took the city over and gave Weir & Co. got 48 hours to go. But Mr. Woolsey was allowed to go to Atlantis as an IOA liaison officer.
The Pegasus Replicators took over Atlantis and McKay got the blame for having made it possible for them to rewrite their base code. General Landry wanted to nuke Atlantis to stop the Replicators getting to the Milky Way galaxy. Weir, Sheppard, McKay & Dr. Beckett stole the jumper and headed for Teyla's world, where the Geni were trying to recruit Teyla & Ronon. They preferred to go to Atlantis with Sheppard & Co.
[Thursday, 21th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] had PC Noble working out her agenda tonight. Pete, a bashed bloke, was lying about how he got his injury so Noble, who knew him when they were an army instructors, assumed he was up to no good while she wallowed in guilt over the death of a recruit. The next case was arson in an area of council housing which was being redeveloped. A kid, who was bunking off school, ended up in hospital.
Maggie, a mouthy shopkeeper, who was refusing to move, blamed the developer. The contractor blamed the locals for vandalism & theft. Maggie was busted for wrecking the contractor's caravan with a digger. And it turned out that the father had set the fire to get himself rehoused to move his kid away from the criminal influence of one of his mates.
Mickey was making a bog of his relationship with the PR lady. It turned out that Pete had been bashed by his Somali wife, who was running off with a college lecturer. Noble ended up having a drink with Pete and Honey got sloshed with Will.
WW$ Raw [21:00, Sky Sports 3] Over 3½ tons of 'superstars' in the ring for a Battle Royal, which was aimed at getting Edge into the ring with Cena for the main event. Carlito jumped the Musclepiece on the ramp and they never got to the ring. Carlito bled a lot after a collision with a camera and Masters legged it into the crowd. The wreck of the Hardys had to be involved in another shameful display of WW$ sporting values with Nitro, Haas & Benjamin.
An interview with Sylvester Stallone. Edge versus Cena was a quarter of an hour of bashing. Then the ref was felled, Orton rushed in for a swindle and DX arrived to reverse the swindle and hand Cena a win. Finally, Cena & DX versus Orton, Edge & Umaga saw Cena & Umaga disappear up the ramp leaving Edge & Orton to demolish DX with steel chairs in a festival of ham-acting and blood.
ECW Late Night [23:00, Sky Sports 3] Lashley with a rant, which was cut short by Dupree, who ended up on the wrong end of a demonstration of Lashley's strength. Striker & Balls Mahoney had a rumble, in which Balls over-reached himself and got crunched. Hardcore Holly gave CM Punk 3 minutes to make him tap out, but Punk got an Alabama Slamma instead. Shannon Moore was wrecked by Khali while Daivari was being wrecked by Tommy Dreamer at ringside. Then Khali wrecked Dreamer again on the ring steps.
Finally, RVD versus Test versus Sabu involved lots of leaping and clobbering. Test was double-teamed but he rushed back for pin on Sabu after RVD had frog-splashed the genocidal one. But it did him no good as the fans had picked RVD for a shot at Lashley's title. So Test flattened RVD.
[Friday, 22th] NFL Special [15:30, Sky Sports Xtra] The Minnesota Vikings at the Green Bay Packers for Brett Favre's last ever match at Lambeau? Where it was wet and 36 deg.F. After sending the Vikings 3 & out, the Packers reached the MV 8 but a sack by Leber brought Rayner on for a 38 yard FG. 0-3. Jackson, the replacement for Brad Johnson, was sacked by 4 Packers led by Kampman on the way to another 3 & out. A Packer trick play flopped, they were stopped at the 20 again but Rayner lost his footing while kicking, so no score.
More slipping & dropped catches into the 2nd quarter, when the Pack survived a fumble, as the Viking who picked the ball up had his foot on the sideline. They were stopped at the MV 16 and the FG try hit the left upright. Lots more punting. The Vikings challenged a pass to Driver and had it ruled incomplete, so the Packers punted after the 2 minute warning.
Hawk almost picked Jackson's first pass and Kampman got a 3rd down sack. 1:14 left after the punt, which was enough time for the Packers to get into range for a successful 44 yard FG kick by Rayner. 0-6.
The Packers continued to fail to run the ball in the 3rd quarter, while Taylor made some progress on the ground for the Vikings. The Packers went 3 & out after Woodson picked Jackson.
Taylor had a 43 yard pass play wiped out by a penalty. The Vikings punted but Favre first play was picked off by Smoot and returned 47 yards for a TD! 7-6. Favre's next pass went straight to Sharper but their was more punting into the 4th quarter.
Favre was almost sacked again by Leber. A roughing the passer penalty on Harris got the Pack to the MV 13. They advanced to the 9 but Harris stripped the ball from Franks and Winfield grabbed it for the Vikings at their 3. The Vikings had to punt. A 36 yard pass to Martin got the Pack to the MV 27. Inside the 2 minute warning, the Packers false started then they were hauled back for holding after Green got to the MV 3.
Rayner was able to kick another 44 yard FG, giving the Packers a 7-9 lead and leaving the Viking with 1:34 to get into FG range. A first down sack by Kampman & KGB set the tone, and the Vikings turned the ball over on downs. The end.
In Conclusion: Luckily for the Packers, their defence had the measure of the Vikings' offense. Favre made some good pass plays with Driver, but the receivers, Driver included, kept dropping passes or not completing their routes. But in a low-scoring game, 3 field goals were enough.
Fannny Cradock Cooks For Christmas [19:00, BBC 4] offered 10 minutes of things to do with mincemeat, like rolling it up in pancakes & a swiss roll sponge, or enclosing it in heroic pastry structures.
The Avengers [19:10, BBC 4] Steed's barber was stabbed under his very nose while our hero was after info on a traitor. Steed got to impersonate officers from each of the 3 services, then he joined a butling academy as a student. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peel was playing Mata Hari and the pair of them were able to foil a sinister bugging scheme.
WW$ Smackdown [22:00, Sky Sports 3] Santa bashed Batista with a steel pipe! Welcome to the WW$! So Teddy Long sent him back to the ring to be unmasked as Granier and Batista bombed down & out. Benoit versus Chavo yet again was spoiled yet again by the desire of the scriptwriters to impose their pathetic storyline. A lengthy blast from the past from earlier this year Lashley beating Booger T.
The Boogerman busted into a rant by Helms, who legged it. So the ring announcer was wormed instead. Mercury with a whinge about getting a faceful of ladder at the last ppv. Matt Hardy told him no to to be such a wuss before having to submit to ritual humiliation by Nitro. Bradshaw with a rant. Some brutality from the divas.
Finally, Booger & Finlay versus the Brothers of Destruction, who lived up to their name until it was time for them to do a bit of lying down to let the other guys look good. Some steel chair work by Booger behind the ref's back did him no good. The bad guys suffered a double choke-slam and Finlay collected a Tombstone.
[Saturday, 23th] Stargate SG-1 [10/10, The Quest part 1, 19:00, Sky Two] SG-1, out looking for the 'Sangral' as part of the search for Merlin's weapon, found themselves 3 days behind Baal. Worse, they were in a library when the Ori hit town for a spot of book-burning. SG-1 had to shoot some Ori troops to escape with the old librarian, who had the map in his head.
SG-1 came across a time distortion field, which Col. Carter reckoned the field was a maze, which required a lot of ingenuity to navigate. They caught up with Baal in a trap and they took him along with them. The Librarian was exposed as Vala's daughter! The group had to solve riddles in caves in a peculiar mountain. Daniel realized that the daughter's powers didn't work inside the mountain; but her shield did. Then the group found themselves shut in and at the mercy of a dragon!
[Sunday, 24th] NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 1] The New England Patriots at the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 1st quarter drives ended in puts, one by the Pats after a Jags' challenge had a pass ruled incomplete. The Pats were stopped at the JX 26 in the 2nd quarter. They lined up for a 4th & 1 but Gostkowski kicked a FG after a false start. 3-0.
The Jags came right back when Jones-Drew went through a crowd and ended up rushing 74 yards for a TD. The Pats challenged on the grounds that he was down by contact, but as he had run into one of the Jags, not a Patriot, the TD stood. 3-7. A sack by Spicer then Stroud forced the Pats to punt. Garrad felled the umpire with a 3rd down pass and the Jags had to punt. Another solid NE drive ended in a 1 yard TD run by Dillon inside the last 2 minutes. 10-7.
In the 3rd quarter, Thomas took a pass 36 yards to the JX 27 thanks to missed tackles, and he took the TD pass, which survived a JX challenger. 17-7. Scobee was sent out for a 53 yard FG try instead of a punt, but he missed. The Pats missed a 49 yard FG try. An interception of a pass by Garrard was wiped out by a roughing the passer penalty, Wilford took a pass 40 yards to the NE 2, and Jones-Drew rushed the end zone from a yard out. 17-14.
Lots of punting in the 4th quarter. Brady was crunched while converting a 3rd down the Maroney rushed 27 yards, untouched, for a TD. 24-14. The Jags got close with a 33 yard TD pass to M. Jones, who ran through a tackle. 24-21. The Pats were sent 3 & out, but when Green swatted the ball away from Garrard, that was it.
In Conclusion: Another close shave for the Patriots but they managed to win on the road once again.
The Cincinnati Bengals at the Denver Broncos. The Broncos started and Cutler's 2nd play was picked off by D. Jackson, who returned the ball 46 yards to the DB 5. But Palmer was picked off by Darrent Williams in the end zone! Houshmandzadeh was wide open but the ball sailed over his head.
A sack by Peko and the Broncos punted, the Bengals survived a fumble but they had to punt after C. Johnson dropped a pass in FG range. The Broncos punted after Cutler was sacked at their 1 by D. Jackson & Peko,and the Bengals took the lead with a 6 yard TD rum by R. Johnson. 7-0. Adams got a sack, Palmer was picked off by Bailey and there was light snow as the 2nd quarter started.
A flea-flicker to Marshall gave Denver a 35 yard gain to the CB 2, which survived a challenge. T. Bell & M. Bell were kept out of the end zone but a 1 yard TD pass to Scheffler got the job done. 7-7. A fumble by C. Johnson gave the ball to Denver at the CB 39. Their drive was 1 play; a TD pass to J. Walker. 7-14. A 46 yard FG from Graham made the score 10-14.
Some punting then Peko stripped the ball from T. Bell and O'Neill grabbed it for the Bengals at the DB 30. The Bengals reached the 6, Ekuban got a sack but Henry took an 11 yard TD pass. 17-14. The snow was getting quite thick as the 3rd quarter began.
The Bengals lined up for a 4th & 7 but punted after a delay of game penalty. The ball was downed at the Denver 1 and the play survived a challenge. M. Bell got the Broncos out of the hole, Scheffler took a pass 26 yards and M. Bell finished the drive with a 2 yard TD run. 17-21. Henry had a 75 yard TD run wiped out by an illegal shift penalty and the Bengals punted.
A 20 yard run by T. Bell helped to set up a 24 yard FG from Elam in the 4th quarter. 17-24. R. Johnson fumbled the ball to the Broncos but they had to punt. A successful Denver challenged forced the Bengals to punt. The clock ran down. The Bengals made a 4th & 9 inside the last 2 minutes, they reached the Denver 10 and H'zadeh took a TD pass. 23-24. Then, disaster for the Bengals. The snap went wide of the holder and their was no kick for the PAT.
In Conclusion. The Bengals had to win one to get into the playoffs. The Broncos need to win next week, as well. This match should have gone into overtime but stuff happens.
[Monday, 25th] Dr. Who Xmas Special [19:00, BBC 1] Donna, a bride, is beamed up to the Tardis from the church and her mother thinks it's just another of her attention-getting stunts. The Doctor says he'll get her back to the church in time, which proves to be a difficult job as neither has any money for a taxi; until the Doctor robs a cash dispenser with his sonic screwdriver.
After some messing about, they end up in the basement of Donna's place of work, where there is a sub basement being used as a secret base by the queen of the spider monsters. She is getting ready to destroy Earth. Worse, Donna's fiancé is in league with her. But, of course, the Doctor is able to save the day, even if the Thames ends up drained.
He makes some snow for Donna but she, ungrateful cow, turns down the chance to go off adventuring with him in the next series.
Live NFL [22:00, Sky Sports 2] The Philadelphia Eagles at the Dallas Cowboys. After making Dallas punt, the Eagles constructed an 89 yard drive, which concluded with a 25 yard TD pass to Schobel. 7-0. The Eagles recovered a Dallas fumble but a pass by Garcia was picked off by Henry. The Cowboys went for a 4th & 2, and Romo improvised a 1st down after evading a sack. The Cowboys reached the PE 1 in the 2nd quarter but they were stopped on 4th down.
The Eagles got away from their goal line with a 35 yard pass to Stallworth. The drive ended at the Dallas 2 and Akers kicked a 25 yard FG after a delay of game penalty. 10-0. Romo scrambled for 16 yards and finished the drive inside the last 2 minutes with a 14 yard TD pass to T.O. 10-7. The Eagles had 38 seconds left, which was time enough to get Akers in range for a 45 yard FG. 13-7.
In the 3rd quarter, L.J. Smith took a pass 65 yards to the Dallas 12 against a blitz, and Akers kicked a 21 yard FG. 16-7. Walker sacked Romo on the way to a Dallas punt. Ware caused a fumble after a sack but the Eagles got to punt. The first snap went over Romo's head but he picked the ball up and got off a 6 yard pass. But a sack by Howard forced the Cowboys to punt.
The next Dallas drive ended in the 4th quarter with an interception in the end zone by Dawkins. Garcia made 17 yards on a 3rd down to the Dallas 18 and Buckhalter's TD run ended an 80 yard drive. 23-7. 7 minutes left. Romo's 1st play was a pass straight to Sheppard of the Eagles. Hood sacked him on a 4th & 10 during the next Dallas drive. The Eagles made a 4th & 3, and that let them run the clock out.
Several long Eagles' drives wore the Dallas defence down. This was an excellent performance from the Eagles!
The New Jersey Jets at the Miami Dolphins, where it was chucking it down with rain! In the scoreless 1st half, Harrington was sacked, the 39 yard FG try by the Jets flopped when the snap went through the holder's hands, the Dolphins' defense delivered 2 monster hits, Taylor sacked Pennington and the punters had a lot to do.
Lemon came on for Harrington in the 3rd quarter. The rain came down even harder and the Dolphins blew a challenge on a pass to McCareins. Some athletic work by the Jets' special teams downed a punt at the Miami 1 but Brown rushed 13 yards to give the Dolphins punting room. Pennington scrambled for 15 yards, pass interference put the Jets at the Miami 11, they were stopped at the 3 and Nugent kicked a FG for the first score. 3-0.
The Dolphins started the 4th quarter at the Jets' 29, they reached the 8, they went back 5 yards for 12 men in the huddle, but Lemon delivered a TD pass to McMichael. 3-7. Washington took a pass 20 yards through tackles on a 3rd & 10. Cotchery looked like he'd taken a 32 yard pass into the end zone but the officials ruled that he was down at the 1. The Jets challenged and the replays showed that the ball was in the end zone when he touched down. 10-7.
Miami's next drive ended in a punt, but the ball struck a Jet and the Dolphins had it again. Thomas sacked Lemon, the Dolphins were stopped at the Jets' 7 and the Jets wasted a time out before Mare kicked an equalizing FG. 10-10. 2:09 left.
The Jets' first play was a 64 yard screen pass to L. Washington, they were stopped at the Miami 13 and kicked a FG for a 13-10 lead with 10 seconds left, which the Dolphins burned on the kick-off return trying to get some passing going and recovering a fumble.
This is one that the Jets had to win while there's nothing left for the Dolphins other than pride. Lots of dropped passes, lots of bad passing and the defences dominated. And the Dolphins could have won it.
[Tuesday, 26th] The Mystery of Mary Celeste [20:00, Channel 5] is a tangle of wilful invention by a corrupt official at Gibraltar, who was intent on creating a murder conspiracy, and fantasy created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This programme gave a complete history of the ship from original launch to final failed insurance swindle, with speculation about why it was abandoned in the middle.
Mary (not Marie) Celeste was found adrift off the Azores in November 1872. This is a junction of 3 of the Earth's tectonic plates, so the programme makers explored the idea of a sea quake; and concluded that a sea quake wouldn't have made Captain Briggs abandon ship. The alternative suggestion was an explosion of vapour from the ship's cargo of barrels of methanol.
In a laboratory experiment, it was shown that a vapour explosion could have blown the ship's hatches off and created an impression of fire without causing scorching in the hold. If the crew took to the lifeboat leaving the sails deployed, their tow rope could have broken and the ship could have sailed away from them, leaving Captain Briggs, his family & his crew to perish on the high seas.
CSI:Miami [Rampage, 2/3, 21:00, Channel 5] Horatio & an injured Marisol were in an ambulance, which was ambushed. Jump back 8 hours. H. put his new wife in protective custody then there was a shoot-out in the court where Rafael was on trial and he escaped. The breakout was an inside job by one of the cleaners. Meanwhile, Eric was being plagued by Gloria, a crazy woman, who thought Marisol was his wife, not his sister.
H. raided a Japanese restaurant but the Mala Noches had been tipped off. Then Eric & Marisol were plugged by a sniper. The ambulance was ambushed, H got to shoot a couple of Mala Noches but their driver got away. Eric busted the crazy woman, who said the sniper rifle in her boot wasn't hers.
A convention of dealers was busted and Rafael was recaptured. Calleigh proved that the crazy woman wasn't the sniper; someone else had beaten her to it. Marisol croaked in hospital. H. and Eric went looking for the driver, they got the name of the bloke who had ordered the hit out of the driver, then H. let him go with a death threat the bloke who ordered the hit is a dead man!
[Wednesday, 27th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] A 16-year-old girl was being pursued by her Turkish dad. Mickey's scouse mate Carrie went crazy at the hotel where she worked. The lady manager's bracelet was missing and ex-prostitute Carrie thought she was the prime suspect. Kevin, who got her the job, is dodgy. The daughter was shacked with a boyfriend and she ain't going back to dad! Dad caused a rumpus at the house of Jamal, the boyfriend. Then he accused Jamal of selling forged visas.
Kevin was using the bracelet to blackmail Carrie, so Mickey had him busted and got Carrie her job back. Meanwhile, DS Turner went after Jamal, whose dad was the real criminal. The Turkish dad ended up in hospital after a barney with his daughter, and they sorted out their differences. Jamal's dad dropped him in it, so Jamal returned the favour. Mickey let Carrie know he prefers Mia, the PR lady. So everyone ended up either in gaol or fairly happy.
[Thursday, 28th] The Bill [20:00, Granada] Reg found a stiff, so cue a part for missing Amy's dad as the comforter for another father with a missing child. In this case, the young man was a worthless drug addict, who killed himself after leaving a whinge of a suicide note in his diary. Meanwhile, Sgt. Nikki Wright is now at Sun Hill and the Super was keen for the troops to work harder as either Sun Hill or Barton Street is to be closed under New Labour's duff policing policy for London.
Meanwhile, Alfie, an ancient villain (69), was shot at a robbery at a jeweller's. Another old bloke, Davey, named the one who got away; he's Ronny, a nutter just out of gaol, and they were all in the same gang in the 1980s & 90s. Davey told Terry that Ronny was trying to recruit him for a job. But Alfie told Sgt. Wright that he'd told Ronny that it was Davey who got him sent to gaol in 1996.
Terry made a bog of trailing Davey & Ronny but Sgt. Wright bluffed Ronny when they caught up with him so Davey was saved and Ronny went darn. So everyone headed to the pub after a difficult day.
WW$ Special [21:00, Sky Sports 3] came from Baghdad, Iraq, on Xmas night; the 4th annual Tribute to the Troops. So Cena & Edge started, battering each other for 25 minutes before the Canadian lost with the help of a ref who did only a 2-count for the pin. A rant from General Casey then the first of lots of pictures of the troops with WW$ 'superstars'. CM Punk got to chuck the stroppy Shelton Benjamin back into the ring when he tried to walk out and the popular guy from ECW got to win.
Undertaker had to let the talentless Nitro do a bit before he smashed him down & out with a Tombstone pile-driver. Reactions from the crew building the set to a mortar attack on December 7th. Lashley, a former US army sergeant, was a sure bet against Hardcore Holly, but Umaga was allowed to keep his unbeaten streak going against Jeff Hardy, who was thoroughly killed.
Orton postured and Carlito did a better job of cheating for another popular win. Santa came to the ring with a gang of divas to distribute presents. Enter the Musclepiece to bad-mouthe him and put him in a Musclelock. Then Masters picked the smallest guy in the audience for the same treatment. But Santa, alias Bradshaw, kicked his ass and distracted him. So the Musclelock was broken and Masters got a Clothesline From Hell.
ECW Late Night [23:00, Sky Sports 3] was just a compilation of the greatest hits of 2006, so I switched off in favour of the current book: The Lazarus Vendetta, which is written by Patrick Larkin but has ROBERT LUDLUM'S in big letters on the cover as an exercise in mis-selling. In fact, the book is a lot more absorbing and a lot better constructed than a lot of the Ludlum blockbusters, and it would probably get more readers if Orion Books had stressed that it isn't written by Mr. Ludlum.
[Friday, 29th] Loch Ness Monster: The Ultimate Experiment [20:00, National Geographic] A team of special effects experts in Aylesbury was given the job of creating an animatronics monster to use in hoaxing at Loch Ness. Step 1, mould a body. Step 2, create the controls. Step 3, mount the body on a small sub and test it. The sub sank during a trial dive and ended up a write-off, so the team put the body on a rig controlled by divers.
Lucy, the monster, was driven past a camp site at Loch Ness. Lucy sank but the hoax worked. Two divers swam around with a spare monster hump for tourists at a mock battle. Then Lucy was located, retrieved and paraded in front of The Royal Scot for a boatload of monster-spotters. The conclusion was that the team put on a good performance and it was an A1 hoax.
More Amazing Moments [21:00, National Geographic] Racing crashes on water & land; animal attacks; an Xtreme skier making a bog of it and needing to be rescued; more dangerous animals; silly human rituals; animal daredevils and survival stories. The episodes are a combination of the amazing and the amazingly stupid, like the woman who was bitten while harassing a cayman and the Japanese kids holding huge, homemade fireworks.
WW$ SmackDown [22:00, Sky Sports 3] was another compilation so I switched off in favour of A Question of Blood by John Rankine, a Rebus novel.
[Saturday, 30th] TNA Hard Justice [part 1, 17:30, British Eurosport] Buckets of messing about before a 3-way for the X Division title. Surprise! Senshi, the reigning champ, got to win after 12 minutes of sustained action. Next, the tag champs versus some mad Mexicans. So 15 minutes of spectacular action before the nutters were neutralized.
TNA Hard Justice [part 2, 18:20, British Eurosport] Gail Kim took on Sirelda, a huge Canadian female think Triple H with tits! Kim applied a Tarantula and she got to win this 'grudge' match. A history of Sting & Jeff Jarrett next, and their match was a catalogue of American professional wrestling a trip into the crowd, the outside interference, the ref laid low and a swindle out of left field to finish.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988) [21:00, Sci-Fi] In this daft horror spoof, alien Klowns land at an American backwater and erect a huge circus tent. The farmer who owns the landing site falls foul of a Klown with a zap gun. Two college kids, Debbie & Mike, arrive next and find that the tent is huge inside. They escape but the local cops won't believe their story.
The Klowns are putting the townsfolk in cocoons. When Officer Dave checks out the story, he finds out that the threat is real but Officer Mooney, back at the police station, doesn't want to know. But a Klown visits the jailhouse. Dave finds that shooting a Klown's red nose makes it explode.
Debbie is beset by mini-monsters in her bathroom and captured. The aliens take over the amusement park. Dave, Mike and his 2 daft pals go after Debbie. Lots of fun inside the alien spaceship, and they all get out alive after Dave pops the nose of the giant boss Klown.
The Avengers (1967) in colour! [22:30, BBC 4] Mrs. Peel finds herself trapped in Little Storping, where most of the inhabitants agreed to ignore a public murder for a share of £1 million. They then turned covering up murders into a business. But the arrival of Steed, and some artfully flung custard pies, soon sorted out the bad guys.
[Sunday, 31st] NFL Special [11:00, Sky Sports Xtra] was a replay of the New Jersey Giants at the Washington Redskins from last night. The Redskins started and rookie QB Campbell got some cheers when he fought out of the grasp of 72 and rushed for a 1st down. But the drive ended in a fumble by Betts and a recovery by Robbins of the Giants to the WR 13. Manning was sacked by 99 at the 16 and Feely kicked a FG. 3-0.
The Redskins bounced back with a trick play; a 48 yard TD option pass from Randle El to Moss at the goal line. 3-7. Barber did a lot into the 2nd quarter, and he scored next for the Giants with a TD run. 10-7. He finished the next Giants' drive with a 55 yard TD run. 17-7. Brunell came on briefly when Campbell was crunched. The Giants had a TD pass to Burress cancelled with off-setting penalties inside the last 2 minutes but a 31 yard FG from Feely gave them a 20-7 lead at the half.
The Giants punted away their first possession of the 3rd quarter but they got the ball back when Bell collected a tipped pass. More Barber, Carter did a dive to get a pass interference penalty and he collected the 6 yard TD pass. 27-3. A big pass and a scramble by Campbell got the Redskins' drive past a face mask penalty. Awasom got a sack in but on 4th & 4 at the Giants' 7, Campbell found Betts with a TD pass! 27-14.
A 1 yard TD run by Duckett brought the Skins to within 1 score in the 4th quarter. 27-21. But the Skins gave the Giants a crucial 3rd down by defensive holding and Barber crashed through their ranks to go 50 yards for another TD. 34-21. The Giants blew a challenge contesting a sideline pass to Randle El, Betts went 40 yards of a screen pass and a 1 yard TD pass to a wide-open Sellers made the score 34-28.
3:22 left. The Giants went 3 & out but the Skins went 4 & out. The end.
In Conclusion: This was a must-win match for the Giants. They are now in the playoffs but they don't look like going too far on this form.
NFL Sunday [18:00, Sky Sports 1] The New England Patriots at the Tennesse Titans in Nashville, where straight-down, big-drop rain was falling. After sending the Pats 3 & out, the Titans drove to the red zone and V. Young got off an amazing 3rd down pass, which didn't get a TD despite a challenge. So the Titans had to settle for a 25 yard FG instead. 0-3. Dillon rushed for 52 yards, Brown sacked Brady and the Patriots kicked a 28 yard FG. 3-3.
Dillon finished the next Pats' drive with a 21 yard TD run. 9-3 after the PAT try was blocked. Colvin recovered the ball for the Pats after it was stripped from Young and Gostkowski added another FG in the 2nd quarter. 12-3. Lots of fouls after the play in a bad-tempered match. Dillon extended the Pats' lead with a 1 yard TD run. 19-3. Henry got the Titans to the NE 2 with rushes of 25 and 34 yards, but a 23 yard FG try missed. The Pats went 3 & out with the half running out, but there was enough time for Pacman Jones to return their punt 81 yards for a TD! 19-10.
After sending the Titans 3 & out in the 3rd quarter, the Pats got close enough for a FG try but the kick missed. New England gave up 3 consecutive personal foul penalties but the Titans came away only with another FG from Bironas. 19-13. The Pats replied with a 1-play drive; a 62 yard TD pass to Caldwell. 26-13. Pacman returned the kick off to midfield again. After losing ground to a penalty, Young found B. Jones with a 53 yard pass to the NE 12 but Bironas came on again to kick a 27 yard FG. 26-16.
The next Titans drive included a 35 yard gain for pass interference, it survived a fumble by Young and he finished it with a 28 yard TD run. 26-23. The next Titans drive ended with an interception by Samuel, and Young made the tackle. Cassel came on for Brady and was sacked by 93 & 92. The next Pats' drive went better; Maroney rushed for 31 yards to the TT 2, and went in for the TD. 33-23.
Meanwhile, the Eagles kicked off against Atlanta.
The Titans blew up on a 4th & 7.
In Philadelphia, the Eagles, with Feeley as QB, opened the scoring with a 21 yard FG.
Testaverde came on for the Pats and threw a 7 yard TD pass to T. Brown to extend his record to throwing at least 1 TD pass in each of 20 seasons. 40-23.
Vick threw a TD pass to Dunn to put Atlanta 7-3 up.
Another pick by Samuel stopped the Titans and let New England run out the clock and simplify the play-off picture somewhat.
Over to the Atlanta Falcons at the Philadelphia Eagles to stay in time to see Feeley find Baskett with a 28 yard pass and a 14 yard pass reach Schobel for a TD even though it was tipped. 7-10. Loada penalties on the Eagles in the 2nd quarter. Vick rushed for 14 yards and Andersen kicked a 45 yard FG. 10-10. Atlanta was pinned deep by an Eagles punt, Vick was almost sacked for a safety but the Falcons were able to punt. G. Lewis took a 27 yard pass to the AF 5 and Avant caught a TD pass after the 2 minute warning. 10-17. Which left enough time for a sack on Vick and a couple of punts.
J. Thomas started the 3rd quarter by sacking Vick for a loss of 10 yards. Schaub came on as QB for Atlanta. The Falcons had to punt but they got the ball back from a fumble scrum. R. White took a pass 28 yards, Considine almost got an interception and Schaub bobbled the hold on a FG try, so no kick. The next Eagles drive ended with Akers hitting the right post.
A good drive by the Falcons ended in the 4th quarter with an equalizing 9 yard TD pass to Crumpler. 17-17. The Eagles regained the lead with an 89 yard pass play to Baskett! 17-24. Schaub was picked by Considine and Sky lost the transmission for 5 minutes. Atlanta were driving again and after the 2 minute warning, they were at the Eagles' 2. Schaub tripped over his own feet and lost some ground. Then we lost the pictures again. We were allowed to see a 4th down pass by Schaub going incomplete, and that was it.