Matt's Weekend Picks: April 8-10
Being Human (Saturday, 9/8c, BBC America)
So much crisis to contend with in the finale to the excellent third season of the original (and superior) version of the supernatural thriller. Mitchell has committed the ultimate no-no in vampire world — he's been arrested — and given that the episode title is "The Wolf-Shaped Bullet," there's even more desperation in his need to learn how the revived (and now evil again) Herrick survived the sort of werewolf slaughter that has been predicted for Mitchell. Meanwhile, Nina fights for her life after Herrick's slaughter at the B&B and Nina encounters Lia in Purgatory as she seeks to avert the dire prophecy.
Elizabeth Taylor Tribute (Sunday, Turner Classic Movies, starts at 6 am/ET)
For 24 consecutive hours, TCM celebrates the film legacy of Elizabeth Taylor with some of her finest performances (though A Place in the Sun is curiously absent). The highlights are roughly chronological, starting with her child-star breakthroughs in Lassie Come Home and National Velvet, continuing through her ingénue phase in Father of the Bride and Father's Little Dividend, and peaking with her adult triumphs in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (6/5c), her Oscar-winning roles in Butterfield 8 (8/7c) and most notably Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opposite Richard Burton (10/9c). For night owls, the highlight is the epic Giant (12:30/11:30c), teaming her with Rock Hudson and James Dean.
Human Planet (Sunday, Discovery, 8/7c)
With Planet Earth and Life, Discovery dazzled us with a fresh look at Earth's wildest extremes and the exotic creatures who inhabit it. Now it's our turn. In a six-part series airing over three Sundays, Human Planet uses personalized vignettes (along with the usual staggering panoramic photography) to show how native populations have adapted in the most extreme environments, learning to survive and provide for their families and communities. First up: hours devoted to "Rivers and Oceans" and "Mountains." Among the humans you'll meet: a young boy from the Mongolian mountains, training his eagle to hunt prey. Added bonus: soaring shots from an especially rigged "eagle cam."
Upstairs Downstairs (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS; check local listings)
Masterpiece Classic revisits one of its most revered properties with this three-part sequel to the Emmy-winning '70s series that helped define the Masterpiece brand of heart-warming period drama (most recently epitomized by the glorious Downton Abbey). Now in the mid-'30s, the miniseries takes us back to a long-shuttered 165 Eaton Place, where new masters of the house turn for help to former parlor maid Rose. She's the link to Upstairs Downstairs' past, once again played by Jean Marsh, co-creator of the original series with Eileen Atkins — who steals the new version as the family's eccentric monkey-toting Lady Maud, returning to London after a long sojourn in India. (If this rekindles your appetite for the original series, a new 21-disc boxed DVD set, with hours of extras, has just been released by Acorn Media.)
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