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10 things we learnt from watching TV last week 6

One of the survivors relives The Great Escape

Feature by Tim Carson

Here’s what we learnt from watching TV between 28th November and 4th December, 2011.

1. Real life really is stranger than fiction. Most of us have seen The Great Escape – a fabulous film that’s a tribute to the heroic exploits of the men of the Stalag Luft III prison camp in Poland. However, watching the C4 documentary on the escape revealed that the men behind the escape were “even more skilful, determined and ingenious than anyone could have imagined”. Digging tunnels over 100ft long through sand was a feat of incredible bravery and ingenuity and one which defeated a modern team of engineers. Truly remarkable.
Digging The Great Escape, C4, Monday, 9pm

2. Australian TV producers know how to tug on the heart strings without being over-sentimental. As they proved in Australian Master Chef this week when they had the five remaining finalists cook for the loved ones they’d not seen in over two months. Aaaaah! It’s also so much slicker and better produced than nearly all the UK’s reality TV output.
Australian Master Chef, Watch, every night, 7pm

3. I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is by far and away the best “reality” TV show in the UK. Every year you look at the list of “celebrities” and think this will be terrible but every year the bunch of half-famous, half-desperate stars manage to surprise us and create excellent TV that is equally hilarious and revealing.
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, ITV, Every night, 8.30pm

4. Thinking of a funny title doesn’t always mean you should turn it into a TV show. Yes Desperate Scousewives is a clever, punny title but the show itself is like a poorly done but unfunny satire of the The Only Way Is Essex and Made In Chelsea.
Desperate Scousewives, E4, 10pm

5. It was nice to have Goran Visnjic back on TV. Pan Am may not be the best show on TV – and it’s not too surprising that it’s future is now in doubt – but it was improved with the addition to its cast of former ER star Goran Visnjic. He had a fine and moving exit scene too.
Pan Am, BBC2, Saturday, 10pm

6. Mid-season breaks are annoying. Several US TV shows are now disappearing from our screens until February which seems a little bit of an excessive Christmas holiday!

7. One such show that’s gone missing in action is The Walking Dead but what we learnt from its mid-season finale was that no character is safe. The final dramatic moments of the episode brought to an end the hunt for one of the youngest members of the group who has been missing since the first episode of the second series. It ended in a way no one wanted with Sophia appearing from Herschel’s barn full of walkers as a walker. There hasn’t been a sadder moment in this series than seeing Rick forced to shoot her. Devastating.
The Walking Dead, FX, Friday, 10pm

8. The X-Factor is now officially dull. This week’s “semi-final” saw Misha B leave in what was the most predictable result so far. Amelia Lily is the best of the three finalists left but does anyone really care who wins as this series has truly lacked any star performers or great groups. It’s time this self-perpetuating gravy train for Simon Cowell upped its game.
The X-Factor, ITV, Saturday, 8pm

9. Shipwrecked: The Island what is the point and how has it managed to last eight series!
Shipwrecked: The Island, E4, Tuesday, 8pm

10. Sky Atlantic ruined my Tuesday night by not showing Battlestar Galactica. I was looking forward to that.
Battlestar Galactica, Sky Atlantic, Tuesday, 9pm

Next: Previously on What we learnt from TV

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