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CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: With an unsuspecting commander this must surely be a bridge too far


CHRISTOPHER STEVENS discusses the television on the weekend: With an unsuspecting commander, this must surely be a bridge too far

The bridge

Rating:

Agatha Christie: 100 years of Poirot and Miss Marple

Rating:

One of the positives of 2020 is how much more tolerant it has made me of fabricated and unlikely formats on television. I would have fired a year ago The bridge (C4) as stupid, stupid nonsense.

This reality endurance competition takes 11 overprivileged millennials and a quick-tempered old coder and tosses them into the wild next to a lake. Half a mile away, in the middle of the water, is an outcrop with a metal mast and a box of buried treasure.

Your job is to build a bridge from the bank to the money, using a supply of logs and ropes that are handy nearby and don't seem to belong to anyone. You have two months.

Whenever a torch rises from the tower, bridge builders have to bring tools and canoes to the island for new instructions. The first message ordered them to choose a leader. They chose Zac, a 23 year old stripper.

The bridge takes 11 overprivileged millennials and a quick-tempered old coder and throws them into the wilderness next to a lake

The bridge takes 11 overprivileged millennials and a quick-tempered old coder and throws them into the wilderness next to a lake

An impossible challenge, arbitrary rules, incomprehensible messages, and an unsuspecting guide with boundless confidence who admittedly looks good. . . The bridge might seem like a half-hearted game show at first, but it can actually be a razor-sharp political satire on the Covid crisis.

Participants' decisions make us mumble, as we have all since March: “Why? Why do this It is obviously the wrong choice. & # 39;

Zac chose the other two guys in the group for his deputies. They were immediately called "the boy band".

Then he ordered them to saw the logs and tie them together into floating panels. It took two days to do the first and they were 6 feet over 900 meters of water. At this rate, they won't be ready until Christmas 2022.

COVID hero of the weekend:

Michael Palin remembered meeting the arctic fur catcher Harald Solheim, who lived alone on Svalbard in 1990, in his Travels Of A Lifetime (BBC2). Incredibly, Harald still lives up there, completely isolated. This is real social distancing.

Nobody thought of tying the uncut logs in pairs to create a narrow walkway or hanging a rope line from the trees to the tower.

The only camper with practical expertise is 60 year old Sly, who describes himself as an "automaker". Maybe he's the type of wall-to-wall carpet in stretch limousines.

Sly is upset because the boys won't ask for his wisdom. He might wait a long time as the rest seem to believe it is their God-given right to already know everything.

As with most Channel 4 reality shows, from Hunted to The Island With Bear Grylls, the footage is so heavily edited that it's hard to be sure what you're watching. The screen shows a face as we hear another person speak, and it is impossible to know if the words and the reaction go together.

This type of misdirection is nothing new. It was second nature to Dame Agatha Christie, whose first novel, The Mysterious Affair At Styles, was published in 1920.

Agatha Christie: 100 years of Poirot and Miss Marple (C5) was really an extended pull for the latest film, with Kenneth Branagh as the Belgian detective in Death On The Nile – due out in December. . . That's if there are cinemas left by then.

Actors like Hugh Fraser, who played Captain Hastings, told us how much they enjoyed their characters, even though we didn't hear from Branagh himself or from the newly knighted Sir David Suchet who will always be Poirot.

Facts were spread thinly. But we found out that Christie learned about poisons in the Nursing Corps during WWI.

She attributed her success "to the fact that I never had an education". If that were true, half the world would be a genius.

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