Love song: The INXS miniseries <i>Never Tear Us Apart</i> ends tonight.

Love song: The INXS miniseries Never Tear Us Apart ends tonight.

FREE TO AIR

May Day QF32, Nine, 8.40pm

Shortly after taking off from Singapore in November 2010, an Airbus A380 with 400 passengers found itself perilously close to disaster when an engine blew up and the on-board computer lost control of what was designed to be the most sophisticated plane in the world. Unavailable for preview, this investigator-style docudrama recounts the remarkable skills and efforts of Captain de Crespigny and his crew as they safely bring the plane back to the ground.

PAUL KALINA

INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, Seven, 8.35pm (final)

As Andrew Farriss muses early on, once you've struggled to the top of the mountain, what do you do next? And it's this - the rise and fall - that preoccupies the final part of INXS's story tonight, starting in 1997 in a hotel room at Sydney's Ritz-Carlton. Despite the brief flash-forward the story picks up in 1988 - the band are at the height of their fame but they're exhausted and need time off (Michael Hutchence, for one, has a busy schedule of shagging Kylie Minogue in the kitchen). The backlash is also starting to build (''Australia doesn't appreciate us'') and the group must grapple with Hutchence's rising star. That we know from the opening scenes what's coming doesn't make the end any less poignant. While it drags a little in the second half and some of the supporting characters are a little jarring (Molly Meldrum! Bono!), there is no doubting Never Tear Us Apart is a love letter to INXS and their charismatic frontman.

Rake, ABC1, 8.30pm

Poor old Cleaver Greene. Life in - and out - of jail ain't what it's cracked up to be and he longs for his old life - ''the bar, the bars''. His 11-month stint in the slammer is over (''acquitted or quashed?'') and he has to adjust to life back on the streets. But what happens when everyone but you has moved on? His old clients are ''seeing someone else'' and his apartment has been taken over by some unexpected visitors. It seems the only one who cares is his old cellmate Mal (the wonderful Dan Wyllie), who has been persuaded to sing a tune from Les Miserables on a talent show, Aussies Gotta Sing. Like Cleaver, Rake is weird, wonderful and very, very watchable.

LOUISE RUDENDYKE  


PAY TV 

Man, Cheetah, Wild, Animal Planet, 6.30pm

At first, wildlife filmmaker Kim Wolhuter seems a bit mad. And perhaps he is. He spends his days walking barefoot through the Zimbabwean bush, trying to get as close as possible to hyenas, elephants, rhinos and other dangerous animals. But his fearlessness enables him to capture some amazing footage. One of the most spellbinding sights in this feature-length documentary is that of Wolhuter lying down near a mother cheetah who allows her litter of five cubs to sniff and nibble his toes and clamber on top of him. He wants to document the cubs' journey to maturity, though his observation that only one in five cheetah cubs survives its first six months is an ominous indicator of what's to come. Wolhuter says he doesn't like interfering with nature but will do so to protect endangered species such as the cheetah. So before long we see him running barefoot through the scrub helping the mother cheetah chase off a group of lionesses intent on killing her cubs. Memorable, to say the least.

Perception, Universal, 7.30pm

Another captivating episode of the series starring Eric McCormack as schizophrenic neuropsychiatrist Daniel Pierce, who helps the FBI with difficult cases. Tonight Pierce reluctantly immerses himself in a Second Life-style virtual world to help solve a murder.

BRAD NEWSOME


MOVIES

Crocodile Dundee II (1988) GO!, 5.50pm

One of the great mysteries of the Australian film industry (and there are many) is how Crocodile Dundee II made more money than its predecessor, Crocodile Dundee. The first, directed by Peter Faiman, is a gem, an amiable fish-out-of-water comedy about an Aussie larrikin, Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan), who finds true love when American Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) arrives in Kakadu. They soon head off to the USA, where Mick's outback skills give him a surprise edge over belligerent New Yorkers.

In John Cornell's sequel, scriptwriters Paul and Brett Hogan have abandoned much of what was learnt from the first film, and relied on a threadbare plot about Columbian drug dealers and kidnapped heroines. Mick and Sue also carry on as if all the love has gone, their American scenes mundane and pedestrian. It is a relief when Mick returns to Oz, where his bush knowledge helps save the day. But why quibble? Paul Hogan has given us one of the nation's most iconic characters, beloved by all.

The Sweetest Thing (2002) 7Mate, 11.15pm

There are few things sadder for film lovers than discovering new talent and then witnessing it fade away. Take writer-director Roger Kumble, who debuted with Cruel Intentions, a dazzling modernisation of Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Since then, Kumble has made only three undistinguished features, including The Sweetest Thing, and a whole lot of television.

Sweetest is the story of three young women whose life is to bemoan the direness of men and then go off to a club to pick up more. Their acerbic tongues and juvenile behaviour mask their inner terror of falling in love and risking being hurt.

In Cruel Intentions, Kumble wrote some of the wittiest dialogue of the 1990s, but here the few crisp moments are lost in a jumbled mix of tired sit-com gags. Let's hope Kumble has a late-career resurgence.

SCOTT MURRAY