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Mark Peters

 

When we were young, we had the world at our feet. Life was for living and loving, not for moaning and worrying. We could do anything and everything we wanted. Then, suddenly, decades had vanished. We were starting to get … sshhh … old.

That moment you realise your days are numbered and that maybe your life hasn't exactly turned out the way you'd hoped is traditionally where the good ol' mid-life crisis raises its ugly head. Luckily, the old-school remedy of ponytail and Ferrari is no longer our only option: we now have bucket lists, self-compiled wish lists of dreams to fulfil before we cash in our chips and board the bus for Planet Mormon (or however you see it playing out).

At the ripe old age of 27, a few years ahead of most people, Australian Sebastian Terry had his moment of clarity when he lost a close friend. The death persuaded him to drop everything except his video camera and chase his dreams. Terry's documentary, 100 Things to Do Before You Die (TLC, Thursday at 10pm), is a humorous, action-packed adventure. He runs with the bulls at Pamplona; he marries a stranger in Vegas (it is supposed to be a stripper he meets while mud wrestling but she stands him up); and he indulges in a number of adrenalin-fuelled activities in his birthday suit.

As he ticks off one goal after another while raising money for children's cancer charity Camp Quality, Terry's passion and enthusiasm are intoxicating and while we may not be able to complete our own lists with quite the same humanity and zest for life as he musters, he may be the match to light many a fire.

Someone with few worries about mortality is the boy who won't grow up, Peter Pan. There have been numerous stage and screen adaptations of J.M. Barrie's novels about this mischievous, high-flying character but the four-part fantasy miniseries Neverland (above; TVB Pearl, Tuesday at 10.40pm) is a prequel of sorts to the original story and focuses on the origins of the relationship between Peter (Charlie Rowe; The Golden Compass) and the villainous Captain Hook (Rhys Ifans; Notting Hill, Enduring Love).

Living in Dickensian London, the orphaned Peter and his band of cunning Cockney scoundrels are petty thieves working for their morally dubious mentor, Jimmy Hook. Upon snatching a precious orb they are flung into the magical world of Neverland.

The only problem is that it doesn't look or feel all that magical. Surely part of the original story's charm was Peter's unexplained past? And with its amateur dramatics and underwhelming green-screen effects, Neverland is, sadly, as dull as dishwater. Not even an over-the-top Bob Hoskins, reprising his role as Smee in 1991's Hook, can keep the ship afloat, and with all the wonder sucked from it we're left with a show that simply fails to fly.

From Neverland to the magical kingdom of … er … Swindon, Britain's most average town. In Kevin's Grand Design (BBC Lifestyle, tomorrow at 9.10pm), Kevin McCloud, the British architectural guru who has spent many years critiquing other people's home-building projects in Grand Designs, attempts to do for housing what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners.

McCloud puts his money where his mouth is and takes up the challenge of building contemporary, affordable and sustainable homes that are also profitable. But it's not all plain sailing, and he soon begins to lose control of his vision for an eco-development project.

I'm guessing a show named Return to Swindon may not be high up on McCloud's bucket list.

 

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