It's funny how tall tales (as long as they aren't malicious) can give characters a certain charm. My grandfather, spotting my young grandmother on a tram, chased along the street until the vehicle stopped, jumped on and proceeded to charm the proverbial pants off her with tales of how he had been orphaned during the war and was being brought up by a wicked aunt. He kept the story up for weeks, by which time she had succumbed to his 'bonny smile', before telling her the truth that he had two very alive parents and three siblings. He then spent 60 years married to my grandmother spinning her - and anyone who would listen - more than a few stories that verged on the shady side of honest. Others, though, have made an entire career out of tall-tale telling, namely the real-life German soldier and nobleman Karl Friedrich Hieronymous von Munchhausen, on whose fables The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen (Pearl, 9.30pm) is based. Twice filmed before, Terry Gilliam's telling of the saga begins in an 18th-century European city besieged by the Turkish army. Set among the bombed-out buildings is the Theatre Royal, which is packed with citizens watching The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen. The performance is suddenly interrupted by an old man (John Neville), claiming to be the real baron and the cause of the siege. When there is fresh bombardment, the baron promises to prove his claim by saving the city and, along with the only person who believes him, a 10-year-old girl (Sarah Polley), sets off on a fantastic adventure. He departs in a makeshift balloon to round up his old cohorts, the superhumanly gifted aides who will help him in his struggle. While the film is undoubtedly stylish and the characters wondrously colourful (such great character actors as Oliver Reed, Jonathan Pryce, Bill Paterson and Alison Steadman star), the story-within-a-story is plodding and listless, leaving the viewer unable to be drawn in on an emotional level. Still, it's worth sitting through for the visual feast, even if the story lulls. Treasure Island (World, 9.30pm), yet another telling of the classic high-seas adventure, is also a visual feast, but here the story equals it. Filmed on location in Cornwall, England, and Port Antonio, Jamaica, it's a beautifully photographed pirate adventure with Charlton Heston cast against type as Long John Silver and Christian Bale playing a solid young Jim Hawkins, whose map is the key to a store of hidden treasure. The excellent cast, which also includes Oliver Reed (again), Christopher Lee and Pete Postlethwaite, is cannily directed by Heston's son, Fraser, in his directorial debut. The Pearl Report (Pearl, 8pm) takes viewers to a Hong Kong most residents don't know exists - and that's not the New Territories' country parks. Just beneath the surface of the urban jungle we call home a network of secret passages and tunnels forms a hidden city. Most of the tunnels below Kowloon and Hong Kong Island were built before World War II by the government, the British army or private citizens as potential escape routes or as sanctuaries from conflict. Other were built by the Japanese during occupation. Inside Story (World, 8pm) looks at how the Philippines is trying to bounce back from decades of mismanagement. Jennifer Lee talks to the country's foreign minister to find out what the nation's grand plan is to get the economy on its feet with the help of special zones set up for investors.