RICHARD Burton considered the part he was invited to play in The Robe (World, 9.30pm) as prissy and silly. But he played it anyway and did rather badly. He is stiffer than a clergyman's collar and so, generally, is the film, suffering from a serious case of Hollywood big budgetitis. The Robe was the first film in CinemaScope, but audiences decided they wanted to see less of it, not more, and stayed away. You will not have the chance to decide. It was simultaneously filmed 'flat' and that is the version that gets shown on the telly. In the end, The Robe only made money because Catholic schoolchildren were dragged kicking and screaming by their teachers to see it. Read this from the synopsis: 'Reflecting the virile strength of all-powerful Rome, Marcellus Gallio, a young patrician Tribune, strides confidently through the teaming thoroughfares to bargain in the slave market.' The Robe was based on the novel by Lloyd Douglas about an orgy-weary Roman centurion who does the decent thing and becomes a Christian. Burton is that centurion. He subsequently gets involved with Diana (Jean Simmons) as they fight for a piece of cloth Jesus wore before his death. Their opponent is the evil, speech-impeded Emperor Caligula (Jay Robinson in a performance so camp it has to be seen to be believed). Burton and Simmons have Demetrius (Victor Mature) on their side. They made a sequel to The Robe called Demetrius And The Gladiators, but it was no better. An incredible coincidence sees it showing on World tomorrow. Stick with The Ten Commandments, or go mountain-biking on a unicycle instead. OR watch The Windsors (Pearl, 8.30pm), which is no relation to The House Of Windsor, which is no relation to a comedy series. This is the first in a promising new series about the world's most dysfunctional family. The juicy bits about Charles and Diana come later. This evening the groundwork is laid, starting in 1917 when George V was on the throne but without a fluid ounce of English blood in his veins. The international marriages of his family since the time of Queen Victoria had left his first cousins on the thrones of Russia and Germany. George, a small and shy man who was said to be under the thumb of his statuesque wife Mary, presided over a vast empire. But this inheritance was threatened by murmurs among his subjects that he was alien and uninspiring. The Windsors reveals how George hung on to his throne by cutting all ties with Germany and how - and this bit was a secret for 50 years - he was killed by euthanasia so the morning newspapers could lead with the story. IN Cocoon we left a bunch of elderly people departing for another world with the promise of eternal life tucked inside their pension books. In Cocoon: The Return (Pearl, 9.30pm), they return to Earth, as the title so cleverly suggests. Many of the same faces are in the sequel, among them Don Ameche, Jessica Tandy and Maureen Stapleton. But they are unable to transcend their material. The Return is a disappointment. All the magic of the first has evaporated. IF you are interested in seeing how they made the film My Life, watch The Making Of My Life (World, 9.00pm). This was the movie in which Michael Keaton got sick and died, but goodness gracious, he took a long time to do so. Nicole Kidman played his wife. QUITE what Joan Cusack is doing in The Allnighter (World, 1.45am) only she can say. Like the rest of us she has bills to pay, but for a woman of her substance there must be better ways of paying them. This is a moronic film about three airheads called Molly, Val and Gina, for whom graduation night promises many things, but mostly sex. IN Trial Of The Incredible Hulk (STAR Plus, 4.30am) Bill Bixby plays a mild-mannered man-about-town and Lou Ferrigno plays the same man after he has just missed out on three taxis in a typhoon. Bill Bixby also did the directing.