Daniel Craig returned as British secret service agent James Bond on Thursday, as Spectre opened to rave reviews. But 007 isn't the only suave undercover agent fighting off bad guys and charming the ladies this week. With a flurry of uppercuts and a cheeky grin, John Case, also known as Agent X, is here to save the world, albeit with a little less fanfare than Mr Bond.
Fighting to protect his country against "all enemies, foreign and domestic", the smooth-talking Case (Jeff Hephner; Chicago Fire) is the ultimate patriot: a cunning, top-secret operative employed by United States vice-president Natalie Maccabee (Golden Globe winner Sharon Stone - thankfully, fully clothed) to handle the high-stakes missions deemed too sensitive for official government agencies. And much like Bond, Case (above right with Stone) gets to ski a little "off piste", leaving a trail of destruction and dead bodies in his wake.
In the double-episode premiere (Warner TV, tomorrow at 8.10pm), Agent X (not to be confused with Dr Green's synthetic urine) is called into action when the daughter of the director of the FBI is kidnapped by some creepy Russians (yep, that old foe. Again). Adding to the US' headache, a bunch of Chechen rebels, led by an evil warlord who Case knows all too well, have hijacked a lorry load of nuclear missiles and are keen to play shooty-shooty bang-bang with their Yankee enemies. It's all run-of-the-mill stuff, but there's just enough action and cheesy drama here to quench any Bond cravings you may have.
Now, we've all made mistakes, and I've certainly had my fair share of cock-ups, but documentary series Incredible Engineering Blunders: Fixed (Discovery Channel, Wednesday at 9pm) puts them into perspective.
Aerospace engineer and journalist Justin Cunningham takes us on a journey around the globe to uncover the world's most epic engineering fails and discover how ingenious boffins managed to put things right.
Billed as a landmark structure that would put Scottish engineering back on the map, the audaciously designed Glasgow Tower is where Cunningham begins his travels. This 500-tonne rotating building takes a constant battering from the wee Scottish winds and has been plagued by mechanical problems since opening, in 2001. From there, it's on to Japan, where an airport built on a man-made island, and celebrated upon its completion in 1994 as "an engineering marvel", has sunk almost 12 metres in seven years.
Cunningham simplifies the science for us laypeople as he explains the extraordinary solutions that were conceived.
Ultimately, Incredible Engineering Blunders: Fixed is a showcase of human design and engineering but it does raise the question: "Just what were these brainboxes thinking in the first place?"