When the clock ticked past midnight a little over a week ago, some of us saw it as an opportunity to implement a few changes in our less-than-perfect lives. It was to be the beginning of a new and improved us. Again. Of course, as they do every year, those good intentions have disappeared quicker than Donald Trump's hair ferret on a windy day, but we all like the idea of giving ourselves a second chance, don't we?
From the executive producers of the X-Files and 24, and written by Life creator Rand Ravich, comes Second Chance, which is, thankfully, less about our festive muffin tops and more about re-animating the dead. Unfortunately though, much like our ill-fated resolutions, the future of the show is anything but assured. Before it has even premiered (Thursday, Fox, at 9pm), the television bigwigs have cut the debut series from 13 to 11 episodes, and the sci-fi/cop drama is already on its third branding. Previously titled The Frankenstein Code and then the plain awful Lookinglass, the show's first name change was made to distance it from Mary Shelley's classic novel (which makes you wonder why the producers named it that in the first place) and to stress that the series only draws inspiration from Frankenstein mythology.
Second Chance centres on Jimmy Pritchard (I'm betting the writers wrestled with the idea of calling him Frank Stein), a disgraced ex-sheriff whose original life ended at the age of 75, at the hands of some dirty cops. Pritchard (Rob Kazinsky; True Blood) is brought back to life as a thirty-something with unpredictable superhuman abilities and his memory intact (which is handy). Giving him this "second chance" is a pair of brilliant young scientists: anti-social internet billionaire Otto and his twin sister, Mary - because, well, every rich nerd needs a lone wolf action hero to kick some ass, don't they? All Pritchard has to do is decide whether to slip back into his old ways or right his past wrongs and join the long line of ex-cops turned vigilantes cluttering up our screens. How long he'll be around, though, is anybody's guess.
Our own mental and physical upgrades may be proving a little difficult to implement right now but they are nothing when compared with the challenges our planet is facing. Some scientists believe that if extreme measures are not taken, between a third and half of all species could be extinct by the end of the century.
Led by a UN ambassador for the environment, Jean Lemire, the crew of the oceanographic schooner Sedna IV embarks on a three-year expedition to document the incredible wealth of species our planet is home to, and to investigate the increasingly fragile relationship between its biosphere and humanity.
This week, Great Oceanic Migrators (above; Friday, Nat Geo Wild, at 8.40pm), the third episode in the series 1,000 Days for the Planet, takes a look at the plastic threatening our oceans and an important conservation victory - the recovery of the humpback whale population. The footage of the natural world is spectacular but our care-free destruction of it is hard to stomach.
Hopefully, this is the year of the change we so desperately need, before we are left with no more second chances.