Ignoring my early awards for den-making and best World Cup scrapbook, 1982, by the time I turned 17, I had yet to achieve anything of greatness. Sure, I had passed my driving test at the first attempt, and the year before that I had lost my virginity in a rather shambolic and, thankfully for everyone involved, rapid encounter, but in life's grand scheme, I was quite some distance from being able to plonk the Nobel Peace Prize on the mantlepiece.
Still, as a boy growing up in southeast England, I never had to deal with assassination attempts on my way to school. I'll concede, therefore, that, having been shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai may be slightly more deserving of the prize than I.
Directed by acclaimed documentary maker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, It Might Get Loud), the Oscar-shortlisted (but not nominated) He Named Me Malala (National Geographic Channel, Tuesday at 9pm) tells the story of this remarkable young woman, who, having survived life-threatening injuries, has become a global role model and international ambassador for peace. Although the show documents the harrowing events leading up to the Yousafzai family's escape to Britain, this moving portrait focuses more on Malala's current life: how she is coming to grips with the power she now possesses to affect global change.
The fly-on-the-wall footage shows Malala and her proud father, Ziauddin, as they travel the world, speaking out for underprivileged girls and promoting education equality. The bond she shares with her father is deeply touching and it's this relationship, along with the shots of Malala quarrelling with her brothers back home in Britain, that lends the documentary warmth, revealing a more personal side to the young woman's much publicised story.
He Named Me Malala is an engaging tale with an undoubtedly courageous modern-day hero at its heart, but it does leave you with the nagging feeling that it's less an insightful documentary and more a promotional tool for Malala's ongoing activism. With a PR team like this behind her, don't be surprised if Malala becomes a world leader sometime soon.
Based on the popular Scandinavian police procedural series, the American remake of dark and moody The Killing returns for a fourth and final season this Thursday (Fox Crime, at 8.45pm).
Set in the miserably perma-soaked city of Seattle, the first season was a stylish whodunnit with a bucket of red herrings, but, when it finished with the mystery still unsolved, the show met with strong criticism and a mass exodus of viewers. A scrappy second season did little to win back fans but for those of us who toughed it out, the introduction of a new case and the addition of the wonderful Peter Sarsgaard to the cast greatly improved last year's third instalment.
In this week's Blood in the Water, the first of six episodes, detectives Holder and Linden (above; and still rocking the woolly jumper) are scrambling to cover up the disappearance of Skinner, Linden's serial-killing ex lover, while taking on another case: the slaying of a prominent family. Despite all her crime-solving expertise, Linden continues to make a pig's ear of the murder cover-up so, along with the new investigation, the final season has two meaty plot threads to see through to their bitter ends. Will The Killing finally wrap on a high or will it fail to tie up the loose ends and be forever remembered as a brooding disappointment?
The suspense is … err … killing me.