What's on June 12 to 18: new shows and movies to on free to air TV

 Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestor host Ghenoa Gela with this week's participants, Makayla and Jack. BELOW: Mike from Paramedics tries figure out how to get into a locked house to treat a patient collapsed on the floor.

Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestor host Ghenoa Gela with this week's participants, Makayla and Jack. BELOW: Mike from Paramedics tries figure out how to get into a locked house to treat a patient collapsed on the floor.

BLACKLIST

11.05pm, Sunday, Seven

James Spader is the star of the show and he's scary. And I mean that over and above the general louche creepiness that has been his thing for his entire acting career.

You see, I remember Spader way back when he was appearing in 1980s films like Pretty in Pink and Less Than Zero, always playing the slightly smug, somewhat creepy guy. But he also looked handsome, with a big blow-waved head of hair.

But these days? Well, these days he's lost all that hair and his face has gone all jowly. He's still got that creepy look but without the loucheness. The reason that's scary is because I look at how he's aged and it's a reminder that I'm getting old too - and I wasn't lucky enough to have the early "good hair" years.

Anyway, Spader doesn't appear too much in this week's episode of Blacklist - though when he does he always seems to be speaking at barely above a whisper, yet no-one ever says "Pardon? Speak up, dude". Must have excellent hearing in this show.

This week, the show is a tight little tale about missing trucks carrying "special cargo" and native Alaskans looking to settle a score from long ago.

ARE YOU TOUGHER THAN YOUR ANCESTORS

6.30pm Monday, ABC ME

It makes me feel a bit stupid to admit, but I actually learned something from a kids' show.

Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors is that genre of show they take people and get them to live like in olden days.

Basically that always means they have to do a lot more work, wear very uncomfortable clothes, eat bad food and be treated poorly. Because the olden days were terrible.

This week sees host Ghenoa Gela (who does a fine job, I'll have you know) running Jack and Makalya through their paces. Their task is to carry out the work of 13-year-old Robert Richards, who worked in a copper mine all day, then went to school at night and had to do the chores around the house.

Oh, and he also raced billycarts. And that thing I learned was that they used to be pulled by billy goats, hence their name. And don't try and pretend that you already knew that.

Mike from Paramedics tries figure out how to get into a locked house to treat a patient collapsed on the floor.

Mike from Paramedics tries figure out how to get into a locked house to treat a patient collapsed on the floor.

PARAMEDICS

8.30pm, Wednesday, Nine

"Every job I go into now, when I walk through the door, I look for what somebody can hit me with. I look for what somebody can stab me with."

Those are the words of Carina, one of the paramedics in this always gripping docodrama series. They come as she and her partner have to attend a scene where a young paramedic has already been attacked by a patient.

That's just one storyline in an unusually intense episode of Paramedics. Elsewhere Mike and Eamon arrive at the home of a man lying on the floor after a possible stroke. But the doors and windows of his home are locked, and the two paramedics have to figure out how to get inside.

Cullen has to tackle the problem of a piece of ham that's gotten stuck in patient Warren's throat. It sounds fairly benign and that perhaps Warren overreacted by calling for an ambulance. But the stakes are high - with an inability to swallow, he could end up drowning in his own saliva.

Fortunately a little light relief arrives elsewhere in the form of a patient with a talent for mimicry.

REVIEWS: GLEN HUMPHRIES

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