The Wives are back, the Wives are back! Desperate Housewives (Sunday, CTV, 7 p.m.; ABC, 9 p.m.) returns and there's a new diva on Wisteria Lane. Vanessa Williams plays "a well-heeled divorcée" and catty remarks ensue. Battle of the Blades is back (Sunday, CBC, 8 p.m.) and again ex-NHLers (among them Valeri Bure, Russ Courtnall and Theo Fleury) attempt some figure skating and absurd banter ensues. Don't roll your eyes. It was a hit last time. And somebody is bound to be interested in Saturday Night Live's season premiere (Saturday, NBC, Global, 11:30 p.m.) with Katy Perry as the musical guest and Amy Poehler as host. If you want another kind of look at celebrity, there's Smash His Camera (Sunday, CBC NN, 10 p.m.) a fascinating and saddening look at the career of celebrity photographer Ron Galella, who has been working since the 1960s and was once famous for his obsession with Jackie Onassis, the one who uttered the phrase that gives the program its title. Meanwhile your main menu includes a good HBO movie, CBC's Debbie Travis show and the return of that Dexter Morgan.
Einstein and Eddington
Saturday, HBO Canada, 8 p.m.
This superb HBO/BBC drama is about the most unlikely but important of friendships. English academic Arthur Eddington (David Tennant) comes across the work of obscure German scientist Albert Einstein (Andy Serkis) and feels that Einstein in on to something. It's the time of the First World War, however, and anything German is out of bounds for Eddington. Einstein has his own problems, both academic and marital, while he tries to continue his work. As it happens, Eddington is a key participant in that work and, through their fractured communications, it is Einstein's Theory of Relativity that triumphs and changes history. Eddington, being a Quaker and believing firmly in both Newtonian theory and God, is consigned to obscurity. Gorgeously made, the movie is based on fact and features truly great performances from both Tennant and Serkis. For a movie essentially about science and men working in refined disciplines, it is sexy, poignant and dramatically powerful.
All for One with Debbie Travis
Sunday, CBC, 9 p.m.
It's difficult to know what to make of this, one of CBC's big-ticket productions for this season. Essentially, it is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, with a small twist. Debbie Travis is at its core. The idea is that she finds and celebrates "local heroes" in communities across Canada. Once found and their work noted, the hero gets a total home makeover - but the work is done by the local people, with Travis merely supervising. In the opener tonight, a wonderful woman in Montreal's Little Italy is celebrated and there begins the five-day gutting and remaking of her home. The drama, such as it is, derives from a guy who agrees to cook the food then relies on take-out and a bunch of guys stopping work to watch World Cup soccer. There is also a rather awkwardly staged coaxing of a local family - neither white nor Italian - to join in and truly connect the tight-knit locals. That sure feels maladroit. The show's strength is Travis, who is always an engaging, warm TV presence and capable of wit. Travis is special, and while this show is interesting, it isn't special.
Sunday, TMN, Movie Central, 10 p.m.
As the show's fifth season begins, we're mere minutes in time after last season ended - Dexter's (Michael C. Hall) wife Rita has been found dead in a pool of blood in their home. Of course, Dexter is a suspect, his complicated relationship with the Trinity Killer being unknown to the authorities. There's the kids. There's his sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), who is deeply concerned and trying to protect him. Dexter is, of course, devastated. If the first few episodes are any indication, then this season will be about Dexter coming to terms, painfully, with his life and his mission as a vigilante killer and family man. It seems there will not be a single nemesis for him this season. Debra will have a prominent role and the ghostly figure who is Dexter's dead, adoptive father Harry (James Remar), will have a crucial role. Mind you, it's not long before Dexter has his sights on some slimy killer who has slipped through the cracks and needs to be wiped off the face of the Earth. It's a slow-burning start to what promises to be season of tortured emotions.
Check local listings.