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The Independent Culture
ASTON VILLA continue to defy critics who thought their early-season form would be just a flash in the pan. Manager John Gregory has largely bought well. Dion Dublin (right) has proved a very canny purchase, inspiring the players with self-belief. The same cannot be said of Paul Merson. Tonight's Premiership clash, Aston Villa vs Everton (7pm Sky Sports 1), sees Walter Smith's goal-shy visiting side again struggling to hit top gear.

Merchant Ivory's reputation for exquisitely made period dramas is founded on such esteemed dramas as Heat and Dust (8pm Sky Cinema), a sumptuous account of India's past, seen through the eyes of Julie Christie. An excellent Merchant Ivory double-bill is completed by Quartet (10.15pm), a visually ravishing reading of the Jean Rhys novel set in 1920s Paris, starring Isabelle Adjani.

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