Chris Ryan was in the same unit, and his more thoughtful - and less self- flattering, The One That Got Away (Sun ITV), has now been turned into prime-time drama, with Paul McGann as Ryan, and David Morrissey as McNab. The real McNab has threatened legal action for his portrayal as an indecisive glory-seeker, while the BBC has reportedly optioned his Bravo Two Zero. So much for the world-famous diffidence of the SAS.
Now, one small link in the chain that led to the SAS being inside Iraq is the British arms manufacturers willing to feed Saddam's military ambitions - which brings us conveniently to The Scott Report. Screen Two: Half the Picture (Sun BBC2) is accurately subtitled Scenes from the Scott Inquiry, which are re-enacted with varying degrees of verisimilitude by Sylvia Syms (Margaret Thatcher: I prefer Maggie Steed's version of Mrs T), Jeremy Clyde (Alan Clark: right attitude, wrong face), and Jan Chappell (Presiley Baxendale as Joan Bakewell). If you believe this version of events, Sir Richard Scott was generous indeed in his interpretation of them.
If you watched The Larry Sanders Show last week (and if you didn't, you should be disbarred from owning a telly), you would have seen George Segal sending himself up as the faithful standby chat-show guest, forever vague about exactly what he's "doing" these days. Segal could have pointed with some pride to The Writing Game (Sun C4), David Lodge's first play, and an expose of what goes on during those "creative writing" courses. Lodge applies an even-handed baseball bat to all forms of literary life, from Segal's personally promiscuous but artistically blocked Jewish-American author, glibly raiding the Holocaust for metaphors, to the young self-publicist with just one novel under his belt, but a lot of friends in the media.
Veteran BBC foreign correspondent Charles Wheeler looks like a wise old bird of prey, and is too dry for some tastes. I always find him good value. His Wheeler on America (Sun BBC2) traces the great changes that have taken place in US society since President Lyndon Johnson's attempt to launch a liberal revolution in the 1960s. Johnson, of course, was waylaid by the Vietnam War, and the revelation here is of 1968 Presidential election candidate, Richard Nixon, covertly scuppering the fledgling Paris peace talks of that year. Some 25,000 more young Americans were thus sentenced to death to secure Nixon the White House.
But enough of this. The real question on most peoples' minds this weekend is: will Lois say "yes" to Clark's proposal of marriage? The New Adventures of Superman (Sat BBC1) looks set to come up against the same problem once faced by the Bruce Willis/Cybill Shepherd series, Moonlighting - how do you keep up the erotic tension after its leads have melted into each other's arms?
The big picture
Once Upon a Time in America
Sun 10.35pm C4
It is way too long (close on four hours), it is at times woefully complicated, and it features one of the most graphically shocking rape scenes ever committed to film, but Once Upon a Time in America, showing in two parts on consecutive nights, is still wonderfully compelling. From the moment Robert De Niro (above) looks at his reflection and is transported back to his gangster youth with Max (the magnetic James Woods), Sergio Leone's final film, an epic tale of four decades of Mob life, grips you like a concrete waistcoat.
The big match
Wales vs Scotland
Sat 2.40pm BBC1
The Scots, led by rampaging Rob Wainwright (above), are so wary of complacency they have been assiduously playing down talk of the Grand Slam all week. But after inspired displays against Ireland and France, they stand only two matches away from the least predicted Grand Slam since the last time they snuck up on the outside. Their match against a youthful Wales today should be fast and furious. In Paris, meanwhile, France and Ireland will both try to pick up the pieces after disappointing defeats last time.Reuse content