A co-production with the BBC, Dirty War will be the first of several HBO Films to run on public television after a month of screenings on premium cable. With a handheld stick-in-the-eye documentary style, it postulates the detonation of a radioactive bomb in London. The culprits, of course, are Islamic extremists. Against a backdrop of racial profiling, one Muslim (Koel Purie) actually works for Scotland Yard, where she won’t object to the beating up of a suspect. Otherwise, we root for a heroic fire-crew chief (Alastair Galbraith) and against a disingenuous government minister (Helen Schlesinger). Aside from encouraging us to disbelieve official propaganda, I can’t imagine what this slick commercial for fear itself is intended to accomplish.
Monday, January 24; 9 p.m.