Higher channels

December 4, 1998

John Davies, the thinking person's previewer, scans the schedules for you. (All times pm unless stated.) Pick of the week

Fifty years ago, on December 10, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed, an anniversary marked by a number of BBC programmes this week and next. There's a crop of them on Saturday, including The Human Rights Map (5.35 BBC2), which assesses the contemporary relevance of six articles from the original declaration, using the work of Essex University's human rights team; a portrait of one of the declaration's architects in A Good Woman from New York, the Life of Eleanor Roosevelt (6.10 BBC2); and Correspondent (7.15 BBC2), which reports from the US and Chile. Channel 4 has an Ariel Dorfman dramatised poem in Deadline (Sun 7.30); Panorama, When Good Men Do Nothing (Mon 10.0 BBC1) is about Rwanda; and Radio 4's A Better World? (Tues 8.0) asks what the declaration has really achieved.

friday December 4

The Romans in Britain (7.30 BBC2). New series, made for the OU but getting its first showing here, has historian Guy de la Bedoy re visiting (by motorbike) various sites to build up a picture of the Roman conquest, with Durham U archaeologists Martin Millett and Simon James. Also includes some pretty unhistorical representations from films such as Asterix, Carry on Cleo and Viking Queen, to make a point about getting the Romans wrong. First of three.

saturday December 5

The Cold War (8.10 BBC2). William Shawcross wrote the script for this episode on the conflict in Vietnam, 1963-68.

The Real Albert Goering (9.0 C4). The brother of the more famous Hermann seems to have been a nicer person, repeatedly saving victims of the Nazis. This documentary has interviews with Goering family members and relatives of those rescued by Albert.

sunday December 6

Music Matters Public Forum (12.15 R3). Debate about the government's music policies: is it abandoning high culture for easy populism?

The Natural World (5.55 BBC2). "Impossible Journeys" is a display of ultra-close micro-photography, magnifying up to 20,000 times.

The Truth About Art: Animals (8.0 C4). First of three. Art critic (and former C4 commissioning editor) Waldemar Januszczak looks at cave paintings in Zimbabwe and links them to the work of Damien Hirst via Soutine, Cornelius van Eyck and others.

Earth Story (8.0 BBC2). "The Roof of the World". Tibet, Greece and California feature in episode 5.

Vanity Fair (9.30 BBC1). Final episode.

Monday December 7

Home Movies (9.0am C4). A useful source for the social historian? Every weekday morning this week, C4 repeats its fascinating series featuring home movies from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Postscript (9.0 R3). Four "illustrated reflections" on kitsch begin with Croatian writer Dubravka Ugresic; with Roger Scruton (Tues), Warwick U's Richard Dyer (Wed) and Tim Lott (Fri).

Tuesday December 8

University Challenge (8,9 BBC2). City U v Leicester.

An Ethiopian Journey (10.40 ITV). 25 years ago, Jonathan Dimbleby's documentary The Unknown Famine made headlines and contributed to the fall of Haile Selassie. Now he retraces his steps to report on what has changed in Ethiopia since 1973.

Wednesday DEcember 9

Tomorrow's World (7.30 BBC1). Including a report on Cuba's development of a meningitis B vaccine.

Education 2000 (8.0 R4). First of three programmes recorded at the Institute of Education and debating standards, the job of teachers and their training.

Thursday December 10

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (9.0am R4). Continuing the human rights theme with Homi Bhaba from NYU and the LSE's John Gray.

Olivier Messiaen in his Century (6.0 R3). Radio 3 runs six hours of music by, and conversation about, the great French composer on what would have been his 90th birthday.

Science at War (9.25 BBC2) looks at the Soviet Union's development of the hydrogen bomb.

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