Higher channels

February 5, 1999

John Davies peruses, ponders and picks programmes. (All times pm unless stated.) SATURDAY february 6

Novel Encounters with Aphra Behn (2.30 R4). Behn's 1688 novel about slavery, Oroonoko, is explored by Anglo-Guyanese novelist Pauline Melville.

The Archive Hour: Born Again in a New Condition (8.00 R4). David Dabydeen considers the changing position of black people in Britain, from the 16th century to the second world war.

Cold War (8.10 BBC2). The postwar history resumes with part 12 (of 24) on the doctrine of "mutually assured destruction" as it developed from 1960 onwards.

The Brains Trust (10.05 R3). Last in the series (but it will return) includes physicist Paul Davies, politics professor David McLellan and historian Orlando Figes.

SUNDAY february 7

Centurions - T. S. Eliot: The Waste Land (4.15 R3). Archive of Eliot reading his poem, plus comment.

Sunday Feature: Settling the Score (5.45 R3). The influence of the East on 20th-century music. Later that night, World Music (11.00 R3) starts a short series on the music of Iran.

Time Team (6.00 C4). In search of Henry V's lost dockyard at Smallhythe, Kent.

Bookmark: Elizabeth Bowen (8.00 BBC2). John Bayley and Hermione Lee are among contributors to this portrait of the novelist.

In Search of Law and Order (9.00 C4). US ideas on tackling youth crime: first of three investigations by Roger Graef.

War and Civilisation (9.00 Discovery Channel, then 10.00 every day for the week). Eight-part series begins with three episodes that go from Greek infantry men via the Romans and Genghis Khan to Japanese Samurai.

The Father (9.15 R3). Strindberg's play in a new production starring Cheryl Campbell.

MONDAY february 8

The Morehouse Men (5.05 am C4). Student life at Morehouse College, Atlanta, the "black Harvard" (repeat).

Two Flies on the Wall (8.00 R4). Documentary series about docu-soaps (a docu-doc?).

Supernatural Science (9.00 UK Horizons, and rest of week). A scientific look at some familiar mysteries (the Bermuda Triangle, ESP, spontaneous human combustion, etc), beginning with Haiti's zombies: could a witch-doctor's secret ingredient point to some form of human hibernation?

For a more typical TV approach, try Mysterious World: Interview with a Zombie on National Geographic (Sun 10.00).

TUESDAY february 9

File on 4 (8.00 R4). Animal rights and experiments: is legislation still needed?

Station X (9.00 C4). Final part features "the world's first computer" and looks at the Bletchley Park code-breakers' role in the Battle of the Atlantic and D-Day.

Behind the Brain (Tuesday 9.00 R4). Second in Geoff Watts's what-is-consciousness series has several top thinkers: Crick, Edelman, Greenfield and Penrose.

Night Waves (10.45 R3). With Umberto Eco.

Thursday february 11

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (9.00 am R4). The subject is language: Steven Pinker and Jonathan Miller are among the guests.

Ruskin at 100 (8.00 R4). Former and current students of Oxford's Ruskin College talk about their experiences.

Meet the Ancestors (9.00 BBC2). Last in series unearths a medieval chapel near Chester and tracks down its founder's descendants.

Horizon: Elephants or Ivory (9.30 BBC2). Filmed in Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa, an investigation into the consequences of the ivory trade ban.

E-mail: Davieses@aol.com

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