Higher channels

February 19, 1999

John Davies focuses on radio and television programmes likely to be of use to THES readers. (All times pm unless stated.)

Pick of the week

There are elements of detective story and cautionary tale in the absorbing Horizon: Sudden Death (Thursday 9.30 BBC2), about sudden infant death syndrome. American paediatrician Alfred Steinschneider's 1972 paper linking SIDS with babies' breathing patterns was hugely influential in the United States yet was finally discredited when the mother of the supposed SIDS victims he had studied was convicted of their murder.

Saturday february 20

Private Passions (12.00 R3). Philosopher Bernard Williams talks about the music he likes.

Cold War (8.05 BBC2). The Prague Spring and other Communist bloc stirrings in the 1960s.

The Archive Hour: Dickens (8.00 R4). UEA's Christopher Bigsby considers how radio and television have treated the novelist's work.

Censored: The Last Days of the Board (9.00 C4). A weekend of programmes about censorship and censored films begins with a look at Britain's film censors.

SunDAY february 21

Sunday Feature: Viewing the Century (5.45 R3). Poet Derek Walcott, interviewed on his home island of St Lucia.

Time Team (6.00 C4). The archaeologists dig for the remains of a second world war bomber in Norfolk.

Loyalists (8.00 BBC2). Northern Ireland specialist Peter Taylor examines Protestant paramilitaries and their motivations.

The Comedy of Errors (9.30 R3). A new "musical" production of Shakespeare's Plautus-derived comedy.

The South Bank Show: Anish Kapoor (10.45 ITV). The Indian-born sculptor talks about his work.

Monday february 22

Warm World (6.30 World Service, repeated 2.30 am Tuesday). Six-part series that explores the effects of global warming.

To the Ends of the Earth (8.00 C4). Lord Porchester, great grandson of the Earl of Carnarvon, who died soon after discovering Tutankhamun's tomb in 1923, supervises an excavation in Thebes with archaeologist Nigel Strudwick. Two days later, The Curse of Tutankhamun (Wednesday 10.00 Discovery Channel).

Postscript - Doctors of Philosophy (8.40 R3 and rest of week at various times). For author Alain de Botton, answers to "everyday problems" can be found in a range of philosophers, from Epicurus to Nietzsche.

Nature - Caffeine (9.00 R4). Gillian Rice looks at the mysterious chemical that can be both poison and performance enhancer.

Tuesday february 23

The Learning Curve (4.00 R4). Includes an item on people who "fall in love with learning" in their later years.

Happy Birthday Batman (9.00 R2). Celebrating 60 years of the caped crusader with fans, writers and academics, such as Cardiff University's Roberta Pearson.

University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). This week's contest is between the universities of Glasgow and Durham.

wednesday february 24

Tomorrow's World (7.30 BBC1). Includes report on a new test for meningitis.

Frontiers (9.00 R4). Last of science series examines disease transmission across species.

thursday february 25

Horizon: Sudden Death (9.30 BBC2). See Pick of the week.

Email: Davieses@aol.com

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