Higher channels

March 12, 1999

John Davies casts an academic eye over the schedules. (All times pm unless stated.) Pick of the week

It's Science Week. This means the Tomorrow's World team has an hour of live television in Megalab 99 (Wednesday 7.00 BBC1), plans for which include the recording of the first internet single, the moving of Beachy Head's lighthouse and various experiments in which viewers can take part. It also means Saturday's The Two Cultures Debate (8.00 R4), in which Lewis Wolpert and Susan Greenfield revisit C. P. Snow's arguments with Gillian Beer and Simon Jenkins. Other R4 science includes Cambridge chemist John Pyle chasing the ozone layer in Under Pressure (Wednesday 9.00) and a discussion of scientific ethics in The Material World (Thursday 4.30).

Friday march 12

History on Trial: Salem Witch Trials (7.00 History Channel). The infamous trials of 1692.

SaturDAY march 13

The Sky at Night (11.25am BBC2). Helen Walker of the Rutherford Appleton Lab on ageing stars. Repeat from late last Sunday.

A History of Grief in Three Funerals (2.30 R4). Historian Ruth Richardson on the rituals of grief, starting with an Elizabethan funeral.

Correspondent (7.30 BBC2). Moscow's new cathedral - how its building was financed and what it symbolises.

The Last of the Hiding Tribes (8.00 C4). Adrian Cowell on the clash between traditional tribal life in the Amazon rain forest and modern civilisation. First of three documentaries.

Cold War (8.15 BBC2). "Surrogates" (1967-79). How US-Soviet rivalry spilled over into Africa and the Middle East.

Between the Ears - Brick Lane (10.25 R3). Portrait of the Shoreditch street in words (by its inhabitants and playwright Bryony Lavery) and music (Graeme Miller).

SunDAY march 14

Centurions - Waiting for the Barbarians (4.15 R3). D. J. Enright, David Ricks and Edmund Keeley talk about Cavafy's poem.

Rebellion! (8.00 BBC2). First piece of three-part history of Rhodesia's revolt against Britain, told by David Dimbleby.

Violent Planet (9.00 BBC1). Series on how animals and plants cope with, and thrive on, natural catastrophes.

Cleopatra's Palace - In Search of a Legend (9.00 Discovery Channel). French divers and archaeologists look for ruins in Alexandria's harbour. More Egyptology follows on the same channel with The Real Cleopatra (10.00) and Hapshepsut (11.00).

MondAY march 15

Bodyscapes (7.55 C4 and for rest of week). Five shorts for Science Week feature microscopic filming of the human body, beginning with sweat pores and their bacteria.

To the Ends of the Earth (8.00 C4). Are the Lemba of South Africa a Jewish "lost tribe"? Anthropologist Tudor Parfitt follows a trail through Africa and the genetic anthropology labs of UCL.

TuesDAY march 16

Close Up: Germaine Greer (9.30 BBC2). The hard-to-avoid English lit prof talks frankly.

WednesDAY march 17

Group Seven (11.00 am R4). International business students from Insead collaborate on a money-making idea.

Megalab 99 (7.00 BBC1). Pick of the week.

University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). The quarter-finals begin with Bangor vs Bristol.

Night Waves (10.45 R3) Patrick Wright fronts discussion on Germany living with history.

A Living Hell (11.15 BBC2). Lewis Wolpert on recovery from depression. Last of series.

ThursdaY march 18

Horizon (9.30 BBC2). Asteroid impacts of the past and the likelihood of more.

email: Davieses@aol.com

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