Higher channels

March 19, 1999

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

Should we take Europe's far right seriously? BBC2 thinks so; this week it has a "season" about it, under the title Fear and Loathing. First, in A Journey to the Far Right (Saturday 9.05), Nick Fraser interviews extremist leaders in France, Denmark, Italy, Austria and elsewhere; then Sunday's Storyville: A Small Town in Poland uncovers anti-Semitism in the town of Bransk. Finally, The Lost Race (Wednesday 9.40) documents the decline of Britain's National Front.

SATURDAY march 20

Melanie Sykes' Southall Stories (6.25 BBC2). What it is like to be Asian in Britain today. Radio 4 covers similar territory with Wednesday's Southall Stories (11.00am).

Cold War (8.15 BBC2) "Backyard" (1954-89). From the United Fruit Company's intervention in Guatemala, via Chile, Nicaragua, and El Salvador to Grenada. Not an episode that shows the United States in a good light.

SUNDAY march 21

Please Wash Your Hands (5.30 R5). Are hospitals failing to take basic anti-infection measures?

Time Team (5.50 C4). First of two-part special in which the team digs into the 200-year-old ruins of a slave plantation on the Caribbean island of Nevis.

The Farm that Time Forgot (5.55 BBC2). Farming is finally getting more attention: as well as this Natural World programme, C4 is showing five short programmes under the title Farmed Out (Mon-Fri 7.55) in which victims of the current agricultural situation have their say.

Films of Fire: The Face of Debt (8.00 C4). Maggie O'Kane visits Niger, which spends three times as much on debt repayment as it does on health and education combined, to make a powerful case against the World Bank's policies.

Life Story (9.00 UK Arena). Another showing of the 1987 BBC drama about the discovery of DNA, with Jeff Goldblum as Watson and Tim Piggott-Smith as Crick.

Heart of the Matter (11.30 BBC1). David Penney puts the case for giving human rights to chimps and apes.

MONDAY march 22

To the Ends of the Earth: Who Killed Fletcher Christian? (8.00 C4). On Pitcairn Island, Australian archaeologists look for clues to the aftermath of the Bounty mutiny.

Postscript - The Body Politic (9.15 R3 and for rest of week, times vary). Iwan Russell-Jones ponders the role of the body in society - beginning with the Millennium Dome's human sculpture.

TUESDAY march 23

Close Up: J. D. Salinger Doesn't Want to Talk (9.30 BBC2). So he doesn't. Quite a few other people do, though.

WEDNESDAY march 24

University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). Leicester v Oriel, Oxford.

The History of Writing (10.00 Discovery Channel). From cuneiform to the internet, via Gutenberg and others.

THURSDAY march 25

What If? (8.00 R4). Supposing Kaiser Wilhelm I had not survived an 1878 assassination attempt. Christopher Andrew speculates.

Leading Edge (9.00 R4). Report from the annual Human Genome Meeting.

Horizon: Skeleton Key (9.30 BBC2). About the rare disease of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva that makes the muscles and ligaments turn into solid bone.

Dispatches (9.30 C4). New research casting doubt on the reliability of evidence from surveillance cameras.

email: Davieses@aol.com

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