Higher channels

April 16, 1999

John Davies picks programmes of interest to THES readers. (All times pm unless stated.) Pick of the week Saturday night is history night. From this week, BBC2 will have a History Zone containing not only new series of One Foot in the Past (7.10) and Timewatch (7.50) but, for one week only, a special Meet the Ancestors (7.00, 7.40, 8.40) from an archaeological dig in Coventry. This week's Timewatch, "Great White Hoax", is about Grey Owl, the supposedly Canadian eco-guru of the 1920s and 1930s who actually came from Hastings, while One Foot in the Past includes the story of Scotland's crown jewels. Sunday is historical, too, with C4 reconstructing the English civil war, ITV surveying 2,000 years of Christianity with Melvyn Bragg and, of course, BBC2's Cold War.

SATURDAY April 17 Columbus and the Age of Discovery (6.00 UK Horizons). Repeat of BBC history series presented by Mauricio Obregon.

History Zone (7.20 BBC2). See above.

Henry IV Part 2 (11.30 World Service, repeated Sunday 7.30). Shakespeare's play done in two 60-minute sections, with Julian Glover and Timothy West.

SUNDAY April 18 Sunday Feature: Viewing the Century (5.45 R3). Michael Frayn on determinism, work, the theatre and other matters.

Civil War: England's Fight for Freedom (7.30 C4). Dramatising the events of 1649, "a momentous year in English history".

Cold War (8.00 BBC2). "Spies" (1945-89) - a revealing episode that shows how little each side knew about the other.

2000 Years (10.45 ITV). Twenty-part series on Christianity mixing documentary and discussion begins in the Holy Land with a small first-century Messianic sect.

MONDAY April 19 Mapping the Town (11.00am R4). Julian Richards explores the past of Basingstoke with archaeologist Bob Edwards.

A Week in the Pitt Rivers (3.30 R4 every day to Friday). Five short programmes visiting Oxford's eccentric museum.

Disaster: Atomic Inferno (8.00 BBC2). The 1957 Windscale reactor fire recalled.

Mystery of the Mummies (8.00 C4). One British anthropologist (Charlotte Roberts), two American archaeologists and the remains of a lost Chinese civilisation.

Equinox (9.00 C4). About the leaning tower of Pisa and efforts to correct its five-and-a-half-degree tilt. Among all the Italian experts, it is Imperial College soil engineer John Burland who emerges as the hero.

The Pull of the City (11.25 BBC2, also Tuesday and Wednesday). Three Open University programmes examine urbanisation:Harvey Molotch goes to New York, Doreen Massey is in Mexico City (Tuesday), George Monbiot explores London (Wednesday).

TUESDAY April 20 University Challenge (8.00 BBC2; 9.00 in Wales). Semi-final: Durham vs OU.

Night Waves (11.00 R3). Historian of China Jonathan Spence interviewed.

WEDNESDAY April 21 Thinking Allowed (4.00 R4). Includes talk from Stan Cohen, the psychology professor who coined the term "moral panic".

Tomorrow's World (7.00 BBC1). Featuring New Zealand scientist Brian Wilkins's research into cricket ball aerodynamics.

Leviathan (7.30 BBC2). History of Kosovo.

THURSDAY April 22 In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (9.00am R4). Karen Armstrong on fundamentalism.

Making It (7.30 BBC2, except Wales; 6.20 in Scotland; 8.00 in N Ireland). Last in series about design graduates follows Vivien Maxwell on her first short-term contract.

e-mail: Davieses@aol.com

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