Higher channels

May 7, 1999

John Davies scans the schedules. (All times pm unless stated.)

Pick of the week

So it is finally over. Jeremy Isaacs's 24-part Cold War series, made at the behest of CNN owner Ted Turner, reaches its final episode (Sunday 8.00 BBC2). This one deals with the aftermath of the Berlin Wall's collapse, ending with George Bush's Christmas 1991 declaration "that confrontation (with the Soviet Union) is over". Whatever its simplifications, Cold War will surely be a resource for future historians (and there's plenty of material available at its web site: http://cnn.com/ ColdWar).

SATURDAY May 8

David Attenborough Day (Discovery Channel). To celebrate the great man's 73rd birthday, a whole day of his programmes: six old Wildlife on Ones from 7.00am, a Face to Face interview (11.20am), and then, from noon, all 13 episodes of Life on Earth.

Running the Empire (2.30 R4). Peter Jones (former classics professor at Newcastle) on how the Roman empire managed to rule so much of Europe for so long. The first programme (of three) focuses on the emperor Augustus. Earlier, the Open University's Open Minds (9.00 am BBC2) looks back at the Romans with part two of a discussion of their continuing influence, plus at 9.30am, a reshowing of the Romans in Britain series.

Correspondent (6.45 BBC2). Including a report from Ghana, "Africa's success story".

Timewatch: The Lost Temple of Java (8.15 BBC2). The unique temple of Borobudur, now being restored by UNESCO, and the man who rediscovered it, Thomas Raffles.

The Death of Yugoslavia (9.05 BBC2). Edited version of the excellent recent-historyseries, first shown in 1995.

SUNDAY May 9

Centurions - Anna Akhmatova (4.15 R3). The Russian poet's Requiem appraised.

Death of a Naturalist (4.30 R4). Is nature poetry obsolete? Jon Gower talks to poets.

New Britain on the Couch (8.00 C4). Psychologist Oliver James asks: "Why aren't we happier?" First of two.

Two Thousand Years (11.15 ITV). More Roman emperors: Diocletian, Constantine and Theodosius are discussed as this history-of-Christianity series reaches fourth century.

MONDAY May 10

Duel in the Desert (7.00 History Channel). Montgomery vs Rommel in archive film and veterans' recollections. First of five daily second world war documentaries from the Imperial War Museum archives.

Reputations: George VI (9.30 BBC2). Profile of a man who never wanted to be king. First of new series that will tackle an assortment of the century's big names - among them Eamon de Valera, Jimi Hendrix, Alfred Hitchcock and Mata Hari.

TUESDAY May 11

The Baby Makers (9.00 C4). Twenty-one years after the first "test tube baby", a look at the reproductive revolution.

WEDNESDAY May 12

Killing the Killers (9.00 R4). The debate about smallpox - should the last remaining samples of the virus be destroyed?

THURSDAY May 13

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (9.00am R4). Mulling over multiculturalism with Stuart Hall and Avtar Brah of Birkbeck.

The Material World (4.30 R4). How much more remains to be discovered about the universe? Astronomer royal Martin Rees is among the experts consulted.

The Planets (9.00 BBC2). Part three, "Giants", features the Voyager missions to Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

e-mail: Davieses@aol.com

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