Higher channels

June 4, 1999

John Davies picks programmes of interest to THES readers. (Times pm unless stated.)

Pick of the week

Radio 4's Saturday afternoon explorations of history's byways can be illuminating. Take this week's Female Tars (2.30), in which Boston librarian Susan Starck tells of the many women who sailed and fought with the Royal Navy in the 18th and 19th centuries. Using her own research, the delightfully combative Starck rages against "the politics of forgetting" that has hidden these women's lives.

FRIDAY June 4 Shadow of the Whale (8.00 C5). US biologist Roger Payne's struggle to save the cetacean.

saturDAY June 5 Deadline 2000 (1.05 C4). Doncaster's Earth Centre and its director, Jonathan Smailes.

Female Tars (2.30 R4). See above.

D-Day Remembered (from 4.00 History Channel). Four programmes about the events of June 6 1944, followed by nine more on Sunday (from noon). Enough, surely.

Timewatch: The Forgotten Volunteers (8.15 BBC2). The 2.5 million Indians who fought for Britain in the second world war and have been largely ignored since.

Rhymescapes (9.00 R3). Four programmes on contemporary poetry and nationhood, beginning with Wales and Gwyneth Lewis.

SUNDAY June 6 Sunday Feature - Settling the Score (5.45 R3). Has recording changed everything in music? In "Music and Microphones" musicians, historians (Cyril Ehrlich, Jose Bowen, Robert Philip, Jenny Doctor) and assorted others consider technology's impact.

This Is Modern Art (9.00 C4). Another try at explaining modern art, by artist-critic Matthew Collings. In the first of six he concentrates on Picasso, Pollock and Warhol. The following day, BBC2 goes back to earlier art with Rembrandt By Himself (Monday 11.20).

The Sky at Night (12 midnight BBC1). Photographing the total eclipse of the sun.

MONDAY June 7 Start the Week (9.00 am R4). Camille Paglia is among Jeremy Paxman's guests.

A Knife to the Heart (7.00 UK Horizons, also Tues-Thurs). Repeats of BBC series on the history of transplant surgery.

Equinox: Curse of the Phantom Limbs (9.00 C4). The latest thinking from neuroscientists on the sensations that amputees appear to get from their missing limbs. What light do they throw on the workings of the brain?

Reputations - Eamon de Valera (9.30 BBC2). Historians, politicians and relatives in a thorough assessment of 20th-century Ireland's central figure.

The Pilot: Little Guide to the Big Universe (11.30 Discovery, also Wednesday 9.30). The cable/satellite channel tries out a new pop-astronomy programme.

TUESDAY June 8 Night Waves (11.00 R3). Ben Rogers on his biography of philosopher A. J. Ayer.

WEDNESDAY June 9 Thinking Allowed (4.00 R4). Ann Oakley and Laurie Taylor discuss gender studies.

Leviathan (7.30 BBC2). The history behind third world debt.

Frontiers: The End of the World (9.00 R4). The greenhouse effect? A runaway asteroid? Plague? Jez Nelson examines some doomsday scenarios for life on Earth.

THURSDAY June 10 The Material World (4.30 R4). Cambridge chemist Andrew Holmes and others on how scientists can profit from their inventions.

The Planets (9.00 BBC2). Part seven (of eight): the search for life on other planets.

The Disabled Century (9.50 BBC2). People with disabilities fight for their rights - the final part of their history, from 1970 on.

e-mail: Davieses@aol.com

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