Higher channels

June 25, 1999

John Davies lists programmes worth catching this week (times pm unless stated).

Pick of the week

The first of a new C4 archaeology series, Secrets of the Dead (Tuesday 9.00) has an interesting story to tell: it's about a recently discovered mass grave that survives from the Battle of Towton (1461), one of the bloodiest clashes in the Wars of the Roses. A team from Bradford University, plus other authorities from Sandhurst, the University of Utah and elsewhere, give their verdict.

FRIDAY June 25

The Index (3.30 R4). Last of five enlightening programmes features Malcolm Bradbury, biographer Richard Holmes and his indexer Douglas Matthew.

SATURDAY June 26

The Muse and the Microphone (8.00 R4). Andrew Motion introduces archive radio recordings of poetry, from John Drinkwater and Hilaire Belloc to the present. More poets follow directly on R3 with Rhymescapes (9.00), which this week deals with "Englishness".

Timewatch: Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle (9.40 BBC2). Last in the current Timewatch run looks back just 30 years, to Denmark's decision to lift all restrictions on pornography.

SUNDAY June

Sunday Feature - The Northern Lights (5.45 R3). David Walker on the importance of "Scottish Enlightenment" thinkers - Adam Smith, David Hume, Francis Hutcheson et al.

Twister Week (7.00 BBC1; also Monday, Wednesday 7.00). First of several "as-live" BBC1 programmes this week that aim to give us a taste of the American tornado season - and what scientists know of the phenomenon.

Stonehenge: Secret of the Stones (8.00 C4). Part two of repeat includes new dating tests on the Wiltshire monument.

This Is Modern Art (9.00 C4). "Nothing Matters". Matthew Collings on blank canvasses, minimalism and similar art, from Malevich, Rothko and Donald Judd to Jason Martin and Martin Creed.

MONDAY June 28

Einstein's Brain (7.00 UK Horizons). In search of modern science's "greatest relic". More about the great man's life and work later in the week with Einstein: Fame and Einstein: The Miracle Year (Tuesday and Wednesday, 7.00 UK Horizons) Postcript - Piers Plowman (9.15 R3 and rest of week, times vary). New translations of the Langland classic.

TUESDAY June 29

File on 4 (8.00 R4). Financial irregularities in further education colleges: why weren't the whistleblowers heeded earlier?

Secrets of the Dead: Blood Red Roses (9.00 C4). See above.

Case Notes (9.00 R4). Systems of caring.

WEDNESDAY June 30

Frontiers (9.00 R4). On the search for life forms in the deepest oceans.

THURSDAY July 1

Biography: Evita (2.00 History Channel). Argentina's most famous woman, on the 25th anniversary of her death.

The Material World (4.30 R4). Ken Phillips of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory talks about the sun. All part of the total eclipse build-up, of course.

Eye of the Storm (8.30 ITV). As we've mentioned BBC1's Twisters, we'd better also note ITV's extreme-conditions series, which returns with a Tennessee tornado and Australian bush-fire footage.

Email: Davieses@aol.com

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