Higher Channels

August 13, 1999

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

Pick of the week

If agricultural history deserves a higher profile, then Sussex University's Alun Howkins is providing it. In the final part of his enlightening series Fruitful Earth (Sunday 6.40 BBC2) he examines the enormous changes of the 20th century - his evidence includes some wonderful old government propaganda film - and ends with a warning about the power of genetically modified food companies. Howkins can also be heard paying tribute to the "father of oral history" George Ewart Evans in George and the Midget on Saturday (8.00 R4). And for more on present-day farming practices, listen to Jules Pretty, director of the Centre for Environment and Society, in Ploughing Eden (Thursday 8.00 R4).

Friday August 13 Chimp Rescue (9.00 National Geographic). Documentary covering much the same ground as last year's Horizon "Chimps on Death Row": the problem of what to do with primates no longer needed for medical experiments.

SATURDAY August 14 Biography: Alfred Hitchcock (7.00 History Channel). Portrait of the film-maker, the day after he would have been 100 years old.

When Banks Fall Apart (2.30 R4). Last in series examines how Lloyd George tried to take control of Russia's banks in 1917.

Summer Dance (4.35 BBC2). Ballet series.

George and the Midget (8.00 R4). See above.

Into Africa (8.10 BBC2). Henry Louis Gates visits Soweto and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Last in series.

SUNDAY August 15 Fruitful Earth (6.40 BBC2). See above.

Kew Gardens: Paradise Pruned (7.00 C4). Will the Royal Botanic Gardens suffer if it has to trim its running costs?

Masters of the Universe (8.00 C4). Investigating the rise of management consultants (the people to thank for your performance-related pay?). First of three-part series.

Broken Hearts (12 noon R5) and Omagh - The Legacy (10.05 BBC2). Like the ITV documentary last week, BBC2 concentrates on the victims of last year's bombing - notably two injured teenagers struggling to return to "normal" life. Radio 5's programme is about the bomb's impact on the whole community, using Radio Ulster's archives.

MONDAY August 16 The Evacuation (9.00am R4). What really happened to children evacuated during the second world war. Series based on new research by Martin Parsons and Penny Starns (of Reading and Cambridge universities, respectively).

TUESDAY August 17 On the Ropes (9.00am R4). Mike Fitzgerald, deposed vice-chancellor of Thames Valley University, talks about his "turbulent times".

Secret History: The Hidden Jews of Berlin (9.00 C4). How 1,500 Jews survived the second world war in Hitler's capital.

Patient Progress (9.00 R4). Alzheimer's disease: the latest research.

THURSDAY August 19 Western Front (7.30 BBC2, repeated Saturday). Richard Holmes reaches July 1916 and the Battle of the Somme - including film shot at the time and shown in cinemas just a month later.

Ploughing Eden (8.00 R4). See above Beautiful, Clever, Rich and Free (8.30 R4). Part two of women-in-this-century series is about the battle for equality in education.

Secret History: Hitler's Search for the Holy Grail (8.30 C4). The Nazi archaeological expeditions that aimed to justify Aryan superiority - and the scholars who collaborated.

Email: Davieses@aol.com

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