Higher channels

November 5, 1999

John Davies picks programmes of interest to THES types. (All times pm unless stated.)

FRIDAY November 5

The Routes of English (4.0 R4). Focusing on Chaucer and his language.

Eye on the World (9.00 Discovery Channel). Series on 100 years or so of the camera begins with the "secret" use of the camera in war and espionage.

SATURDAY November 6

The River (6.00 BBC2). Part two of Patrick Wright's Thames trip. Later the same evening, Wright presents A Day to Remember (8.00 C4), a look at how people commemorate war and the war dead.

One Foot in the Festival of Britain (7.35 BBC2). Memories, including rare colour footage, of the 1951 event whose spirit the Millennium Dome seems keen to evoke.

Timewatch: Ivan the Terrible (8.05 BBC2). A profile of Russia's first tsar.

World War III (11.00 Discovery Channel). Alternative-history scenario based on the premise that the Berlin Wall still stands.

SUNDAY November 7

Roman War Machine (6.00 History Channel). First of series on Rome's military strength gets as far as Julius Caesar's conquests.

Centurions (4.15 R3) and Under Milk Wood (7.30 R3). A 15-minute assessment of Dylan Thomas's radio classic, followed by the digitally remastered 1954 original.

Making the Grade (7.30 C4). Six-parter observing a "sink school" in Newcastle as it tries to improve its performance.

Race Against Time (8.00 C4). Roger Graef explores police attitudes to race issues.

Freedom's Battle (8.00 BBC2) The second in Timothy Garton Ash's trilogy on the fall of communism concentrates on the Stasi and the effects the opening of its files has had on people's lives.

Arena: Looking for the Iron Curtain (8.50 BBC2). Reggie Nadelson and ex-Soviet journalist Vladimir Pozner are filmed following the course of the old East-West divide.

Auschwitz: Slaves of the Nazi Gas Chambers (10.50 C5). Three Jewish Sonderkommando survivors revisit the concentration camp.

The Sky at Night (12.55am BBC1). The Leonid meteor showers.

MONDAY November 8

Millennium (7.10 BBC2). The 14th-century AD in Mali, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Indonesia and England.

University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). Royal Veterinary College versus Jesus, Cambridge.

Walking with Dinosaurs (8.30 BBC1). Finally the wretched reptiles die out.

Night Waves (9.30 R3). Arundhati Roy interviewed, plus the best British buildings.

TUESDAY November 9

The Day the Wall Came Down (all day R4). The tenth anniversary of the Wall's fall is marked with live broadcasts from Berlin of regular line-up, plus at 8.00, Misha Glenny chairs a debate on the future of Europe.

Twenty Minutes (8.20 R3, also Thursday 8.20, Friday 8.30). Poetry chosen, and commented on, by Christopher Ricks.

Embarrassing Illnesses (8.30 C4). Medical briefing, beginning with testicular cancer.

Secrets of the Ancients (9.00 BBC2). This week, engineers and archaeologists test Julius Caesar's claim that he built a bridge over the Rhine in just ten days.

THURSDAY November 11

In Our Time (9.00am R4). A. S. Byatt and D. J. Taylor discuss the novel with Melvyn Bragg.

Crossing Continents (11.00am R4). Isabel Hilton reports from Kinshasa in the Congo.

The Material World (4.30 R4). British astrophysicists investigate the origins of "dark matter" with an underwater telescope.

Horizon: Mistaken Identity (9.30 BBC2). The story of MPD (multiple personality disorder): does it really exist?

Email: Davieses@aol.com. For a fuller guide, visit the THES website at: www.thesis.co.uk

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