Higher channels

October 29, 1999

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

Pick of the week

The latest institution to open its doors to the cameras is London's Tavistock Clinic, whose therapeutic practices give the six-part Talking Cure (Tuesday 9.50 BBC2) its title. Central to episode one is Caroline Garland, psychotherapist in the clinic's trauma unit, and her sessions with a troubled 30-year-old; at one point she concedes that "probably" she has made life more painful for him. Sigmund Freud, whose statue stands outside the Tavistock, crops up this week in Radio 3's America on the Couch (Sunday 5.45), on the status of psychoanalysis in the United States.

FRIDAY October 29 The Routes of English (4.0 R4). Part three: the Norman invasion and how English resisted (and absorbed) the French language.

SATURDAY October 30 The River (6.00 BBC2). Patrick Wright begins a four-part series on the history and culture of the Thames, "a river of empire, commerce and war".

Storyville: An American Love Story (10.00 BBC2; also Monday to Friday 11.20 BBC2).

A massively detailed look at almost two years in the life of Bill Sims and Karen Wilson, a bi-racial New York couple (he's black, she's white) and their two daughters.

SUNDAY October 31 Open Book (4.00 R4). Includes an item on old government reports republished by HMSO as "raw history".

Freedom's Battle (7.10 BBC2) and The Trial of Freedom (8.00 C4). Marking the upcoming tenth anniversary of the Berlin Wall's dismemberment, BBC2 follows Timothy Garton Ash to Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany, the countries he reported on in the 1980s as communism crumbled, while in a Channel 4 one-off, Michael Ignatieff asks "what happened to the dream of 1989".

Local Heroes (8.30 UK Horizons). Start of a rerun of Adam Hart-Davis's series - much admired by Harry Kroto, incidentally - on British inventors and scientific pioneers.

MONDAY November 1 Millennium (7.10 BBC2). Blink-and-you'll-miss-it history of the world: the 13th century in Mongolia, China, Egypt and Rome.

Life Without the Wall (7.55 C4 and rest of week). Five-minute "snapshots" of Germany ten years after the DDR's collapse.

University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). Oriel, Oxford, versus St Catherine's, Cambridge.

Walking with Dinosaurs (8.30 BBC1). Creatures from the early cretaceous period.

TUESDAY November 2 Twenty Minutes: Folies de Grandeur (8.45 R3). Talk by Philip Weller about Moli re.

Talking Cure (9.50 BBC2). Pick of the week.

THURSDAY November 4

Melvyn Bragg - In Our Time (9.00am R4). Talking about education, with Ted Wragg and Mary Warnock.

Glenn Gould Evening (from 7.00 R3). Recorded performance by, and comment on, the legendary Canadian pianist (1932-82).

Pushing Back the Curtain (8.00 R4). Final programme in series deals with the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

Dispatches (9.30 BBC2). John Sweeney on one of Kosovo's worst mass murders.

Horizon: Atlantis Uncovered (9.30 BBC2). Second of two programmes that successfully demolish the theories of Graham Hancock and others about Atlantis, the alignment of pyramids, a lost 12,000-year-old civilisation and the like. Hancock appears, dismissing criticism from Cambridge's Kate Spence, astronomer Ed Krupp and Khmer archaeologist Eleanor Mannikka as"nitpicking".

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

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