Higher channels

February 25, 2000

John Davies sifts through the schedules for academic viewing (times pm unless stated).

Pick of the week.

The BBC's "History 2000" programmes are a mixed bunch; Monday's Breaking the Seal does not seem to make the most of its material. But a new series on genealogy, Bloodties (Saturday 7.35 BBC2), looks more promising: it follows various people's quests for their ancestry. The main story in this first programme is that of the descendants of Labour Party pioneer Ben Tillett, some of whose papers have ended up in Warwick University's archives.

SATURDAY February 26.

Correspondent: Walking the China Tightrope (6.50 BBC2). Chinese journalists from editor to agony aunt - on what they do and do not write about.

Bloodties (7.35 BBC2). Pick of the week.

SUNDAY February .

5 Live Report: Begging for Britain (12.00 R5). Luton University's Hartley Dean tells reporter Matthew Chapman there is a "moral panic" over begging.

Sunday Feature: Proust's Way (5.45 R3). Enlightening guided tour of the places Proust transformed into A la Recherche. With Edmund White, Barbara Bray, Emily Bells and Jean-Paul Henriet, plus readings in English and French.

Time Team (6.00 C4). Flag Fen in Cambridgeshire, a valuable "wet-site" where Bronze Age timbers are preserved.

Six Experiments that Changed the World (7.00 C4). Using Manchester University's facilities and advice from plant biologist Bob Callow, Ken Campbell reconstructs Gregor Mendel's experiments in pea genetics.

MONDAY February 28.

Breaking the Seal (7.30 BBC2). Military records from the first world war and earlier - going back to the 12th-century Red Book of the Exchequer - with King's College London's David Carpenter.

Secrets of the Incas (8.00 C4). First of two-parter expounding Bill Sullivan's theories about the Incas and offering reasons for their surrender to the conquistadors.

Night Waves (9.45 R3). Reassessing Joan of Arc, plus interview with Douglas Coupland.

TUESDAY February 29.

Twenty Minutes: Speaking of Universities (8.30 R3, also Thursday 8.25). Stefan Collini ponders the future of academic research.

Ape-man (9.00 BBC2). Part two of human-origins series focuses on the latest australopithecine finds in Africa and what they tell us about the development of our primate ancestors' brains.

Adventures in Time (9.30 National Geographic). Leap-year-day compendium of programmes about time concludes with this one about humans learning "how to define the passing of time".

Race for the Superbomb (11.00 Discovery Channel). How the USSR and the US competed to develop a hydrogen bomb.

Wednesday March 1.

Tuning into Children (11.00am R4). Final part in series, with Ted Wragg on changing patterns of academic achievement.

Frontiers (9.00 R4). Bacteriophage therapy, the alternative to antibiotics, has proved effective in Eastern Europe, yet western drug firms are reluctant to invest in it.

THURSDAY March 2.

From Rags to Rights (8.00 R4). Peter White (himself blind) begins a series on changing attitudes to disabled people in this century.

Great Military Blunders (8.00 C4). "Tin Soldiers". Part two of series surveys the military's trust in science. Experts include Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Ted Postol, who undermined the hype surrounding the Patriot missile.

More programme info can be found at: www.thesis.co.uk. Email: Davieses@aol.com

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