Higher Channels

March 10, 2000

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

Pick of the week

Television programmes about musical history are rare, so despite its title, let us welcome Howard Goodall's Big Bangs (Sunday 8.00 C4). The "big bangs" are turning points in the development of European music, such as the invention of equal temperament and the advent of recorded sound. In this week's opener, the enthusiastic Goodall goes back to the 11th century for the basic revolution: Guido of Arezzo's creation of a reliable musical notation system.

FRIDAY March 10

Night Waves (9.30 R3). Oxford classics don Oliver Taplin on changing interpretations of the great Greek and Roman writers.

SATURDAY March 11 Lent Talks: Faith in the Future (7.45 R4). Four talks about faith in the 21st century begin with Cambridge theologian Don Cupitt.

SUNDAY March 12

Time Team (6.00 C4). Finding remains from a Roman temple in Greenwich and evidence of Watling Street's route. Experts include Hedley Swain of the London Museum.

Six Experiments that Changed the World (7.00 C4). "Newton and the Prism" - science historians Simon Schaffer and Rob Iliffe help Ken Campbell on the achievements of Isaac Newton.

A Body of Literature (7.15 R4). New series in which fictional characters undergo medical and psychological examination. First on the couch is King Lear: did he have Alzheimer's disease? Oxford's Colin Blakemore and Keele English professor Susan Bruce ponder the evidence.

Howard Goodall's Big Bangs (8.00 C4). See pick of the week.

Raising the Mammoth (8.00 Discovery Channel). About the expedition to dig up a frozen mammoth from the Siberian permafrost.

Moral Combat: Nato at War (9.00 BBC2). More Kosovo revelations. In a two-hour special, Alan Little reassesses Nato's war against Serbia.

MONDAY March 13

Songs of the Earth (2.30, repeated 9.30 World Service). Series of "radio ballads" begins with the songs of Zanzibar.

Art Histories (3.45 R4 and for rest of week). Louisa Buck with five programmes about influential writers on art. First up, Vasari.

To the Ends of the Earth: The Meteorite that Vanished (8.00 C4). Sara Russell and Phil Bland of the Natural History Museum go to the Sahara in search of a "lost" meteorite.

Omnibus - John Ruskin (10.40 BBC1). Portrait of the influential Victorian critic.

TUESDAY March 14

Twenty Minutes - Philosophical Enquiries (8.10 R3). Three talks from top thinkers begin with philosopher of music Lydia Goehr on "Perfection and Perfectability". Ape-man (9.00 BBC2; 9.40 in Wales). Did homo heidelbergensis have the intelligence to hunt, use language and evolve family groupings?

WEDNESDAY March 15

Thinking Allowed (4.00 R4). Laurie Taylor talks with Julia O'Connell Davidson about her Economic and Social Research Council-funded research on "sex tourism".

Frontiers (9.00 R4). Gene therapy.

THURSDAY March 16

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg (9.00am R4). Lenin and his influence, with Robert Service and Vitali Vitaliev.

Horizon: Planet Hunters (9.30 BBC2). The latest on planets outside our solar system, including the discoveries by Andrew Collier Cameron and Keith Horne of St Andrews.

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

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