Higher channels

June 23, 2000

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

Pick of the week

Ten years ago, Rupert Murdoch's Fox network nurtured the birth of The Simpsons, one of the highest collective achievements in television - not only the funniest, it is also the most acute critique of United States culture and politics. There is no academic argument to that effect in BBC2's Simpsons Night (Friday, from 6.00. But you will have the chance to see four choice episodes, plus two documentaries: America's First Family (6.45), which tries to explain the cartoon's appeal and the creative processes behind it, and My Wasted Life (8.05), in which originator Matt Groening talks about himself.

FRIDAY June 23

Simpsons Night. Pick of the Week.

Night Waves (9.30 R3). Changing ideas about citizenship, from ancient Greece to David Blunkett.

Saturday June 24

Buffalo Bill on Tour (2.30 R4). About the 1887 visit to Britain of William Cody, "inventor of the Wild West".

The Modern Antiquarian (7.00 BBC2). Rock musician Julian Cope travels through Britain in search of pre-Roman monuments.

Archive Hour: Morning Calm, Noonday Storm (8.00 R4). The Korean war.

SUNDAY June 25

Music Matters (12.15 R3). With an item on music and national identity.

Smith, Mugabe and the Union Jack (7.30 BBC2). David Dimbleby updates his series on Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, first shown last year.

The Day the World Took Off (8.00 C4). Part 5,"War and Peace", concentrates on the technological and social differences between East and West in agriculture and war.

The South Bank Show (10.55 or 11.05 ITV). Absorbing account of the creation of, rehearsals for and first performance of Judith Weir's We Are Shadows, under the baton of Simon Rattle.

MONDAY June 26

Ecology of Illness (8.05 World Service, repeated Tues 3.05). Emerging viruses, recurring diseases.

Twenty Minutes - Cabinet of Curiosities (8.30 R3, also Tues 8.15, Fri 8.00). Sara LeFanu visits three off-beat museums, beginning with Mr Potter's Museum of Curiosities in Cornwall.

TUESDAY June

No Triumph, No Tragedy (9.00 am R4). Leeds University sociologist Tom Shakespeare on his genetic inheritance.

Local Heroes (8.30 BBC2). Adam Hart-Davis cycles around the East Midlands to tell us about the achievements of Richard Arkwright, George Green and Isaac Newton.

Under the Knife (11.00 C4). New surgery series begins with a heart operation.

WEDNESDAY June 28

Thinking Allowed (4.00 R4). Laurie Taylor with football academics Dominic Malcolm and James Walvin.

THURSDAY June 29

Melvyn Bragg - In Our Time (9.00 am R4). Brain scientists Gerald Edelman and Igor Aleksander.

The Material World (4.30 R4). Why sex? Biologists Matthew Meselson (Harvard) and Mark Ridley (Oxford) attempt an answer.

Machaut Evening (7.30 R3). Discussion about, and music by, poet-composer Gillaume de Machaut.

More programme information at: www.thesis.co.uk.Email: Davieses@aol.com.

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