Higher channels

June 30, 2000

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

Pick of the week

Murder, arson, suicide; baptisms, weddings, beauty contests; bankers, farmers and a crazed window-smasher, plus an opera singer fallen on hard times. James Marsh's Arena: Wisconsin Death Trip (Sunday 10.00 BBC2) is based on newspaper reports and photographs from the 1890s in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, but also provides a glimpse at that same community today. The sum total is more than a documentary - it is a fascinating film essay on the United States's past and present: sort of David Lynch meets Ken Burns.

FRIDAY June 30

Tomorrow's World - The Live Event Special (7.00 BBC1). Report from Tomorrow's World Live at Earls Court, London, includes item on medical scanning technology. More from the same location on Wednesday (7.30 BBC1), when awards for innovation will be handed out.

Twenty Minutes: Cabinet of Curiosities (8.00 R3). A visit to the Hunterian Museum - the collection put together by pioneering Scots surgeon John Hunter (1728-93).

SATURDAY July 1

Do What You Like with Him: The Unreal Life of Sherlock Holmes (8.00 R4). An hour on pastiches of the famous detective, from the radio archives and elsewhere, begins a Conan Doyle season on R4.

Between the Ears: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (10.00 R3). Wallace Stevens's haunting poem is the inspiration for a collage of birdsong and impressions, stories and memories. Start of a new run of the adventurous Radio 3 slot.

SUNDAY July 2

Modern British Architects (12 noon C5). New series presented by Charlie Luxton begins, inevitably, with Richard Rogers.

The Day the World Took Off (8.00 C4). The last in Channel 4's adventurous history series goes back the furthest - to the origins of agriculture - and also contemplates the future of the human species.

Arena: Wisconsin Death Trip (10.00 BBC2). See pick of the week.

MONDAY July 3

Meridian: What is Beauty? (9.05am, repeated 7.05 World Service). Writers, thinkers and artists attempt an answer in a new three-parter with Christopher Cook.

The Voyage of the Beagle (11.50am R3 and rest of week, times vary). Readings from the great evolutionist, selected by Darwin editor Janet Browne.

Wallis Simpson: The Demonised Duchess (9.00 C4). Portrait of the Duchess of Windsor.

TUESDAY July 4

Mozambique Stories (7.55 C4, also Wednesday, Thursday). Three short reports on the aftermath of the disastrous floods.

File on 4 (8.00 R4). Failures of DNA testing.

WEDNESDAY July 5

The Secret Life of the Family (8.00 BBC1). Microscopic photography capturing dust mites, bacteria and other usually invisible matters. Experts include cardiologist Duncan Dymon and nutritionist Amanda Ursell.

Twenty Minutes: Rack and Ruin (8.30 R3). Jonathan Glancey on art and ruins.

THURSDAY July 6

The Material World (4.30 R4). Newcastle University's Mark Birch-Machin and Brian Diffey on ultraviolet rays and the body.

Leading Edge (9.00 R4). Studying dolphin and whale language in Vancouver.

Solar Blast (9.00 National Geographic). How solar activity can affect us on earth.

Final Frontier (12.30 am BBC2). Open University astronomy magazine includes report on the British telescope on Hawaii.

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

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