Pick of the week FRIDAY October
How are your stress levels? Channel 4 starts a "Stop, Go Home" season about workplace pressure by unleashing a team of stress consultants on some Leeds City Council workers ( Stressed Out , Sunday 7.45 C4). Then on Monday, Equinox: Science of Stress (9.00 C4) assembles a range of experts – among them endocrinologist Stafford Lightman (Bristol), psychologist Cary Cooper (UMIST), Vivette Glover (Imperial College) and psychiatrist Carolyn Mazure (Yale) – to talk about the biology and psychology of stress, as it affects a variety of workers from taxi-drivers to lawyers; no teachers or academic administrators, though. It’s a very urban Western, Anglo-American approach: the stress experienced by the third-world subsistence farmer doesn’t get a look-in in a programme like this, where a pharmacological "magic bullet" cure for stress is seriously discussed. Also running from Monday to Thursday (7.55 C4) is Watercooler Wisdom , a series of short films offering tips on stress avoidance. And the following week has three more programmes on the subject: The Day I Snapped, The Joy of Stress (a "witty and irreverent" look at overwork) and Desperately Seeking Dad. There’s some website support for the season at www.channel4.com/stress .
(All times pm unless stated.)
The Last Supper
Question of Science – After Kyoto (8.05 World Service, repeated Saturday 2.05 am, Monday 3.05). Richard Black asks three experts to assess the progress (or lack of it) in implementing the 1997 Kyoto protocol to tackle global warming.
I Have a Right to… (8.30, repeated Saturday 2.30 am World Service). Rebel groups and human rights: Rageh Omaar investigates. Visit the I Have a Right to… website.
Night Waves (9.30 R3). Translating Tolstoy, and Scots poet Caroline Smith.
SATURDAY October 28
How to be President
Private Passions (12 noon R3). Philosopher-politician Bryan Magee chooses the music.
The Century Speaks (2.30 R4). Childhood, with recordings from the BBC’s oral-history archive.
Correspondent: The Haider Show (6.50 BBC2). About the rise of Austria’s Freedom Party under Jorg Haider. There’s probably a connection between his kind of nationalism and the following two programmes, which share the theme of Western responses to non-Christian cultures.
Twenty Minutes: The Turk in Europe (7.30 R3). Simon Townley on "Turkishness" in Mozart and elsewhere in Western culture.
Untold: Words of Fire (8.05 C4). A look back at the 11-year-old controversy over Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses – how it lead to murder, how the politicians responded (including some revealing comments from Geoffrey Howe), the racism it provoked and how it became a defining moment for the British Muslim community. Missing, alas, is any present-day comment from Rushdie himself.
Shakespeare Lecture (9.00 R3). Tom Paulin on the sonnets, a lecture recorded on London’s South Bank and introduced by Michele Roberts.
Note: the clocks go back in the UK tonight!
SATURDAY October 28
SUNDAY October 29
In the Psychiatrist’s Chair
The Book Show (11.30 am Sky News, repeated 8.30). Including Ion Trewin, editor of Alan Clarke’s diaries.
Icons of the 20th Century (12 noon C5). Femininity: M. Monroe, D. Spencer, etc.
Music Matters (12.15 R3). Music and cultural identity.
Ruins (2.30 R4). Archaeologist Tom Plunkett at Linlithgow Palace, where Scottish kings once held court.
Adventures in Poetry (4.30 R4). Well-known poems explored from a number of angles by QMW’s Peggy Reynolds: this week, Wordsworth’s Daffodils, with Prof. Duncan Wu, Gillian Clarke, Hunter Davies, Juliet Barker, Paul Cookson, Mrs Nicholson and class 5N at Backwell Junior School. (Last week I wrongly described the mellifluous Ms Reynolds as a "Cambridge don": my apologies.)
Wild: Tough at the Top (5.10 BBC2). About nature in the high Austrian Alps.
Sunday Feature: Faultline (5.45 R3). "The Kaiser’s Crypt", the final part of Dennis Marks’s superior travelogue about the Austro-Hungarian empire and its cultural legacy, visits Brody (now part of the Ukraine), the birthplace of novelist Joseph Roth, before returning to Vienna via Bratislava (Slovakia).
The Natural World (6.05 BBC2). Wild tigers in Rajasthan.
The Science of Secrecy (6.45 C4). Simon Singh’s series moves to a different day for its final part, in which the subject is the internet and public-key cryptography, and the hero GCHQ-based mathematician Clifford Cocks. Visit the Science of Secrecy website at www.channel4.com/plus .
Aaron Copland, American Composer (7.30 BBC2, not Wales). Inevitably, this documentary begins with Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, which conductor Jonathan Sheffer calls the USA’s "phantom national anthem". But David Thompson’s film is a by no means a superficial survey of the life and work of the composer, born 100 years ago next month. Present-day composers (David del Tredici, John Corigliano, Elliot Goddenthal), biographer Howard Pollack and others talk about and perform his work and there’s plenty of archive film of Copland, talking and conducting, plus Martha Graham’s and Agnes DeMille’s ballets to his music. More Copland on Radio 3 the weekend of 10-12 November, including a concert that will be shown later on BBC Knowledge. BBC2 is also showing three films for which Copland wrote the music, beginning with The Heiress on Monday (1.30), William Wyler’s version of Henry James’s Washington Square.
Stressed Out (7.45 C4). See Pick of the week at the top of the page.
Superhuman (9.10 BBC1). "Self Repair". Robert Winston on the human body’s ability to heal itself, and how medical science can help it along. See the Superhuman web pages.
Panorama (10.15 BBC1). Young robbers.
The South Bank Show (10.45 ITV). The Mark Morris Dance Group, for which the programme makers (I quote from the publicity) "lived in close proximity with the dancers for a month, using the latest handheld digital cameras, and filmed them from rehearsals in New York for their new show Four Saints In 3 Acts, to its world premiere in London".
A History of Britain by Simon Schama (11.45 BBC1). Repeat of episode five, "King Death".
SUNDAY October 29
MONDAY October 30
Composer of the Week
Start the Week (9.00am R4). With Anthony Gottlieb on philosophy and science; plus Rachel Bowlby, Shula Marks and John Mortimer.
Book of the Week (9.45 am R4 and rest of week) is Norman Lewis’s In Sicily.
What If? (10.00 am, repeated 1.00, 4.00, 7.00, 10.00 BBC Knowledge). Supposing Charles I had won the Civil War… historian Ronald Hutton and others speculate.
Running the Empire (11.00 am R4). Peter Jones on Nero (repeat).
Last of the Medicine Men (7.30 BBC2). Benedict Allen samples peyote in western Mexico.
The Top Job (8.00 R4). The last in Peter Hennessy’s series about the Prime Minister’s job is entitled "The Messiah Complex". Now who could that refer to?
University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). UMIST vs. Balliol, Oxford.
Equinox: Science of Stress (9.00 C4). See Pick of the week at the top of the page.
War Months (9.00 Discovery Channel). Episodes nine and ten cover April and May 1941: U-boats prowl, the Bismarck sinks, the Germans take Crete, etc.
Night Waves (9.30 R3). The disappearance of Europe’s villages – the cultural cost, plus German novelist Ingo Schultze.
MONDAY October 30
TUESDAY October 31
Ian Hislop’s School Rules (3.00 am C4). A documentary series repeat on the last 100 years of British education – how the church, state and progressive radicals alike have attempted to mould pupils into "ideal citizens".
Tormented Genius (1.30 R4). John Florance concludes his series on mental illness and musical genius with composers Ivor Gurney and Dmitri Shostakovich, victims of World War One and Stalin respectively.
The Real Dracula (6.00 History Channel). Myths, legends and Transylvanians.
Crash Detectives (8.00 C4). Following the work of a police accident investigation unit and the factors involved in road accidents.
File On 4 (8.00 R4). Electricity prices and privatisation.
The Real Prince Philip (9.00 C4). About a bloke who married into a royal family (repeat).
Life Before Birth (9.00 R4). Part three: the latest research on premature babies.
Night Waves (9.30 R3). Featuring American poet Mark Doty and a new biography of Hans Christian Andersen.
Post Mortem (10.50 C5). Forensic scientists tell of the cases they’ve solved.
WEDNESDAY November 1
Natural Design (8.00 am, repeated 11.00 am, 2.00, 5.00, 8.00. BBC Knowledge). The parallels between design in evolution and manufacture.
Thinking Allowed (4.00 R4). Laurie Taylor’s guests include Lee Monaghan, on bodybuilding, drugs and risk.
Tomorrow’s World (7.00 BBC1). Including an item on new technology for exploring the oceans – Bob Ballard’s underwater lab off the coast of Florida.
The Money Programme (7.30 BBC2). The decline of Marks and Spencer.
Do Animals … Do Maths? (10.50 am BBC Knowledge, repeated 1.50, 4.50, 7.50). How experiments may prove that animals can calculate.
Air Sick (8.00 C5). Does travelling by plane make you ill?
The Moral Maze (8.00 R4). Three academics (Ian Hargreaves, David Cook and David Starkey) and two journalists (Janet Daley and Michael Buerk) return to argue about something topical.
Frontiers (9.00 R4). Have scientists at the European Laboratory for Nuclear Physics discovered firm evidence for the existence of the Higgs particle? And if they haven’t, will the Americans?
A History of Britain by Simon Schama (9.00 BBC2). Part six, "Burning Convictions", considers 1500 to 1558: the Reformation, the reaction and the relevant monarchs (Henry VIII, Edward VI and his sister Mary). Elizabeth will be the subject of the following programme, after which the Schamathon takes a break until after Christmas.
Twenty Minutes: A Forgotten Diary (9.50 R3). Irish patriot Wolfe Tone’s writings celebrated by Declan Kiberd of University College Dublin.
THURSDAY November 2
Melvyn Bragg: In Our Time
Crossing Continents (11.00 am R4). Ugandan rebels.
EUtopia: Fighting for Peace (1.30, repeated 3.30, 5.30, 7.30 BBC Knowledge). Conscription and the problems of getting the right kinds of recruit for present-day military forces, in Finland and the Netherlands. Continuing the documentary series on Europe whose earlier episodes were shown on BBC2.
Music Restored (4.00 R3). Music historian Mary O’Neill on the troubadours of 12th- and 13th-century France.
The Material World (4.30 R4). Geoff Short (York) and Mike Lockwood (Rutherford Appleton Lab) on the aurora borealis.
The Mystery of the Missing U-Boat (8.00 C4). A U-boat wreck discovered off the New Jersey coast (repeat).
The Secret KGB Abduction Files (8.00 C5). UFOs, aliens, the pyramids, the KGB… No, I don’t believe it either, but apparently it’s all true.
Seeds of Hate (8.00 R4). Can Bosnia come to terms with its immediate past?
In Business (8.30 R4). Government and the web.
The Battle for Midway (9.00 C4). Another wreck on Channel 4, and another programme with Bob Ballard (who also features in Wednesday’s Tomorrow’s World). This one’s a National Geographic film about him investigating warships sunk in World War Two’s Battle of Midway.
Horizon: Vanished – The Plane That Disappeared (9.00 BBC2). A British passenger plane that crashed in the Andes in 1947 has only just been discovered: what have scientists found out from its wreckage? Find out more from the Horizon website.
Night Waves (9.30 R3). The future of the theatre, with Richard Eyre and others (Eyre starts a history of the last 100 years in the theatre, Changing Stages, on November 5).
Britain at War in Colour (10.00 ITV). The Second World War was not fought in black and white after all: a compilation of colour footage of the home front from the start of the war to 1942. (The first of three programmes.)
Open Science (from 12.30 am BBC2). Beginning with Final Frontier , with Ian Stewart and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees on the six-number universe. Plus the latest in space with Alexandra Barnett. Take a look at the Open Science website.
THURSDAY November 2