Higher Channels

November 10, 2000

A "Who'll Save Africa?" season begins with The Hunger Business (Saturday and Sunday 8.00 C4). Beginning with the Nigeria-Biafra conflict of the 1960s and the aid effort that prolonged the war, the two programmes go on to show how relief agencies have found themselves being manipulated by those in power, most notably in Ethiopia. The second programme also deals with more recent aid debacles in Sudan and Rwanda. Later in the week, Sierra Leonean film-maker Sorious Samura reports that "Africans are dying to escape their continent". To demonstrate this, in the first of two documentaries entitled Sorious Samura's Africa , he follows an escape route from Mali via Morocco and a hazardous, expensive boat journey to Spain, meeting a variety of West Africans (almost all male) on the way (Tuesday 11.05 C4). Since, as he says, Africans "cannot just keep running away", his second film (Wednesday 11.00 C4) visits Uganda in search of a "beacon of hope" for the continent. Discover more on the Africa season at the Channel 4 website.

(All times pm unless stated.)

FRIDAY November 10
Performance on 3
(7.30 R3). A weekend celebrating the centenary of Aaron Copland's birth begins with a concert live from the Barbican in London and an interval talk by Anthony Burton. (The concert will be shown on BBC Knowledge on Thursday, 9.00 - See also Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday R3.)
I Have a Right to … (7.30 World Service, repeated Saturday 1.30 am). The final programme is about international justice and human rights, with a special focus on the Rwanda war crimes trials. Visit the I Have a Right to …  website for more details.
Blake Night (from 8.00 BBC Knowledge). Including a preview of the London Tate exhibition, and The Ancients (9.40, repeated 12.10 am), a historical drama by Louis Caulfield, with Kenneth Cranham as Blake and Mel Raido as Samuel Palmer (see also Sunday R3). Further information on the William Blake exhibition at the Tate Britain website.
The War Behind the Wire (9.00 BBC2; 9.30 in Wales). The first of two programmes about British PoWs and their attempts to escape Stalag Luft III. With archive film, personal recollections and extracts from the movies that fictionalised the reality.
Night Waves (9.40 R3) asks what role British cinema played in the Cold War.

SATURDAY November 11
The Century Speaks
(2.30 R4). Part six: "Getting Older". Another dip into the BBC's oral history archives.
Will the Real Aaron Copland Please Take a Bow? (6.30 R3). A portrait of the US composer, by Leonard Slatkin.
An American Portrait (7.30 R3). More Copland music - live - including his "play-opera" The Second Hurricane , which is also discussed in the interval by Anthony Burton ( Twenty Minutes , 8.25).
The Wrecks of Condor Reef (7.00 C4). A reef off Cambodia searched for wrecks (repeat).
House Detectives (7.35 BBC2). A new series of architectural-historical sleuthing with Dan Cruickshank and Judith Miller begins with a Jacobean house that may have a Shakespearean connection. The Public Record Office's Nick Barratt researches house details for the series, and has his own corner on the BBC History website.
Archive Hour: Coventry Blitz (8.00 R4). The autumn of 1940 recalled.
The Hunger Business (8.00 C4, also Sunday 8.00). See Pick of the week (at the top of the page).
Timewatch: Tank (8.05 BBC2). A repeat about the "wonder weapon of World War One".
The Forgotten Volunteers (9.15 R2). About the Black and Asian soldiers who fought for Britain in the First and Second World Wars.
Shakespeare Lecture (10.00 R3). David Dabydeen of Warwick University on "Prospero's Pagans".
Watching (11.00 BBC2). Tom Sutcliffe on close-ups and cinema's "desire to show the audience something bigger than it's ever been seen before".

SUNDAY November 12
Any Mother's Son
(11.45 am R4). The story of Westminster Abbey's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, dedicated 80 years ago this year.
Icons of the 20th Century (12 noon C5). Elvis Presley and other icons of popular culture.
Play of the Week: A Noise in the Night (12 noon, repeated 5.00 World Service). More from Africa: Efua Abbam's prizewinning hour-long play is set in Ghana and is a serio-comic tale of a family and a coup.
Adventures in Poetry (4.30 R4). Well-known poems explored by QMW's Peggy Reynolds: this week, Donne's The Sunne Rising.
Bach Year (4.45 R3). Bach and Symbolism, with Ivan Hewitt.
Sunday Feature: William Blake (5.45 R3). Kevin Jackson on the life and work of the poet/artist.
Changing Stages (7.40 BBC2). Part two of Richard Eyre's theatre marathon is about the playwrights of Ireland - Wilde, Synge, Yeats, Shaw, O'Casey - without whom "the story of twentieth-century British theatre wouldn't be worth telling". Including some film of Shaw and O'Casey, and deviating to mention D.H. Lawrence, who might have done better as a playwright if he'd had the support of something like the Abbey Theatre, in Eyre's view. Nothing on Behan or Beckett, but the latter gets his turn in programme five, and presumably Behan will get a mention when programme four talks about Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop. (Meanwhile, more on Wilde, Tues R3.)
Ancient Secrets (8.00 Discovery Channel) A whole clutch of reruns: Secrets of the Great Wall (of China) is followed by Secrets of the Pyramids (9.00), then Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: Stonehenge (10.00).
Telling Tales (9.00 BBC2, also Wednesday 9.45). More from Alan Bennett about growing up in Leeds.
Superhuman (9.10 BBC1). "The Enemy Within". Robert Winston on fighting cancer with gene therapy and other new methods.
X Files Night (9.15 BBC2, 9.45 in Wales). The Joy of X , a documentary about the X-Files phenomenon and its creator, Chris Carter, followed by a Simpsons parody (9.55) and, at 10.20, a repeat of the first-ever episode of the series. A new X-Files series starts on Wednesday (9.00 BBC2).
Sunday Play: Wystan (9.45 R3). Paul Scofield as Auden in a play directed and written by Gordon MacDougall.
Panorama (10.15 BBC1). On "reality television".
The South Bank Show (11.15 ITV). On George Macdonald Fraser, and the matter of writing historical fiction.
Ultimate Questions (12.20 am ITV). "Fundamental issues" debated under the chairmanship of Martyn Lewis.

MONDAY November 13
Composer of the Week
(9.00 am R3 and rest of week) is Szymanowski.
Book of the Week (9.45 R4) is Mauve by Simon Garfield.
What If? (10.00 am, repeated 1.00, 4.00, 7.00, 10.00 BBC Knowledge). 1914 – could the Germans have won the war in the first year?
Random Edition (11.00 am R4). Peter Snow examines a copy of The Parliamentary Intelligencer for 1660 and asks historians (Ronald Hutton, John Morrill, Penny Corfield, Simon Thurley) about Charles II's restoration.
Morning Performance (11.30 am R3 and the rest of the week). "China Week", with works by contemporary Chinese composers, and Western music inspired by China.
Saving the Patient (8.00 R4). Examining the latest NHS rescue plans – a new series that begins by considering the relationship between the Health Service and private medicine.
To the Ends of the Earth: Quest for the Lost City (8.00 C4). The search for Mayan capital in Guatemala (repeat).
University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). Imperial vs. Cranfield.
What the Romans Did for Us (8.30 BBC2). The military might of the Romans, with Adam Hart-Davis reconstructing (or simulating) their engineering, carpentry and martial skills.
Andes to Amazon (9.00 BBC2). The wildlife of the Amazon basin.
Growing Science (9.00 R4). Pippa Greenwood in search of the perfect plant.
Private Lives of the Pharaohs (9.00 C4). The first of a three part Secrets of the Dead special featuring DNA samples from Egyptian mummies – that sort of thing …
Night Waves Feature: Chinese Cities – Boom or Bust? (9.30 R3). On the impact of migration from China's countryside into urban areas - Isabel Hilton presents an investigation. Visit Radio 3's China season website.
Meetings with Remarkable Trees (9.50 BBC2). The Tree House at Pitchford - Britain's largest broad-leaf lime tree.
Omnibus - John Barry (10.35 BBC1). The film composer profiled.
A History of Britain with Simon Schama (11.25 BBC1). A repeat of last week's episode about Queen Elizabeth I.
48 Preludes and Fugues (just before midnight, BBC2, and until Thursday). BBC2 is using this Bach series as fillers when necessary it seems, and with scant regard to order; Radio Times tells us that this week's performances are of Book Two's B major (tonight); Book One's C major (Tues), Book One's D minor (Wed) and Book One's A minor (Thurs). I wouldn't guarantee that's what you'll get, as I'm sure I've seen Andrei Gavrilov play the C major one already …
The Late Book (12.30 am R4) is Simon Singh's The Code Book .

TUESDAY November 14
Ian Hislop's School Rules
(1.15 am C4). Hislop's education series recalls the dawn of comprehensive education (repeat).
Bernstein (2.10 am C4). Leonard, that is (repeat).
Unearthing Mysteries (11.00 am R4). Aubrey ( Earth Story ) Manning with the second of his "historical enigmas" series: this week, Peter the Great's "Amber Room", missing since the Nazis looted it in 1941.
Performance on 3: an American Portrait (7.30 R3). More Copland, plus an interval discussion on the composer's current standing among musicians and musicologists ( Twenty Minutes – The Copland Legacy , 8.25).
Case Notes (9.00 R4). How can doctors distinguish between normal worries and hypochondria?
Night Waves (9.40 R3). Oscar Wilde's death-centenary marked with discussion from Jonathan Dollimore, Roy Foster, Neil Sammels and Anne Varty, in front of a British Library audience.
Sorious Samura's Africa (11.05 C4, also Wed 11.00). See Pick of the week (at the top of the page).
Post Mortem (11.40 C5). Forensic scientists tell of the cases they've solved.
Breaking the Seal (12.30 am). Open University series about British archive resources, beginning with the Domesday Book (repeat).

WEDNESDAY November 15
Natural Design – Robocritters
(8.00 am, repeated 11.00 am, 2.00, 5.00, 8.00 BBC Knowledge). How robot designers are learning from the natural world.
Meridian: The Copland Years (9.05 am, repeated 7.05 pm World Service). Leonard Slatkin continues.
Do Animals … Love or Hate? (10.50 am BBC Knowledge, repeated 1.50, 4.50, 7.50, 10.50).
Turning the Tide (11.00 R4). A series about individuals and communities adapting to changing environmental attitudes begins with a Suffolk farmer converting to organic production.
Choral Evensong (4.00 R3) comes from the chapel at King's College, Cambridge.
Thinking Allowed (4.00 R4). Laurie Taylor's guests this week include Tim O'Shea, talking about plans for a British e-university.
Tomorrow's World in Venice (7.00 BBC1). Technology in a sinking city.
The Money Programme (7.30 BBC2). On the lottery.
Mongolian Wild Horses (7.30 C5). An American scientist's attempt to reintroduce the Przewalski horse to the Gobi Desert.
New Killer Diseases (8.00 C5). Has the "golden age" of virus prevention come to an end? Julius Weinburg of City University's Public Health Laboratory Centre and others on the risks in a world of Aids and Ebola.
Poisoned (8.00 C4). "Dramatic real-life cases" mixed with scientific info about how poisons affect the body.
Inspector Morse (8.30 ITV). The final case for the detective who has persisted in uncovering (fictional) murder in Oxford colleges, while also boosting the city's tourist trade.
State of the Planet – Is There a Crisis? (9.10 BBC1). David Attenborough starts a three-parter laying out the current thinking on human impact on the natural world, with a survey of what's known and isn't known about the diversity of life forms, and the importance of "keystone species". With contributions from biodiversity enthusiast Edward O. Wilson, Robert May (who is also one of the series advisers), Terry Erwin, marine biologist Sylvia Earle and others.
Laboratories of Power (9.00 R4). About the World Health Organisation and its scientists' ability to make a difference.
Rebel Yell (10.00 R2). More about protest song, including the British folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s.
Savage Planet (10.30 ITV). Mudslides, hurricanes, etc.

THURSDAY November 16
Melvyn Bragg: In Our Time
(9.00 am R4). The last of the current series discusses nihilism, nothingness and Nietzsche with philosophers Rob Hopkins and Raymond Tallis.
Heritage (8.30 World Service, repeated Friday 2.30 am). The archaeology series returns with a programme about the Grand Tour.
Crossing Continents (11.00 am R4). New Jews in Germany.
Law in Action (4.00 R4).
Music Restored (4.00 R3). Music-making in Renaissance Venice.
The Material World (4.30 R4). Wave and tidal power, with Stephen Salter (Edinburgh University) and William Beattie (Queen's, Belfast) on their latest findings.
Document (8.00 R4). More delving into the past, beginning with a watch "liberated" from a U-Boat Commander.
The Great Fog (8.00 C4). A repeat of a Secret History programme about 1952's Great Fog, in London and elsewhere.
Horizon: The Valley of Life and Death (9.00 BBC2). Africa again, this time with the discovery that AIDS infection rates are lower among circumcised men, and the scientific and policy implications.
Leading Edge (9.00 R4). New attempts to split the electron.
Night Waves (9.30 R3). The changing nature of girlhood (to coincide with an exhibition at Walsall Art Gallery).
Britain at War in Colour (10.00 ITV). Part three (of three). People whose diaries and letters were used in earlier episodes look back.
Open Science (from 12.30 am BBC2). Beginning with a repeat of the Rough Science series, in which a group of scientists were given clever things to do on an uninhabited Mediterranean island.… Take a look at the Open Science website.      

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