Truman (9.00am BBC2). Last of three-part biography of the US President.
The Civil War: The Arts of Death (10.00 am History Channel). It’s 1862, and part four of Ken Burns’s much-praised epic. Meanwhile, his later series, » The West , reaches part five: "The Grandest Empire Under God",1868–74. (10.50 am BBC2).
In Search of the Black Madonna (11.00 am R4). Bonnie Greer concludes her exploration of "black" icons in Europe.
Fantastic Tales (3.30 R4). Maupassant’s The Night , read by Tom Hollander.
Life Story (8.05 World Service, repeated Sat 2.05 am). Martin Redfern on the fossil evidence of evolution, part three: how animals may have first emerged from the sea – the world’s oldest reptile and what the coelocanth means. Listen to » Life Story online.
Death of the Dome (9.00 BBC2). What went wrong with the North Greenwich folly – a new programme following up the repeats of earlier this week.
The Friday Play: The Cave of Harmony (9.00 R4). Drama based on the friendship of Dickens and Thackeray, with several songs set to original Victorian tunes. By Michael Eaton (who has written the forthcoming BBC tv adaptation of Pickwick Papers ) and silent film music specialist Neil Brand.
» Night Waves (9.30 R3). Including William Boyd on his adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour novels – to be seen on C4 on 2-3 Jan.
Storyville: Donald and Luba (11.25 BBC2). Don Boyd’s documentary is about his parents and his search for their roots in Kiev, Shanghai and Harbin.