Start the Week (9.00 am R4). Andrew J. Nathan and others, on the Tiananmen Square massacre.
» Composer of the Week (9.00 am R3 and rest of week) is Verdi, who died on Jan 1901.
A Revolution in Five Acts (11.00 am R4 and rest of week, repeated 9.30). Ian Hislop plus historians on the Railway Act of 1844.
Tales from Thackeray (11.30 am R4). ”The Bedford Row Conspiracy”.
Afternoon Play – Victorian Marriage Beds (2.15 R4). First of three drama-documentaries is about George Eliot and George Lewes. Lesley Hall of the Wellcome Institute (who is also in Wednesday’s episode of Revolution in Five Acts ), provides expert commentary on Victorian sexual attitudes.
Victorian Love Stories (3.30 R4, and rest of week). Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose .
Victoria’s Children (3.45 R4 and rest of week). Victoria and Albert’s offspring, and their effect on European politics (including the haemophilia gene they inherited and passed on).
Earth Story (7.10 BBC2, not Wales). “Ring of Fire”, part three of repeat geology series, has Aubrey Manning climbing an active volcano in Bolivia and visiting the site of the most powerful earthquake ever recorded (Alaska in 1964) to learn about clues to the earth’s structure around the Pacific Rim.
Timewatch (7.10 BBC2, Wales only). Did Heinrich Himmler try to do a deal with the Allies before the end of the war in 1945? New evidence uncovered by the production team of The Nazis – A Warning from History .
Kumbh Mela (7.50 C4 and rest of week). Coverage of the holiest and most colourful celebration in the Hindu religion.
The Darkness and the Light (8.00 R4). First of two collages of voices from Victorian fact and fiction concentrates on illumination – both physical (the coming of gas lamps and electricity) and metaphorical (social reform, Darwinism, etc). Dickens, Ruskin and Mayhew feature.
Universe (8.00 C4). “Stars”. Repeat of four-part series from November 1999 begins with a programme that was episode two in the original order. The original first episode, “Big Bang”, is due to be shown next week, together with a (new) profile of Stephen Hawking.
University Challenge (8.00 BBC2). Balliol, Oxford, vs. York.
» Animal ER (8.30 C5). Last in series about the Royal Veterinary College.
» Meet the Ancestors (8.30 BBC2). A skeleton from an Iron Age rubbish pit in Gloucestershire.
Beyond the Human Senses (9.00 Discovery Channel). Exploring the technology that can extend human perception; includes COG, a “state of the art” robot.
Journeys to the Bottom of the Sea (9.00 BBC2). Repeat programme about the wreck of HMS Pandora , which sank in 1791 after capturing some of the Bounty mutineers.
Napoleon’s Lost Fleet (9.00 C4). More underwater archaeology with Franck Goddio (Originally shown on the Discovery Channel).
Nature (9.00 R4). The albatross.
» Night Waves (9.30 R3). Ronald Reagan’s presidency and its cultural after-effects; plus the T.S. Eliot prize for poetry.