RADIO-LISTS: BBC FOUR
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/
SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2022
SAT 19:00 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez (m000scwr)
The Minotaur's Palace
Janina is in Crete on the trail of the millionaire who discovered the mythical palace of the Minotaur and the first western civilisation, but who is now mired in controversy.
SAT 20:00 Wild Arabia (p013mrl8)
Sand, Wind and Stars
Few places on earth evoke more mystery and romance than Arabia. This series enters the forbidding wilderness and reveals a magical cast of characters, from the snow-white oryx that inspired the myth of the unicorn to the long-legged jerboa leaping ten times its own body length through the star-filled Arabian nights. Horned vipers hunt glow-in-the-dark scorpions, while Bedouin nomads race their camels across the largest sand desert in the world.
SAT 21:00 Wild Men (m001f70m)
Martin’s version of a midlife crisis looks a little different from most. Despite being hilariously ill-equipped to live off the land, he wanders the Norwegian forest in a misguided attempt to regain his independence. But when he crosses paths with an injured drug dealer, he finds an unlikely ally in his quest for 'manhood'.
SAT 22:35 To the Manor Born (b007871c)
The Spare Room
Stately sitcom. One of Audrey's old school friends wants to pay a visit, but she is unaware of the drop in status of the former lady of the manor.
SAT 23:05 Ever Decreasing Circles (p00c1kms)
Martin is incensed when Howard and Hilda are denied their right to use a public footpath by a local farmer. Martin decides to champion their cause and wonders whether he should sort out the country's footpath situation in general.
SAT 23:35 The Young Ones (p0067tyd)
Rick, Neil, Mike and Vyvyan learn that the council plans to rip down their home. Vyvyan tries to demolish it himself from the inside and Neil wants to commit suicide.
SAT 00:05 Guy Barker, Kurt Elling and Friends at Jazz Voice 2022 (m001f9q4)
American double Grammy winner Kurt Elling and British reggae jazz-funk legend Carroll Thompson join arranger and conductor Guy Barker and his orchestra for the spectacular opening concert of the 30th EFG London Jazz Festival.
Jumoké Fashola hosts the rousing celebration of the power of the human voice raised in song, as showcased by eight of the very best jazz vocalists around.
Broadway sensation Marisha Wallace, alt country blues singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah, Noisettes frontwoman Shingai, award-winning Welsh singer Ian Shaw, and emerging artists Dana Masters and Mica Millar complete an exciting line-up at the Royal Festival Hall.
SAT 02:05 Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez (m000scwr)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
SUNDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2022
SUN 19:00 The Clangers (m000wn0h)
Classic animated puppet series for children. The Clangers try all manner of materials in their efforts to keep the Froglets warm.
SUN 19:10 The Really Wild Show (m001f6zt)
Michaela Strachan referees a truffle-hunting contest in France between a pig and a space-age artificial nose. And Terry Nutkins catches a glimpse of Britain's most elusive bird, the capercaillie. With Chris Packham.
SUN 19:35 Record Breakers (m001f6zw)
Today's record breakers include the world's longest human centipede (all 2,296 of them), a boating trip on the Kennet and Avon Canal, and 17-time record-holder Paddy Doyle, who attempts a gruelling one-mile backpack run.
SUN 20:00 The Soldier's Tale (m001f6zy)
A vibrant and bold new take on The Soldier’s Tale, Stravinsky’s dark masterpiece of music theatre about a soldier who trades his soul to the devil in return for untold riches. Shot in contemporary Manchester to underline the work’s universal themes, this powerful film embraces a rich mix of locations: out along the city’s waterways, up among the skyline of an industrial car park, in hidden passages and pubs, under the stage of Bridgewater Hall for a devilish game of cards, and on stage where the musicians of the Hallé, directed by Sir Mark Elder, form a central part of the action.
A work devised to be 'read, played and danced', it is set to some of Stravinsky’s most entertaining and affecting music.
Stravinsky created The Soldier’s Tale in 1918 in Switzerland, isolated in the middle of a Europe at war. The artists worked in improvised, under-funded circumstances. Stravinsky was cut off from any source of income, so he collaborated with Swiss writer Charles Ferdinand Ramuz and a group of local friends to make a small-scale work that they could tour easily. It was an experiment in form and a huge and brilliant departure from large-scale composition. The first tour was cancelled because of the 1918–19 Spanish flu pandemic, but subsequently the piece became one of the most enduringly popular of Stravinsky’s works.
This production features a new English translation by Jeremy Sams.
SUN 21:00 Queers (p057t5dm)
The Man on the Platform
In the first of eight short monologues written in response to the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act, a young man returning from the trenches of the First World War recollects a love that dared not speak its name.
SUN 21:25 Talking Heads (b0077n0t)
Waiting for the Telegram
Drama monologue written by Alan Bennett, starring Dame Thora Hird. Violet's long life includes two telegrams, both from the monarch. Awaiting the second, she remembers the first.
SUN 21:55 Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance (b0brk994)
Dan Cruickshank reveals the extraordinary story behind the design and building of iconic First World War memorials and explores the idea behind the creation of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
SUN 22:55 Secrets of British Animation (b0btynjg)
Documentary exploring more than a century of animation in Britain, including the creative and technical inventiveness of the UK's greatest animation pioneers.
The defining characteristic of British animation has always been ingenuity. Unable to compete with the big American studios, animators in Britain were forced to experiment, developing their own signature styles. The documentary uncovers the trade secrets of animation legends like Bob Godfrey, John Halas and Joy Batchelor, Len Lye and Bristol's world-renowned Aardman Animations.
Tracing the development of British animation from the end of the Victorian era to contemporary blockbusters, Secrets of British Animation shows the perseverance and determination that are part of the animator's mindset. Focusing on the handmade tradition of animation in the UK, the programme includes newly-remastered early films from the archive of the British Film Institute.
SUN 23:55 Inside America's Treasure House: The Met (m000zwpm)
The Met's 150th anniversary year has been derailed by Covid-19. Then in May 2020, the murder of George Floyd, only the latest in a litany of killings of African Americans by white police officers, forces America to confront, once again, inequalities in social justice.
At the museum, the executive are examining their historical record on inclusion, exclusion and diversity, in art and staffing, and find it wanting. In an open letter, questions have been raised and accusations levelled about systemic racism at all New York arts institutions. CEO Dan Weiss has been wrong-footed by anger from within the museum about a postcolonial state of mind expressed in some of the Met's most treasured objects.
In the American Wing, Weiss ponders a 21st-century question: some of the art reflects 19th-century tastes and attitudes to other cultures, in particular the First Nations, who were moved off their homelands even as the museum was being built. It's not just indigenous peoples; most citizens of New York are not Caucasian - where are their stories? How do black and brown visitors feel about their representation in an art house that says it wants to be all things to all people?
The programme moves on with a chronicle of a visit to the Met by Connecticut resident and mum of two Tracy-Ann Samuel. The African American community worker grew up in the city. For her and husband Cleon the Met was more than a museum; it was a portal to other cultures, ideas and, of course, beauty. She wants her girls, Kristen, ten, and Kelsie, four, to see positive depictions of people who look like them, and to ask questions about art that makes statements and assumptions about gender, power and race.
The theme of art and politics as indivisible begins. The Samuel family analyses the messaging in one of the Met's keystone treasures, Emanuel Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware. It's a celebrated depiction of heroism, idealising a pivotal moment in the struggle to create the republic, which forms part of the national narrative displayed in the American Wing. Kristen Samuel is a dispassionate viewer, but finds little to interest her.
In contrast, Wooden Boat People, two works by Cree artist Kent Monkman, speak directly to the family. Provocatively positioned in the Great Hall, the paintings were commissioned by the Met, who invited Monkman to look for inspiration in the collections. Leutze's Washington portrait was his choice. The works feature Monkman's gender-fluid alter ego, Miss Chief Testickle.
We see the Canadian artist in his rural studio near Toronto to hear of his relationship with the Met, colonial attitudes and the activities of the slave-owning, native-baiting Washington.
At the museum, there's more political comment, long hidden but now revealed by x-ray analysis of Jacques-Louis David's portrait of scientists Mr and Mrs Lavoisier. Painted just before the French Revolution, it had depicted the bourgeois couple as clever but chic, but was hurriedly overpainted to save them from the guillotine.
But should stories of the old, white and dead take precedence in the museum? And should it concern itself with anything more than the beauty of the exhibits? These issues are discussed by Head of Modern and Contemporary Art Sheena Wagstaff, who proactively promotes the work of African American and other unrepresented artists. She's just added Rashid Johnson's Five Broken Men to the collection.
The issue, says Mary Rockefeller, whose family have long been Met donors, is respect. Her father Nelson was so obsessed with what was once called ‘Primitive Art’ that he gave the Met his personal collection and then built a vast wing to house it. Named for Mary's twin David, who disappeared in Papua New Guinea, the collection of arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas is the setting for the existential question facing all museums: shouldn't the exhibits be given back?
Puerto Rican artist Miguel Luciano has taken the discussion a step forward by 3D modelling a 1,000-year-old wooden devotional statue from the Rockefeller collection. He's not for taking it back, but for re-contextualising an object designed to be handled. We are with him as he unveils it to veteran social photographer Hiram Maristany. Luciano is working on a Met programme that aims to use artefacts to build links with communities who might feel that the museum, and its collections, have little to say to them.
At the end of their visit, the Samuel family find that the season's stand-out exhibition, The American Struggle, speaks volumes to them. Thirty panels by Jacob Lawrence, leading African American painter of the postwar period, celebrate the contribution of black citizens to the birth of the nation. Tracy-Ann sees the Met has a long way to go, but the journey to greater diversity, fairer representation and visibility has begun.
SUN 00:55 Isla (m0018b47)
Soon there will be more voice-activated digital assistants than people. All are female-gendered. Roger needs company, and he doesn’t want a dog. When his daughter Erin buys him the latest Isla digital assistant, an unexpected relationship between man and technology emerges. But who's really in control?
This thought-provoking, and at times troubling, dark comedy written by playwright Tim Price, has been adapted for television following its world premiere at Theatr Clwyd in North Wales. It was helmed by the theatre’s artistic director Tamara Harvey and stars Mark Lambert as retired teacher Roger, who is struggling with lockdown following the death of his wife.
Lisa Zahra plays his concerned-but-busy daughter, who thinks a smart speaker is the perfect home help for her lonely dad, but never imagined it would lead to a visit from the police as well as surprising and sometimes upsetting revelations from his past.
Expect laughs, technology-induced frustration and some strong language.
SUN 01:55 Natural World (b08r3xh9)
Nature's Miniature Miracles
This film tells the epic survival stories of the world's smallest animals. It really is a big bad world out there. So what happens if you are the little guy?
To make a living, these tiny heroes have evolved extraordinary skills and achieved mind-boggling feats. From the animal kingdom's greatest artist to the tiny creatures that provide so much of the air we breathe, this programme discovers what it takes to be a miniature miracle.
SUN 02:55 Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance (b0brk994)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:55 today
MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2022
MON 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09pwc6p)
New Haven, Connecticut, to Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Armed with his Appleton's guide, Michael Portillo's rail voyage goes river deep and mountain high as he continues his journey through Connecticut and heads north through the scenic New England states. In New Haven, a crash course in rowing takes place on a stretch of water where college teams from Yale and Harvard have battled for victory since 1852.
Making tracks north to Vermont, Michael experiences 19th-century rural farm life, when its green pastures were grazed by imported dairy herds from the Isle of Jersey and made it the butter capital of the world. Journey's end is in New Hampshire, where Michael ascends the steep slopes of Mount Washington aboard the world's first mountain climbing cog railway, at whose summit an extraordinary weather station has been recording the mountain's famously extreme weather since 1870.
MON 19:30 Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank (b0078z93)
Dan delves into the dark side of the court of Ramesses III, tracing the conspiracy that spread through his harem and may have led to his mysterious death.
At Ramesses III's temple at Medinet Habu, the pharaoh wrote his own legacy in stone - huge wall carvings celebrating the glories and achievements of his reign - an attempt to match his illustrious predecessor, Ramesses the Great. But behind the propaganda, Ramesses III was far from being a strong pharaoh in control of his country; he was not even in control of his own harem. One papyrus bundle has survived to tell us of dark intrigue swirling around this pharaoh in crisis. With Ramesses unable to decide whether to take Isis or Tye for his queen, the harem women took things into their own hands, starting a rebellion that spread through the court and the army and possibly led to his murder.
MON 20:00 Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher (b06yjrgg)
In the third episode, Joann explores the magnificent Colossi of Memnon, built under Egypt's greatest pharaoh - Amenhotep III.
Joann explores the dizzying heights of Egypt's civilisation and the lives of the workers and artisans caught up in Egypt's most ambitious building project: the Valley of the Kings. But this golden age is threatened by the growing power of Karnak's priests. When Amenhotep's successors Akhenaten and Nefertiti strike back at the priests with a religious rebellion, it is their son Tutankhamen who tries to rectify it.
By finding clues in Tutankhamen's treasure, Joann reveals how his early death was a chance for Egypt to start afresh and rewrite history. With the country restored to its former glory, Egypt's fate lay in the hands of Theban priest kings. Joann retraces their final act of desecration - decades of state-sanctioned looting of the Valley of the Kings. This lays Egypt bare, making way for a new era of foreign invaders.
MON 21:00 The Latest Secrets of Hieroglyphs (m001f72n)
The great history of Egypt is inscribed on its monuments, temples and tombs, but hieroglyphs – the written language of the ancient Egyptians – fell silent until 1822 when a young French scholar, Jean-François Champollion, became the first person to decipher their texts for over a thousand years. Champollion’s insights and the work of other scholars helped bring an entire civilisation back to life.
Today, researchers are increasingly interested in the authors who created these hieroglyphic works. Near Luxor, The Latest Secrets of Hieroglyphs follows a new generation of Egyptologists as they unlock the texts inscribed inside a richly adorned tomb, revealing the beliefs and lives of the priests, scribes, painters, engravers and builders who created this grand funerary monument.
MON 22:00 The Sky at Night (m001f72q)
The Multiverse of Mystery
The Sky at Night in the Multiverse of Mystery is a magical journey into the far-flung ideas at the very edge of scientific knowledge, exploring the concepts that today seem like science fiction but may one day become science fact.
Delving into the archive at the Royal Society, we look at the dreamers who first considered the possibility of travelling to the moon and black holes long before they could be proven to exist. From there, the team explore some ideas and theories that today could be dismissed as fanciful thinking.
They imagine a world where a popular TV programme asks two scientists, Hiranya Peiris and Emma Chapman, to meet, have dinner and talk science, all under the watchful eye of maître d’ Pete Lawrence.
Meanwhile, Maggie Aderin-Pocock sails off to explore the realities of interstellar travel and astrobiologist Doug Vakoch explains some of the challenges of communicating with aliens. Astrophysicist Becky Smethurst is lost in a world of black and white holes, and Chris Lintott, as you have never seen him before, argues the case for a multiverse.
Along with animation from the BBC Ideas team, this edition of The Sky at Night shines a very different light on the world of astrophysics.
MON 22:30 Horizon (b077nl9f)
The End of the Solar System
This is the story of how our solar system will be transformed by the ageing sun before coming to a spectacular end in about eight billion years. Astronomers can peer into the far future to predict how it will happen by analysing distant galaxies, stars and even planets in their final moments.
Horizon brings these predictions to life in a peaceful midwestern town that has a giant scale model of the solar system spread out all over the city. As it ages, the sun will bloat into a red giant star, swallowing planets... as well as half the town. The fate of the Earth itself hangs in the balance. How will the solar system end?
MON 23:30 Tutankhamun in Colour (m000k48q)
A century after the world’s most exciting archaeological find - the tomb of Tutankhamun - we can witness the dramatic scenes of its discovery and marvel at its extraordinary treasures exactly as they were first seen - in colour.
Oxford University Egyptologist, Elizabeth Frood, is our guide to the discovery of the tomb on 4 November 1922 by British Egyptologist Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon. It provided much-needed good news, following the Great War and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919, and we have been transfixed ever since.
Colourisation provides a fantastic insight into the artefacts themselves and the context that they were found in. Many photos were taken using glass plate negatives, which have fantastic resolution and which, with colourisation, reveal detail not seen for a century.
Liz’s story begins in 1891, with an old black and white family photo of the young Carter. Colourisation brings him to life as he arrived in Egypt as a 17-year-old artist. Carter met two people who would change his life: British Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, who inspired him to be an archaeologist, and Lord Carnarvon, a keen amateur Egyptologist who hired Carter to help him.
Liz travels to Highclere Castle to meet the current Countess of Carnarvon. Carnarvon and Carter both yearned to find what nobody had ever discovered before, a pharaoh’s tomb with its treasures still intact. Carter became convinced that Tutankhamun’s tomb lay undiscovered in an ancient royal burial ground known as The Valley of the Kings, and in 1914 Carnarvon was granted a concession to start excavating there.
But the First World War intervened. Colourisation reveals a changing Egypt. Egyptians were soon pushing for independence from Britain, which claimed Egypt as a protectorate. The politics of the time were to have a profound effect on Carter and Carnarvon.
In December 1917, the meticulous Carter divided the valley up into a grid and began excavating each sector, right down to the bedrock. Colourisation reveals the astonishing scale of the operation that was required.
On 4 November 1922, a water-boy in Carter’s team, Hussein Abdul Rasoul, discovered a flight of steps descending into the bedrock. Carter broke into the tomb to discover first a rubble-filled passageway, then another sealed entrance. As Carter peered in, he declared, ‘It is wonderful.’ The extraordinary collection of objects he saw, including gilded couches, chariots, jewels, statues, and even ancient lunchboxes containing food for the afterlife, were captured in black and white by expert photographer Harry Burton. Using colourisation, we are now able to experience the scene that met their eyes, in incredible detail, almost as though it’s right in front of us.
On 16 February 1923, Carter and Carnarvon broke through into Tutankhamun’s burial chamber. A large blue and gilt shrine filled the room. Opening its doors, Carter discovered sealed doors to another three shrines, one within the next. Within these was a sarcophagus made from yellow quartzite and, within this, a nest of three coffins, also one within the next. For the first time in a century, we reveal each stage in amazing coloured detail. The outermost coffin was gilt, adorned with a garland of flowers. The middle one was inlaid with gold and coloured glass and the innermost was - incredibly - crafted from solid gold.
Finally, within this, was Tutankhamun’s mummy wearing the famous solid gold mask. Colourisation of the rather messy-looking black and white photograph reveals that his wrapped body was actually festooned with colourful jewellery.
The discovery of Tutankhamun’s body also revealed that he died very young, aged 19. This changed the way Tutankhamun was seen around the world. In Europe, the death of a young man hit a chord with so many who had lost their sons in the First World War. In his own country, Tutankhamun became a young and vibrant symbol of a powerful and independent Egypt.
MON 00:30 Nature and Us: A History through Art (m0010rkc)
James Fox uses art to explore how humans began to try to understand nature for the very first time. From the Song dynasty in China and the Islamic world, through to the Scientific Revolution and the advent of the industrial era, James shows the very different ways in which humans came to both appreciate and understand nature, whilst at the very same time beginning to dominate and control it.
With the advent of landscape painting in medieval China, James discovers that these artworks reflect an attitude of harmony and balance with nature that came from a philosophical belief system known as Daoism. We then meet a Zen Buddhist monk Shunmyo Masuno, who is also an internationally renowned garden designer, and learn that Zen gardens are the means to contemplate the unknowable mysteries of nature. James’s story then moves from East Asia to the cultures of the Islamic world. He examines a brightly coloured chameleon painted by Ustad Mansur in 1612 for the Mughal emperor Jahangir - a combination of artistic flair and close observation in which we see the beauty of the natural world closer than ever before.
James also explores the story of one of the first European botanical artists, an extraordinary woman called Maria Sibylla Merian. Her 1705 collection of images from her travels in Suriname was a milestone in natural history. We encounter Nirupa Rao, a contemporary Indian botanical artist who is breathing new life into this traditional art form, working in the jungles of the Western Ghats. From the analytical to the romantic, James’s story then moves to the wild and awesome paintings of JMW Turner, before exploring the advent of landscape photography in the American west. The photography of Carleton Watkins played a part in creating the first protected landscape in the world - Yosemite National Park.
James reveals the many ways in which art illuminates the extraordinary changes that took place in this millennia-long period. From an East Asian acceptance of the unknowability of nature to the drive to understand, classify and appreciate it, each point of view is an attempt to understand our place in nature.
MON 01:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09pwc6p)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MON 02:00 Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank (b0078z93)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
MON 02:30 Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher (b06yjrgg)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2022
TUE 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qm80q)
Burlington to Plattsburgh
Michael Portillo continues his American rail journey through New England as he heads for the Canadian border. First stop is Burlington, Vermont, a busy timber port at the time of his Appleton's guide. Michael ventures deep into the forest to learn how sustainable and technological innovations have transformed the state's billion dollar logging industry.
Following the old trade route across Lake Champlain, he hears of a pivotal battle during the War of 1812 where a British defeat gave the United States a new confidence on the world stage. In Plattsburg, Michael learns of the surprising origins of a classic Christmas carol.
Lead by his guidebook, he travels into the wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains. Here the rich and famous of Appleton's day established great camps to get back to nature, in the lap of luxury. He visits the largest of the camps, reached by boat and even a private funicular railway. In Lake Placid, Michael braves the steep curves and speeds of an Olympic bobsleigh run. Last stop is an American fort mistakenly built in Canada!
TUE 19:30 Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank (b0078zdw)
The Death of Ancient Egypt
On a lonely island in the River Nile, Dan visits the last-known hieroglyphic inscription in Egypt and discovers the surprising truth about those responsible for the final, brutal collapse of this great civilisation, a culture that had lasted more than 3,000 years.
Travelling the length of the country, from Alexandria in the north to the beautiful temples of Dendera and Philae, Dan traces the key dramatic events that marked the decline in the fortunes of the ancient Egyptians and reveals the rich cast of characters - from Alexander the Great to Cleopatra - who all played a part in this powerful drama.
TUE 20:00 To the Manor Born (b0078747)
Never Be Alone
Stately sitcom. Audrey helps Richard catalogue his antique china, only to discover one piece has been mislaid.
TUE 20:30 Ever Decreasing Circles (p00c1kht)
After some poor results in an Open University test, Ann decides it would be a good idea to bounce her ideas off someone in future. However, her choice of study partner causes quite a stir.
TUE 21:00 The Young Ones (p00bfqm6)
Although there are all sorts of interesting things going on around them, the gang are feeling incredibly bored, so they decide to go to the pub.
TUE 21:30 The Phenomenon: Ronaldo (m001ffsj)
In 1997 Ronaldo Nazário was, at only 21 years old, the best footballer on the planet and destined to become one of the sporting world’s immortals. Yet only a year later, his global ambitions were crushed. First he was blamed for Brazil’s World Cup final defeat to France, back-to-back injures threatened to end his career in its prime, and a series of club transfers saw him become a controversial figure on the professional football circuit. But two new knees and one World Cup later, Ronaldo was back on top.
The Phenomenon is a story of redemption, chronicling Ronaldo’s comeback from the brink of forced retirement. Discussing the agony of his knee replacements, the crush of media scrutiny and the pressure to represent his country, this film features exclusive interviews with Ronaldo’s family, teammates and doctors. And for the first time ever on screen, Ronaldo himself looks back at his own career and, alongside Roberto Carlos, reveals what really happened in room 290 of the Château de Grande Romaine hotel on the afternoon of the 1998 World Cup final.
TUE 23:00 Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction (p01yqkdq)
Series in which historian Dominic Sandbrook explores the most innovative and imaginative of all genres - science fiction. He is joined by leading writers and film-makers, who tell the inside story of their best-known works.
In this first episode, Dominic looks at science fiction's enduring fascination with outer space, from Jules Verne's pioneering 19th-century vision of a voyage to the moon to the galaxy far, far away of Star Wars.
Along the way we learn what Star Trek has in common with the British navy, the deep sea inspiration for Avatar, how Ursula K Le Guin captured the 1960s sexual revolution in her acclaimed novel The Left Hand of Darkness, how Stanley Kubrick made 2001: A Space Odyssey seem so believable, and why a man in a dressing gown became one of science fiction's best-loved heroes in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Among the interviewees are William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek), Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker (Star Wars), Zoe Saldana (Avatar) and author Neil Gaiman.
TUE 00:00 Art on the BBC (m000f4d2)
The Story of the Nude
In early history, nudes were gods or heroes. Since then, the nude has often been about sex but also a powerful influence on how we view the body.
Art historian Kate Bryan explores six decades of BBC archive to discover how television has influenced our understanding of the nude and how our attitudes have changed.
As she examines the archives, Kate finds that while beauty and sexuality are never far away, artists have always used the nude as a vehicle to defy conventions. The programme also reveals how our attitudes to nudity have changed over time.
TUE 01:00 Treasures of the Louvre (b01r3n6r)
Paris-based writer Andrew Hussey travels through the glorious art and surprising history of an extraordinary French institution to show that the story of the Louvre is the story of France. As well as exploring the masterpieces of painters such as Veronese, Rubens, David, Chardin, Gericault and Delacroix, he examines the changing face of the Louvre itself through its architecture and design. Medieval fortress, Renaissance palace, luxurious home to kings, emperors and more recently civil servants, today it attracts eight million visitors a year. The documentary also reflects the latest transformation of the Louvre - the museum's recently-opened Islamic Gallery.
TUE 02:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qm80q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
TUE 03:00 Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank (b0078zdw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2022
WED 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qmc7b)
Following a special 1899 Canadian edition of his Appleton's guide, Michael Portillo has left the United States and crossed the border to embark on the next leg of his rail journey in Canada.
In the vibrant metropolis of Montreal, he discovers how French and British colonial roots have influenced the city's construction, cuisine and culture. Undaunted by his guidebook's description of the treacherous Lachine Rapids, Michael gets a thorough soaking on a white-knuckle boat ride down the St. Lawrence River.
At the city's prestigious McGill University, Michael learns of its role as a pioneering medical establishment in the 19th century. He unearths a mausoleum amidst the text books and volunteers as a guinea pig at the university's cutting-edge neurology department. In search of the city's black Canadian heritage, Michael is introduced to the dazzling piano playing of 20th-century jazz legend Oscar Peterson.
His Montreal tour ends with a visit to Cirque du Soleil HQ for a very special behind-the-scenes tour of an icon of modern French-Canadian culture.
WED 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk6x)
Shardlow to Stoke-on-Trent
Life on board a narrowboat with Robbie Cumming. Robbie tackles a propeller problem and tricky locks on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Derbyshire.
WED 20:00 Secret Life of Farm Animals (b0btpf6z)
It’s springtime on the farm and the focus is on sheep.
We follow the first 12 weeks of a lamb’s life on a Welsh Hill farm. Along the way we find out that sheep are highly social animals with not only a remarkable ability to recognise each other, but to recognise human faces too. We meet a ram that has befriended a shy four-year-old boy and we take a drone’s eye view of some multi-coloured sheep to show that despite being sociable, flocking is actually all about self-preservation. Other animals we meet on the farm include Charlie, a lonely goose looking for company in his own reflection.
WED 21:00 Nelson's Caribbean Hellhole: An 18th-Century Navy Graveyard Uncovered (b01s6gjx)
Human bones found on an idyllic beach in Antigua trigger an investigation by naval historian Sam Willis into one of the darkest chapters of Britain's imperial past. As archaeologists excavate a mass grave of British sailors, Willis explores Antigua's ruins and discovers how the sugar islands of the Caribbean were a kind of hell in the age of Nelson.
Sun, sea, war, tropical diseases and poisoned rum.
WED 22:00 Michael Dobbs Remembers... House of Cards (m001f7b7)
Author, politician and member of the House of Lords Michael Dobbs looks back on the TV drama that had 90s Britain hooked on political intrigue and infighting. Based on his best-selling novel, the BBC adaptation of House of Cards introduced television viewers to Francis Urquhart, the chief whip pulling the strings as a Conservative government experiences a leadership crisis that sees reputations and lives destroyed.
Lord Dobbs considers the seductive appeal of Urquhart and how Ian Richardson’s portrayal of the character helped him instantly become one of the great TV villains. He also recalls how the very week that the BBC first broadcast House of Cards coincided with a real-life political meltdown as Margaret Thatcher was forced from office, and the fact that the latest screening comes after some of the biggest political upsets for decades. Coincidence? To quote Urquhart himself: ‘You might think that... I couldn’t possibly comment.’
WED 22:15 House of Cards (b0082fjd)
The original drama about the corrupt and cynical world of British party politics. When charming Chief Whip Francis Urquhart is passed over for promotion by a new party leader, he hatches a dastardly plot to wreak revenge on each and every one of his colleagues. (1990)
WED 23:10 House of Cards (b0074ptv)
Andrew Davies's adaptation of Michael Dobbs' best-selling satirical novel about the corrupt and cynical world of British party politics. Urquhart forges ahead with his plan to bring down the new PM. Meanwhile, the party faithful congregate at the Tory conference in Brighton. (1990)
WED 00:10 House of Cards (b0074ptw)
Andrew Davies's adaptation of Michael Dobbs's best-selling satirical novel about the corrupt and cynical world of British party politics. Urquhart's plans to undermine Collingridge reach their conclusion. But Mattie Storin continues to investigate the story, and Urquhart must decide how to stop her. (1990)
WED 01:10 House of Cards (b0074ptx)
Andrew Davies' adaptation of Michael Dobbs' best-selling satirical novel about the corrupt and cynical world of British party politics. In the run up to the leadership election Urquhart becomes ever more ruthless. He must eliminate each one of his rivals, but what can he do about Mattie? (1990)
WED 02:10 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qmc7b)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
WED 02:40 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk6x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THURSDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2022
THU 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qmd3g)
Montreal to Ottawa
Steered by his Appleton's guidebook Michael Portillo's train journey continues in Canada's Quebec province.
Venturing into the wooded hills of Vaudreuil, Michael explores a Canadian icon, maple syrup, and unearths its sweet secrets. Returning to the rails, he journeys west into Ontario and learns of Scotland's influence on Canadian culture. At Alexandria, a tartan army escorts Michael to the 70th annual Canadian Highland Games, where he dons his kilt and attempts to toss the caber!
In the capital, Ottawa, Michael visits Canada's parliament and hears how the new nation slowly developed its autonomy after confederation in 1867. Michael visits Ottawa's historic Central Experimental Farm where pioneering discoveries at the time of his guidebook launched a wheat boom that helped Canadian agriculture to dominate the world.
THU 19:30 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk5m)
Froghall to Bugsworth Basin
Life on England's waterways with Robbie Cumming. A low canal tunnel in Staffordshire proves a problem, and Robbie helps out a stranded boater.
THU 20:00 Snooker: UK Championship (m001f7b0)
Last 16 - Part Three
Coverage of a round of 16 match at the 2022 UK Championship
THU 21:00 Philomena (b03ttndm)
Drama recounting the true story of Philomena Lee, a Catholic woman who gives birth out of wedlock in 1950s Ireland. Abandoned by her family, she is forced to live in an abbey, where the nuns sell her infant child for adoption. Philomena keeps her secret for 50 years before eventually enlisting the help of jaded journalist Martin Sixsmith in tracking down her estranged son.
THU 22:30 A Little Chaos (b07jqq94)
1680s France. Sabine de Barra's designs for part of the gardens of Versailles cause taciturn landscape architect Andre Le Notre to take an interest in her fresh outlook. Though Sabine is not afraid to get her hands dirty, her introduction to the muddied morality of the royal court of Louis XIV proves much harder work, with secrets and sadness buried just beneath the surface glamour.
Sumptuous historical drama from BBC Films, inspired by true events.
THU 00:20 The Sky at Night (m001f72q)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday
THU 00:50 Around the World in 80 Treasures (b0078vhh)
Peru to Brazil
Dan Cruickshank sets out on television's most ambitious treasure hunt ever – to reveal the most beautiful and precious things made by man since the dawn of time.
Filmed over five months and visiting more than 40 countries, episode one takes Dan deep into the Amazonian rainforests of Brazil, to the peaks of the Peruvian mountains and to the distant wilds of Easter Island.
Surviving tempest-tossed seas, crocodile-infested rivers and the digestive challenge of eating fresh guinea pig, Dan's choice of treasures ranges from the celebrated to the secret. His destinations in this programme – the giant Moai, the ruins of Machu Picchu and the giant statue of Rio's Christ – are famed worldwide. Less well known but equally spectacular are the gold treasures of the human-sacrifice-loving Moche people, with the sinister gold spider necklace, and the largest mud-built city in world – the magical location of Chan Chan.
Never before has the variety and range of mankind's creations around the world provided the stepping stones for such a momentous journey.
THU 01:50 Great American Railroad Journeys (b09qmd3g)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
THU 02:20 Canal Boat Diaries (m000bk5m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 02:50 Nelson's Caribbean Hellhole: An 18th-Century Navy Graveyard Uncovered (b01s6gjx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday
FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2022
FRI 19:00 Snooker: UK Championship (m001f7h7)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
Quarter-Finals - Part Two
Coverage of the 2022 UK Championship quarter-finals
FRI 21:00 Kenny Rogers: All in for The Gambler (A Farewell Concert Celebration) (m0015zm6)
An all-star concert event at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, honouring Kenny Rogers's historic 60-year career and featuring the final performance together by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, one of popular music’s most beloved duets of all time.
FRI 22:40 Country Music Awards (m001f7h9)
BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris introduces highlights from 'Country Music's Biggest Night' - the 56th Annual Country Music Association Awards from Nashville, Tennessee. Hosted again this year by singer Luke Bryan and featuring performances from some of the biggest stars of Country Music, including Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Zac Brown.
FRI 23:40 Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table (b04pl3kw)
Examining the life and career of the artist who 'knows when to hold 'em and knows when to fold 'em', this documentary chronicles Kenny Rogers's remarkable rise to the top of his game and the golden era of country music he ushered in.
With an exclusive, candid interview from Rogers himself and performance footage gathered on his recent Through the Years tour, this honest and eye-opening film provides a backstage pass to a remarkable 50-year career of performing and recording.
Associates and luminaries provide personal insight into how the poor, music-obsessed boy from Houston, Texas went on to become a superstar with over 120 million albums sold worldwide. Singer, songwriter and producer Kim Carnes recalls how the New Christy Minstrels folk group - of which she and Kenny were members in the late 1960s - was like a 'school on the road' that provided them both with a springboard from which to explore other musical ambitions. Actor and musician Mickey Jones recounts his time with Kenny in the band The First Edition, whose hit single Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) made Kenny an unlikely poster boy for the psychedelic generation. Longtime friend Lionel Richie reveals how a trip to the bathroom played a crucial role in the recording session for Lady, one of Kenny's biggest hits.
Away from music, the programme reveals how Kenny's drive and ambition - what he describes as his 'impulsive-obsessive' nature - led to success in other fields: according to the renowned photographer John Sexton, the country music legend was determined to master the art of photography (Kenny was recently awarded an honorary Master of Photography degree by the Professional Photographers Association).
For over half a century, Kenny has kept us entertained with some of the best-known and best-loved music ever recorded. With a career spanning everything from jazz to folk, 60s psychedelia to R&B, perhaps his real legacy lies in the fact that he introduced a trailblazing pop sensibility to country music.
FRI 00:40 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bhft)
The Rub (Beginnings-1933)
After centuries of percolating in the American South, what was first called hillbilly music began to reach more people through the new technologies of phonographs and radio. The Carter Family, with their ballads and old hymns, and Jimmie Rodgers, with his combination of blues and yodelling, became its first big stars.
FRI 01:30 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bhfy)
Hard Times (1933-1945)
During the Great Depression and World War II, country music thrived and reached bigger audiences. Bob Wills adapted jazz's big band sound to create Texas swing, and Grand Ole Opry singer Roy Acuff became a national star. Despite a divorce between two of its members, the Carter Family carried on, turning out songs that went on to be classics. Nashville slowly became Music City and the centre of the growing country music industry.
FRI 02:20 Country Music by Ken Burns (m000bpkc)
The Hillbilly Shakespeare (1945-1953)
As country music adapted to the cultural changes of post-war society, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs transformed traditional string band music into something more syncopated - bluegrass.
Out of the bars and juke joints came a new sound - honky-tonk - with electric guitars and songs about drinking, cheating and heartbreak. Its biggest star was Hank Williams, a singer who wrote songs of surprising emotional depth, derived from his troubled and tragically short life.
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
A Little Chaos 22:30 THU (b07jqq94)
Around the World in 80 Treasures 00:50 THU (b0078vhh)
Art on the BBC 00:00 TUE (m000f4d2)
Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 WED (m000bk6x)
Canal Boat Diaries 02:40 WED (m000bk6x)
Canal Boat Diaries 19:30 THU (m000bk5m)
Canal Boat Diaries 02:20 THU (m000bk5m)
Country Music Awards 22:40 FRI (m001f7h9)
Country Music by Ken Burns 00:40 FRI (m000bhft)
Country Music by Ken Burns 01:30 FRI (m000bhfy)
Country Music by Ken Burns 02:20 FRI (m000bpkc)
Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance 21:55 SUN (b0brk994)
Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance 02:55 SUN (b0brk994)
Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank 19:30 MON (b0078z93)
Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank 02:00 MON (b0078z93)
Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank 19:30 TUE (b0078zdw)
Egyptian Journeys with Dan Cruickshank 03:00 TUE (b0078zdw)
Ever Decreasing Circles 23:05 SAT (p00c1kms)
Ever Decreasing Circles 20:30 TUE (p00c1kht)
Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 MON (b09pwc6p)
Great American Railroad Journeys 01:30 MON (b09pwc6p)
Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 TUE (b09qm80q)
Great American Railroad Journeys 02:30 TUE (b09qm80q)
Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 WED (b09qmc7b)
Great American Railroad Journeys 02:10 WED (b09qmc7b)
Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 THU (b09qmd3g)
Great American Railroad Journeys 01:50 THU (b09qmd3g)
Guy Barker, Kurt Elling and Friends at Jazz Voice 2022 00:05 SAT (m001f9q4)
Horizon 22:30 MON (b077nl9f)
House of Cards 22:15 WED (b0082fjd)
House of Cards 23:10 WED (b0074ptv)
House of Cards 00:10 WED (b0074ptw)
House of Cards 01:10 WED (b0074ptx)
Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher 20:00 MON (b06yjrgg)
Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher 02:30 MON (b06yjrgg)
Inside America's Treasure House: The Met 23:55 SUN (m000zwpm)
Isla 00:55 SUN (m0018b47)
Kenny Rogers: All in for The Gambler (A Farewell Concert Celebration) 21:00 FRI (m0015zm6)
Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table 23:40 FRI (b04pl3kw)
Michael Dobbs Remembers... House of Cards 22:00 WED (m001f7b7)
Natural World 01:55 SUN (b08r3xh9)
Nature and Us: A History through Art 00:30 MON (m0010rkc)
Nelson's Caribbean Hellhole: An 18th-Century Navy Graveyard Uncovered 21:00 WED (b01s6gjx)
Nelson's Caribbean Hellhole: An 18th-Century Navy Graveyard Uncovered 02:50 THU (b01s6gjx)
Philomena 21:00 THU (b03ttndm)
Queers 21:00 SUN (p057t5dm)
Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 19:00 SAT (m000scwr)
Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez 02:05 SAT (m000scwr)
Record Breakers 19:35 SUN (m001f6zw)
Secret Life of Farm Animals 20:00 WED (b0btpf6z)
Secrets of British Animation 22:55 SUN (b0btynjg)
Snooker: UK Championship 20:00 THU (m001f7b0)
Snooker: UK Championship 19:00 FRI (m001f7h7)
Talking Heads 21:25 SUN (b0077n0t)
The Clangers 19:00 SUN (m000wn0h)
The Latest Secrets of Hieroglyphs 21:00 MON (m001f72n)
The Phenomenon: Ronaldo 21:30 TUE (m001ffsj)
The Really Wild Show 19:10 SUN (m001f6zt)
The Sky at Night 22:00 MON (m001f72q)
The Sky at Night 00:20 THU (m001f72q)
The Soldier's Tale 20:00 SUN (m001f6zy)
The Young Ones 23:35 SAT (p0067tyd)
The Young Ones 21:00 TUE (p00bfqm6)
To the Manor Born 22:35 SAT (b007871c)
To the Manor Born 20:00 TUE (b0078747)
Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction 23:00 TUE (p01yqkdq)
Treasures of the Louvre 01:00 TUE (b01r3n6r)
Tutankhamun in Colour 23:30 MON (m000k48q)
Wild Arabia 20:00 SAT (p013mrl8)
Wild Men 21:00 SAT (m001f70m)