RADIO-LISTS: BBC FOUR
Unofficial Weekly Listings for BBC 4 — supported by bbc.co.uk/programmes/
SATURDAY 12 AUGUST 2023
SAT 19:00 Our Coast (m000frj7)
Dumfries and Galloway/South Ayrshire
This episode explores the south western coastline of Scotland’s gateway to the Irish Sea. Mehreen takes to the skies with the former RAF fighter pilot who is now using his flying skills to document the large-scale pollution that is hidden along the coastline.
Meanwhile, Adrian visits the beautiful harbour of Portpatrick to meet the local hero who persuaded his community to buy shares in the town’s harbour, revitalising it for all who live there.
Other highlights include engineer Danielle George being given a rare opportunity to get hands on in one of the UK’s major air traffic control centres in Prestwick. Wildlife expert Patrick Aryee joins local volunteers to help to track rare birdlife on the stunning Ailsa Craig, and cultural connoisseur Joe Lindsay visits a renowned artists’ colony that is also the setting for The Wicker Man. Finally, Adrian and Mehreen find out the secrets of cold smoking Scottish salmon.
SAT 20:00 Rome: A History of the Eternal City (b01p96g4)
Simon Sebag Montefiore charts the rocky course of Rome's rise to become the capital of western Christendom and its impact on the lives of its citizens, elites and high priests.
Rome casts aside its pantheon of pagan gods and a radical new religion takes hold. Christianity was just a persecuted sect until Emperor Constantine took a huge leap of faith, promoting it as the religion of Empire. But would this divine gamble pay off?
SAT 21:00 Clean Sweep (p0g00zdn)
Let It Go
Jason reminds Shelly to attend the police station for fingerprinting and DNA testing. Glencara houskeeper Eileen attends the station and gives a description of the woman seen leaving the dead man's room. Meanwhile, the investigation in London is developing new leads despite being under pressure to drop the case.
SAT 21:50 Clean Sweep (p0g011zj)
Niall's physiotherapist identifies Shelly as the woman at the hotel, and Fiona informs Jason that Shelly's DNA matches that found on the dead man's belongings. Meanwhile, the body of Mariama is found in the sea, seemingly having fallen or been pushed from the cliff.
SAT 22:40 Oppenheimer (p0g3j9tt)
1938: Robert Oppenheimer, physics professor at Berkeley, California, is heavily - and not always happily - involved with his students, politics and scientific work, when the discovery of nuclear fission and the appearance of Kitty Harrison combine to change the course of his life.
SAT 23:45 Oppenheimer (p0g3jbbt)
1942: With America now fully involved in the war, Oppenheimer has given up teaching and is engaged in the race against Germany to produce an atomic bomb.
SAT 00:45 Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (b0077sjw)
Classic sitcom about one-man disaster area Frank Spencer. Frank spends the weekend wrecking his brother-in-law's hi-tech house.
SAT 01:10 Yes, Minister (b007830r)
First episode of the acclaimed sitcom about an apparently clueless British government minister and the advisers who surround him.
When Jim Hacker's party wins the general election, he is summoned to the prime minister's office to discover that he is to be the new minister for administrative affairs.
SAT 01:40 The Thick of It (b00npkc9)
Armando Iannucci's award-winning political comedy.
Reshuffle day at Number 10. Nicola Murray is so far down the list of prospective ministers that Malcolm Tucker does not even have a file on her. But when the job at the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship is turned down by everybody else, there is no option but to promote her to the Cabinet.
The downside is that Nicola is very keen. And she has got expensive ideas and ideals. And she has got a husband who works for a company that has government contracts. And she has got an 11-year-old about to go to a private school. And she is about to face the media at a crucial by-election poster launch. Suddenly, Malcolm has got a file that is getting a bit too big for comfort. Something will have to be done.
SAT 02:10 Our Coast (m000frj7)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
SUNDAY 13 AUGUST 2023
SUN 19:00 The Joy of Mozart (b04yrj6n)
Tom Service plunges into the life and times of Mozart to try and rediscover the greatness and humanity of the living man in his moment. Mozart's prodigious output and untimely death have helped place him on a pedestal that can often blind us to the unique brilliance of his work in the context of his life and times. Tackling the sentimental tourist industry of Salzburg and the cloying reverence in which Mozart is too often held, Service visits the key cities and rooms in which Mozart lived and worked, plays some of Mozart's original instruments and scores, and gradually uncovers the brilliance and originality of his work as the 18th century turns into the early 19th.
There is the prodigious childhood when Mozart was feted as an infant phenomenon around Europe's most glittering courts, and his golden decade in Vienna in which masterpiece followed masterpiece - operas, symphonies, piano concertos, string quartets - as if this short, high-voiced man-child must have been taking dictation from some divine source, until his death at the age of just 35 in 1791.
Even more than the music, Mozart's tragic demise sets the seal on his myth. The trajectory of Mozart's life sets the template for the romantic paradigm whose throes we are still in today, which requires our creative heroes to die young to prove that they were too good for this madding world, whether it be Wolfgang Amadeus or Jimi Hendrix.
Service travels from London to Vienna and Salzberg, unpicking the living, breathing genius that was Mozart. With Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicola Benedetti, Paul Morley and others.
SUN 20:00 BBC Proms (m001pnnk)
Felix Klieser Plays Mozart at the Proms
Virtuoso horn player Felix Klieser, who was born without arms and plays the instrument with his toes, makes his Proms debut with Mozart’s sunny Concerto No 4.
Kirill Karabits conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as they plot a kaleidoscopic musical journey across Europe with tales of friendship, homeland and the emotive power of music.
Bursting with some of his most beautiful and heartfelt melodies, Rachmaninov’s sweeping Second Symphony continues the celebration of what would have been the composer’s 150th birthday.
Music by the conductor’s father opens the concert - Ivan Karabits’ first Concerto for Orchestra. Written to mark the 1,500th anniversary of the founding of Kyiv, it’s a colourful orchestral soundscape evoking chiming bells and a city in happier times.
Petroc Trelawny presents joined by special guest Hannah French.
SUN 22:00 Eisteddfod (m001pkst)
The Llyn peninsula is this year’s home to one of the biggest festivals in Europe, the Eisteddfod. It celebrates the best of Welsh culture - a natural showcase for music, dance, visual arts, literature, original performances and much more.
Sian Eleri heads to the village of Boduan near Pwllheli to bring all the highlights and stories from the National Eisteddfod of Wales and to discover how this most ancient of festivals is constantly evolving to remain a relevant cultural force.
It kicks off with a rousing opening show - a folk concerto headed by the talented quartet Pedair, joined by the Eisteddfod folk choir.
Sian catches up with the makers of this year’s Crown and Chair, awarded to the main literary prize winners. She brings a flavour of the diverse selection of performances, from brass bands and classy pop to classical and contemporary music.
Sian catches up with N’famady Kouyate, voted best newcomer in Glastonbury. She also visits the Lle Celf – the largest temporary modern art exhibition in Europe.
SUN 22:30 Eisteddfod (m001pnnm)
In our second visit to this week-long festival, Sian Eleri heads to Boduan near Pwllheli to bring all the highlights and stories from the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Sian catches up with a host of celebrities who have been inducted into the ancient Gorsedd of the Bards, she pops behind the scenes to Maes B - the Eisteddfod’s little brother, where the youth flock to hear the best Welsh contemporary music - and she attends the amazing circus and fire crescendo, which closes the festival with a fiery climax.
SUN 23:00 The Ascent of Man (p0g1khf4)
The Majestic Clockwork
If the world could be understood by just two men, they may be Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Dr Jacob Bronowski explores how their theories are connected by light.
SUN 23:50 The Ascent of Man (p0g1kj99)
The Drive for Power
As political revolutions shook France and America, another quieter, yet more profound restructuring was taking place in Britain - the Industrial Revolution.
SUN 00:40 In Conversation (b05y3nhw)
Julie Walters in Conversation with Richard E Grant
Julie Walters has been one of Britain's best-loved actresses since her award-winning big screen debut in Educating Rita. Her film career has since ranged from the song and dance of Mamma Mia! to the tragicomedy of Calendar Girls via a long-running role in the Harry Potter series. In this exclusive and revealing conversation, recorded in front of a live audience at the BFI Southbank, Julie discusses her movie career with Richard E Grant, who directed her in his own feature debut Wah-Wah.
SUN 01:40 Doris Day: I Don’t Even Like Apple Pie (m001ph15)
In a rare television interview, Doris Day looks back over her successful acting and singing career, and recalls happy memories of working with Rock Hudson, James Cagney, Clark Gable and James Garner.
SUN 02:35 My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 (b0916mmk)
Anita Rani presents the extraordinary and emotional stories of three British families - one Muslim, one Hindu and one British colonial - who lived in India 70 years ago, at the time of Partition.
Binita Kane travels to Bangladesh to discover what happened when her Hindu father Bim had to flee his ancestral village as a young boy. Mandy Duke travels to Calcutta, scene of some of the worst partition violence, to uncover the amazing story of her grandfather Arthur Wise, who filmed there as violence broke out. And Asad Ali Syed and his grandson Sameer, two British Muslims with Pakistani heritage, journey to the Indian town of Ambala, to search for the house where Asad was born before his family were forced to flee to Pakistan.
MONDAY 14 AUGUST 2023
MON 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b08mn7rh)
Series 2 (Extended Versions)
Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Grand Canyon
Michael Portillo arrives in the state capital of New Mexico, once the capital of the Spanish Kingdom of New Mexico. He explores the beautiful colonial architecture of the city and is privileged to be invited to visit a Native American pueblo. He eavesdrops on rehearsals at the glorious Santa Fe Opera House and at the Governor's Palace, discovers the author of the biblical epic Ben Hur. At La Fonda Hotel, Michael catches up with the famous Harvey Girls and hears about the railroad caterer from Lancashire who made his fortune in America.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the Rio Grande River, Michael discovers the headquarters of the Acheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad and lends a hand with the restoration of an enormous locomotive. He feels the heat of New Mexico's most famous produce, the chilli pepper, and learns how to make enchiladas. In Williams, Arizona, Michael picks up the Grand Canyon Railway to his journey's end, one of the greatest sights on earth, and learns how the spectacular seven-million-year-old gorge of the Colorado River was preserved for the nation.
MON 20:00 Digging for Britain (m0013dx6)
Alice Roberts travels across the Midlands, looking at the best archaeology uncovered last year in the heart of England.
In a Digging for Britain exclusive, we join palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax in the middle of the largest artificial lake in the country, Rutland Water. Today, this nature reserve is home to many species of wildlife, but the team here are unearthing evidence of a far more monstrous past. They are painstakingly removing the Jurassic clay to reveal a 180 million-year-old fossil– which they hope will be the largest of its kind ever found in Britain.
Just outside Leicester, Alice joins a team of archaeologists who are investigating a mysterious mound thought to be an Iron Age hillfort, but what they unearth tells a rich story of bandits, religious crusades and connections across the medieval world.
In Cambridge, our dig diary cameras are present to witness archaeologists unearthing an extraordinary array of exquisite artefacts from an early Anglo-Saxon cemetery. Historian Onyeka Nubia investigates astonishing traces of ancient textiles which have survived for over 1,500 years.
Four years ago, a spectacular dig in the centre of the modern city of Leicester revealed incredible details of the origins of this Roman town. Now, archaeologists share their incredible discoveries in the Digging tent with Alice, including a tiny but exquisite key handle that provides new evidence for the brutality of Roman rule in Britain.
Twenty-five miles outside Coventry, Alice goes to meet a huge team of archaeologists who are excavating a vast and unique Iron Age site. With generations of Iron Age roundhouses sitting next to a Roman-style villa, the site provides an opportunity for archaeologists to investigate the relationship between the two cultures, and ancient artefacts from the site could suggest they were in fact one and the same.
MON 21:00 My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 (b091zjfj)
Anita Rani presents the second episode of a two-part documentary series marking the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India.
Anita begins her own partition journey as she and her mother Lucky become the first members of their family to return to what is now Pakistan since the Partition of India. In the Punjabi village where her Sikh grandfather's first family were slaughtered, Anita meets locals who were eyewitnesses to that terrible event.
Across the border in India, Sameer Butt retraces the epic train journey across the Punjab to Pakistan which his seven-year-old Muslim grandfather Asad and his family took in 1947. Binita Kane explores how her Hindu family managed to escape the violence that engulfed their Bengali village, as well as the perils they faced as refugees.
MON 22:00 The Sky at Night (m001pntf)
Black Holes: Searching for the Unknown
There has never been a more exciting time to study one of the most mysterious phenomena in space. This month, The Sky at Night team investigate the science of black holes and discover the incredible techniques being used to uncover their secrets, and even help us answer bigger questions about our universe.
Chris meets with Dr Becky Smethurst at the University of Oxford to learn how a black hole forms from the death of a star. He also investigates whether black holes deserve their menacing portrayal in popular culture. He describes what would happen if we got too close to the event horizon and how black holes might actually play a role in lighting up the universe.
Maggie explores how scientists are trying to understand more about black holes by meeting Dr Tessa Baker, who works on LIGO. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory is one of the world’s largest physics experiments and is not your usual type of observatory; instead of looking - it listens. The next observation run has just started, and Maggie learns what they are hoping to find.
Chris meets with Dr James Nightingale, who has recently discovered one of the largest black holes in space using brand new computational technology and the age-old technique of gravitational lensing. They explore the relationship between black holes and galaxies, as it is thought that within the centre of every galaxy lies a supermassive black hole.
We visit our in-house stargazing expert, Pete Lawrence, who shows us how to find a black hole in the sky, and Saturn at its brightest and best.
Finally, George Dransfield visits Dr Silke Weinfurtner at her black hole laboratory, where they are simulating features of black holes here on Earth. They use fluid systems to perform experiments to try to determine if phenomena we think occur around black holes could actually happen.
MON 22:30 Shadow of Truth (p0fwdb19)
In this brand new finale, 16 years after Tair Rada’s tragic murder and nearly 13 years after Zadorov’s conviction, the Supreme Court of Israel orders a retrial for Zadorov, who is ready to tell his story for the very first time.
MON 23:35 Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story (p02l4q38)
Instruments of Murder
Sherlock has his mind palace, Morse his music - every detective has an edge. For most, it's forensic science. This three-part series provides a rare and fascinating insight into the secret history of catching murderers, charting two centuries of the breakthroughs that have changed the course of justice. Surgeon and writer Gabriel Weston explores this rich history through some of the most absorbing, and often gruesome, stories in the forensic casebook - and looks ahead to how forensics will continue to solve the murders of the future.
Where there's a murder there's usually a weapon. It's a key piece of evidence that can hold all the clues needed to catch the killer and shine a light into the mind of the murderer. In this final episode, Gabriel investigates the forensic advances that have elevated the murder weapon from its role of mere evidence to that of key witness.
Arsenic, the undetectable weapon of choice in the 19th century, was exposed as the murder weapon with one simple chemical test, and distinctive marks left on a victim's skull led detectives to the murder weapon and the killer.
Gabriel also looks to the future and the latest advances in forensics. Scientists have developed 3D laser scanning that can be used to reconstruct the exact sequence of events at the scene of a gun crime and decipher whether a shooting was murder or self-defence. Gabriel also investigates the pioneering chemistry that can now determine where in the world someone has spent time based on just a few strands of their hair.
MON 00:35 The Ascent of Man (p0g1khf4)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 on Sunday
MON 01:30 The Ascent of Man (p0g1kj99)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:50 on Sunday
MON 02:20 Great American Railroad Journeys (b08mn7rh)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
TUESDAY 15 AUGUST 2023
TUE 19:00 River Walks (b0bty0pm)
Jemma Woodman takes a culinary tour of the beautiful River Dart, meeting those who get inspiration and food from this scenic part of the south west.
TUE 19:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (b08mn5tw)
Series 2 (Extended Versions)
Minneapolis - St Paul
Michael Portillo embarks on a new American rail journey that begins and finishes on the Mississippi River. It takes him 1,000 miles from the home of F Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby to Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. He discovers how Minneapolis harnessed the awesome power of the mighty Mississippi to become a great industrial centre, the Mill City of the nation. And he finds how the city became the artificial limb capital of the world.
In St Paul, Michael explores the birthplace of F Scott Fitzgerald and meets a jazz-age trumpeter and Fitzgerald fan who introduces him to the lifestyle of Fitzgerald's hero, Jay Gatsby. Michael discovers the tom tom beat of Hiawatha and his lover Minniehaha. He meets a Dakota Sioux expert on Native American culture to learn about a dark chapter in United States history and hears how it is marked today. Michael's diplomatic skills are tested at a Swedish American lunch, where the centrepiece of the menu is reconstituted dried cod. Chasing the Golden Age of luxury rail travel, he bounces on the bed in a beautifully restored Pullman carriage of the Lambert's Point.
TUE 20:30 Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (b00786sx)
Love Thy Neighbour
Classic sitcom with one-man disaster area Frank Spencer. Crossing the road and phoning the doctor seems straightforward enough - but not for Frank.
TUE 21:00 Yes, Minister (b007831f)
The Official Visit
Sitcom about a British government minister and the advisers who surround him. When Hacker recognises a visiting head of an African nation as someone he knew from his student days, he does his best to offload some British-made oil rigging gear on him.
TUE 21:30 The Thick of It (b00nt81s)
The return of Armando Iannucci's political comedy.
Nicola Murray MP has only been secretary of state for just over a week, but already there is press speculation on how long she will last. And now someone at the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship has completely wiped the immigration records of 170,672 people.
Who's going to get the blame? Who's going to get the job of breaking the news to Malcolm? And how is Nicola going to get through an entire lunch with the staff of the Guardian without revealing the catastrophic scale of the latest computer disaster?
TUE 22:00 Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (m000pbdz)
George IV and the Regency
We think of the Regency as genteel and well-ordered: beautiful buildings, Jane Austen's romances and red-coated officers defeating Napoleon at Waterloo. Lucy Worsley digs behind the facade of Georgian elegance to reveal the fibs that helped conceal a darker side to the Regency and suppress rebellion in an age of revolution.
This was the end of the Georgian era, when a mentally ill King George III was forced to hand power to his extravagant son – the prince regent and future King George IV. Both kings lived in the shadow of the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon.
To make matters worse for the royals, British radicals were demanding political reform. To stop rebellion, monarchy and government relied on spin, secrets and lies. Lucy reveals how an international victory at Waterloo became distinctly British, why the Peterloo Massacre was airbrushed out of history and how Scotland was dressed up in tartan to support the union.
TUE 23:00 Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled (b04p1vx1)
Examining the first half of Queen Victoria's life, biographer AN Wilson goes in search of a monarch too often misunderstood as the solid black-clad matron and reveals a woman who was passionately romantic and who spent her years as a child and young queen fighting the control of domineering men.
Queen Victoria was one of the 19th century's most prolific diarists, sometimes writing up to 2,500 words a day. From state affairs to family gossip, she poured out her emotions onto paper. Those close to her were afraid her more alarming opinions might escape in written form, causing havoc. In fact much of her writing was destroyed after her death and her personal journals edited by her daughter. But what survives frequently reveals a woman quite different to the one we think we know. AN Wilson reads her personal journals and unpublished letters and discovers the factors that shaped the queen's personality. From the tortured relationship with her mother, to the dominant men she clung to in search of a father figure and the powerful struggle that made her marriage to Prince Albert a battleground, Queen Victoria was always a woman in search of intimate relationships. As a daughter, a wife, a mother and the queen of a growing empire, as friends and family came and went, her pen remained her constant companion and friend.
Queen Victoria's journals and letters are read by Anna Chancellor throughout.
TUE 00:00 Victorian Sensations (m00059cx)
Victorian Sensations transports us to the last years of Queen Victoria’s reign to explore a moment of thrilling discovery and change that continues to resonate today.
In the first of three films focusing on the technology, art and culture of the 1890s, mathematician Dr Hannah Fry explores how the latest innovations, including x-rays, safety bicycles and proto-aeroplanes, transformed society and promised a cleaner, brighter and more egalitarian future.
Whereas Victorian progress in the 19th century had been powered by steam and gas, the end of the 1800s marked the beginning of a new 'Electric Age'. Hannah discovers how electrical energy dominated the zeitgeist, with medical quacks marketing battery-powered miracle cures, and America’s new electric chair inspiring stage magicians to electrify their illusions. The future had arrived, courtesy of underground trains and trams (as well as electric cars), and in the 1890s the first houses built specifically with electricity in mind were constructed.
Like our own time, there was concern about where this technology would lead and who was in control. HG Wells warned of bio-terrorism, while the skies were increasingly seen as a future battleground, fuelling the race to develop powered flight.
Hannah outlines the excitement around the coming Electric Age. Electricity was a signifier of modernity, and Hannah discovers how electric light not only redefined the way we saw ourselves but changed what we expected from our homes. The new enthusiasm for all things electric was also something exploited by canny entrepreneurs. In the 1890s, many believed that electricity was life itself and that nervous energy could be recharged like a battery.
In 1896, out of nowhere, the x-ray arrived in Britain. Hannah delves into the story of what Victorians considered to be a superhuman power. This cutting-edge technology was a smash hit with the public, who found the ghoulish ability to peer under flesh endlessly entertaining. In the medical profession, x-rays caused a revolution and, as well as changing our views of our bodies, the x-ray revealed new fears in society about personal privacy and control over technology - concerns that sound very familiar today.
Electricity ruled the imagination, but it was a simple mechanical device that brought the greatest challenge to the social order: the safety bicycle. It offered freedom on a scale unimagined before and, for women of the time in particular, a new independence, changes to their clothes to make cycling easier and the opportunity for a chance encounter with a member of the opposite sex. But there was also a darker side, with fears of how technology might be turned against us becoming a constant element in contemporary 1890s fiction.
One technological landmark that the Victorians knew was coming, and that they (rightly) anticipated would one day unleash fire and bombs on British cities, was the flying machine. A thing of fantasy yet also, due to the ingenuity of the age’s engineers, something that might become a reality at any moment. Leading the way for British hopes of achieving powered flight was Percy Pilcher. Hannah looks at how, after several successful flights, Pilcher designed a triplane with an engine he intended to fly, when disaster struck.
TUE 01:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b08mn5tw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
TUE 02:00 Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise (b06gqsqn)
Life on the Edge
Patagonia invites you into a rarely seen South American wilderness, home to surprising creatures who survive in environments that range from the mighty Andes Mountains to Cape Horn.
This is the story of an awe-inspiring coastline 4,000 miles long. From the cold, fearsome waters of Cape Horn, where brave rockhopper penguins overcome huge challenges to raise their young, to the far north, with huge elephant seals battling for position in the heat of the desert. Orcas ram-raid the beaches, grabbing seal pups to feed their young. People gather the sea's bounty too, but these shores are not for the faint-hearted.
TUE 03:00 Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley (m000pbdz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today
WEDNESDAY 16 AUGUST 2023
WED 19:00 Great American Railroad Journeys (b08nd5v8)
Series 2 (Extended Versions)
Minnesota - Wisconsin
Steered by his Appleton's guidebook, Michael Portillo continues his rail journey along the Upper Mississippi to Red Wing, Minnesota, and the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie. Picking up the Empire Builder rail service, he travels to Winona, where he takes to the water to find out how in the 19th century, the US Army Corps of Engineers made the Mississippi navigable and how the river is maintained today - not just for freight but for bald eagles and pelicans. Michael joins in the dancing at a tribal gathering of the Dakota Sioux and hears about efforts towards reconciliation. In La Crosse, Michael learns about the Native American origins of the fast-moving, combative sport. A new take on pizza toppings including dirt and worms has Michael squirming before he moves on to Tomah, Wisconsin, where he wades in to harvest the nation's most important berry from the marshes at a century-old farm. He travels to Wisconsin Dells, where an innovative photographer first captured motion, then takes the plunge in the waterpark capital of the world. In Baraboo, he discovers the circus is in town and it travels by train. Guided by a former clown and ringmaster, Michael explores the spectacular wagons.
WED 20:00 Meet the Romans with Mary Beard (b01ghsjx)
All Roads Lead to Rome
We still live in the shadow of ancient Rome - a city at the heart of a vast empire that stretched from Scotland to Afghanistan, dominating the west for over 700 years. Professor Mary Beard puts aside the stories of emperors and armies, guts and gore, to meet the real Romans living at the heart of it all.
In this programme, Mary asks not what the Romans did for us, but what the empire did for Rome.
She rides the Via Appia, climbs up to the top seats of the Colosseum, takes a boat to Rome's port Ostia and takes us into the bowels of Monte Testaccio. She also meets some extraordinary Romans: Eurysaces, an eccentric baker who made a fortune out of the grain trade and built his tomb in the shape of a giant bread oven; Baricha, Zabda and Achiba, three prisoners of war who became Roman citizens; and Pupius Amicus, the purple dye seller making imperial dye from shellfish imported from Tunisia. This is Rome from the bottom up.
WED 21:00 Colosseum (p0fwgsmw)
In AD80, the Colosseum is open for business. Roman emperor Titus plans 100 days of games to commemorate, including an epic battle to the death between gladiators Priscus and Verus.
WED 21:50 Colosseum (p0fwgyhx)
Although master builder Haterius constructs the Colosseum where Nero’s Golden House once stood, his work is far from over. Rome's new emperor, Domitian, tasks him with adding in a complex network of underground tunnels – the hypogeum. Failure could cost Haterius his life.
WED 22:35 Sir Derek Jacobi Remembers... I, Claudius (m001pnrn)
Sir Derek Jacobi remembers the landmark 1976 TV series I, Claudius.
WED 22:50 I, Claudius (b0074srn)
A Touch of Murder
Acclaimed blackly comic historical drama series adapted from the novels by Robert Graves. Set amidst a web of power, corruption and lies, it chronicles the reigns of the Roman emperors - Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and finally Claudius.
Livia, the scheming wife of Augustus, seeks to disinherit her husband's grandchildren in favour of her own son Tiberius.
WED 00:30 I, Claudius (b0074srq)
Waiting in the Wings
Jack Pullman's adaptation of Robert Graves's novels continues and introduces Claudius as a stumbling, stuttering child, marked out for greatness by a falling wolf cub. Livia, wife of Emperor Augustus, plots against his daughter Julia and manages to convince him to bring her son Tiberius back from exile.
WED 01:20 I, Claudius (b0074srt)
What Shall We Do about Claudius?
Livia engineers the downfall of Julia, who is banished. Tiberius is recalled to Rome and is joint heir with Postumus. Poor stumbling, stuttering Claudius finds a friend in Herod, king of the Jews.
WED 02:10 Meet the Romans with Mary Beard (b01ghsjx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THURSDAY 17 AUGUST 2023
THU 19:00 The Sky at Night (m001pntf)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday
THU 19:30 Great American Railroad Journeys (b08nd8gr)
Series 2 (Extended Versions)
Milwaukee to Chicago
Michael Portillo is in Milwaukee, the cream city on the shore of Lake Michigan and home to an American icon: the Harley Davidson motorcycle. Michael learns how the first machine was built in 1903 and hitches a ride. German gymnastics is Michael's next challenge as he joins the Ladies' Auxiliary Exercise Class at the Turner Hall, a legacy of Milwaukee's 19th-century German settler community. In Racine, Michael discovers a man who knew how to sort the wheat from the chaff and made a business out of it. Michael is blown away by the skyscrapers in Illinois's Windy City, where he discovers how modern Chicago's skyline replaced a largely wooden city, destroyed in a fire shortly before his Appleton's Guide was published. Michael steps up to the plate with the Joliet Slammers, stars of the US national game of baseball, then sings for his supper at a quintessentially American restaurant bearing his name! Downtown at the Moody Church, Michael tracks down a pair of evangelists who toured Britain and the United States by rail at the time of his guide.
THU 20:30 Dog Tales and Cat Tales (m000mf93)
Dog Tales: The Making of Man's Best Friend
Dogs have been at our side longer than any other animal in history. They have made us better hunters and better farmers, saved our lives and protected us from harm. And even though dogs may come in all shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common – they seem to love us. If you were designing the perfect companion for humans, you’d probably end up with something like a dog.
So, how did we get so lucky?
In this show, we unravel the scientific secrets that explain what makes a dog… a dog. We reveal that the emotional bond between human and dog is so profound, it is helping transform the lives of hardened criminals in the US prison system convicted of the most violent crimes.
We examine a 30,000-year-old Belgian wolf skull that some believe marks the first transition from wolf to dog. Many scientists suspect that it is the arrival of us, modern humans, that transformed grey wolves into dogs.
We visit a fox farm in Siberia where a unique selective breeding experiment has been going on for 60 years. This programme helps to explain how the presence of humans transformed the biology, behaviour and appearance of wolves. Some scientists suspect that wolves may have even initiated this process themselves through self-selection.
We go to a dog show to explore the huge variety of shapes and sizes we see in modern dogs and reveal that dogs share a unique ability to vary shape and size by altering just a handful of genes. The Dog Genome Project is discovering that what drove most of this variety was intensive human selection for extreme genes.
We also explore experiments with wolves and dogs at the Wolf Science Centre in Austria, which reveal that the common assumption that our bond with dogs results from selection for intelligence is simply wrong. In fact, recent scientific studies suggest that what makes dogs seem intelligent to us is their unique emotional make-up. It turns out that the secret of our bond with dogs may be love. Not our love for them, but their love for us. MRI scanning of dogs’ brains in Atlanta, Georgia, seems to confirm that dogs genuinely love us.
We visit Callie Truelove, a young girl living with the rare genetic condition Williams Syndrome. This makes Callie extremely loving and sociable. But geneticists have discovered that the same mutations that give Callie her super social nature have also been found in dogs. Some scientists suspect that this is the true secret behind what makes the dog humanity’s best friend.
THU 21:30 The Deer Hunter (m000hkbc)
Clairton, Pennsylvania, 1960s. Three close friends from the steelworks, Mike, Nick and Steve, prepare to leave for service in Vietnam, but not before Steve's wedding is celebrated in grand style. The festivities turn into a painful farewell as the three men become embroiled in a war in which there are no rules but survival, and the enemy have devised a deadly game of Russian roulette for their prisoners.
THU 00:25 Cape Fear (m0016tc9)
After 14 years behind bars, brutal rapist Max Cady seeks revenge on the man who could have kept him out of jail, lawyer Sam Bowden, and targets Bowden's wife and daughter.
THU 02:25 The RKO Story: Tales from Hollywood (b00gfg2q)
Ed Asner tells the story of RKO Pictures. The 1950s were a time of mounting paranoia, reflected by the studio's ventures into film noir. Robert Mitchum makes his first screen appearance, Val Lewton creates Zombies and Cat People, and the House Un-American Activities Committee stalks its prey.
FRIDAY 18 AUGUST 2023
FRI 19:00 BBC Proms (m001pnvl)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
Sir András Schiff at the Proms
Celebrated pianist Sir András Schiff plays Schumann's much-loved Piano Concerto at the BBC Proms alongside the world-famous Budapest Festival Orchestra and their founder-conductor Ivan Fischer in a programme sparkling with dramatic colour.
One of the greatest Romantic piano concertos of all time, the Schumann is bookended by the musically mysterious overture to Der Freischütz by Weber - an opera brimming with unearthly portrayals of the supernatural, and Mendelssohn's atmospheric Scottish Symphony, itself inspired by a ruined chapel echoing with the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Clive Myrie presents alongside special guest Joanna MacGregor.
FRI 20:55 Top of the Pops (b0bqr550)
Gary Davies and Bruno Brookes present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 21 August 1986. Featuring Depeche Mode, Prince and The Revolution, Bruce Hornsby and The Range, Modern Talking, Boris Gardiner and The Communards.
FRI 21:25 Top of the Pops (b037wlp0)
Noel Edmonds introduces the weekly pop charts featuring performances from The Stranglers, Justin Hayward, Child, Darts, 10cc, The New Seekers and a dance routine by Legs & Co.
FRI 21:55 BBC Four Sessions (b03kk1j5)
Filmed at Stoke Newington Town Hall in north London, this career-spanning concert features Bonnie Raitt and her road-tested band in sparkling form.
Raitt started out supporting blues artists like Mississippi Fred McDowell, while championing the generation of singer-songwriters who emerged in the early 70s. She released her eponymously titled debut album in 1971 and her most recent album prior to this concert, Slipstream, came out in 2012.
This set roams across her career and includes signature songs like Love Has No Pride, Nick of Time and the bluesy Love Me Like a Man. The slide guitar-slinging, flame-haired queen of roots and blues rock is joined by frequent collaborator and songwriter Paul Brady on Marriage Made in Hollywood and there's even a bluesy romp through the old Elvis tune, A Big Hunk o' Love.
FRI 22:55 In Concert (b00h6t99)
Folk singer Judy Collins performs to a BBC studio audience in 1974.
FRI 23:30 In Concert (b00h6wtr)
Joan Baez: Part 1
Folk singer Joan Baez performs live at the BBC Television Theatre, London, in 1965. Songs include Rambler Gambler, Don't Think Twice, It's All Right and We Shall Overcome.
FRI 00:05 In Concert (b00hd2dg)
Joan Baez: Part 2
Folk singer Joan Baez performs live in concert at the BBC Television Theatre, London, in 1965. Songs include Silver Dagger, It Ain't Me, Babe and Isn't It Grand, Boys.
FRI 00:40 Top of the Pops (b0bqr550)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:55 today
FRI 01:10 Top of the Pops (b037wlp0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:25 today
FRI 01:40 BBC Four Sessions (b03kk1j5)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:55 today
FRI 02:40 In Concert (b00h6t99)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:55 today
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
BBC Four Sessions 21:55 FRI (b03kk1j5)
BBC Four Sessions 01:40 FRI (b03kk1j5)
BBC Proms 20:00 SUN (m001pnnk)
BBC Proms 19:00 FRI (m001pnvl)
Cape Fear 00:25 THU (m0016tc9)
Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story 23:35 MON (p02l4q38)
Clean Sweep 21:00 SAT (p0g00zdn)
Clean Sweep 21:50 SAT (p0g011zj)
Colosseum 21:00 WED (p0fwgsmw)
Colosseum 21:50 WED (p0fwgyhx)
Digging for Britain 20:00 MON (m0013dx6)
Dog Tales and Cat Tales 20:30 THU (m000mf93)
Doris Day: I Don’t Even Like Apple Pie 01:40 SUN (m001ph15)
Eisteddfod 22:00 SUN (m001pkst)
Eisteddfod 22:30 SUN (m001pnnm)
Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 MON (b08mn7rh)
Great American Railroad Journeys 02:20 MON (b08mn7rh)
Great American Railroad Journeys 19:30 TUE (b08mn5tw)
Great American Railroad Journeys 01:00 TUE (b08mn5tw)
Great American Railroad Journeys 19:00 WED (b08nd5v8)
Great American Railroad Journeys 19:30 THU (b08nd8gr)
I, Claudius 22:50 WED (b0074srn)
I, Claudius 00:30 WED (b0074srq)
I, Claudius 01:20 WED (b0074srt)
In Concert 22:55 FRI (b00h6t99)
In Concert 23:30 FRI (b00h6wtr)
In Concert 00:05 FRI (b00hd2dg)
In Concert 02:40 FRI (b00h6t99)
In Conversation 00:40 SUN (b05y3nhw)
Meet the Romans with Mary Beard 20:00 WED (b01ghsjx)
Meet the Romans with Mary Beard 02:10 WED (b01ghsjx)
My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 02:35 SUN (b0916mmk)
My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 21:00 MON (b091zjfj)
Oppenheimer 22:40 SAT (p0g3j9tt)
Oppenheimer 23:45 SAT (p0g3jbbt)
Our Coast 19:00 SAT (m000frj7)
Our Coast 02:10 SAT (m000frj7)
Patagonia: Earth's Secret Paradise 02:00 TUE (b06gqsqn)
Queen Victoria's Letters: A Monarch Unveiled 23:00 TUE (b04p1vx1)
River Walks 19:00 TUE (b0bty0pm)
Rome: A History of the Eternal City 20:00 SAT (b01p96g4)
Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 22:00 TUE (m000pbdz)
Royal History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 03:00 TUE (m000pbdz)
Shadow of Truth 22:30 MON (p0fwdb19)
Sir Derek Jacobi Remembers... I, Claudius 22:35 WED (m001pnrn)
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em 00:45 SAT (b0077sjw)
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em 20:30 TUE (b00786sx)
The Ascent of Man 23:00 SUN (p0g1khf4)
The Ascent of Man 23:50 SUN (p0g1kj99)
The Ascent of Man 00:35 MON (p0g1khf4)
The Ascent of Man 01:30 MON (p0g1kj99)
The Deer Hunter 21:30 THU (m000hkbc)
The Joy of Mozart 19:00 SUN (b04yrj6n)
The RKO Story: Tales from Hollywood 02:25 THU (b00gfg2q)
The Sky at Night 22:00 MON (m001pntf)
The Sky at Night 19:00 THU (m001pntf)
The Thick of It 01:40 SAT (b00npkc9)
The Thick of It 21:30 TUE (b00nt81s)
Top of the Pops 20:55 FRI (b0bqr550)
Top of the Pops 21:25 FRI (b037wlp0)
Top of the Pops 00:40 FRI (b0bqr550)
Top of the Pops 01:10 FRI (b037wlp0)
Victorian Sensations 00:00 TUE (m00059cx)
Yes, Minister 01:10 SAT (b007830r)
Yes, Minister 21:00 TUE (b007831f)