This documentary provides unique insights into the working life of one of the world's most acclaimed musicians, conductor Sir Simon Rattle. To mark his 60th birthday, we follow Rattle through a demanding year of rehearsals and performances with five different orchestras, from the South Bank to Taiwan, as he talks candidly about his life and beliefs.
Through the lens of archive footage, we explore a remarkable journey spanning four decades, from his early days with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the tender age of 22 to his current post as chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic. We see how his dynamic leadership of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra made him a household name which is said to have inspired the rebuilding of a city, while he remains someone who still has his own doubts before every performance.
There are contributions from artists and friends who have worked closely with him, including violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, composer Thomas Ades, singers Roderick Williams and Mark Padmore, theatre director Peter Sellars and the managing director of the Barbican, Sir Nicholas Kenyon.
In a highlight of the season, Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO bring childlike wonder and fairy-tale to the Proms with an evening of music by French orchestral innovator and storyteller Maurice Ravel.
Magdalena Kozena and Patricia Bardon lead an all-star cast in the magical one-act opera The Child and the Spells (L'enfant et les sortileges). This follows a ballet score full of fantasy and adventure, Mother Goose. The programme also includes the exotic song cycle Sheherazade.
Internationally acclaimed soprano Danielle de Niese presents from the Royal Albert Hall.
The Strange Luck of V.S. Naipaul
Profile of the Nobel Prize-winning Trinidadian-born British writer, VS Naipaul. Filmed in India, Trinidad and his Wiltshire home, Naipaul remains as incisive, forthright and controversial as ever at the age of 75.
Legendary rock 'n' roller Chuck Berry performs at the BBC Television Theatre in 1972. Johnny B Goode, Roll Over Beethoven and Nadine are just some of the highlights of this concert, shown in an extended cut. This version includes, for the first time, an epic rendition of My Ding-a-Ling that carries all before it and raises innuendo to an art form.
Compilation celebrating over 50 years of covers of Stevie Wonder's classic songbook filmed at BBC studio shows over the years. Featuring Cilla Black, Jimmy Helms, Dionne Warwick, The Osmonds, India Arie, James Morrison and a storming performance of Ed Sheeran with Jools and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra taking on Master Blaster (Jammin') on Hootenanny. Expect a special emphasis on Wonder's bank of classic ballads which include Isn't She Lovely, Love's in Need of Love Today, For Once in My Life, You Are the Sunshine of My Life and many more.
Fifty years ago, Penguin published its 1967 hit pop poetry book The Mersey Sound, introducing Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri to the world, thereby securing Liverpool as the cultural centre of the UK and bringing poetry to pop audiences. With the help of famous friends and fellow writers, McGough and Patten tell the inside story of this modern classic and how they made poetry cool.
In a unique science experiment, Dr George McGavin and Dr Zoe Laughlin chronicle the history of rubbish and explore how what we throw away tells us about the way we live our lives. With unprecedented access to one of the UK's largest landfill sites, the team of experts spend three days carrying out tests all over the site, revealing the secret world of rubbish. They also carry out three other 'archaeological' digs into historic landfills to chart the evolution of our throwaway society. Ultimately, their quest is to discover whether the items we throw away today have any value for tomorrow's world.
MONDAY 27 AUGUST 2018
MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bhmmws)
Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.
MON 19:30 Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage (b00cl6nw)
Montenegro and Albania
On the next step of his sea voyage from Venice to Istanbul, Francesco da Mosto is sailing into the Bay of Kotor where Venetian sailors knew they were leaving safe waters for the dangers of pirates and the ships of rival powers.
So perhaps it's wise for Francesco and the crew to stop off at the magical little church of Santuario della madonna della scarpello, perched on a few rocks in the open sea. Here Venetian sailors prayed for a safe voyage or, if they were lucky, where they offered thanks to God for a safe return.
Many Venetian ships came to grief here - if not through attack then they fell victim to the elements. Off the coast of Montenegro, Francesco dives to a shipwreck deep on the ocean bed.
Next is Ulcinj - a pirate fortress town - where captives taken by pirates were held before being sold into slavery. Even today it has an air of menace. Francesco sees the original cells where Venetians unlucky enough to fall into the hands of the pirates were imprisoned.
The next stop is Durres on the coast of Albania - poor and facing an uncertain future after the all-too-recent rule of Communist dictator, Enver Hoxha. The capital city of Tirana is still the stuff of spies and Cold War intrigue but the colourful city mayor is pinning his hopes on a dramatic makeover of the city.
MON 20:00 Art of Germany (b00wgpnc)
Dream and Machine
Andrew Graham-Dixon continues his exploration of German art by looking at the tumultuous 19th century and early 20th century, and how artists were at the forefront of Germany's drive to become a single nation.
Andrew travels to the north and the coastal town of Greifswald, the birthplace of Caspar David Friedrich, the most influential of the German romantics, to discover how the Baltic coast impacted on his mysterious paintings of the German landscape. He also visits Berlin and explores the art of the powerful Prussian state, which would spearhead the unification of Germany in 1871.
The episode ends with the outbreak of World War I and the attempts of artists Franz Marc and Otto Dix to rationalise the catastrophic experiences of the world's first technological war, a war driven by the innovations of Prussia.
MON 21:00 Rome's Invisible City (b05xxl4t)
With the help of a team of experts and the latest in 3D scanning technology, Alexander Armstrong, along with Dr Michael Scott, explores the hidden underground treasures that made Rome the powerhouse of the ancient world. In his favourite city, he uncovers a lost subterranean world that helped build and run the world's first metropolis and its empire.
From the secret underground world of the Colosseum to the aqueducts and sewers that supplied and cleansed it, and from the mysterious cults that sustained it spiritually to the final resting places of Rome's dead, Xander discovers the underground networks that serviced the remarkable world above.
MON 22:00 Story of Ireland (b00zj0rx)
The Age of Union
A new five-part landmark series, written and presented by BBC Special Correspondent Fergal Keane.
Fergal Keane's Story of Ireland explores the great changes of the 19th century. Starting with the 1801 Act of Union, when Ireland becomes part of the United Kingdom for the first time, Keane shows us how modern Ireland comes into being through the great constitutional battles for Catholic Emancipation, Land Reform and Home Rule. We also witness the horrors of the potato famine of the 1840s.
MON 23:00 Pavlopetri - The City Beneath the Waves (b015yh6f)
Just off the southern coast of mainland Greece lies the oldest submerged city in the world. It thrived for 2,000 years during the time that saw the birth of western civilisation.
An international team of experts uses cutting-edge technology to prise age-old secrets from the complex of streets and stone buildings that lie less than five metres below the surface of the ocean. State-of-the-art CGI helps to raise the city from the seabed, revealing for the first time in 3,500 years how Pavlopetri would once have looked and operated.
Underwater archaeologist Dr Jon Henderson leads the project in collaboration with Nic Flemming, the man whose hunch led to the discovery of Pavlopetri in 1967, and a team from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Working alongside the archaeologists are a team from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics.
The teams scour the ocean floor, looking for artefacts. The site is littered with thousands of fragments, each providing valuable clues about the everyday lives of the people of Pavlopetri. From the buildings to the trade goods to the everyday tableware, each artefact provides a window into a forgotten world.
Together these precious relics provide us with a window to a time when Pavlopetri would have been at its height, showing us what life was like in this distant age and revealing how this city marks the start of western civilisation.
MON 00:00 To Boldly Go (b0195rlg)
Doctor Kevin Fong sets out to discover how unsuited human biology is to living on much of the planet - and how we have developed the technology to let us survive there.
In this first programme, about how to survive underwater, Dr Fong escapes from a sinking helicopter, walks through a tank of sharks in an antique diving suit and intentionally gives himself nitrogen narcosis.
We have one fundamental problem with water - we can only survive under its surface for as long as we can make one breath of air last. But the way our bodies respond can dramatically alter how long we can make that breath last - a fact graphically demonstrated by Kevin's attempt to escape from the Royal Navy's helicopter escape trainer. As it is plunged into the water and turned upside down, the body's response is to activate its fight or flight response, preparing it for sudden action, but limiting the time he can hold his breath to just 25 seconds. It's long enough to make it back to the surface - but only just.
Travelling to Egypt, Kevin meets Sara Campbell - a champion free-diver, who can hold her breath for over five minutes and dive to depths of nearly 100m. However, to really explore the depths, we need to turn to technology. In an aquarium in Cheshire, Kevin tries one of the oldest diving technologies - a 'Standard Dress' diving suit - with brass helmet and boots. These suits allowed divers to work deep underwater for long periods of time - but they came with a downside - a terrible industrial disease that saw divers coming to the surface contorted or paralysed. To demonstrate its causes, Kevin climbs into a decompression chamber to subject himself to the sort of pressure divers experience.
MON 01:00 The Story of Scottish Art (b06h7xsm)
The story of Scottish art and its impact on the international art world is celebrated in this four-part series presented by acclaimed artist Lachlan Goudie. The series spans 5,000 years of Scotland's history, from the earliest Neolithic art to the present day.
In the first programme, Lachlan explores Scotland's earliest art. He visits the Ring of Brodgar in Orkney, where standing stones have watched the seasons pass for thousands of years. On the island of Westray he encounters an ancient figurine - the Westray Wife - the oldest sculpted human figure in the British Isles. He explores the sophisticated art of the Picts and the Gaels, the exuberant Renaissance period of the early Stewart kings, and the destructive heights of the Reformation, when religious artworks were all but wiped out in Scotland.
MON 02:00 Medieval Lives: Birth, Marriage, Death (b03f4l0j)
A Good Death
Most of the time we try not to think about death, but the people of the Middle Ages didn't have that luxury. Death was always close at hand, for young and old, rich and poor - even before the horrors of the Black Death, which killed millions in a few short months.
However, for the people of the Middle Ages death wasn't an end but a doorway to everlasting life. The Church taught that an eternity spent in heaven or hell was much more important than this life's fleeting achievements and there was much you could do to prepare for the next life in this one.
As historian Helen Castor reveals, how to be remembered - and remembering your loved ones - shaped not only the worship of the people of the Middle Ages but the very buildings and funding of the medieval Church itself.
MON 03:00 Art of Germany (b00wgpnc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
TUESDAY 28 AUGUST 2018
TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bhmn7l)
Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.
TUE 19:30 Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage (b00cp421)
Corfu and Greece
Architect and historian Francesco da Mosto embarks on a journey across the Mediterranean sea. As Francesco and the crew of the Black Swan enter Greek waters, the boat is making the fastest headway since leaving Venice on the long voyage to Istanbul. But disaster strikes as the mainsail rips and they limp into the next port, the island of Corfu. Corfu has more relics of British rule than Venetian, and Francesco is soon drawn into a game of cricket on the island's best cricket pitch.
In the romantic setting of the British Garden Cemetery there are many reminders of British occupation. And Corfu is the island setting of the hugely popular novel, My Family and Other Animals. Author Gerald Durrell is long since dead, but his good friend David Bellamy is there to point Francesco in the direction of the island's animal life. While the Black Swan puts in for repairs Francesco takes the ferry to the Greek coast and heads inland. His first stop is the surprising town of Ioannina - a little bit of Turkey in the middle of Greece. Once it was the stronghold of the evil Ali Pasha whose cruelty was the talk of Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. But peace and hope is restored as Francesco ascends the incredible mountain realm of Meteora - a sacred kingdom in the clouds. Here ancient monasteries perch perilously on the mountaintops with, seemingly, no way to get up to them. Inside are some of the least seen but most brilliant frescoes of the medieval age.
TUE 20:00 Andrew Marr's History of the World (p00xnvtd)
In the sixth episode of this landmark series charting the story of human civilisation, Andrew Marr explores the Age of Revolution.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, people across the world rose up in the name of freedom and equality against the power of the church and monarchy. In America, people fought a war to be free from British rule. In France, bloody revolution saw the king and aristocracy deposed. And in Haiti, the slaves revolted against their masters.
The world was also gripped by a scientific revolution, sweeping away old dogmas and superstition. Galileo revolutionized the way we saw humanity's place in the universe, while Edward Jenner used science to help save the lives of millions.
TUE 21:00 The Joy of Winning (b0b9zsfb)
How to have a happier life and a better world all thanks to maths, in this witty, mind-expanding guide to the science of success with Hannah Fry.
Following in the footsteps of BBC Four's award-winning maths films The Joy of Stats and The Joy of Data, this latest gleefully nerdy adventure sees mathematician Dr Hannah Fry unlock the essential strategies you'll need to get what you want - to win - more of the time. From how to bag a bargain dinner to how best to stop the kids arguing on a long car journey, maths can give you a winning strategy. And the same rules apply to the world's biggest problems - whether it's avoiding nuclear annihilation or tackling climate change.
Deploying 'The Joys of...' films' trademark mix of playful animation alongside both oddball demos and contributions from the world's biggest brains, Fry shows how this field of maths - known as game theory - is the essential key to help you get your way. She reveals ways to analyse any situation, and methods of calculating the consequences of getting what you want. Expect tips on taking advantage of what your opponents do, but also pleasing proof that cooperation might get you further than conflict. Fry also hails the 20th-century scientists like John von Neumann and John Nash who worked out the science of success. They may not be household names, but they transformed economics, politics, psychology and evolutionary biology in the process - and their work, Hannah demonstrates, could even be shown to prove the existence and advantage of goodness.
Along the way the film reveals, amongst other things, what links the rapper Ludacris, a Kentucky sheriff, a Nobel Prize winner and doping in professional cycling. And there's an irresistible chance to revisit the most excruciatingly painful and the most genius scenes ever seen on a TV game show, as Hannah unpacks the maths behind the legendary show Golden Balls and hails Nick Corrigan, the contestant whose cunning gameplay managed to break the supposedly intractable 'Prisoner's Dilemma'.
Other contributors to The Joy of Winning include European number one professional female poker player Liv Boeree, Scottish ex-pro cyclist and anti-doping campaigner (banned for two years in 2004 for doping) David Millar, Israeli game theory expert Dr Haim Shapira - who shows why it is sometimes rational to be irrational - and top evolutionary game theorist Professor Karl Sigmund from the University of Vienna.
TUE 22:00 Horizon (b013c8tb)
Do You See What I See?
Roses are red, violets are blue but according to the latest understanding these colours are really an illusion. One that you create yourself.
Horizon reveals a surprising truth about how we all see the world. You may think a rose is red, the sky is blue and the grass is green, but it now seems that the colours you see may not always be the same as the colours I see. Your age, sex and even mood can affect how you experience colours.
Scientists have unlocked the hidden power that colours can have over your life - how red can make you a winner, how blue makes time speed up, and more.
TUE 23:00 The Secret Life of Rockpools (b01rtdr4)
Paleontologist Professor Richard Fortey embarks on a quest to discover the extraordinary lives of rock pool creatures. To help explore this unusual environment he is joined by some of the UK's leading marine biologists in a dedicated laboratory at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. Here and on the beach in various locations around the UK, startling behaviour is revealed and new insights are given into how these animals cope with intertidal life. Many popular rock pool species have survived hundreds of millions of years of Earth's history, but humans may be their biggest challenge yet.
TUE 00:00 To Boldly Go (b019x6qr)
We think of ourselves as a global species, but in fact we can only comfortably survive on less than a quarter of the earth's surface.
In To Boldly Go, doctor of extreme medicine Kevin Fong sets out to discover how we are able to conquer the other 75 per cent. In an eye-popping series of experiments, Dr Fong uses his own body to demonstrate how unsuited our biology is to much of the planet - and how we have had to develop the technology to let us survive there.
In the second programme of the series, Dr Fong finds out how the body responds to altitude. The short answer to that question is: badly - as Dr Fong finds out, climbing one of the tallest mountains in the Alps, and subjecting himself to a sudden depressurisation to 25,000 feet. But although we struggle to deal with altitude, the defining story of 20th-century technology was our quest to leave the surface of the earth behind and travel up through the atmosphere and into space.
The natural home of our species is at sea level. Even today more than three-quarters of the world's population live at altitudes below 500m. And there is a very good reason for that - the higher we go, the less oxygen there is in the air and the harder we find it to survive.
TUE 01:00 Bollywood and Beyond: A Century of Indian Cinema (b069g4qg)
Indian cinema has the largest audience of any art form on the planet.
With a population of over a billion, India has recently enjoyed an economic boom and its movie stars are treated like deities. Today their fame stretches across the diaspora, in what has become a truly global industry.
As Indian cinema celebrates its centenary, Sanjeev Bhaskar travels across the subcontinent to get under the skin of the Indian movie business as never before.
From young hopefuls in the slums of Mumbai to superstars like Kareena Kapoor and Aamir Khan, he meets the stars of the silver screen and the people behind the scenes - legendary producers, directors, musicians and choreographers - exploring the stories behind some of the greatest films ever made.
Sanjeev grew up in west London, with Indian films providing the backdrop to his childhood, and in a warm and nostalgic live performance, Sanjeev takes us on a personal journey through the most chaotic and intriguing entertainment industry on the planet.
TUE 02:30 The Joy of Winning (b0b9zsfb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
WEDNESDAY 29 AUGUST 2018
WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bhmnzn)
Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London report on the events that are shaping the world.
WED 19:30 Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage (b00cp4k0)
The Gulf of Corinth
Architect and historian Francesco da Mosto embarks on a journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Amidst a sea of dolphins, The Black Swan enters the Gulf of Corinth off the coast of Greece as Francesco continues his voyage from Venice to Istanbul. The boat must manoeuvre under the Rio Antirio bridge and then navigate the narrow Corinth Canal, which separates mainland Greece from the Peloponnese.
At Mount Parnassus, Francesco visits the mystical site of the great Delphic Oracle, the greatest prophetess of the ancient world. She would talk in riddles but her pronouncements determined everything from events of state to romance and marriage. Mount Parnassus was also home to the Pythian games, forerunners of the modern Olympic Games.
Next stop is Athens. Often dismissed as a busy, noisy and overcrowded city, the Greeks prefer to see Athens as the biggest village in the country. Athens was the capital of the ancient Classical world and home to the Acropolis. Birthplace of western art, it is also the site of one of Venice's greatest atrocities against art and culture - an attack on the sacred temple of Parthenon that almost destroyed it. The attack also resulted in a massive loss of human life. Francesco sees the damage from the 700 cannonballs, still evident today. Francesco also has a date in Athens - the woman with the greatest singing voice ever to emerge from Greece - Nana Mouskouri. As they stroll through the romantic setting of Athens's National Gardens, can Francesco persuade Nana to serenade him?
WED 20:00 Sacred Wonders of Britain (b03qkzbp)
Neil Oliver examines how the creation of saints by the early church led to a new generation of sacred wonders across Britain. On Iona, in the Inner Hebrides, Neil discovers the traditional resting place of Macbeth. He also delves back through time to discover how St Columba sanctified the island with a tough brand of monasticism all the way from the Egyptian desert. On Lindisfarne, Neil sees how the epic journey of St Cuthbert led to the writing of the extraordinary Lindisfarne Gospels and the building of Durham Cathedral.
At Canterbury Cathedral, Neil learns how St Thomas Becket's grisly murder was harnessed to build its nave, one of the great glories of medieval architecture, and on Glastonbury Tor in Somerset, he investigates layer after layer of powerful legend in the story of the Holy Grail, the sacred cup of everlasting life.
WED 21:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b0bgnwy3)
Petworth House in West Sussex is one of the great Baroque treasure houses of England, and Dr Bendor Grosvenor finds two paintings which he feels warrant investigation: a portrait of a lady from Genoa which was once attributed to Rubens, but Bendor is convinced is by Anthony van Dyck, and a portrait of a young cardinal in the style of Titian, which Bendor believes may be by Titian himself.
The restoration of the possible Titian starts to reveal a painting of two halves - the face and upper parts are the work of a very fine painter indeed, but the lower section with a badly painted hand is found to be a later repair with some very crude stitching adding an extra section of canvas to the bottom of the picture.
While work continues, Bendor travels to Italy to look at some Titian masterpieces to support our understanding of his genius. In Titian's home city of Venice, he explains how the peculiar damp climate of the city led to canvas becoming the preferred medium for Venetian painters. He tells us how colour became the defining characteristic of the city's art and how Anthony van Dyck was so struck by Titian's paintings that he spent years in Italy following in his footsteps to study his techniques.
Bendor's final visit is to the city of Genoa, where the Petworth portrait of a lady was painted. He shows us some works by van Dyck made in the city in support of his attribution of the picture to the Flemish master.
Emma Dabiri explores the story of the third Earl of Egremont, who inherited Petworth in 1763 when he was 12. He had 15 mistresses, who all lived in the house, and he eventually had 43 children - all illegitimate. He died leaving no heir. He had a colourful life and was a friend and patron of JMW Turner. His Petworth Emigration Scheme allowed him to support the journeys of his tenants to start a new life in Canada - though, Emma discovers, it was quite advantageous for the earl to reduce his expanding workforce.
Emma also tells the story of the acceptance of Petworth's extraordinary art collection for the nation in lieu of tax - the first time paintings and sculpture had been used in this way. A new act of parliament was required, and Petworth became a pioneering arrangement that has led to similar
WED 22:00 The Culture Show (b0513ghb)
Holbein: Eye of the Tudors - A Culture Show Special
As Henry VIII's court painter, Hans Holbein witnessed and recorded the most notorious era in English history.
He painted most of the major characters of the age and created the famous image of the king himself that everyone still recognises today. But who really was Holbein? Where did he come from? And what were the dark and unsettling secrets hidden in his art?
Waldemar Januszczak looks at the life and work of an artist who became famous for bringing the Tudor age to life, but who could have been so many other things.
WED 23:00 On Camera: Photographers at the BBC (b08jgr3w)
Drawing on the BBC's rich archive, this documentary reveals the working practices, lives and opinions of some of the greatest photographers since the 1950s. From Norman Parkinson to David Bailey, Eve Arnold to Jane Bown, Henri Cartier-Bresson to Martin Parr, for decades the BBC has drawn our attention to the creators of what has become the most ubiquitous, contemporary art form.
Pioneering BBC programmes like Arena, Monitor and Omnibus have given unique insights into the careers of photography's leading practitioners. Through a selection of fascinating clips, this programme brings into focus the key genres - fashion, portraiture, documentary and landscape - and the characters behind the camera who have helped define them.
WED 00:00 Treasures of the Indus (b06bblwb)
Of Gods and Men
In a journey across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Sona Datta traces the development of the Hindu religion from its origins as an amalgamation of local faith traditions to its dominant position today. She uncovers this fascinating tale by looking at the buildings in which the faith evolved, moving from the caves and rock temples on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Mahabalipurem, through the monolithic stone temple at Tanjavur to the vast complex of ornately carved towers, tanks and courtyards at Madurai, where every evening the god Shiva processes around the precincts to visit the bedchamber of his partner Parvati.
WED 01:00 Genius of the Ancient World (b066d0v5)
In the final episode, Bettany travels to China on the trail of Confucius, a great sage of Chinese history whose ideas have fundamentally shaped the country of his birth for around 2,500 years.
WED 02:00 Sacred Wonders of Britain (b03qkzbp)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
WED 03:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b0bgnwy3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
THURSDAY 30 AUGUST 2018
THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bhmpgj)
In a Twitter tirade, Donald Trump steps up his attacks on everyone from the press to the Supreme Court.
A close friend of John McCain tells Christian Fraser and Katty Kay her favourite memories of him.
And a Jewish Labour MP reacts to the resignation of Frank Field.
THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b0bhmyyh)
Janice Long and Simon Bates present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 20 March 1986. Featuring Jim Diamond, Pet Shop Boys, Cliff Richard and The Young Ones, The Real Thing, Diana Ross and Mister Mister.
THU 20:00 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjqcv)
Revelations and Revolutions
Professor Jim Al-Khalili tells the electrifying story of our quest to master nature's most mysterious force - electricity. Until fairly recently, electricity was seen as a magical power, but it is now the lifeblood of the modern world and underpins every aspect of our technological advancements.
Without electricity, we would be lost. This series tells of dazzling leaps of imagination and extraordinary experiments - a story of maverick geniuses who used electricity to light our cities, to communicate across the seas and through the air, to create modern industry and to give us the digital revolution.
Electricity is not just something that creates heat and light, it connects the world through networks and broadcasting. After centuries of man's experiments with electricity, the final episode tells the story of how a new age of real understanding dawned - how we discovered electric fields and electromagnetic waves. Today we can hardly imagine life without electricity - it defines our era. As our understanding of it has increased so has our reliance upon it, and today we are on the brink of a new breakthrough, because if we can understand the secret of electrical superconductivity, we could once again transform the world.
THU 21:00 The No 5 War (b0bh5v16)
The story, both thrilling and dark, of the world's most famous perfume. In 1921, Coco Chanel's revolutionary perfume concept was as audacious as her outlandish designer clothing. At its launch, it was an instant hit. From the 1920s to the 1940s the Number 5 brand was at the centre of a war between the celebrated designer and her entrepreneurial business partners, the Wertheimer brothers. During WWII, with the help of her high-ranking Nazi lover, Coco Chanel attempted to oust her Jewish partners - who had fled German-occupied France and were operating the business from New Jersey - to take control of the highly lucrative business.
THU 22:00 Tankies: Tank Heroes of World War II (b01pvbds)
The Second World War was the ultimate conflict of the machine age, and the tank was its iconic symbol. The 'tankies' who fought inside had experience of much of the conflict from the fall of France to the deserts of Africa, from the invasion of Italy to D-Day, and on to the final victory in Germany.
In this two-part series, historian, BBC diplomatic editor and former officer in the Royal Tank Regiment, Mark Urban tells the story of six remarkable men from one armoured unit - the Fifth Royal Tank Regiment, also known as the Filthy Fifth.
Using first-hand testimony from the last surviving veterans alongside previously unseen letters and diaries, Mark brings the story of an extraordinary 'band of brothers' to life, in visceral detail. At the same time he analyses the evolution of tank production in Britain and illustrates how we fell far behind our German enemies in both technology and tactics, relying instead on dogged determination and a relentless drive to victory, whatever the costs.
In part one, Mark begins his journey in northern France, introducing our band of brothers in the midst of the fall of France and the retreat to Dunkirk. Characters such as 'rookie' tank driver Gerry Solomon join veterans, themselves still only in their twenties, such as and Jake Wardrop and Harry Finlayson.
Mark then follows in the tankies' footsteps across the deserts of North Africa. Here he looks at the game-changing tank battles of Sidi Rezegh, Alam Halfa and, of course, the battle that changed the course of the Second World War - Alamein. He then takes us back to England where the tankies expect a well-earned rest, instead they are confronted with the news that as battle-hardened troops they must fight again, this time on the beaches of Normandy.
With spectacular archive footage, including rarely seen colour footage, it brings to life the Second World War from a unique point of view.
THU 23:00 Filthy Cities (b010fhhk)
Just 200 years ago, Paris was famously one of the foulest and smelliest cities in Europe. In this programme historian Dan Snow sniffs out the rotten story of the French revolution.
Stunning CGI reveals the stinking streets where ordinary people slaved in toxic industries and suffered grotesque poverty and disease. Dan immerses himself in their world, visiting a perfumer to recreate the stench of the 18th-century city. He has a go at one of the worst jobs in history - tanning leather by 18th-century methods using dog excrement and urine - to make exquisite luxury goods that only the filthy rich could afford.
He gets a rare glimpse of the private rooms of infamous Queen Marie Antoinette at the glittering palace of Versailles and reveals some surprising facts about the royal court. Plus he comes face to face with the ultimate killing machine - the gruesome guillotine. Dan finds out what happened to the thousands of bodies that overflowed in the cemeteries of Paris during The Terror.
Dan discovers how monumental filth and injustice drove Parisians to a bloody revolution which would transform their city and give birth to a new republic.
THU 00:00 Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession (b00s2wvh)
Windows on the World
In a series about the extraordinary stories behind maps, Professor Jerry Brotton uncovers how maps aren't simply about getting from A to B, but are revealing snapshots of defining moments in history and tools of political power and persuasion.
Visiting the world's first known map, etched into the rocks of a remote alpine hillside 3,000 years ago, Brotton explores how each culture develops its own unique, often surprising way of mapping. As Henry VIII's stunning maps of the British coastline from a bird's-eye view show, they were also used to exert control over the world.
During the Enlightenment, the great French Cassini dynasty pioneered the western quest to map the world with greater scientific accuracy, leading also to the British Ordnance Survey. But these new scientific methods were challenged by cultures with alternative ways of mapping, such as in a Polynesian navigator's map which has no use for north, south and east.
As scientifically accurate map-making became a powerful tool of European expansion, the British carved the state of Iraq out of the Middle East. When the British drew up Iraq's boundaries, they had devastating consequences for the nomadic tribes of Mesopotamia.
THU 01:00 Planet Oil: The Treasure That Conquered the World (b053gf85)
By the early 1950s, a holy trinity of oil, plastics and fertilisers had transformed the planet. But as Professor Iain Stewart reveals, when the oil-producing countries demanded a greater share in profits from the western energy companies, the oil and gas fields of the Middle East became a focus for coup d'etats and military conflict.
In the North Sea, Prof Stewart recalls the race against time to find alternative supplies in the shallow, but turbulent waters both here and in America's Gulf coast.
The offshore discoveries in the 1970s proved to be a game changer. It marked an engineering revolution, the moment when 'difficult' oil and gas (previously unviable sources) could be commercially produced from the ocean depths. It was the moment when Western Europe and the US finally unshackled themselves from their 20th-century energy security nightmare.
THU 02:00 Hokusai: Old Man Crazy to Paint (b08w9lv6)
The first UK film biography of the world-renowned Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), whose print The Great Wave is as globally famous as Leonardo's Mona Lisa. With Andy Serkis reading the voice of Hokusai, the film features artists David Hockney and Maggi Hambling, and passionate scholars who study, admire and venerate this great Japanese master.
The film focuses on Hokusai's work, life and times in the great, bustling metropolis of Edo, now modern Tokyo. Using extraordinary close-ups and pioneering 8K Ultra HD video technology, Hokusai's prints and paintings are examined by world experts. In the process they reveal new interpretations of famous works and convey the full extent of Hokusai's extraordinary achievement as a great world artist.
Hokusai spent his life studying and celebrating our common humanity as well as deeply exploring the natural and spiritual worlds, using the famous volcano Mount Fuji as a protective presence and potential source of immortality. He knew much personal tragedy, was struck by lightning and lived for years in poverty, but never gave up his constant striving for perfection in his art. Hokusai influenced Monet, Van Gogh and other Impressionists, is the father of manga, and has his own Great Wave emoji.
THU 03:00 Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity (p00kjqcv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRIDAY 31 AUGUST 2018
FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0bgnpyb)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
FRI 19:30 BBC Proms (b0bhf7th)
Marin Alsop Conducts Bernstein
Superstar conductor Marin Alsop returns to the Royal Albert Hall with a pair of masterpieces by her mentor Leonard Bernstein in the American cultural giant's centenary year. Joining her from across the Atlantic is the energetic Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, performing at the Proms for the first time.
The concert opens with Slava!, which Bernstein dedicated to virtuoso cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, followed by the composer's Second Symphony - The Age of Anxiety, performed by world-class pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. The evening culminates in Shostakovich's politically-charged Fifth Symphony.
FRI 21:30 Top of the Pops (b0bhmzs6)
Janice Long and John Peel present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 3 April 1986. Featuring Big Audio Dynamite, George Michael, A-Ha, The Real Thing, Cliff Richard and the Young Ones, The Style Council and Falco.
FRI 22:00 TOTP2 (b00v2jvx)
Mark Radcliffe takes us back through the Top of the Pops archives to get us in the mood for going back to school. Featuring music from The Jackson 5, Alice Cooper, Busted, the cast of Grange Hill and the St Winifred's School Choir.
FRI 23:00 BBC Proms (b0bhf5w9)
Andras Schiff Plays Bach
At the 2017 Proms, world-renowned pianist and Bach specialist Sir Andras Schiff gave an acclaimed performance of the whole of Book One of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier. He returns to complete his journey through Bach's extraordinary work with a performance of Book Two of The Well-Tempered Clavier.
FRI 01:25 Petula Clark Live in Berlin (b080dwxw)
Actress, songwriter and above all singer, Petula Clark is a music legend. With a career spanning nearly eight decades she has sold more than 68 million records worldwide and is back touring the UK. Playing live in Berlin for the first time she performs hits like Downtown, Don't Sleep in the Subway and Couldn't Live Without Your Love, as well as songs from her new album From Now On, including Sacrifice My Heart and a collaboration with Charles Aznavour - Pour Etre Aime de Toi.
FRI 02:25 TOTP2 (b00v2jvx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 today