In a Slow TV Christmas special, BBC Four rigs a traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera for a magical journey across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Following the path of an ancient postal route, the ride captures the traditional world of the Sami people who are indigenous to northern Scandinavia and for whom reindeer herding remains a way of life.
Filmed in Karasjok, Norway - 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle - this journey takes us through breathtaking scenery not normally glimpsed by anyone other than the Sami. Deliberately unhurried, the rhythmic pace of the reindeer guides us along an epic two-hour trip that takes us over undulating snowy hills, through birch forests, across a frozen lake and past traditional Sami settlements.
Facts about the reindeer, natural history, Sami culture and the Arctic climate are delivered by graphics and archive stills embedded into the passing landscape. With no commentary, music or presenter - just the crunching of snow and the soft tinkle of a reindeer bell - this hypnotic sleigh ride is an enchanting experience to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
Sandra has fallen into the clutches of the killer, who is keeping her captive and intends to subject her, and her former lovers, to the same treatment he had given his previous victims. Meanwhile, the police investigation, now headed by Justine and Max, is getting nowhere, as Audrey Solange refuses to talk. And, worried about Sandra's whereabouts, Catherine does some investigating of her own.
Will Sandra manage to get away from Geir Jansen, or will she become his next 'bride'? What has happened to Eric and Sandra's other former lovers? Will Catherine find her baby? And who is the Minotaur? What power did he exert over the children at Mt Saint Michel orphanage?
Public support for the war declines, and American men of draft age face difficult decisions and wrenching moral choices. After police battle with demonstrators on the streets of Chicago, Richard Nixon wins the presidency, promising law and order at home and peace overseas. In Vietnam, the war goes on and soldiers on all sides witness terrible savagery and unflinching courage.
Comedian Rich Hall goes to the Lone Star state in search of the real Texas and asks what it means to be a Texan. From the Alamo to the oil industry and everything in between, Rich explores the landscape, the people and the true heart of this historic state.
With the help of scholars, ranchers and musicians, Rich explores every aspect of what it is to be a Texan. He not only seeks the truth behind so many myths and legends in history and on screen, but gets to the very soul and explores how this land and its people has made such an impact on the rest of the world.
Rich goes from the ranches of Marfa to the music of Austin and the oil fields of Beaumont, and incorporates interviews, archive clips of some of cinema's finest films, historical photographs and footage, all brought together with his customary wit and intelligence.
This is an insight into the Texan psyche through its politics, sports, movies, industries and lifestyle, to find out if everything really is bigger in Texas.
Documentary looking at the wildlife of the most stunning mountain range in the world, home to snow leopards, Himalayan wolves and Tibetan bears.
Snow leopards stalk their prey among the highest peaks. Concealed by snowfall, the chase is watched by golden eagles circling above. On the harsh plains of the Tibetan plateau live extraordinary bears and square-faced foxes hunting small rodents to survive. In the alpine forests, dancing pheasants have even influenced rival border guards in their ritualistic displays. Valleys carved by glacial waters lead to hillsides covered by paddy fields containing the lifeline to the east, rice. In this world of extremes, the Himalayas reveal not only snow-capped mountains and fascinating animals but also a vital lifeline for humanity.
Writer Elizabeth Kinder embarks on a journey through Andalusia from Malaga to Cadiz to find the soul of flamenco, the beguiling mix of guitar, song and dance strongly associated with southern Spain's gypsies.
Featuring performances from gypsy blacksmiths to goat herders, the documentary reveals a glimpse of a timeless way of life as it has been preserved down the centuries. The history of this mysterious music and its relationship to Spain is explored in chocolate box locations including Moron de la Frontera, Granada, Seville and Jerez and the programme also features rare archive of notable artists such as Camaron de la Isla and Diego Del Gastor.
SUNDAY 17 DECEMBER 2017
SUN 19:00 Only Connect (b09jhj1b)
Detectives v Arrowheads
Victoria Coren Mitchell hosts the series where knowledge will only take you so far. Patience and lateral thinking are also vital.
The Detectives and Arrowheads return for tonight's round two game. They compete to draw together the connections between things which at first glance, seem utterly random. So join Victoria if you want to know what connects Man-Killer, Penthesilea, Sharron Davies and Jeff Bezos company.
SUN 19:30 Great Continental Railway Journeys (b08lh36h)
Series 4 - Reversions
The Black Forest to Hannover - Part 2
With his 1913 Bradshaw's in hand, Michael Portillo ventures deep into the Black Forest on a quest to discover the essence of Germany and discovers how Hansel and Gretel helped to unify the nation. A humbling master class in carving cuckoo clocks shows him how the nation's reputation for quality and reliability in manufacturing was established from the early 18th century.
A romantic stop at the ruined Schloss in Heidelberg follows before Michael gets an insider's guide to share dealing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
At Goettingen University, Michael discovers two sides of student life at the turn of the 20th century - the duelling fraternities and the groundbreaking scientists, who laid the foundation for Germany's world-class transport technology today. Braving the force of the Goettingen wind tunnel, Michael investigates the track where model trains are fired at up to 360km per hour.
SUN 20:00 Mrs Dickens's Family Christmas (b018nt6m)
Looking at the marriage of Charles Dickens through the eyes of his wife Catherine, Sue Perkins exposes the lesser known reality of the Dickens family Christmas - very different from the heart-warming versions he presented in A Christmas Carol.
Sue turns her attention to the woman behind the man, revealing parallels between the female characters he created and his changing affections for his wife, namely, in Dickens's mind, her transition from innocent virgin to middle-aged frump.
Scrutinising Dickens's public defence in a national newspaper of his treatment toward Catherine, Sue seeks to set the record straight, promulgating her unconditional love for Dickens and support for his career.
Along the way, she has plenty of laughs, evokes the realities of Victorian marriage, interviews many of today's leading biographers of Mr and Mrs Dickens, explores Charles's role in creating Christmas as we know it - and gets to make a twelfth night cake.
SUN 21:00 The Mystery of Edwin Drood (b09kdjkz)
A period drama adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens.
Opium addict and choirmaster John Jasper has vivid dreams of killing his beloved nephew Edwin Drood and stealing his fiancée Rosa. When two exotic strangers arrive in town, Jasper's dark desires take shape and his life will never be the same again.
SUN 23:00 The Sky at Night (b06t3wst)
The Real Star of Bethlehem: A Christmas Special
Astronomers have been fascinated by the idea of the Star of Bethlehem for centuries. Did it exist? And if so, what was it?
The list of candidates includes some of the most exciting objects in the night sky - supernovae, comets, meteors and unusual alignments of the giant planets.
In this surprising and entertaining Christmas special the Sky at Night team go in search of the potential causes of the Star of Bethlehem.
The team explore the possibilities, investigating the nature of the phenomena and digging through the historical records including Babylonian clay tablets and ancient Chinese manuscripts, to reconstruct events in the night sky 2,000 years ago.
Maggie Aderin-Pocock goes hunting for supernovae using the most powerful laser in Britain, and discovers that these mighty explosions caused by the death of stars can shine brighter than the moon in our sky.
Chris Lintott reconstructs the night sky over Jerusalem at the time of Jesus's birth, discovering a once-in-a-millennium conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter that was first suggested as a cause of the star by the great astronomer Johannes Kepler in 1604.
Armed with his telescope, Pete Lawrence searches out the features of the night sky we can observe today that may provide clues to the origin of the Star of Bethlehem.
Professor Alan Fitzsimmons explains why the sudden appearance of a comet in the night sky has always been seen as an omen of great events on Earth.
Dallas Campbell goes in search of the historical and archaeological records that can shed light on the identity of the star. Finding Babylonian tablets in the vaults of the British Museum and ancient Chinese texts that record all the unusual events in the night sky 2,000 years ago, including a bright new star that appeared for 70 days in the year 5BC.
SUN 00:00 The Genius of Marie Curie - The Woman Who Lit up the World (b01s954d)
Over 80 years after her death, Marie Curie remains by far the best-known female scientist. In her lifetime, she became that rare thing - a celebrity scientist, attracting the attention of the news cameras and tabloid gossip. They were fascinated because she was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and is still the only person to have won two Nobels in two different sciences. But while the bare bones of her scientific life, the obstacles she had to overcome, the years of painstaking research and the penalty she ultimately paid for her discovery of radium have become one of the iconic stories of scientific heroism, there is another side to Marie Curie - her human story.
This multi-layered film reveals the real Marie Curie, an extraordinary woman who fell in love three times, had to survive the pain of loss, and the public humiliation of a doomed love affair. It is a riveting portrait of a tenacious mother and scientist, who opened the door on a whole new realm of physics, which she discovered and named - radioactivity.
SUN 01:00 Roger Bannister: Everest on the Track (b07lxs4s)
On 6 May 1954, Roger Bannister became the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. He was the epitome of Britain's disappearing scholar-athlete ideal.
The lunchtime-trained runner, immersed in his medical school studies, injected a booster shot into Britain's flagging but still flickering morale. This documentary is as much an historical study of Britain's search for something to erase the woes of the Second World War as it is a fresh look at the story of the quest for the first four-minute mile, previously deemed physically impossible. The story is told by Sir Roger himself, his rival John Landy, Seb Coe and the late Chris Chataway - Bannister's friend and pacesetter - among many others.
SUN 02:00 Timeshift (b044yw1d)
Mods, Rockers and Bank Holiday Mayhem
A trip back to the days when 'style wars' were just that - violent confrontations about the clothes you wore. Spring 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the bank holiday 'battles of the beaches', when hundreds of mods and rockers flocked to seaside resorts on scooters and motorbikes in search of thrills and spills.
Timeshift tells the story of how this led to violence, arrests and widespread concern about the state of British youth. But mods and rockers had more in common than was first obvious - they were the first generation of baby boomers to reach their teenage years at a time when greater prosperity and wider freedoms were transforming what it meant to be young.
SUN 03:00 The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers (b09j2vvp)
Alinka Echeverria reveals how artists became the authors of Mexico's official history, defining the origins of its power and wielding significant influence over millennia.
Following the Mexican Revolution that began in 1910, landscape paintings established a new style that was resolutely Mexican, and confirmed the re-established connections between Mexico's indigenous population and their land. Forces of nature and Mexico's landscape continue to be integral to the Mexican sense of artistic identity.
The relationship between art and power can be seen throughout world history. But Alinka argues that Mexico differs. Not only did indigenous artists project the power of the elites in its ancient civilisations, artists became the authors of Mexican history and the power brokers in the struggles for political dominance.
In Mexico's history, power changes hands quickly and often violently. The city state of Cholula dominated central Mesoamerica around 1,000 years ago, but fell to Spanish conquistadors in the space of a day.
Nearly 500 years later, one of the largest triumphal arches in the world was intended to express the unassailable power of Porfirio Diaz. But before the arch was completed, the Mexican Revolution swept Diaz from power. The fragile nation needed a new national story to provide unity and stability. Art was to create it.
Diego Rivera painted a spectacular sweep of Mexican history as he, and the government who commissioned him, wanted it understood. It was origin myth and propaganda rolled into one. The power of art to establish Mexican nationalism was extraordinary. Frida Kahlo used her considerable influence to make the personal political, in both gender politics and amplifying indigenous voices.
Today, nowhere is it more important to express Mexican power and identity than at its borders. In Tijuana, on the border with the United States, the creativity of individual artists and collectives is fired by matters of everyday politics and the proximity to their northern neighbour. The results underline how art and power in Mexico are inextricably linked.
MONDAY 18 DECEMBER 2017
MON 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09jhvsx)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
MON 19:30 University Challenge (b086y91b)
Magdalene, Cambridge v St Hilda's, Oxford
A festive edition of the quiz, featuring distinguished university alumni. In this penultimate first round match, both teams battle for a place in the semi-finals. Magdalene College, Cambridge, featuring radio and TV presenter Clemency Burton-Hill and Harry Potter film director Mike Newell, take on St Hilda's College, Oxford, with crime writer Val McDermid and historian Daisy Dunn. Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.
MON 20:00 Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life (b08ry3sw)
Northern Mexico is the country’s driest region, dominated by two great deserts; the Sonoran and Chihuahuan. And as you travel west the conditions get hotter, drier and more challenging. In this film we unravel the forces that have created this arid world and discover that for the animals who live here, from prairie dog and pygmy owls to rare aplomado falcons, overcoming these conditions can bring rich rewards.
MON 21:00 The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers (b09jj0k0)
In this final episode, Alinka explores how faith has always driven life in Mexico, and how the need for a visual image created a unique blend of Mesoamerican and Catholic faith.
Artists were kept close to the elites in Mexico's ancient civilisations to depict the deities that were the foundations of the society's structures and beliefs. Gods and goddesses were created in the mind's eye of millions, who in turn worshipped the imagery that the artists provided.
When the Spanish imposed Catholicism, the notion of venerating the divine using iconography already existed. And in some of Mexico's most spectacular art, iconography incorporating both Mesoamerican and Catholic belief can be found. This unique hybridity could only exist in Mexico, where art has long been crucial to the personal relationship between believer and the divine. Ex-votos paintings are offerings of thanks to saints and expressions of devotion. They have long been the preserve of poor and rural Mexicans, and depict very personal situations.
Today, one artist is pushing the boundaries of belief, incorporating symbols of secular culture and consumerism with religious iconography. Even as the power of the church wains in Mexico, religious imagery can still be found everywhere.
MON 22:00 Handmade in Mexico (b09jj0k2)
Alebrijes are brightly coloured, fantastical creatures, carved from copal wood and decorated in extremely detailed paintwork. Different animals and their characteristics are associated with different birth dates, and the patterns are full of symbols and meaning. Consequently, the sculpture contains often complex and personal narratives.
MON 22:30 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b07yqgl3)
Bendor and Jacky visit the Ulster Museum to investigate what have long been disregarded as low-value copies of works by Flemish artist Peter Breughel the Younger. They also visit the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, in which a controversial painting once slashed with a knife is now kept in a room away from public view. The subject is believed to be William III and the pope - these two characters in one picture would be guaranteed to rouse the passions on both sides of the sectarian divide. But has the painting been a case of mistaken identity? Bendor and Jacky investigate.
MON 23:30 Kiri Te Kanawa at the BBC (b08h918x)
The charismatic New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa looks back at her life in song through forty years of classic performances from the BBC archives, from her first TV performance on The Harry Secombe Show in 1971 to her appearances on Top of the Pops to sing the rugby anthem World in Union in 1991, plus performances from the Last Night of the Proms and Terry Wogan's chat show.
Dame Kiri's dramatic and operatic skills are captured in the Royal Opera's production of Puccini's Manon, she describes working with Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti and on Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio, and she recalls the royal wedding in 1981 at which she sang Handel's Let the Bright Seraphim to a global TV audience of 700 million.
There's documentary footage of the house where Kiri grew up in New Zealand (now a car park), she vividly evokes the East End of London, where she studied as a student when she first came to London, and we see her goofing around on the golf course with Placido Domingo.
As Dame Kiri says in her candid new interview for this programme in which she reflects on her BBC appearances, "If I look back what you have is snippets of my life, I suppose.".
MON 00:30 Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life (b08ry3sw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
MON 01:30 The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers (b09jj0k0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
MON 02:30 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (b07yqgl3)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:30 today
TUESDAY 19 DECEMBER 2017
TUE 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09jhvt2)
Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London return to report on the events that are shaping the world.
TUE 19:30 University Challenge (b086ydy0)
Bristol v Nottingham
A festive edition of the quiz, featuring distinguished university alumni. In the last first-round match, both teams battle for a place in the semi-finals. The University of Bristol team includes economist Will Hutton and Channel 4 presenter Kate Quilton. Playing them is the Nottingham University team, with weather presenter Nick Miller and Olympic canoeist David Florence. Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.
TUE 20:00 Armada: 12 Days to Save England (b05yxltf)
The final episode of a three-part drama-documentary series telling the story of how England came within a whisker of disaster in summer 1588.
Newly discovered documents reveal a remarkable web of misunderstandings that stopped the Spanish from invading, and show how the English victory forged the reputation of Elizabeth.
TUE 21:00 Invasion! with Sam Willis (b09jj0md)
In this final programme, Sam Willis continues to tell the story of the invasions that have shaped Britain. He finds evidence of the rich legacy of the Huguenots who came to Britain bringing fine silks and the latest technological developments. He also discovers the ingenious French plans to invade Britain by balloon and the subterranean fortress built for troops in the 19th century when invasion paranoia was at fever pitch.
TUE 22:00 The Science of D-Day (b045gr8m)
In June 1944, one of the greatest amphibious assaults in history was launched from the south coast of England. Within a matter of hours, 7,000 vessels had landed 156,000 troops on the beaches of Normandy. It was a manoeuvre that changed the course of the war and tested innovations in science and engineering for the first time.
In this programme, engineer Rob Bell looks at the nuts and bolts which made such a staggering invasion possible - from giant troop-carrying gliders to tanks that could drive on water - and how necessity really did become the mother of invention. Like all new inventions, not all of them worked and resulted in devastating consequences. We find out why. This is the science of D-Day.
TUE 22:30 Flying Scotsman: Sounds from the Footplate (b087k5rf)
Another chance to enjoy the view from the driving seat of the world's most famous steam locomotive as Flying Scotsman travels the length of the Severn Valley Railway.
Special 'cab cameras' and microphones capture all the action from the footplate - this time without commentary. Viewers can appreciate the evocative sound of steam transportation as this magnificent engine attracts crowds from far and wide.
Veteran driver Roger Norfolk and fireman Ryan Green guide Scotsman on the leisurely journey through the countryside of the English midlands, from Bridgnorth in Shropshire to Kidderminster in Worcestershire. Hundreds of enthusiasts also watch and wave from platforms, bridges and surrounding fields.
TUE 23:30 Timeshift (b068fvln)
The Trains That Time Forgot: Britain's Lost Railway Journeys
Timeshift journeys back to a lost era of rail travel, when trains had names, character and style. Once the pride of the railway companies that ran them, the named train is now largely consigned to railway history.
Writer and presenter Andrew Martin asks why we once named trains and why we don't do so anymore. He embarks on three railway journeys around Britain, following the routes of three of the most famous named trains - the Flying Scotsman, the Cornish Riviera Express and the Brighton Belle. We reflect on travel during the golden age of railways - when the journey itself was as important as reaching your destination - and compare those same journeys with the passenger experience today.
TUE 00:30 Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life (b08ry3sw)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Monday
TUE 01:30 Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections (b0376y1l)
Britain's country houses are home to astonishing world-class art collections full of priceless old masters and more. In this three-part series art historian Helen Rosslyn opens the doors of some of our most impressive country houses to tell the story of how so many great paintings came to Britain and of the adventurous men and women who brought them here.
In the first episode she reveals the immense influence of the 17th-century pioneer collectors such as Thomas Howard, the 'Collector' Earl of Arundel, King Charles I and his entourage known as the Whitehall Group. Rosslyn explores how this group also brought a taste for the Baroque to Britain, commissioning continental artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck and later Antonio Verrio.
Featuring Verrio's extraordinary Hell Staircase at Burghley House in Cambridgeshire, as well as highlights from the collections at Arundel Castle in Sussex and Wilton House in Wiltshire, the series offers not only a visual treat but a surprising narrative to our national treasures.
TUE 02:35 ArtWorks Scotland (b021ncdh)
The Man Who Collected the World: William Burrell
William Burrell made a fortune out of shipping and spent it on art. Over his long life, he assembled one of the most remarkable private collections of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics and stained glass in the world and in 1944 he donated it all - over 9,000 objects - to the city of Glasgow. The Burrell Collection finally opened to the public in 1983, but the building that bears his name contains no tribute to Burrell and he never commissioned a portrait of himself.
Kirsty Wark tells the story of the self-effacing collector and tours the highlights of his collection in the company of its curators.
WEDNESDAY 20 DECEMBER 2017
WED 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09jhvt7)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
WED 19:30 University Challenge (b086yfyd)
It is the second of the semi-finals in the University Challenge quiz for grown-ups.
Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.
WED 20:00 The Two Ronnies (b00gfq54)
An Old-Fashioned Christmas Mystery
Festive fun with Ronnies Corbett and Barker from Christmas 1973. The magnificent two - well, one and a half. What are they doing on Christmas Eve 1874?
WED 21:00 The Two Ronnies (b04k5znq)
1982 Christmas Special
Seasonal entertainment from 1982 with Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett, plus special guest David Essex.
WED 22:00 The Story of Fairytale of New York (b0074f8x)
For the first time in 18 years, all eight members of The Pogues return to the studio where their biggest hit - and the nation's favourite Christmas song - was recorded. The song's producer Steve Lillywhite strips Fairytale down to the basics, and director Peter Dougherty reveals the tricks behind the making of the video - including how a cameo from Hollywood star Matt Dillon stopped The Pogues from almost being arrested. With contributions from Matt Dillon, Nick Cave, Jools Holland and of course Shane MacGowan and The Pogues, it lifts the lid on this seminal track and reveals the secrets behind its making.
WED 23:00 TOTP2 (b01pm5m1)
Mark Radcliffe digs deep into the archives to deliver some familiar and unfamiliar festive treats. Straight from the vaults are some perennial Christmas favourites from the likes of Slade, Wizzard, Shaky, Wham, Macca and Jona Lewie.
Also, this year there is a punk Christmas vibe with The Ramones and the ultimate post-punk supergroup The Greedies with Phil Lynott on vox and a smattering of Sex Pistols as backup band.
French chanteuse Francoise Hardy pops up in a winter wonderland setting, and the queen of gospel Mahalia Jackson spoils us with a soulful performance of Silent Night from 1964.
And not forgetting the usual fun with The Wombles, The Snowmen and The Barron Knights and their 60s Christmas medley impersonating all the greats. Mikey Dread wishes us all a reggae reggae Christmas. All in all, a collection of special archive performances designed to help you and your kin have a very merry Christmas!
WED 00:30 The Two Ronnies (b00gfq54)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
WED 01:30 Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections (b037c5gt)
The Golden Age
With Britain's country houses being home to world-class art collections full of priceless old masters and more, this three-part series sees art historian Helen Rosslyn tell the story of how great art has been brought to Britain by passionate collectors and how these same collectors have also turned patron and commissioned work from the cream of their contemporary crop of painters.
In this episode she focuses on the 18th century, the Grand Tour era when aristocrats filled their Palladian villas with masterpieces by 17th-century classical painters. Throwing open the doors of some of our most magnificent stately homes, Rosslyn visits Holkham Hall in Norfolk to view the Grand Tour collection there, before going on to explore the legacy of the Dukes of Richmond at Goodwood House. She also visits Petworth House in Sussex, where the one-time Lord Egremont patronised JMW Turner.
WED 02:30 Timeshift (b068fvln)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:30 on Tuesday
THURSDAY 21 DECEMBER 2017
THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b09jhvtf)
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
THU 19:30 University Challenge (b086yhrw)
The Grand Final
It is the grand final of this festive competition for alumni from some of the UK's top universities. Which university will be Christmas University Challenge champions?
Jeremy Paxman asks the questions.
THU 20:00 BBC Proms (b08ympvh)
John Williams Film Prom
The BBC Proms celebrates the 85th birthday of the world's favourite film composer, John Williams. The BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart perform some of the best-loved music in cinema history, including movie magic from Star Wars, Harry Potter, ET and Indiana Jones as well as lesser-known gems from John Williams's extraordinary back catalogue. Presented by Katie Derham.
THU 22:00 The Galaxy Britain Built: Droids, Darth Vader and Lightsabers (b09k5l6w)
The Galaxy Britain Built celebrates the British contribution to the original Star Wars.
Presenter and Star Wars fan David Whiteley uncovers some never-before-heard stories from the geniuses who helped build the galaxy, from the costume designer and art director to the man who made the lightsaber. It was a time when science fiction films were not box office draws, and very few people in the industry believed in George Lucas's vision. But his first Star Wars film ended up being a very British endeavour.
The programme documents the behind-the-scenes talent that helped bring the galaxy to life in the late 1970s. It also looks at how the British talent continues to be part of the Star Wars legacy to the present day.
THU 23:00 Hollywood's Master of Myth: Joseph Campbell - the Force Behind Star Wars (b0077sx7)
Documentary which tells the remarkable story of a man whose visionary ideas about myth helped shape the whole Star Wars cycle of films. Joseph Campbell's writings are the missing link between ancient myths and modern movies, Homer and Hollywood 'high concept'. His ideas about the universal appeal of stories involving a 'hero's journey' have also influenced films as diverse as Mad Max and Babe. Campbell himself was a reluctant hero, who lived a scholerly life - he didn't own a television and rarely went to the cinema. Yet Campbell remains a force in Hollywood. With contributions from George Lucas, director George Miller, and writers Robert McKee and Richard Adams, among others.
THU 23:40 Alexander Armstrong's Real Ripping Yarns (b03zqgk1)
Our dashing hero Alexander Armstrong explores the literature that inspired Michael Palin and Terry Jones's classic TV comedy Ripping Yarns, a loving parody of the Boys' Own books and magazines of their childhood. Featuring clips from Ripping Yarns, archive and interviews with experts, modern-day adventurers and Palin and Jones's own memories. In this affectionate and entertaining film Armstrong celebrates a long-lost slice of Britishness.
THU 00:40 Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections (b037nhb9)
The Age of the Individual
Helen Rosslyn explores how collecting reached its maturity in the 19th century when unprecedented wealth from Britain's booming economy encouraged enlightened, philanthropic industrialists to spend their fortunes on art, and in many cases then donate their collections to the nation.
With different taste from the British aristocracy who had dominated collecting to this point, a new breed of art buyer enriched Britain's cultural story by acquiring adventurous and often avant-garde work. Helen looks at the influence of pharmaceutical magnate Thomas Holloway, the Rothschild banking dynasty and the Welsh Davies sisters.
THU 01:40 The Story of Fairytale of New York (b0074f8x)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Wednesday
THU 02:40 Peaky Blinders (b09gvn5j)
As the Shelbys come to terms with the shocking events of Christmas Day, Tommy endeavours to unite his family. Until the current threat is dealt with, their only safe place is together in Small Heath. Johnny Dogs and Charlie set about arming the locals - everyone is now a Peaky bodyguard. Tommy enlists the help of tough Romany Gypsy Aberama Gold, who wants something unusual in return.
Jessie Eden confronts Tommy about the workers' pay. She warns him that revolution is in the air, and when Tommy doesn't relent she calls his bluff. As the situation plays out, Tommy's factory manager tells him he has one more meeting - with a mysterious businessman from Paris. But what transpires is no ordinary meeting with no ordinary businessman...
FRIDAY 22 DECEMBER 2017
FRI 19:00 World News Today (b09jxn31)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
FRI 19:30 TOTP2 (b09jxn35)
This celebratory Christmas compilation voiced by the wonderfully sardonic - even grumpy - but festive voice of Mark Radcliffe guides us down memory lane with staple Christmas TOTP facts and performances that will create the perfect playlist for any Xmas shindig.
This programme of merriment delivers the essential Christmas hits from a tinselled TOTP studio from the likes of Wizzard, Slade, Mariah Carey and The Flying Pickets, along with other vital classics from Kylie and Jason, The Darkness, Abba, The Spice Girls, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and many more to get one and all in the festive spirit!
FRI 21:00 Frank Skinner on George Formby (b016fpz0)
George Formby was a huge star of stage and film. In his heyday he was as big as The Beatles, earning vast sums of money on stage and starring in films which broke box office records. Formby's trademark ukulele still inspires millions of dedicated fans, including comedian and performer Frank Skinner, who believes Formby was the greatest entertainer of his time.
Playing the ukulele and performing the songs that keep the Formby legend alive today, Skinner follows the music hall star's extraordinary rise to fame and fortune, explores his worldwide popularity and reveals the ruthless exploitation that surrounded his sudden and tragic death.
FRI 22:00 Tom Jones's 1950s: The Decade That Made Me (b0788qph)
In this personal journey through his formative years in south Wales in the 1950s, Tom Jones takes us on a trip through the decade of his childhood and adolescence, the years that shaped his ambition, his talent and his tastes and that witnessed an explosion of popular culture and the sweeping aside of the old order.
Television, the movies, the radio and - most importantly - the music of the first rock 'n' roll years give us a unique insight into both the country and the decade that would shape Tom's talent and, in the 60s, make him a star. Tom Jones's 1950s in Pontypridd are told first hand by the man himself as he travels back to his birthplace.
Tom's take on the decade is amplified and explored by a Greek chorus of contributors who share their account of their 50s. Joan Bakewell, Katherine Whitehorn and Michele Hanson share their experiences both as women and from differing class backgrounds, historians Alwyn Turner, Martin Johnes, Francis Beckett and Tony Russell draw the social and political landscape of a rapidly changing decade, while musicians Bruce Welch, Clem Cattini, Marty Wilde and Tom McGuinness talk of how that decade began their musical journeys and changed their lives forever, all illustrated by a rich seam of archive that captures a decade we mostly saw in black and white.
The result is a rich mix of humour, confession and reflection - all brought to life by Tom Jones himself, our guide through the lives and times of a young generation struggling to find its own voice.
FRI 23:00 West Side Stories - The Making of a Classic (b086kfbb)
West Side Story is one of the best-loved musicals of all time. A modern-day Romeo and Juliet, its timeless story and exhilarating dance and music continue to excite audiences around the globe. Songs such as Maria, Somewhere, Tonight and America have all become some of the biggest hits in showbusiness. And yet, West Side Story had an uneasy birth and was even turned away by producers when it was first put together in the 1950s by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents.
Now, as the world prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of West Side Story in 2017, dancer Bruno Tonioli and broadcaster Suzy Klein go in search of the true stories behind the inception of this classic show. For the first time on television, they hear first-hand from those involved in the show when it opened on Broadway in September 1957, including Sondheim himself, producer Hal Prince and original cast members from both show and movie, including Chita Rivera, Carol Lawrence and Rita Moreno. With the BBC Symphony Orchestra and specially cast singers, we relive some of the wonderful music and, in the company of Suzy and Bruno, discover how West Side Story placed the 1950s phenomena of racial tension and teenage gangs centre stage to create a hit that changed musical theatre forever.
FRI 00:00 Michael Grade's Stars of the Musical Theatre (b03kk0s0)
Michael Grade saw Annie Get Your Gun as a small boy in the 1950s and ever since he has been hooked on musicals - and their stars. He and his family have represented some of the world's greatest musical performers and he knows and understands talent. But one question has always fascinated him - is it the musical which creates the star or the star who makes the musical?
In search of answers, Michael interviews stars and directors on both sides of the Atlantic, including Michael Ball, Elaine Paige, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, Hal Prince and Trevor Nunn.
In what way are the qualities of a musical star unique? Michael explores the alchemy of the musical by looking at performances from the 1940s onwards in key shows like Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Evita and Les Miserables - examining the union of musicals that brilliantly reflect their time with performers who can interpret their magic.
Michael uses all the knowledge, taste and judgement he has built up over decades as he sets out to define what it is that makes the great musical stars great.
FRI 01:00 Rock 'n' Roll America (b0623809)
Be My Baby
In the years bookended by Buddy Holly's death in early 1959 and The Beatles landing at JFK in spring 1964, rock 'n' roll calmed down, went uptown and got spun into teen pop in a number of America's biggest cities. Philadelphia produced 'teen idols' like Fabian who were beamed around the country by the daily TV show Bandstand. Young Jewish songwriters in New York's Brill Building drove girl groups on the east coast who gave a female voice to teenage romance. Rock 'n' roll even fuelled the Motown sound in Detroit and soundtracked the sunshiny west coast dream from guitar instrumental groups like The Ventures to LA's emerging Beach Boys.
In the early 60s, rock 'n' roll was birthing increasingly polished pop sounds across the States, but American teens seemed to have settled back into sensible young adulthood. Enter the long-haired boys from Liverpool, Newcastle and London.
Featuring exclusive interviews with Jerry Lee Lewis, Ben E King, Chubby Checker, Ronnie Spector, Barrett Strong, Eric Burdon and Pat Boone.
FRI 02:00 Frank Skinner on George Formby (b016fpz0)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
FRI 03:00 West Side Stories - The Making of a Classic (b086kfbb)
[Repeat of broadcast at 23:00 today
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
Alexander Armstrong's Real Ripping Yarns 23:40 THU (b03zqgk1)
All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride 19:00 SAT (b06t3psw)
Armada: 12 Days to Save England 20:00 TUE (b05yxltf)
ArtWorks Scotland 02:35 TUE (b021ncdh)
BBC Proms 20:00 THU (b08ympvh)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b09jhvsx)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b09jhvt2)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b09jhvt7)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b09jhvtf)
Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections 01:30 TUE (b0376y1l)
Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections 01:30 WED (b037c5gt)
Bought with Love: The Secret History of British Art Collections 00:40 THU (b037nhb9)
Britain's Lost Masterpieces 22:30 MON (b07yqgl3)
Britain's Lost Masterpieces 02:30 MON (b07yqgl3)
Flamenco: Gypsy Soul 02:20 SAT (p01dy1fk)
Flying Scotsman: Sounds from the Footplate 22:30 TUE (b087k5rf)
Frank Skinner on George Formby 21:00 FRI (b016fpz0)
Frank Skinner on George Formby 02:00 FRI (b016fpz0)
Great Continental Railway Journeys 19:30 SUN (b08lh36h)
Handmade in Mexico 22:00 MON (b09jj0k2)
Hollywood's Master of Myth: Joseph Campbell - the Force Behind Star Wars 23:00 THU (b0077sx7)
Invasion! with Sam Willis 21:00 TUE (b09jj0md)
Kiri Te Kanawa at the BBC 23:30 MON (b08h918x)
Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life 20:00 MON (b08ry3sw)
Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life 00:30 MON (b08ry3sw)
Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life 00:30 TUE (b08ry3sw)
Michael Grade's Stars of the Musical Theatre 00:00 FRI (b03kk0s0)
Mrs Dickens's Family Christmas 20:00 SUN (b018nt6m)
Natural World 01:20 SAT (b00tj7j4)
Only Connect 19:00 SUN (b09jhj1b)
Peaky Blinders 02:40 THU (b09gvn5j)
Rich Hall's You Can Go to Hell, I'm Going to Texas 23:50 SAT (b036lqsz)
Rock 'n' Roll America 01:00 FRI (b0623809)
Roger Bannister: Everest on the Track 01:00 SUN (b07lxs4s)
TOTP2 23:00 WED (b01pm5m1)
TOTP2 19:30 FRI (b09jxn35)
The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers 03:00 SUN (b09j2vvp)
The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers 21:00 MON (b09jj0k0)
The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers 01:30 MON (b09jj0k0)
The Galaxy Britain Built: Droids, Darth Vader and Lightsabers 22:00 THU (b09k5l6w)
The Genius of Marie Curie - The Woman Who Lit up the World 00:00 SUN (b01s954d)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood 21:00 SUN (b09kdjkz)
The Science of D-Day 22:00 TUE (b045gr8m)
The Sky at Night 23:00 SUN (b06t3wst)
The Story of Fairytale of New York 22:00 WED (b0074f8x)
The Story of Fairytale of New York 01:40 THU (b0074f8x)
The Two Ronnies 20:00 WED (b00gfq54)
The Two Ronnies 21:00 WED (b04k5znq)
The Two Ronnies 00:30 WED (b00gfq54)
The Vietnam War 22:55 SAT (b0992pm2)
Timeshift 02:00 SUN (b044yw1d)
Timeshift 23:30 TUE (b068fvln)
Timeshift 02:30 WED (b068fvln)
Tom Jones's 1950s: The Decade That Made Me 22:00 FRI (b0788qph)
University Challenge 19:30 MON (b086y91b)
University Challenge 19:30 TUE (b086ydy0)
University Challenge 19:30 WED (b086yfyd)
University Challenge 19:30 THU (b086yhrw)
West Side Stories - The Making of a Classic 23:00 FRI (b086kfbb)
West Side Stories - The Making of a Classic 03:00 FRI (b086kfbb)
Witnesses 21:00 SAT (b09jmwm2)
Witnesses 21:55 SAT (b09jmwm4)
World News Today 19:00 FRI (b09jxn31)