Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London return to report on the events that are shaping the world.
The Royal Tank Regiment began as a top secret band of plumbers, electricians and mechanics brought together to break the stalemate of trench warfare in WWI. They revolutionised warfare and the regimental history of bravery and innovation inspires members of the regiment to this day.
Three-part series in which intrepid historian Dr Sam Willis reveals a remarkable story of invasion in Britain spanning thousands of years.
From the time continuous settlement began in Britain over 10,000 years ago to Iron Age hillforts and Viking ships, Sam explores the many invasions of Britain. He unearths hidden stories to build a vivid picture of both successful and unsuccessful invasions and examines how they have shaped our psyche, including fear of invasion.
Some invasions are bloody, some bloodless. Some were by invitation, some absurd and doomed. From Barbary pirates and brutal border raids to the air attacks of the 20th century, these invasions have shaped modern Britain and made us the people we are today.
In this first programme, Sam fells a tree with a flint axe in Kent, gets to grips with the technology of Viking boats and rides an Iron Age chariot. He also searches for clues of invasion at Silbury Hill and tracks down evidence of the Beaker people who brought ceramics, metalwork and beakers to Britain.
The Fight to the End tells the story of the terrible battles of 1917 and 1918, and how Britain and her allies turned a looming defeat into victory. As recruitment levels fell, conscription was introduced. One of the conscripts was Harry Patch - here interviewed for the first time - who went on to live to the age of 111, and who survived to be the last fighting Tommy of WWI. These were years when German U-boats attempted to starve Britain into submission and there were serious food shortages on the home front.
We hear dramatic stories of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 - a battle fought in a quagmire of mud at a terrible cost to soldiers' lives. In the Spring Offensive of 1918, the German army made huge advances and almost won the war. Some of our survivors were taken prisoner and worked as slave labour in Germany. But with the help of the United States, there was a final push to victory.
The sacrifice involved in this total war changed the world forever. We conclude by briefly looking at the effects of the war on some of the characters we have grown to know and love across the series.
A hundred years ago, with German U-boats and battleships terrorising Allied shipping and zeppelins bombing Britain's towns and cities, Ulster-Scots teenager Jack McCleery was one of 12 young men tasked with a deadly mission on board the navy's 'mystery ship'. In Captain Jack and the Furious Few, David Hayman reveals the story of the test pilots of the world's first aircraft carrier, HMS Furious. The top guns of their day, their secret mission would revolutionise warfare.
A gifted pilot, Jack McCleery was head-hunted by the navy after just nine months of intensive flight training. He was posted to the newly commissioned HMS Furious in 1917, where he would serve for two years as part of an elite squadron of test pilots.
Their mission was to land a wheeled plane on the deck of a moving vessel in order to develop and test the techniques and technology that would convert the Furious into the world's first dedicated aircraft carrier, capable of launching a strategic air attack on Britain's enemies - but nothing like this had ever been attempted before.
Flying from the deck of HMS Furious, the bravery and sacrifice of those 12 Royal Navy test pilots would change the course of warfare forever. Jack McCleery's diaries, letters and personal archive of sketches and previously unseen photographs are a unique record of that extraordinary period in his own life, and in the history of aviation.
In the first episode of a series that explores the books we (really) read, Andrew Marr investigates the curious case of detective fiction. This is a genre that been producing best-sellers since the 19th century, and whose most famous heroes - Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Inspector Rebus - are now embedded in our collective psyche. But how does detective fiction work- and how do the best crime writers keep us compulsively turning the pages?
Andrew deconstructs detective stories by looking at their 'rules' - the conventions we expect to be present when we pick up a typical mystery. Because detective fiction is an interactive puzzle, these rules are the rules of a game - a fiendish battle of wits between the reader and the writer. What is remarkable is that instead of restricting novelists (as you might expect), these rules stimulate creativity, and Andrew reveals how clever writers like Agatha Christie have used them to create a seemingly infinite number of story-telling possibilities.
The fictional detective is a brilliant invention, a figure who takes us to (often dark) places that we wouldn't normally visit. While we are in their company, no section of society is off-limits or above suspicion, and Andrew shows how writers have used crime fiction not merely to entertain, but also to anatomise society's problems.
Andrew interviews modern-day crime writers including Ian Rankin, Sophie Hannah and Val McDermid, while profiling important pioneers such as Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett and Ruth Rendell. Along the way, he decodes various great set-pieces of the detective novel such as Hercule Poirot's drawing room denouements, and the 'locked room' mysteries of John Dickson Carr.
Professor Mark Miodownik shows us what is so great about stuff. All the things of modern life around us that we maybe take for granted are revealed to be little pieces of domestic magic - everyday miracles - from razor blades to tights, via plywood and foam rubber. On the road and in the lab with explosive experiments, Mark reveals why the everyday, and even the mundane, is anything but.
This episode looks at the issues that will change the way we live our lives in the future. Rather than relying on the minds of science fiction writers, mathematician Hannah Fry delves into the data we have today to provide an evidence-based vision of tomorrow. With the help of the BBC's science experts - and a few surprise guests - Hannah investigates the questions the British public want answered about the future.
Hannah tries to discover whether we could ever live forever or if there will ever be a cure for cancer. She finds out how research into the human brain may one day help with mental health, and if it is possible to ever ditch fossil fuels. Hannah and her guests also discover the future of transport - and when, if ever, we really will see flying cars. She discovers whether a robot will take your job or if, as some believe, we will all one day actually become cyborgs. The programme predicts what the weather will be like and discovers if we are on the verge of another mass extinction. Hannah's tenth prediction is something she - and Horizon - are confident will definitely happen, and that is to expect the unexpected!
Novelist, poet and all-round cultural impresario Sir Walter Scott is renowned for inventing many of the myths of Scotland that still dominate how the country is imagined. His home in the Scottish Borders, Abbotsford House, brilliantly brings to life his romantic views of Scotland.
In the run-up to the reopening of Abbotsford House Scott-fan Stuart Kelly gets exclusive behind-the-scenes access as over 13,000 treasures are moved back into the strange and wonderful building. Exploring some newly discovered secret corners Stuart finds out just how controversial the bizarre building and the man who built it remain.
THURSDAY 08 NOVEMBER 2018
THU 19:00 Beyond 100 Days (b0bq476q)
Katty Kay in Washington and Christian Fraser in London return to report on the events that are shaping the world.
THU 19:30 Top of the Pops (b0brk3w1)
John Peel and Janice Long present the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 28 August 1986. Featuring Jermaine Stewart, Peter Cetera, Jaki Graham, Human League, Boris Gardiner and Janet Jackson.
THU 20:00 Human Universe (p0276q61)
What Is Our Future?
Professor Brian Cox concludes his exploration of our place in the universe by asking what next for the ape that went to space.
In northern Spain, he begins in a cave that was once home to our distant ancestors. Here, he discovers some of the earliest art in the universe - a child's hand painted onto the wall that has remained intact for around 40,000 years. That child - if raised today - would be just as bright and just as capable as any modern child. Yet its vision of the future would be very different to ours.
To understand what sets us apart, Brian heads to the Arctic. In Svalbard, he joins a group of people who are celebrating the midsummer sun. At these latitudes, the sun doesn't set for weeks on end. Brian shows how science is able to precisely predict the future passage of our star in ways our ancestors could not have imagined. The difference is that science has given us a vision of the deep future. It has shown us that we live in a clockwork universe where planets turn around stars in predictable orbits, stars around galaxies and the galaxies themselves are all falling through a probably infinite universe.
But powerful as science is at predicting the motion of the heavens, our future is far from certain. In Florida, Brian joins the latest efforts to protect Earth from potential catastrophic events. He joins a team of Nasa astronauts who are training for a future mission to an asteroid - should we ever discover one coming our way - under 30 feet of water in a submerged laboratory that simulates space. It is just one example of how, for our long-term survival, space exploration may well be vital. It is a view shared by Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke, who tells Brian what it was like to escape the confines of the planet. It is a dream that both Nasa and now commercial companies share as they race to get humans back into deep space.
But space travel, like every leap our civilisation has ever made, requires energy. Here too, scientists are hard at work attempting to safeguard our future. At the National Ignition Facility in California, Brian witnesses the world's most successful fusion experiment in action. He believes that if their mission succeeds, our civilisation will have unlocked a way to the stars that will not destroy the planet in the process.
Brian concludes by returning to the top of the world in Svalbard, where he gains access to our civilisation's greatest treasure, locked away in a vault buried deep in the permafrost.
THU 21:00 Britain's Pompeii: A Village Lost in Time (b07myxws)
Professor Alice Roberts joins the team excavating a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age village in the Cambridgeshire Fens that has been called the British Pompeii.
The village earned its nickname because 3,000 years ago it burned to the ground, and as it burned it fell into the peat, preserving both the houses and their contents. Until its discovery, we had little real idea of what life was like in Bronze Age Britain.
Now we can peek inside our Bronze Age ancestors' homes as archaeologists discover perfectly preserved roundhouses, and the contents inside them - right down to the utensils in their kitchens. These roundhouses were built in a style never seen in the UK before - testimony not only to the villagers' technical skills, but also of their connections to Europe.
The team has made other incredible discoveries on the dig - from Britain's oldest-found wheel, to swords used in battle, and bowls still containing preserved remnants of food. One of the biggest revelations is the discovery of a complete set of the early technology used to produce cloth - a full industrial process we've never seen in Britain before.
This glimpse into domestic life 3,000 years ago is unprecedented, but it also transforms our impressions of Bronze Age Britain - far from being poor and isolated, it seems the villagers were successful large-scale farmers who used their farming surplus to trade with Europe, exchanging their crops for beautiful glass jewellery and multiple metal tools per household.
As part of the dig, the archaeologists also investigate the cause of the fire - was it just a terrible accident, or did the villagers' wealth provoke an attack?
THU 22:00 Blackadder (p00bf6vt)
Blackadder Goes Forth
Plan E - General Hospital
Melchett orders Blackadder to unmask a spy working in the hospital where George is recovering from a bomb blast. Edmund sets to work, interrogating Darling, seducing a nurse and asking Baldrick to keep an eye on a patient with a pronounced German accent.
THU 22:30 Blackadder (b0078nnr)
Blackadder Goes Forth
Plan F - Goodbyeee
Sitcom set in the trenches of the First World War. When Blackadder, George and Baldrick are told they are going over the top the next day, Blackadder decides to feign madness.
THU 23:00 Madame Tussaud: A Legend in Wax (b08cgm56)
The remarkable true story of the woman behind the worldwide waxworks empire, Madame Tussaud.
In an astonishing life that spanned both the French and Industrial revolutions, this single mother and entrepreneur travelled across the Channel to England, where she overcame the odds to establish her remarkable and enduring brand. Determined to leave an account of who she was and the times she lived through, her memoirs, letters and papers offer a unique insight into the creation of the extraordinary empire which bears her name.
THU 00:00 Top of the Pops (b0brk3w1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
THU 00:30 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (b00kvbny)
Simon Armitage goes on a journey to discover the language and landscape of our first great Arthurian romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. For JRR Tolkien, Gawain is 'a fairy tale for adults', but Armitage finds strong modern relevance in the trials of its stripling hero and a tale of do or die. A marvel of the imagination, Armitage argues that Gawain must take its place alongside Chaucer and Shakespeare at the head of the canon.
THU 01:30 Invasion! with Sam Willis (b09hr5pc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 on Wednesday
THU 02:30 Human Universe (p0276q61)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRIDAY 09 NOVEMBER 2018
FRI 19:00 World News Today (b0bq4787)
LIST OF THIS WEEK'S PROGRAMMES
The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
FRI 19:30 Top of the Pops (b0brk4hs)
Gary Davies presents the pop chart programme, first broadcast on 4 September 1986. Featuring The Communards, MC Miker G & DJ Sven, Bruce Hornsby and The Range, Bon Jovi, Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Boris Gardiner.
FRI 20:00 Soul & Beyond with Corinne Bailey Rae and Trevor Nelson (b0bqtf55)
DJ Trevor Nelson and singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae present their ultimate soundtrack in an hour of classic and contemporary soul and R&B gems. As they watch their selection, they reveal the reasons behind their choices. From childhood favourites such as The Jackson 5 and Gladys Knight to inspirational tracks from Prince, Mary J Blige, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, this is a playlist to satisfy any soul fan.
FRI 21:00 Boy George's 1970s: Save Me from Suburbia (b07z7y5v)
British popstar Boy George recalls, revisits and assesses how the 1970s moulded the person and artist he has become. This is his musical, social and sexual coming of age, when he discovered the power of his own sexuality before setting about turning that persona into a popstar. Set against a backdrop of social discord, disenfranchisement and sexual repression, the 70s was also conversely the decade that revelled in colour and creative chaos, giving the world glam rock, disco and punk, and the young George O'Dowd was at the birth of them all. The documentary includes contributions from contemporaries like Martin Degville (Sigue Sigue Sputnik), Andy Polaris (Animal Nightlife), DJ Princess Julia and popstar Marilyn.
Boy George says: 'I think of the 70s as being this glorious decade where I discovered who I was and discovered all these amazing things - punk rock, electro music, fashion, all of that. And yeah of course there was that dark side to the 70s, the rubbish, the strikes, the poverty, and I'd get chased and confronted for the way I looked. But I was a teenager. I didn't have any time for misery. I was just having a great time with my friends.'.
FRI 22:00 Radio 2 In Concert (b0bqtf57)
Boy George and Culture Club
Recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre in London in 2018, Boy George and Culture Club are one of the most representative and influential bands of the 1980s and have sold over 150 million records worldwide. Winners of numerous awards, they rose to fame in the early 1980s with an illustrious music career now spanning four decades.
In this special and intimate show, expect some of their classic tunes such as Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? as well as songs from 2018's Life, their first studio album since Don't Mind If I Do, which came out in 1999.
FRI 23:00 The Joy of the Single (b01nzchs)
Do you remember buying your first single? Where you bought it? What it was? The thrill of playing it for the first time? What it sounded like? How it maybe changed your life? Lots of us do. Lots of us still have that single somewhere in a dusty box in the attic, along with other treasured memorabilia of an adolescence lost in music and romance. The attic of our youth.
The Joy of the Single is a documentary packed with startling memories, vivid images and penetrating insights into the power of pop and rock's first and most abiding artefact - the seven-inch, vinyl 45-rpm record, a small, perfectly formed object that seems to miraculously contain the hopes, fears, sounds and experiences of our different generations - all within the spiralling groove etched on its shiny black surface, labelled and gift-wrapped by an industry also in its thrall.
In the confident hands of a star-studded cast, the film spins a tale of obsession, addiction, dedication and desire. The viewer is invited on a journey of celebration from the 1950s rock 'n' roll generation to the download kids of today, taking in classic singles from all manner of artists in each decade - from the smell of vinyl to the delights of the record label, from the importance of the record shop to the bittersweet brevity of the song itself, from stacking singles on a Dansette spindle to dropping the needle and thrilling to the intro.
Featuring contributions from Noddy Holder, Jack White, Richard Hawley, Suzi Quatro, Holly Johnson, Jimmy Webb, Pete Waterman, Norah Jones, Mike Batt, Graham Gouldman, Miranda Sawyer, Norman Cook, Trevor Horn, Neil Sedaka, Paul Morley, Rob Davies, Lavinia Greenlaw, Brian Wilson and Mike Love.
FRI 00:00 Top of the Pops (b0brk4hs)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:30 today
FRI 00:35 ... Sings the Great American Songbook (b00rs3w4)
Presenting the best and most eclectic performances on the BBC from the world's best-known artists performing their interpretations of classic tracks from The Great American Songbook.
In chronological order, this programme takes us through a myriad of BBC studio performances, from Dame Shirley Bassey in 1966 performing The Lady is A Tramp, to Bryan Ferry in 1974 on Twiggy's BBC primetime show performing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, to Captain Sensible on Top of the Pops in 1982 with his number one hit version of Happy Talk, through to Kirsty MacColl singing Miss Otis Regrets in 1994 to Jamie Cullum with his version of I Get a Kick Out Of You on Parkinson in 2004 and bang up to date with Brit winner Florence from Florence and the Machine performing My Baby Just Cares for Me with Jools Holland on his Annual Hootenanny at the end of 2009.
The Great American Songbook can best be described as the music and popular songs of the famous and prolific American composers of the 1920s and onwards. Composers such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Hoagy Carmichael to name but a few... songwriters who wrote the tunes of Broadway theatre and Hollywood musicals that earned enduring popularity before the dawning of rock 'n' roll.
These famous songwriters have penned songs which have entered the general consciousness and which are now best described as standards - tunes which every musician and singer aspires to include in their repertoire.
FRI 01:35 Soul & Beyond with Corinne Bailey Rae and Trevor Nelson (b0bqtf55)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
FRI 02:35 Boy George's 1970s: Save Me from Suburbia (b07z7y5v)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 today
(Note: the times link back to the details; the pids link to the BBC page, including iPlayer)
... Sings the Great American Songbook 00:35 FRI (b00rs3w4)
Arena 22:00 SUN (b0bqt8g3)
Arena 23:10 SUN (b08d80fd)
Bacchus Uncovered: Ancient God of Ecstasy 23:30 MON (b09z8d01)
Ballrooms and Ballerinas: Dance at the BBC 01:10 SUN (b06sg7zj)
Beck 21:00 SAT (b0brjp1r)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 MON (b0bq4721)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 TUE (b0bq4730)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 WED (b0bq474m)
Beyond 100 Days 19:00 THU (b0bq476q)
Blackadder 22:00 THU (p00bf6vt)
Blackadder 22:30 THU (b0078nnr)
Boy George's 1970s: Save Me from Suburbia 21:00 FRI (b07z7y5v)
Boy George's 1970s: Save Me from Suburbia 02:35 FRI (b07z7y5v)
Britain's Pompeii: A Village Lost in Time 21:00 THU (b07myxws)
Captain Jack and the Furious Few 22:00 WED (b0bqs96t)
Dazzling Duets at the BBC 00:10 SUN (b08j8j2l)
Everyday Miracles: The Genius of Sofas, Stockings and Scanners 00:00 WED (b04fd6s9)
Horizon 01:00 WED (b08w61hc)
Human Universe 20:00 THU (p0276q61)
Human Universe 02:30 THU (p0276q61)
Invasion! with Sam Willis 20:00 WED (b09hr5pc)
Invasion! with Sam Willis 01:30 THU (b09hr5pc)
Ireland's Treasures Uncovered 00:30 TUE (b070w5kh)
Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways 19:00 SUN (b01qh3z3)
Lost Kingdoms of Central America 23:30 TUE (b04j8st0)
Lucy Worsley's Fireworks for a Tudor Queen 22:00 MON (b09cfwt4)
Madame Tussaud: A Legend in Wax 23:00 THU (b08cgm56)
More Dangerous Songs: And the Banned Played On 00:05 SAT (b048wwpz)
Natural World 19:00 SAT (b04d8vsz)
Natural World 02:05 SAT (b04d8vsz)
Radio 2 In Concert 22:00 FRI (b0bqtf57)
Regimental Stories 19:30 MON (b014v51m)
Regimental Stories 19:30 TUE (b0155b4p)
Regimental Stories 19:30 WED (b015j5s6)
Rome: A History of the Eternal City 20:00 MON (b01pdt0s)
Rome: A History of the Eternal City 01:30 MON (b01pdt0s)
Secret Knowledge 03:05 SAT (b05z5hc0)
Secret Knowledge 03:10 SUN (b01r3n6m)
Secret Knowledge 02:00 WED (b036qfcy)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 00:30 THU (b00kvbny)
Sleuths, Spies & Sorcerers: Andrew Marr's Paperback Heroes 23:00 WED (p040pvpp)
Soul & Beyond with Corinne Bailey Rae and Trevor Nelson 20:00 FRI (b0bqtf55)
Soul & Beyond with Corinne Bailey Rae and Trevor Nelson 01:35 FRI (b0bqtf55)
The First World War from Above 21:00 SUN (b00vyrzh)
The Joy of the Single 23:00 FRI (b01nzchs)
The Kacey Musgraves Country & Western Rhinestone Revue at Royal Albert Hall 01:05 SAT (b081sx52)
The Man who Discovered Egypt 20:00 SAT (b01f13f4)
The Silk Road 22:30 TUE (p03qb3q4)
The Story of Wales 20:00 TUE (p00mlrqc)
There She Goes 22:35 SAT (b0bqrdsr)
There She Goes 22:00 TUE (b0brf3lk)
Timeshift 01:30 TUE (b0155fss)
Top of the Pops 23:05 SAT (b0bqr3l5)
Top of the Pops 23:35 SAT (b0bqr550)
Top of the Pops 19:30 THU (b0brk3w1)
Top of the Pops 00:00 THU (b0brk3w1)
Top of the Pops 19:30 FRI (b0brk4hs)
Top of the Pops 00:00 FRI (b0brk4hs)
Utopia: In Search of the Dream 00:30 MON (b090c2pj)
WWI: The Last Tommies 21:00 MON (b0brjshr)
WWI: The Last Tommies 02:30 MON (b0brjshr)
WWI: The Last Tommies 21:00 TUE (b0brjy2b)
WWI: The Last Tommies 02:30 TUE (b0brjy2b)
WWI: The Last Tommies 21:00 WED (b0brk21h)
WWI: The Last Tommies 02:30 WED (b0brk21h)
We Will Remember Them with Huw Edwards 20:00 SUN (b0bqr5jf)
We Will Remember Them with Huw Edwards 02:10 SUN (b0bqr5jf)
World News Today 19:00 FRI (b0bq4787)