SATURDAY 06 JANUARY 2024
SAT 19:00 Jumbo: The Plane that Changed the World (b03wtnfv)
Documentary about the development of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet. The 747 was a game changer, the airliner that revolutionised mass, cheap air travel. But the first wide-bodied plane was originally intended as a stopgap to Boeing's now-abandoned supersonic jet. This is the remarkable untold story of the jumbo, a billion-dollar gamble that pushed 1960s technology to the limits to create one of the world's most recognisable planes.
SAT 20:00 Arctic with Bruce Parry (b00x9b82)
It's summer solstice in Siberia, a time of endless daylight and extraordinary festivals.
Bruce Parry journeys to meet the Sakha horse people and a remote encampment of Eveny reindeer herders in the wild Verkhoyansk Mountains, where he finds out how they are embracing the challenges of a post-Soviet Arctic.
For Bruce, it's also a journey of personal discovery as he goes in search of the ancient shamanic religion of these wild northern lands.
SAT 21:00 Parallel Mothers (m001v60b)
Two mothers bond in an unexpected way after giving birth on the same day. In Spanish with English subtitles.
SAT 22:55 Parkinson (m001v608)
Gillian Anderson, Paul O'Grady and Madness
Michael Parkinson's guests are Gillian Anderson, Paul O'Grady and Paul Whitehouse. With music from Madness, who perform a couple of their classic hits.
SAT 23:55 To the Manor Born (b00785w5)
When her inheritance is eaten up by her late husband's creditors, Audrey fforbes-Hamilton prepares to bid farewell to her beloved manor house, until a mysterious millionaire enters her life.
SAT 00:20 Yes, Prime Minister (b03bx1vh)
The Grand Design
Classic political sitcom. Jim Hacker considers cancelling the Trident programme after discovering some interesting facts about the UK's defence system.
SAT 00:50 Concorde: A Supersonic Story (b097tvt3)
The life of the most glamorous plane ever built, told by the people whose lives she touched. We uncover rare footage telling the forgotten row between the French and British governments over the name of Concorde that threatened to derail the whole project. On the eve of the opening of Bristol's multi-million-pound aerospace museum, a cast of engineers, flight technicians and frequent fliers tell the supersonic story aided by Lord Heseltine and Dame Joan Collins - and we meet the passenger who shared an intimate moment with The Rolling Stones.
Narrated by Sophie Okonedo.
SAT 01:50 Jumbo: The Plane that Changed the World (b03wtnfv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
SAT 02:50 Arctic with Bruce Parry (b00x9b82)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
SUNDAY 07 JANUARY 2024
SUN 19:00 Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild (p00zsqsz)
Life on Camera
Sir David Attenborough gives his unique perspective on over half a century of innovation in wildlife film-making - developments that have brought ever more breathtaking and intimate images of wildlife to our television screens, changing our view of life on the planet forever.
He revisits key places and events in his filming career, reminisces with his old photos and reflects on memorable wildlife footage - including him catching a komodo dragon and swimming with dolphins.
Returning to his old haunts in Borneo, he recalls the challenges of filming in a bat cave and shows how with modern technology we can now see in the dark.
SUN 20:00 Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! (m001gnqj)
With family-sized helpings of Matthew Bourne’s trademark wit, pathos and magical fantasy, Nutcracker! follows Clara’s bittersweet journey from a darkly comic Christmas Eve at Dr Dross’s Orphanage through a shimmering, ice-skating winter wonderland to the scrumptious candy kingdom of Sweetieland, influenced by the lavish Hollywood musicals of the 1930s.
Tchaikovsky’s glorious score and Anthony Ward’s newly refreshed delectable sets and costumes combine with Bourne’s dazzling choreography to create a fresh and charmingly irreverent interpretation of the classic.
SUN 21:30 The Magic of Dance (p0gwdl7g)
The Ebb and Flow
Dance has almost always moved freely across frontiers. Just as in the 19th century, Italian and French dancers went to Russia to make their names, so in the 20th century, Diaghilev reversed the flow by bringing the Ballets Russes to live and work in Western Europe. All part of the ebb and flow of dance.
Margot Fonteyn visits Tchaikovsky's house near Moscow and talks to Marie Rambert about Diaghilev. The programme includes unique film of Pavlova, as well as Mikhal Baryshnikov dancing Petrushka.
SUN 22:30 The Magic of Dance (p0gwdnr0)
What Is New?
In almost every age the world of dance has produced its own pioneers - leading dancers and choreographers who have experimented with new styles and new forms. Margot Fonteyn looks at the work of some of the greatest of the pioneers, from the Commedia dell'Arte in 17th-century Italy to Martha Graham in 20th century America. The programme includes a performance by Fonteyn and Baryshnikov of Fokine's famous ballet, Le Spectre de la Rose.
SUN 23:30 The Great Double Bass Race (m001v615)
This is the story of the first International Double Bass Competition and Workshop on the Isle of Man in summer 1978. It's also the story of what happened in the holiday resort of Port Erin when 200 double bass players arrived from all over the world.
Gary Karr, one of the world's great bass players, left everyone gasping with his displays of virtuosity, and from then on, the scene was set for the most extraordinary and hilarious international event that anyone on the island had ever seen before.
SUN 00:35 Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! (m001gnqj)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
SUN 02:00 Darcey Bussell: My Life on the BBC (b086kfk8)
Darcey Bussell, for twenty years Britain's premier dancer with the Royal Ballet, was documented at regular intervals throughout her ballet career by BBC cameras and also appeared on many of the corporation's biggest entertainment shows. Darcey tells her own story through a carefully woven choice of archive from her debut appearance on Blue Peter as a 16-year-old in the early 80s to jiving on Strictly Come Dancing following her retirement from the Royal Ballet in 2007.
Packed with historic archive performances from the stage of the Royal Opera House and beyond, combined with candid documentary interviews from behind the dressing room door filmed at intervals during her stellar career, this is a celebration and a history of the ballet dancer who grew up in public and conquered television on the way.
SUN 03:00 Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild (p00zsqsz)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MONDAY 08 JANUARY 2024
MON 19:00 Blue Planet II (b09g5ks6)
The big blue is the world's greatest wilderness, far from shore and many kilometres deep. It's a vast marine desert where there is little to eat and nowhere to hide. Yet it's home to some of the biggest and most spectacular creatures on earth.
This episode reveals what it takes to survive in this savage and forbidding world. We witness feats of incredible endurance, moments of high drama and extraordinary acts of heart-wrenching self-sacrifice.
Every animal in the big blue must find their own unique way to survive. Sperm whales have the largest brains in the world. They live for 80 years, and we are only now beginning to learn the extraordinary complexity of their language of clicks - thought to coordinate the whole family in everything from childcare to hunting. With special pressure-proof cameras, we witness record-breaking feats of endurance as they hunt for squid a kilometre down into the abyss.
Many smaller creatures find sanctuary in this great wilderness. Only recently have we begun to solve the mystery of where baby turtles disappear to in their early years. They leave the crowded waters of the coast and head to the open ocean, where they use floating debris like logs as life rafts. Here they remain until adulthood, adrift on the high seas in relative safety away from coastal predators.
Over half of all animals in the open ocean drift in currents. Jellyfish cross entire oceans feeding on whatever happens to tangle with their tentacles. The jelly-like Portuguese man-of-war can harness sail power to fish with its deadly tentacles. Sometimes there is a brief explosion of food in this marine desert, but ocean hunters must be fast to make the best of this bonanza. We witness super pods of up to 5,000 spinner dolphins racing to herd vast shoals of lanternfish, briefly caught at the surface where it is thought they spawn. New aerial footage reveals, for the first time, the truth to a centuries-old sailors' legend of the 'boiling seas' - the spectacular feeding frenzy of 90kg tuna and dolphins smashing through the lantern fish shoals turning the sea white with foam.
Raising your young in this great wilderness is a huge challenge. The episode follows two very different ocean voyagers that show amazing care. We get closer to solving the mystery of where the biggest fish in the sea, the whale shark, gives birth. The pregnant females make an epic journey across the Pacific to the Galapagos Islands. Scientists now think it might be here that the pregnant females give birth to their pups in the safety of the depths. And in the freezing south Atlantic, a pair of ageing wandering albatrosses give their all to raise their very last chick.
Yet even in the big blue, thousands of kilometres from land, there is evidence of human activity. An estimated eight million tons of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year. Globe-spanning currents carry it into the heart of every ocean, often with tragic consequences. In the Atlantic waters off Europe we follow a family of pilot whales whose calf has recently died. One possible cause of death is poisoning by its own mother's contaminated milk. As plastic breaks down it combines with other pollutants that are consumed by vast numbers of marine creatures. In top predators like pilot whales, the toxic chemicals can build up to lethal levels.
MON 20:00 Stolen: Catching the Art Thieves (m001c5tv)
The astonishing story of the theft of two Turners on loan from the Tate in 1994 sparking a high-stakes international hunt across Europe from London to Belgrade, deep into the world of Serbian war lords.
MON 21:00 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m000rxmx)
Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri visit Brighton Museum to investigate who painted two neglected pictures of religious subjects.
Bendor believes a grubby image of Mary Magdalene repenting her sins may be by a forgotten master of the Roman baroque, Francesco Trevisani. Emma visits the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to hear how a medieval pope confused the biblical accounts and gave Mary a completely invented personality.
Bendor then travels to Rome to search for traces of Trevisani, while Emma investigates how Brighton’s lavishly decorated Royal Pavilion ended up an empty shell, ransacked and sold to the local council. The second picture is a sympathetic portrayal of Balthazar, a prince and one of the wise men from the Christmas story, which Bendor thinks may be by 16th-century Antwerp master Joos van Cleve. Examination reveals that it was once the left-hand door of a folding altarpiece. Bendor goes on to Edinburgh to see a similar altar, the finest work by van Cleve in Britain. Emma meets Rev Richard Coles to find out how, despite the lack of any description in the Bible, it became traditional to portray Balthazar as a black African.
MON 22:00 India: Nature's Wonderland (p02z83jc)
Wildlife expert Liz Bonnin, actor Freida Pinto and mountaineer Jon Gupta reveal the hidden wonders of India's surprising natural world. This is a land where the tea comes with added elephants, gibbons sing to greet the morning, tigers dance and lions roam.
MON 23:00 Treasures of the Indus (b069g53h)
The Other Side of the Taj Mahal
This is the story of the Indian subcontinent told through the treasures of three very different people, places and dynasties that have shaped the modern Indian world.
The Mughals created the most famous and dazzling empire that India has ever seen, from the Taj Mahal to fabulously intricate miniatures of court life.
But in the process, did they bring civilisation to India or tear it apart?
From the moment the first Mughal emperor Babur arrived from Afghanistan the debate began - were the Mughals imposing their own religion of Islam on a Hindu country, or were they open to the religion and art of the country they were conquering?
The artworks the Mughals left behind over their 200-year empire - even the very buildings which have traces of Hindu architecture as well as Muslim - clearly show how this debate played out, and Sona Datta traces how this most spectacular of all Indian civilisations also sowed the seeds of discord.
MON 00:00 Inside America's Treasure House: The Met (m000znv8)
The series begins in spring 2019, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art is in its pomp – the coffers full, visitor numbers are up and staff preparing to mark, in one year's time, the museum’s 150th anniversary. The museum has long been planning a series of stand-out exhibitions and events. The art press gather for a breakfast in the American Wing sculpture court, surrounded by treasures reflecting the tastes of the philanthropist founders of the Metropolitan. These were new-money industrialists and financiers, who believed that the lives of New York's teeming millions would be improved by their proximity to beauty. That beauty, however, was vested almost exclusively in the European arts and the artefacts of classical civilisations. The museum is aware that the tastes of the Gilded Age aren't for everyone, and a dance display by the House of Gorgeous shows they're awake to the woke.
In his fifth-floor office sits Met president and CEO Dan Weiss, the art historian recently appointed to steer the largest art museum in the Americas out of a period of falling visitor numbers and financial turbulence. Overlooking Central Park, he revels in a painting by Alfred Sisley, a print of which once graced his college digs. Those who built the Met in 1870 wanted an American Louvre, an audacious vision, he says, considering they had no art. The likes of JP Morgan, a previous president, simply spent and lent big, snapping up artefacts all over the world and donating their own collections. Weiss is also spending big for next year's special exhibitions and, with the Met’s director Max Hollein, planning a slew of great events. He's also splashing out on capital projects like the new six-acre glass roof for the European Paintings gallery, at $150m, just one improvement that will make 2020 a landmark year.
The inner workings of the Met are revealed with excursions into various departments, and the warren of labs, workrooms and archives above and deep below the public areas. In the Arms and Armour workshops, they're repairing gauntlets before sending some of their massive collection off to Vienna, and preparing for the arrival from Europe of new old iron and steel for a great show of German armour, The Last Knight.
There's more quiet frenzy in the Costume Institute. The conservators have just recovered from the 2019 Met Gala, the starry night where celebrities parade for the camera and make the donations that fund this department. Staff have just delivered this year’s annual show, Camp, a pink celebration of costume drama that is pulling in the crowds. In the next room, they're amassing black garments for the monster 2020 show currently being crafted by British uber-designer Es Devlin.
The film drills deepest into preparations for a show about British mercantile expansion and its impact on interior design. Assistant curator Dr Wolf Burchard has been spirited from the National Trust to Fifth Avenue, his mission: to tell a 500-year story of enterprise from the Tudor to Victorian eras. The museum's existing British galleries are being remodelled for the occasion, and Burchard and his team must navigate the construction works to create a display of 700 items. They've got a £20m budget and seven months.
Two floors up, colleagues face similar time challenges as they build the keystone exhibition Making the Met. It tells the tale of the museum's 15 decades using objects from every department, and new ones donated by sponsors and benefactors. Outside, Austrian Max Hollein, only a few months in post, leads the drive to make the Met feel more modern, diverse and inclusive. For the first time since the austere Beaux-Arts building opened, niches in the exterior are filled with art - a series of bronzes by Kenyan-born artist Wangechi Mutu. She tells how groundbreaking this initiative is.
The Met is on a roll. We are with the glitterati flocking across the Upper East Side for a private viewing of the British exhibition. The public opening of the new galleries, on 2 March 2020, heralds the start of the 150th year programme. Curator Burchard says how strange it feels to have his galleries packed with thousands.
That very same night, the first victim of Covid-19 is in hospital. Within days, the Met will be the first large institution in the city to lock down. As New York becomes a ghost town, viewers are on the inside watching the museum trying to protect one million exhibits from light damage and moths, wrestling with 20 per cent staff cuts and losses of $150m, while working towards a reopening, sometime in an uncertain future. When that day comes, we witness emotional scenes that underline a truth: that New Yorkers regard the Met as their own. More than just a museum, it's a resource and a refuge.
MON 01:00 Parkinson (m001v608)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:55 on Saturday
MON 02:00 Blue Planet II (b09g5ks6)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
MON 03:00 Stolen: Catching the Art Thieves (m001c5tv)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
TUESDAY 09 JANUARY 2024
TUE 19:00 Blue Planet II (b09gl670)
It's our green seas, not the blue, that bring life to our oceans. Here sunlight powers the growth of enchanted forests of kelp, mangroves and prairies of sea grass. They are the most abundant but fiercely competitive places in the ocean to live.
The most bountiful kelp forests are found off the tip of southern Africa, where two great oceans collide. Almost a hundred different species of shark patrol these waters, driving one resident - the common octopus - to become the ultimate escape artist. To outwit her nemesis, the pyjama shark, she uses ingenious tactics, never filmed before.
Along the Pacific coast of North America stand, at 60 metres high, the largest and perhaps most diverse kelp forests in the world. In clearings, bright orange male Garibaldi fish guard territories of short turf seaweed. When spiny urchins invade and graze their crops, the Garibaldi desperately pick them off. But urchins can swarm in vast numbers and even attack and fell the kelp forest itself, creating vast 'urchin barrens'. All is not entirely lost, thanks to the return of a ravenous forest resident - sea otters. Back in the late 1800s, sea otters were hunted for their thick pelts to near extinction. And with them gone, urchin numbers rose, destroying many forests. Today, thanks to protection, sea otter numbers are recovering, along with the health of the forest. In a filming first, we reveal great rafts of sea otters now numbering in their hundreds.
In warmer waters another green sea takes hold. Off Western Australia, vast prairies of seagrass extend to the horizon. Here, grazing green turtles are stalked by tiger sharks. By keeping turtles on the move, tiger sharks prevent the seagrass meadows from being overgrazed. In this way, sharks have become surprising allies in the fight against climate change - as a patch of sea grass is 35 times more efficient at absorbing and storing carbon than the same area of rainforest.
Once a year, one sea meadow in Australia is overrun by an extraordinary invasion. With the first full moon of winter, strange creatures emerge from the deep - spider crabs. The army marches into the shallows and starts to pile one on top of each other, building mounds over a metre high. They then moult. Soft-bodied and weakened, they must avoid the patrolling four-metre-long stingrays.
Further along the coast, the greatest gathering of cuttlefish in the world takes place, as males battle it out for the right to mate. But even among these giant cuttlefish, the largest of their kind, it's not always size that counts. A smaller, sneaky male uses subterfuge, even pretending to be a female, to confuse rivals and get his girl. Even raising your young can be tough in such a competitive place. A weedy seadragon sets out on an epic quest to give his young the very best start in life.
Vast numbers of the ocean's baby fish start their lives in the green seas. The richest nurseries of all are the mangrove forests. Straddling the boundary between land and sea, they provide shelter for the juvenile fish. But in the mangroves of Western Australia lives a deadly assassin - the 40cm-long zebra mantis shrimp. In a surprising story of betrayal, a male shrimp will abandon his mate of possibly 20 years, trading up for a larger female.
And there is one other green sea that supports more life than all the rest combined. Unlike the mangrove forests and prairies of sea grass, its existence in the open seas is only temporary. Microscopic algae flourish into vast blooms, providing a feast for plankton-feeding fish like billions of anchovies. In Monterey Bay, California, the giant shoals draw in thousands of dolphins, sea lions and humpback whales who all race to claim their share of the feast.
TUE 20:00 To the Manor Born (b00785wp)
All New Together
Audrey moves out of Grantleigh Manor. Her hopes of seeing the estate run along old lines are dashed when she discovers the new owner's background.
TUE 20:30 Yes, Prime Minister (b03sblbn)
The Ministerial Broadcast
Hacker prepares to make his first broadcast as prime minister, announcing his grand new defence policy, but finds it is not so easy to speak on camera.
TUE 21:00 This Is Your Life (m001v603)
Sir Nicholas Winton
Michael Aspel awards the big red book to Nicholas Winton, the humanitarian who helped to save hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis in 1939 Prague.
TUE 21:30 The Arts Interviews (m001vc20)
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Celebrated actors Sir Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn, along with survivors of the Kindertransport, reflect on the new film One Life, which tells the remarkable story of the London stockbroker Sir Nicholas Winton, who helped to save nearly 700 mainly Jewish children from the Nazis in the months leading up to World War II.
TUE 22:00 The Great American Buffalo (m001v85d)
For thousands of years, America’s national mammal numbered in the tens of millions, sustaining the Native people of the Great Plains, whose cultures became spiritually intertwined with the animal. By the 1880s, the buffalo had been driven to the brink of extinction by newcomers to the continent. Ken Burns recounts this collision.
TUE 23:55 The US and the Holocaust (p0dm3cwv)
The Golden Door (Beginnings-1938)
After decades of open borders, a xenophobic backlash prompts the United States to pass laws restricting immigration. In Germany, Hitler finds support for his anti-Semitic rhetoric, and the Nazis begin their persecution of Jewish people, causing many to flee to neighbouring countries or America. Franklin D Roosevelt and other world leaders are concerned by the growing refugee crisis, but they fail to coordinate a response.
TUE 01:55 Blue Planet II (b09gl670)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
TUE 02:55 Britain's Lost Masterpieces (m000rxmx)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Monday
WEDNESDAY 10 JANUARY 2024
WED 19:00 Blue Planet II (b09hs07h)
On the coast, two worlds collide. Coasts are the most dynamic and challenging habitats in the ocean - that brings great rewards but also great danger. The extraordinary animals that live here must find ingenious ways to cope with two very different worlds.
This episode is a rollercoaster ride of heart-stopping action and epic drama, peopled with characters from the beautiful to the bizarre. We meet fish that live on dry land and puffins that must travel 60 miles or more for a single meal, and witness a life-and-death struggle in a technicolour rock pool.
In a secluded cove in the Galapagos, sea lions feast on 60kg tuna. It should be impossible - tuna are usually far too fast for sea lions to catch. But here the sea lions club together to herd their prey inshore. Once trapped in the shallows, these huge fish are easy pickings.
As the tide recedes in Brazil, lightfoot crabs leap from rock to rock, desperately avoiding the water - their lives depend on it. Moray eels launch themselves from rock pools, jaw gaping. Then octopuses, too. Both crawl across dry rock to set their ambush. Elsewhere, the ever-changing tides create rock pools. But these temporary worlds are a battleground. Predatory starfish turn a magical garden into the stuff of nightmares.
All around the world, immense waves pound the shore, and this episode reveals some of the largest on the planet, over 30 metres high. Over millennia these forces carve exquisite coastal sculptures and cliffs that are home to huge colonies of seabirds. Puffins fly up to 30 miles out to sea to find food for their chicks. A father returns with one precious beakful of food... then pirates attack. Desperate dads must escape the faster and more aerobatic skuas before finally delivering a meal to their young puffling.
Meanwhile, in the remote Pacific islands lives the most terrestrial fish on the planet. It lives in miniature caves above the tide lines and uses its tail like a coiled spring to jump from rock to rock. A male tries to attract a mate, but waves are a constant hindrance. These are fish that seem to hate water!
Once a year, king penguins return to the cold Antarctic shores of South Georgia for a month-long moult. First they must cross the biggest wall of blubber on the planet - thousands of gigantic elephant seals. Then they face a month with no food, before they can return to their natural home, the chilly Antarctic seas.
The planet's coasts are changing fast as they are among the most built-up areas of the world. Just off the beaches of Miami, the largest gathering of coastal sharks on the planet can still be found. But today they must face the many challenges that come from our world too.
WED 20:00 Sahara with Michael Palin (b0074p4m)
Series charting Michael Palin's trek across the Sahara Desert. Leaving the desert behind, Michael briefly savours the delights of cosmopolitan Senegal - jazz clubs, wrestling competitions, dance troupes and the queen of the Senegalese soaps, Marie-Madeleine.
Joining the so-called Bamako Express, he endures two days and nights on the train, but in the process gets to know a schoolmistress who is nothing if not forthright about the disadvantages of polygamy.
In Bamako he finds renowned kora player Toumani Diabate and delights in a master class before heading off to Dogon country.
The Dogon people have one of the most distinctive and celebrated cultures of West Africa and they nearly kill him with a combination of excessively complex origin myths, an exploding flintlock and boiling hot millet.
Celebrating the Muslim 'Tabaski' feast in the beautiful city of Djenne with a man called Pygmy and securing a passage on a cargo boat with a Norwegian missionary called Kristin, the rest of the journey down the Niger River to Timbuktu seems plain sailing, until the boat runs aground a day from its destination.
WED 21:00 The Cambridgeshire Crucifixion (m001v60k)
In 2017, a routine archaeological dig is taking place on the site of a proposed housing development in the village of Fenstanton in the Cambridgeshire Fens. When human remains are found alongside a variety of Roman artefacts, none of the team at Albion Archaeology see anything out of the ordinary. But once the bones are washed back at HQ, something highly unusual is uncovered: a nail through the heelbone of one of the individuals. Could this be evidence of a Roman crucifixion? When they do some research, they find that only one confirmed example has ever been unearthed before, discovered in the 1960s in Jerusalem. To find out more, they call in renowned osteoarchaeologist Dr Corinne Duhig to investigate.
With exclusive access to Corinne’s investigation and the remains themselves, The Cambridgeshire Crucifixion sets out to find out who this person was, how they lived and why they were put to death in this notoriously gruesome way. We perform a CT scan, DNA and isotope analysis of the remains and use them to create a cutting-edge virtual autopsy of the skeleton, conducted by Corinne and one of her former students, biologist Prof Ben Garrod.
A supporting cast of expert contributors help to analyse the artefacts found at the Fenstanton site and reveal a compelling picture of life in Roman Britain in the 1st century CE. The film culminates in a world first: a full forensic facial reconstruction of a victim of Roman crucifixion, conducted by world-leading expert Joe Mullins.
WED 22:00 Pride and Prejudice (b0074rny)
Rejected by Elizabeth, Darcy returns to Rosings Park and writes to her, revealing the truth about Wickham's character.
WED 22:50 Pride and Prejudice (b0074rph)
A dramatisation of Jane Austen's classic story of social mores. Darcy is pleased to introduce Elizabeth to his sister, Georgiana, and to welcome her and her aunt and uncle to Pemberley. In spite of Miss Bingley's best efforts, their relationship is growing warmer, until Elizabeth receives a piece of distressing news from Longbourn.
WED 23:40 Pride and Prejudice (b0074rpj)
A dramatisation of Jane Austen's classic story of social mores. Mrs Bennet is delighted to have one of her daughters married at last. Elizabeth sees Wickham in his true colours when she meets him again after his elopement. There is great excitement in the neighbourhood when Bingley returns to Netherfield, bringing Darcy with him.
WED 00:30 India: Nature's Wonderland (p02z83jc)
[Repeat of broadcast at 22:00 on Monday
WED 01:30 Blue Planet II (b09hs07h)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today
WED 02:30 Sahara with Michael Palin (b0074p4m)
[Repeat of broadcast at 20:00 today
THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2024
THU 19:00 Blue Planet II (b09jbn5f)
Our Blue Planet
While making Blue Planet II, we have explored parts of the ocean that nobody has been to before, encountered extraordinary animals and discovered new insights into how life thrives beneath the waves. But we have also witnessed the profound effects of human activity. The oceans are changing faster and in more ways than at any point in human history and now, for the first time, we understand why.
In this final episode, we uncover the impact that our modern lives are having on our best-loved characters from across the series, including devoted albatross parents unwittingly feeding their chicks discarded plastic and mother dolphins potentially exposing their newborn calves to pollutants through their contaminated milk. Scientists have even discovered that increasing noise levels may stop baby clownfish finding their way home.
Many creatures are struggling to survive in today's oceans, and some changes in the ocean will require a global effort. While filming the stunning corals on the Great Barrier Reef's remote Lizard Island, the film crew witnessed a catastrophe. Warmer than normal seas caused the biggest coral bleaching event in human history, killing about 90 per cent of the branching corals at Lizard Island.
But the warming ocean could have an even more devastating effect. We travel to Antarctica on a unique expedition to discover how melting polar ice sheets could one day impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Yet, despite these devastating impacts, there is hope. Every year, billions of herring overwinter in the icy seas off Norway, but just 50 years ago they were almost wiped out by overfishing. Today, thanks to careful regulation, they have returned, creating one of the greatest spectacles in the ocean. Hundreds of giant humpback whales and one of the greatest gatherings of orcas on the planet feast on the herring - an extraordinary story of recovery.
Around the world, individuals are also making a huge difference to the future of the ocean. In the Galapagos, one scientist has devoted much of his life to saving the largest fish in the sea - the whale shark. He is using the latest technology to unlock one of the ocean's biggest mysteries - where these elusive giants may give birth.
In the Caribbean, a community is reversing the fortune of giant leatherback turtles. Their numbers have dropped dramatically, by up to 90 per cent in some parts of the world, but here, volunteers are risking their lives to get turtle poachers to put down their weapons and instead protect the beach where these magnificent creatures nest. Through these valiant efforts, theirs is now one of the densest leatherback nesting beaches in the world.
THU 20:00 Snooker: The Masters (m001v60w)
Day 5, Part 3
Coverage of the 2024 Masters tournament from Alexandra Palace in London.
THU 22:00 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (b007894r)
In the second in John Ford's cavalry trilogy, a US cavalry officer suffers a setback on his last mission and is 'retired' before he can take further action. To avert a full-scale war, he decides to act alone.
THU 23:40 The Eyes of Orson Welles (m000235q)
Granted exclusive access to hundreds of drawings and paintings by Orson Welles, film-maker Mark Cousins dives deep into the visual world of this legendary director and actor, to reveal a portrait of the artist as he’s never been seen before – through his own eyes, sketched by his own hand, painted with his own brush. Executive produced by Michael Moore, The Eyes of Orson Welles brings vividly to life the passions, politics and power of this 20th-century showman and explores how the genius of Welles still resonates today, more than 30 years after his death.
Welles was one of the great creative figures of the 20th century. But one aspect of his life and art has never been discussed. Like Akira Kurosawa and Sergei Eisenstein, Welles loved to draw and paint. As a child prodigy, he trained as an artist, before a drawing trip to Ireland in his teens led to his sensational stage debut at Dublin’s Gate Theatre. Welles continued to draw and paint throughout his life, and his groundbreaking film and theatre work was profoundly shaped by his graphic imagination.
When he died over 30 years ago, he left behind hundreds of character sketches, set designs, visualisations of unmade projects, illustrations to entertain his children and friends, images in the margins of personal letters, and portraits of the people and places that inspired him. They are a window on to the world of Welles, and a vivid illustration of his creativity and visual thinking. Most of these have never been made public. Now, for the first time, Welles’s daughter Beatrice has granted Mark Cousins access to this treasure trove of imagery, to make a film about what he finds there.
The Eyes of Orson Welles is a cinematic essay which avoids the techniques of conventional TV documentaries. It combines Cousins’s trademark commentary with new digital scans and specially made animations of the artworks, which bring vividly to life the magic of Welles’s graphic world. These are intercut with clips from Welles’s films, recordings of his radio performances and TV interviews, and encounters with Beatrice Welles, telling the personal stories of the images. An original score by young Northern Irish composer Matt Regan gives the film emotion and expressivity. The title music is Albinoni’s famous Adagio, a nod to the fact that Welles was the first film-maker to use this in a movie soundtrack, in his 1961 adaptation of Kafka’s The Trial.
The film is told in three central acts – Pawn, Knight and King – with an epilogue on the theme of Jester. The Pawn sequence looks at Welles’s politics, his sympathy with ordinary people, those images that deal with the modesty of human beings – children, decent people who are not in positions of power. The Knight section looks at Welles's obsession with love, his romances with the likes of Dolores del Rio and Rita Hayworth, and his quixotic attachment to what he himself saw as outmoded chivalric ideals. The King section looks at Welles’s fascination with power and its corruption, through illustrations that deal with figures such as Macbeth, Henry V, Kane and Welles himself – the epic mode of human beings, the lawmakers and abusers. The Jester epilogue explores the images that are about fun or mockery, with a surprising intervention by Welles himself.
Cousins also travels to key locations in Welles’s life – New York, Chicago, Kenosha, Arizona, Los Angeles, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Ireland – to capture beautiful images and locate the artworks, and serve to dramatise some of the defining moments in Welles’s career and personal life.
Mark shot the film with two handheld cameras, one a conventional HD camera and one a 4K camera which gives a new Steadicam style of tracking shot without the need for tracks and dolly. It’s the sort of technology that Welles would have loved and could only have dreamed of as he spent a lifetime wrestling with the creative and financial limitations of traditional film-making techniques. This shooting style reflects the immediacy of Welles’s sketches and paintings in their swift engagement with the visual world. These cameras are like Mark’s paintbrushes, giving him a direct, personal and tactile contact between his hand and the captured/created image, without the intermediation of cumbersome equipment and crews.
In the end, this essay film is about much more than the drawings and paintings. Just as Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks show his passions, his changes of mind, his trains of thought and visual thinking, so this film is an almost mythic encounter with the imagination of this great artist, who extended cinema, was profoundly political, engaged with questions about power, existentialism, memory, destiny, psychology, space and light. These ingredients make The Eyes of Orson Welles not only a portrait of a great man, but an account of the 20th century and a meditation on the continuing relevance of his genius in what Mark describes as these Wellesian times.
THU 01:20 The Cambridgeshire Crucifixion (m001v60k)
[Repeat of broadcast at 21:00 on Wednesday
THU 02:15 Storyville (m0016txs)
This Oscar winning documentary follows Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, as he and his team unravel a plot to poison him with the deadly nerve agent, Novichok.
In August 2020, a plane travelling from Siberia to Moscow made an emergency landing. Alexei Navalny, was deathly ill. Taken to a local Siberian hospital and eventually evacuated to Berlin, doctors there confirmed that he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent implicated in attacks on other opponents of the Russian government. President Vladimir Putin immediately cast doubt on the findings and denied any involvement.
While recovering, Navalny and his team unravel the plot against him, finding evidence of the Kremlin’s involvement, and prepare to go public with their findings.
FRIDAY 12 JANUARY 2024
FRI 19:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fz1)
1980 - Big Hits
British pop and the BBC's flagship chart show said goodbye to the 70s and trembled on the edge of a new era for the show, for British music and for British society. This meant a continuing love for the nutty boys, Madness, who feature in this compilation with My Girl, and the man with the best cheekbones in pop, Adam Ant, gave us Antmusic.
We get to check out The Pretenders' first number one, Brass in Pocket, alongside Dexys Midnight Runners' tribute to soul legend Geno Washington. There are the early stirrings of new romantic with Spandau Ballet, and it's a veritable mod revival with The Piranhas and 2-Tone with The Beat.
Plus Hot Chocolate, OMD, Motorhead and many more top hits proving the 80s were truly beginning.
FRI 20:00 Snooker: The Masters (m001v60h)
Day 6, Part 3
Coverage of the 2024 Masters tournament from Alexandra Palace in London.
FRI 22:00 Top of the Pops (b06vkg5r)
1981 - Big Hits
A bumper crop of hits from the Top of the Pops archive showcasing an exciting year on the pop charts. 1981 embraced disco and ska, new wave punk, the burgeoning New Romantic scene and the rise of synthpop, with some prog quirkiness and good old rock 'n' roll thrown in.
Performances from big-hitter soloists Phil Collins, Shakin' Stevens and Kim Wilde are featured alongside the exuberant chaos of groups like Tenpole Tudor, Adam and the Ants and The Teardrop Explodes. It's party time as Odyssey fill the dancefloor with the infectious Going Back to My Roots and Clare Grogan adopts some unorthodox shapes for Altered Images' Happy Birthday. And The Specials' 2 Tone social-commentary classic Ghost Town vies with Ultravox's Vienna and The Human League's Don't You Want Me for song of the year.
FRI 23:00 Top of the Pops (b07g9rc4)
1982 - Big Hits
The Top of the Pops vaults are opened once more, this time to celebrate the mega-hits of 1982.
A new pop sound had arrived, shattering the chart domination of mainstream pop-rock, which in turn coincides with a second British invasion of the US charts. Step forward Adam Ant, Yazoo, Wham, ABC and The Associates, all breakthrough acts in a golden year for British pop.
Madness provide a little two-step with their ska revival, and Junior and Patrice Rushen's R&B tracks pack a punch. Pop-infused reggae beats are provided by Culture Club and Musical Youth, while the mods get a nod from The Jam. And did we mention Tight Fit?
FRI 00:00 Top of the Pops (b087lmbg)
1983 - Big Hits
Compilation of some of the biggest hits of 1983 to sit alongside 'The Story of...' documentary that explores the evolution of this great pop institution in that golden year.
Performances celebrate soul, reggae, jazz, new wave and pop. And the big hits are delivered by Wham!, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Police, Culture Club, Siouxsie and The Banshees, UB40, Duran Duran, The Beat and Bananarama amongst others. Big ballads are performed by Elton John and Bonnie Tyler, while Malcolm McLaren's Double Dutch completes the very best of '83, golden hits from 34 years ago.
FRI 01:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fyz)
The Story of 1980
1980 was the year that both pop music and TOTP changed. A new generation of British pop arrived with Dexy's, Adam Ant, The Human League and OMD. The show changed as the veteran TOTP orchestra was laid off, the studio audience doubled in size, new sets were built and a range of celebrity co-hosts from Elton John to Kevin Keegan to Russ Abbott arrived.
This documentary explores these dramatic changes in Top of the Pops, British pop and British society with a cast including Adam Ant, The Human League, OMD, Kevin Rowland, Coronation Street actress Sally Lindsay (who appeared with St Winifred's School Choir), Kelly Marie, Ray Dorset, Johnny Logan, The Vapors, The Piranhas and Richard Skinner.
FRI 02:00 Top of the Pops (b07g9rc2)
The Story of 1982
1982 marks the peak of British 'new pop' as Wham, ABC and Culture Club make sensational appearances, and Shalamar's Jeffrey Daniel premieres the moonwalk on British TV. Dexy's new Irish sound tops the summer charts for four weeks with Come on Eileen, while their follow-up single Jackie Wilson Says leads to a notorious moment in TOTP history. Featuring ABC, Culture Club, Wham, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Shalamar, Pigbag, Foster and Allen, Shakatak and Bucks Fizz.
FRI 03:00 Top of the Pops (b04w0fz1)
[Repeat of broadcast at 19:00 today