TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (8–14 January 2016)

Can't decide what programmes to watch or listen to? Here are 10 you won't want to miss...

Recon- Warwick got the king the throne but the sort of man ruthless and powerful enough to help a king win a country is precisely the wrong sort of man you want behind you.

Pick of the Week…

Royal Wives At War
BBC Two
Friday 8th January, 9.00pm

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Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and Wallis Simpson, respectively the spouses of George VI and Edward VIII, didn’t much care for each other. Built around dramatised monologues set in 1967, this drama-documentary finds the two women looking back at the roots of their feud, in the abdication crisis of 1936.

Find out more here.

Drama: How To Flee From Sorrow
Radio 4
Saturday 9th January, 2.30pm

The life of 17th-century Italian composer Alessandro Stradella (1639–82) was colourful to the point of being scandalous, and he was eventually stabbed to death. All of which makes him a glorious subject for writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce, whose drama findsits main focus in the musician’s affair with Agnese, the ‘niece’ of the Doge of Venice.

Find out more here.

Sunday Feature: Literary Pursuits
Radio 3
Sunday 10th January, 6.45pm

Sarah Dillon turns literary detective to look at the story behind the writing of Great Expectations. Why did Charles Dickens write the novel so quickly? And why did he change the ending? Also this week, Dickensian (BBC One, Wednesday 13th January and Thursday 14th January, 8.00pm) continues, and finds Edward Barbary attracting the professional attention of Inspector Bucket.

Find out more here.

War and Peace
BBC One
Sunday 10th January, 9.00pm

Episode two of the Andrew Davies-scripted adaptation of Tolstoy’s epic novel and the Russian military is seemingly edging things against the forces of Napoleon. But as Andrei and Nikolai boast of their involvement at the front, are events about to take a turn for the worse for the army?

Find out more here.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 05/01/2016 - Programme Name: War & Peace - TX: n/a - Episode: War & Peace  (No. Ep 2) - Picture Shows: *STRICTLY NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 5TH JANUARY, 2016* Napoleon (MATHIEU KASSOVITZ) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

(BBC/Robert Viglasky)

The Ever Widening War
Radio 4
Monday 11th January, 1.45pm

Over five weekday episodes, Christopher Clark considers how the First World War became a truly global conflict. He begins by framing 1914–18 as a conflict of empires. Subsequent episodes deal with such subjects as how the Ottoman Empire’s entry into the war shaped the history of the Middle East.

Find out more here.

Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher
BBC Two
Monday 11th January, 9.00pm

What with climate change, political upheaval and famine, the pyramid age didn’t end well. As Joann Fletcher relates in the second episode of her series charting Ancient Egypt’s history, the kingdom fractured. But from the ashes of civil war, a new state would eventually arise.

Find out more here.

To read Joann Fletcher’s ‘The big questions of ancient Egypt’, click here. 

Programme Name: Immortal Egypt with Joann Fletcher - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. Ep 3) - Picture Shows: Prof. JoannFletcher looking at the King Lists Seti I temple in Abydos. Prof. Joann Fletcher - (C) Lion TV - Photographer: Caterina Turroni

(BBC/Lion TV/ Caterina Turroni)

Victorian Bakers  
BBC Two
Tuesday 12th January, 8.00pm

The living history series jumps to 1870, and charts life in an urban bakery. Although it’s the height of the Industrial Revolution, labour is cheap so the bakers find themselves still kneading by hand. Expect a minor rebellion on the subject of the adulterants our forebears added to their daily loaves.

Find out more here.

To read 7 Victorian recipes, click here.

Empire of the Tsar: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley
BBC Four
Wednesday 13th January, 9.00pm

Continuing her series on Russia’s ruling family, Lucy Worsley reaches the 18th century and the reign of Catherine the Great. It’s a tale of a powerful and passionate woman who was in many respects a moderniser, yet who struggled to introduce deeper reforms. The programme also charts Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.

Find out more here.

Programme Name: Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 2) - Picture Shows: in front of the Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg. Lucy Worsley - (C) BBC - Photographer: Shelley Cornick

(BBC/Shelley Cornick)

 
Science Stories
Radio 4
Wednesday 13th January, 9.00pm

The series looking at significant events in the history of science continues with the story of how fish sparked humankind’s interest in electricity. As Naomi Alderman relates, the electric eel was a vital source of inspiration for Alessandro Volta, who invented the battery in 1800.

Find out more here.

Britain’s Bloody Crown
Channel 5
Thursday 14th January, 8.00pm

Dan Jones’s energetic retelling of the War of the Roses reaches 1461, when Edward IV took Henry VI’s throne. It was Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who was kingmaker. Was Warwick really, as is often said, later consumed by a lust for power that would prove disastrous for England?

Find out more here.

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To read Dan Jones’s ‘5 greatest mysteries behind the Wars of the Roses’, click here.