Cutty Sark: National Treasure
Friday 3rd February, 9.00pm
In 2006, shortly after an extensive renovation programme had begun, the Cutty Sark caught fire. Happily, the damage was less extensive than first feared. Ahead of the Queen officially reopening the ship to the public in the spring, a look behind the scenes at work to restore the clipper to her former glory.
Saturday 4th February, 8.00pm
First shown in 2009, this drama-documentary shows life as it might have been in the vast palace during the era of Louis XIV. On Wednesday at 9.00pm, there’s a new episode of Versailles, this time focusing on the often scandalous rein of Louis XV, who fathered at least 30 illegitimate children.
The Last Explorers
Sunday 5th February, 6.00pm
Neil Oliver explores the life of John Muir. Born in Scotland, Muir was a naturalist and adventurer with a deep connection to the natural world. Today, he’s honoured as the father of conservationism and one of the founders of the USA’s National Parks movement.
Pick of the Week
Sunday 5th February, 9.00pm
Brothers Colin and Ewan McGregor pay tribute to the men who flew in Bomber Command during the Second World War. As well as featuring the first-hand accounts of veterans who flew over occupied Europe and Germany, the documentary sees ex-RAF pilot Colin preparing to fly Britain’s last airworthy Lancaster.
Sport And The British
Monday 6th February, 1.45pm
The weekday series charting the history of sport in Britain continues. This week’s subjects include the sense of freedom that Victorian public schoolgirls found on the playing field, the creation of the Football Association in 1863 and how sports spread through the empire. Presented by Clare Balding. Don’t forget there’s an omnibus edition on Fridays (9.00pm).
Monday 6th February, 6.30pm
In a new weekday series, John Craven and Jules Hudson take a trio of journeys in search of those dedicated to saving Britain’s oldest buildings, monuments, landscapes, crafts and even foods. The duo’s first journey takes them down the Pennines and highlights include a visit to a Halifax mill that’s taken on a new lease of life.
The Diamond Queen
Monday 6th February, 9.00pm
It’s Diamond Jubilee year. Accordingly, Andrew Marr presents a three-part series that profiles Queen Elizabeth II. In the first episode, the journalist considers the early years of a woman who never expected to ascend to the throne as a girl – until the abdication crisis intervened.
Lost Kingdoms Of Africa
Monday 6th February, 9.00pm
Gus Casely-Hayford traces the history of South Africa’s Zulu kingdom. The documentary is in great part a consideration of King Shaka, a notorious warrior-royal who greatly expanded Zulu territory. The historian also looks back at Zulu clashes with the Boers and the British.
The World Against Apartheid: Have You Heard From Johannesburg?
Tuesday 7th February, 10.00pm
On 16 June 1976, South African police fired on students in Soweto. A peaceful protest turned into a bloodbath. The excellent series on the struggle against apartheid look at how a new generation of leaders, notably Steve Biko, took up the fight in the 1970s.
Bullets, Boots And Bandages: How To Really Win A War
Thursday 9th February, 9.00pm
Continuing his series on military logistics, Saul David looks at the business of moving fighting men around. It’s often the detail here that’s telling: in 1812, Napoleon hit problems because of the wrong type of horseshoe. Closer to the present day, there are stories of D-Day and the Falklands.