How We Got To Now With Steven Johnson
Saturday 14th March, 7.30pm
For the final show in the series, writer and thinker Steven Johnson focuses on sound, and how the ability to project the human voice across distance has changed our lives. Expect encounters with, among others, a printer in France who was the first person to record the human voice, and an inventor whose mistake paved the way for radio.
Sunday 15th March, 9.00pm
Episode two of the new BBC adaptation of Winston Graham’s novels finds Ross Poldark planning to reopen the family mine. Meantime, Demelza has problems fitting in at Nampara. On what’s become British TV’s period drama night, your other options are Mr Selfridge (ITV, 9.00pm) and Indian Summers (Channel 4, 9.00pm).
Britain’s Racist Election
Sunday 15th March, 10.00pm
In 1964, maverick Conservative Peter Griffith defeated Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Patrick Gordon Walker to take the West Midlands seat of Smethwick. But Griffith did so by making immigration an issue at the ballot box. A documentary looking back at an ugly moment in British political history.
Drama On 3: The Master and Margarita
Sunday 15th March, 10.00pm
Mikhail Bulgakov’s satirical novel, written between 1928 and 1940 but not published until the 1960s, gets a new radio adaptation from Lucy Catherine. Starring Anton Lesser, it recounts what happens when the Devil comes to Moscow and has much to say about life in Soviet Russia.
Voices From Our Industrial Past: Women
Monday 16th March, 11.00am
Professor Emma Griffin draws on a trio of female autobiographies to explore the lives of working women during the industrial revolution. As well as offering fascinating details about how our forebears lived, there’s much here about how factory work offered new opportunities to women for sexual freedom and expression.
Fair Cop: A Century of British Policewomen
Monday 16th March, 9.00pm
It’s 100 years since British policewomen were first given the power of arrest. Marking this anniversary, this documentary tells the story of the nation’s female police force. Sexism and snobbery inevitably feature, but this is also a story of brave pioneers, as an interview with Sislin Fay Allen, Britain’s first black policewoman, proves.
Picture shows Margaret Damer Dawson. (BBC/If Not Us Films/Hampton Archives/ Michael)
Pick of the Week…
Back In Time For Dinner
Tuesday 17th March, 8.00pm
In a living history series that aims to show how the British diet has changed, an ordinary family, the Robshaws, samples food from different eras. We begin in the 1950s, when rationing was still in force. Dried eggs, dripping and liver anyone? Giles Coren presents, Polly Russell offers the food historian’s perspective.
The Lady Who Flew Africa – The Aviatrix
Tuesday 17th March, 9.00pm
In 1928, Lady Mary Heath became the first person to fly solo from Cape Town to London. More than eight decades later, Tracey Curtis-Taylor recreates the journey, taking to the skies over Africa in the cockpit of a vintage Boeing Stearman biplane.
In Our Time
Thursday 19th March, 9.00am
Melvyn Bragg and learned guests discuss the life of the Islamic scholar Al-Ghazali. Born in Persia, Al-Ghazali subsequently worked in Baghdad, Damascus and Jerusalem, and is regarded as one of the most influential philosophers and theologians of the late 11th century.
Thursday 19th March, 9.00pm
Episode three of Jimmy McGovern’s convict drama and things are pretty desperate down under. With food supplies running low, the governor doesn’t even want his prisoner charges to expend energy building a church on their own time. Meantime, a desperate Kitty considers making a bid for freedom.