Friday 19th June, 9pm
It wasn’t just the Americans that worked on developing nuclear weapons during the second world war, so did the Nazis. This six-part Norwegian drama recounts how the Allies acted to prevent the Germans from getting the bomb. The cast includes Anna Friel as a British agent.
(Channel 4/Arrow Films/Faye Oakwell)
Drama: Born In The DDR
Saturday 20th June, 2.30pm
In 1988, the year before the fall of the wall, Bruce Springsteen played to an estimated audience of 300,000 in East Berlin. Jonathan Myerson’s drama recalls how this unlikely show came about. At the story’s centre lies promoter ‘Pony’ Ponesky (Bryan Dick), who had to sell the idea of a Bruce concert to the Stasi.
Pick of the Week…
La Traviata: Love, Death And Divas
Saturday 20th June, 9.00pm
In 1856, Verdi’s masterpiece La Traviata was first performed in London. It was immediately controversial. In a one-off documentary, Amanda Vickery and Tom Service chart the opera’s history, and explain why the story of a doomed French courtesan, Violetta, touched such a raw nerve in Victorian Britain.
(BBC/Reef Television/Laurence Cendrowicz)
The BBC At War
Sunday 21st June, 9.00pm
Jonathan Dimbleby concludes his documentary charting how Auntie faced the challenges of the second world war. It was an era, we learn, when the corporation overcame both some of its own Reithian scruples about offering light entertainment to the masses and official suspicion over the notion of war correspondents reporting from the front.
Voices Of The First World War
Monday 22nd June, 1.45pm
The weekday series in which Dan Snow draws on archives from the Imperial War Museum to tell the story of 1914–18 returns. First up, the experiences of those who served on the Western Front in 1915. Also today, The Essay: Minds At War (Radio 3, weekdays, 10.45pm) explores how artists and thinkers responded to the conflict.
How To Be A Bohemian With Victoria Coren Mitchell
Monday 22nd June, 9.00pm
The series about those who defy convention in an arty manner concludes with Coren Mitchell considering the notion that we’re all bohemian now. Or perhaps we’re not, because bohemianism has become commodified and thus robbed of value. Contributors include Richard Coles, Grayson Perry and Will Self.
Tuesday 23rd June, 11.00am
Brett Westwood considers our attitudes towards the giant squid down the years. It’s a creature around which myths swirl. Yet is the squid really a dangerous monster that lurks in the depths ready to strike? Or might we better see it as a shy creature?
Wednesday 24th June, 9.00pm
Andrew Roberts discusses 1815 and Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo. How should we view this key event in global history? For Roberts, it’s the moment when the monarchist nations of Europe, which had set out to destroy the emperor, achieved its aim.
Andrew Roberts presents the final episode of the Napoleon series. (BBC/Back2back Productions)
Wednesday 24th June, 9.00pm
The story of the discovery of the structure of DNA is associated with James Watson and Francis Crick. But what about physicist and molecular biologist Maurice Wilkins, the man who shared the Nobel Prize for medicine with them in 1962? In the final episode of the excellent history-of-science series, Kevin Fong celebrates Wilkins’ achievements.
Catching History’s Criminals: The Forensics Story
Thursday 25th June, 9.00pm
Gabriel Weston focuses on murders solved through evidence found at the scene. These include the first case in the UK to be solved via a perpetrator’s fingerprints. Warning for the squeamish: expect scenes of the surgeon and writer taking a baseball bat to a bit of dead pig as a way to show how blood spatter patterns are formed.