Great Continental Railway Journeys
Friday 23rd October, 9.00pm
For his latest journey in Europe, Michael Portillo travels from Vienna to the Adriatic port of Trieste, a trans-alpine route. First off, though, he takes some time to look around Austria’s capital, taking a spin on the city’s giant ferris wheel in an act of homage to The Third Man.
Sunday Feature: This Story Shall The Great Man Teach His Son – Agincourt, England And France
Sunday 25th October, 6.45pm
Although writer Adam Thorpe was born in France, his work is rooted in England. Exactly 600 years after the battle of Agincourt, he joins Anne Curry, an expert on Henry V’s greatest victory, to find out what really happened on a day that’s as much a part of English mythology as the nation’s history.
How To Survive The Roman Empire, By Pliny And Me
Monday 26th October, 10.45am & 7.45pm
Scripted by Hattie Taylor and based on real letters written by Pliny the Younger, here’s a new weekday series that takes us back to the Rome of 2,000 years ago. In the first episode, the magistrate and writer, accompanied by his mother, goes shopping for a slave who has secretarial skills.
All Fair In War: A History Of Military Deception
Monday 26th October, 1.45pm
Ben Macintyre presents a five-part series on the use of bluff and guile in warfare. He begins with Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War and its claim “all warfare is based on deception”. Subsequent shows deal with such subjects as pretending to flee and espionage.
The Secret Life Of Books
Monday 26th October, 8.00pm
Fiona Shaw explores the creation of George Eliot’s masterpiece The Mill On The Floss, first published in 1860. The actor and director finds many parallels between the novel’s plot and the author’s own life, notably in its key theme of rejection by family.
Pick of the Week…
The Stuarts In Exile
Tuesday 27th October, 9.00pm
In 1715, James Francis Stuart, the son of James II, landed in Scotland. His aim was to lead a Jacobite uprising that would see him take the English and Scottish thrones. But as historian Dr Clare Jackson recounts in the first instalment of a two-part documentary, James was ultimately forced to flee to France. First shown on BBC Two Scotland.
Restoring Britain’s Landmarks
Wednesday 28th October, 8.00pm
The series charting the work of the Landmark Trust continues with an episode that witnesses the restoration of the famous lighthouse on Lundy Island. Elsewhere, Landmark Trust officer John Evetts has to buy three Georgian-style fireplaces for Belmont House in Lyme Regis – can he buy them within budget?
The Face Of Britain By Simon Schama
Wednesday 28th October, 9.00pm
The art historian concludes his superb series on British portraiture by considering the pictures artists create of themselves. It’s a documentary that takes in the direct gaze of Gerlach Flicke’s 16th-century pictures, Lucian Freud’s meditations on his own ageing body and the exhibitionistic candour of Tracey Emin’s My Bed.
(BBC/Oxford Film and TV)
In Our Time
Thursday 29th October, 9.00am
Melvyn Bragg and learned guests, Kevin MacDonald, Marie Rodet and Amira Bennison, discuss the Empire of Mali, which lasted from c1230 to c1600. Prior to the age of European colonisation, this was Africa’s largest and most important empire, famed for the wealth of its rulers.
The Last Kingdom
Thursday 29th October, 9.00pm
The historical epic based on Bernard Cornwell’s novels finds young Uhtred in danger following the massacre of his Danish family. Now neither a Dane nor a Saxon, he needs to make a new allegiance and approaches a Viking warlord, Ubba.