The Price of Oil: Stand Firm, You Cads!
Saturday 26 September, 2.30pm
Kicking off a week of petrocarbon-themed dramas, writer Jonathan Myerson takes us back to 1951 in Iran, when British Oil was kicked out of the country. Anna Maxwell-Martin stars. Myerson also pens The Weapon (Tuesday 29 September, 2.15pm), which focuses on the 1975 Opec siege.
Archive on 4: Kindertransport
Saturday 26 September, 8.00pm
Sixty years ago, Britain offered sanctuary to children from Nazi Europe. The youngsters made their way across the continent on so-called Kindertransport trains, but their parents were left behind and most died in concentration camps. Dr David Cesarani meets some of those who made the journey and were first interviewed for the BBC back in 1939.
The World Debate: The War the World Needs to Remember
BBC World Service
Saturday 26 September, 6.06pm
The conflict between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq lasted from September 1980 to August 1988, the 20th century’s longest conventional war. The World Service’s discussion series considers how the war affected those caught up in it, and how it still casts a shadow over the region.
Sunday 27 September, 7.00pm
The celebs-lost-in-time series concludes in the late Iron Age, AD 43. There are no bosses to rebel against, which at least makes a change. However, tempers still get frayed as the famous faces attempt to create a Celtic feast, which involves skinning a deer amongst other visceral tasks.
The celebrities travel back to the Iron Age in the final episode of the series. (Credit: Lis Clucas/Mark Johnson/Channel 4)
Cider With Rosie
Sunday 27 September, 8.30pm
Auntie’s season of adaptations of 20th-century literary classics concludes with Laurie Lee’s autobiographical tale of growing up in the Cotswolds in the wake of the first world war. Over on ITV, the final season of Downton Abbey (9.00pm) continues with an episode that finds Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes trying to settle on a venue for their wedding reception.
The Long View
Tuesday 29 September, 9.00am
Milk prices are so low that many farmers complain they fear being driven out of business. In the final episode of the series that looks at the present through the lens of the past, Jonathan Freedland compares the current situation with the 1930s, when a glut in wheat production led to plummeting prices for the crop.
Canals: The Making of a Nation
Tuesday 29 September, 8.00pm
Liz McIvor tells the story of those who operated Britain’s canal boats when the craft were an essential part of Britain’s industrial and trade infrastructure. The children of canal families were expected to graft, we learn, but reformers tried to ensure these children received an education.
Pick of the Week…
Face of Britain by Simon Schama
Wednesday 30 September, 9.00pm
Kicking off a five-part series on the history of British portraiture, Simon Schama explores the theme of power. Winston Churchill figures heavily, with the contrasting stories of two images: a portrait the PM absolutely hated and, more happily, a 1941 photograph that embodied British defiance.
In Our Time: Alexander the Great
Thursday 1 October, 9.00am
The long-running series on the history of ideas continues, with Melvyn Bragg and learned guests discussing the life of Alexander the Great (356 BC–323 BC). Famously, the King of Macedon bested the Persian Empire on the battlefield, but what was his legacy?
Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys
Thursday 1 October, 9.00pm
For the first episode of a six-part series, Chris Tarrant is in South East Asia, where he travels from Bangkok to Mandalay. The infamous story of the construction of the so-called “death railway”, built by prisoners of the Japanese during the Second World War, figures heavily.