Sound Of Song
Friday 30th January, 9.00pm
Neil Brand’s series on song concludes with the writer and composer looking at how the arrival of digital technology and the computer transformed music. On which subject, Kraftwerk: Pop Art (10.00pm), charting the history of the hugely influential German synthesiser pioneers, follows.
Archive On 4: Alan Lomax – Songs Of Freedom
Saturday 31st January, 8.00pm
Billy Bragg marks the centenary of the birth of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, a key influence on both the civil rights movement and the folk revival. Also this weekend, Sunday Feature: Palace Of Shame (Radio 3, Sunday 1st February, 6.45pm) sees Chris Bowlby exploring the 1860 destruction of Beijing’s Old Summer Palace by British and French troops.
The Secrets Lives Of Lewis Carroll
Saturday 31st January, 9.00pm
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland was first published in 1865. A century-and-a-half later, Martha Kearney explores the biographies of Lewis Carroll, aka mathematics don the Rev Charles Dodgson, and the girl who inspired the book’s creation, Alice Liddell. Contributors include Richard E Grant and Philip Pullman.
Monday 2nd February, 12.04pm
The epic drama returns with another 40 weekday episodes. This time around, we’re in Tynemouth, where the Wilson family is struggling to keep a secret. As ever, each instalment is set precisely 100 years ago. There’s an omnibus edition on Friday 6th February at 9.00pm.
Monday 2nd February, 10.00pm
Living history series or reality TV stunt? Make up your own mind by tuning in as 20 Brits head for a remote area of Bulgaria where they are challenged to recreate life in the Stone Age. How will they get on as hunter-gatherers garbed in animal skins? Continues Tuesday 3rd February, 10.00pm.
Tuesday 3rd February, 3.00pm
The history magazine show returns for a new series of eight shows. First up, Tom Holland considers the rise and fall of Napoleon in an episode that finds Dr Kate Williams looking back at 1815, when the emperor spent time as a prisoner aboard a ship anchored in Torbay.
Pick of the week
Digging For Britain
Tuesday 3rd February, 8.00pm
Kicking off a four-part series charting the archaeological work that took place across Britain in 2014, Dr Alice Roberts and Matt Williams look at what was discovered in the east of England. Among other highlights, expect a spectacular haul of Roman treasure, likely hidden as Queen Boudicca rampaged through Colchester.
The Mary Rose: A Timewatch Guide
Tuesday 3rd February, 9.00pm
Drawing on the BBC’s archives, Dan Snow looks back at the discovery of the Mary Rose, the pride of Henry VIII’s navy, and recalls how she was raised from the Solent seabed in 1982. There’s also much here on the role of the wreck in the development of underwater archaeology.
Wednesday 4th February, 9.00pm
Episode three of the adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels and Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance), although he has no official position at court, is becoming one of the most trusted advisors to Henry VII (Damian Lewis). Meantime, the wedding between the monarch and Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy) grows closer.
Secrets Of Rome’s Colosseum
Thursday 5th February, 8.00pm
Structural engineer Steve Burrows leads a team of historians and scientists looking in detail at the engineering behind the famed amphitheatre. How did its roof work and how does it compare to today’s stadia? Presented by Dallas Campbell.