TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (4-10 September)

Can't decide what programmes to watch or listen to? Here are 10 you won't want to miss...

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Time Crashers
Channel 4
Sunday 6 September, 8.00pm

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This week, the celebs head back to 1913 and live as servants in a Downton Abbey-style house. Cue dropped cake, actor-turned-lady’s maid Kirstie Alley being none too happy about her boss being aloof, and one of the famous faces being dismissed for refusing to carry out her duties.

Find out more here.

Bollywood And Beyond: A Century of Indian Cinema
BBC Four
Sunday 6 September, 9.00pm

As part of Auntie’s season of programmes celebrating India, Sanjeev Bhaskar traces the history of the nation’s film industry. Also this week, look out for episode two of Treasures Of The Indus (BBC Four, Monday 7 September, 9.00pm), which finds Dr Sona Datta exploring the Taj Mahal and the wider artistic legacy of the Mughal Empire.

Find out more here.

Oil: A Crude History of Britain
Radio 4
Monday 7 September, 8.00pm

The riches provided by North Sea oil have profoundly shaped Britain over the past 40 years. In a three-part series, Jim Naughtie asks whether we’ve made the most of this bounty. He begins by looking at the technological advances that were necessary to extract oil from fields that lie beneath the sea.

Find out more here.

Pick of the Week…

The Queen’s Longest Reign: Elizabeth And Victoria
BBC One
Monday 7 September, 9.00pm

On Wednesday 9th September, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-serving monarch in British history. Sophie Raworth presents a documentary that compares and contrasts Elizabeth’s reign with that of Queen Victoria, who was on the throne for 63 years and seven months.

Find out more here.

Sophie Raworth at Balmoral Castle. (Credit: BBC)

Bletchley Park: Code-breaking’s Forgotten Genius
BBC Two
Monday 7 September, 9.00pm

Unlike his Bletchley Park contemporary Alan Turing, the name of Gordon Welchman is comparatively unknown. Yet as this documentary reveals, Welchman was a key figure in breaking Nazi codes, while the emergence of the modern secret surveillance state can be linked to his work in the field of traffic analysis.

Find out more here.

The Long View
Radio 4
Tuesday 8 September, 9.00am

The series in which Jonathan Freedland looks at current issues through the prism of the past returns. In the first of four episodes, the Guardian columnist looks at debates around the living wage via an 1894 treatise written by Sir Mark Oldroyd, mill owner and Liberal MP.

Find out more here.

Canals: The Making of a Nation
BBC Four
Tuesday 8 September, 8.00pm

Liz McIvor travels along the Kennet and Avon Canal. The scenery is glorious, but McIvor’s theme lies beneath the ground and water as, via the story of William ‘Strata’ Smith (1769-1839), she traces the place of the canals within the development of the science of geology. 

Find out more here.

The Ascent of Woman
BBC Two
Wednesday 9 September, 9.00pm

Dr Amanda Foreman explores the role of women within the religions of Confucianism and Buddhism. Among the women she encounters are Vietnam’s Trung Sisters, who led an armed rebellion against China, and Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote the world’s first novel. There’s also much here about how Asian ideals of feminine virtue have constrained women’s lives.

Find out more here.

Professor Meng Man with an image of Empress Wu. (Credit: BBC/Silver River)

Timeshift – A Very British Map: The Ordnance Survey Story
BBC Four
Wednesday 9 September, 9.00pm

For more than 200 years, Ordnance Survey has charted the British Isles. The latest documentary in the ever-excellent Timeshift strand explores what the maps made by this very British institution, created initially for military purposes, tell us about our history and ourselves.

Find out more here.

Keir Hardie: Labour’s First Leader
Radio 4
Thursday 10 September, 9.00am

Marking the centenary of the death of James Keir Hardie (1856-1915), former prime minister Gordon Brown offers his personal take on the life of a man who was brought up in poverty and without a formal education, yet became one of the most important political figures of his age.

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Find out more here.