TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (8–13 August 2015)

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

Programme Name: Storyville - TX: 09/08/2015 - Episode: Atomic - Living in Dread and Promise: Storyville (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Mushroom cloud Maralinga, Australia.  - (C) BFI - Photographer: Still from original film

Punt PI
Radio 4
Saturday 8th August, 10.30am

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The excellent series in which comedian Steve Punt investigates unsolved mysteries returns for a new series. He begins by looking anew at the 1922 murder of Hollywood director William Desmond Taylor. Might an explanation lie in Taylor’s native Ireland?

Find out more here. 

Archive On 4: Misunderstanding Japan
Radio 4
Saturday 8th August, 8.00pm

Dr Christopher Harding explores western representations of Japan down the years. The Japanese, we learn, have often been portrayed as workaholics driven by a group ethos. Submissive women and weird crazes have also been mentioned. Harding explores whether such clichés have led to the Japanese being misunderstood, and whether the Japanese themselves have helped to perpetuate such stereotypes.

Find out more here. 

Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise
BBC Four
Saturday 8th August, 9.10pm

How has the world changed in the 70 years since the US dropped the bomb on Hiroshima? Mark Cousins’ Storyville doc doesn’t even attempt to answer such a huge question directly, but instead offers a collage of vintage film that adds up to an impressionistic portrayal of our atomic age. Scottish alt-rockers Mogwai provide the soundtrack.

Find out more here. 

Life In Squares
BBC Two
Monday 10th August, 9.00pm

The Bloomsbury group drama concludes with an episode that finds the great conflicts of the mid-20th century beginning to intrude on Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and their friends. Events pick up in 1937, as Vanessa’s son, Julian Bell, announces his intention to go to Spain and join the struggle against Franco.

Find out more here. 

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(BBC/Ecosse Films/Ollie Upton)

Britain’s Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield
BBC Four
Monday 10th August, 9.00pm

Jim Al-Khalili visits the Cumbrian nuclear facility, one of Britain’s most secret places, and explores its history. Followed by The Race For The World’s First Atomic Bomb: A Thousand Days Of Fear (10.00pm), which tells the story of those who worked on the Manhattan Project.

Find out more here. 

A Walk Of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf On Foot
Radio 4
Tuesday 11th August, 9.30am

For a four-part series, Virginia Woolf’s biographer Alexandra Harris retraces walks undertaken by the Bloomsbury group novelist. Harris begins, accompanied by Driving Over Lemons author Chris Stewart, in southern Spain, where Woolf and husband Leonard travelled in 1923 to visit émigré writer Gerald Brenan.

Find out more here. 

Three Pounds In My Pocket
Radio 4
Wednesday 12th August, 11.00am

The series charting the experiences of South Asian immigrants focuses on the years from 1976 to 1981. This was an era of street battles between the National Front and anti-racist organisations. Many first-generation immigrants shied away from conflict, but a younger generation wasn’t prepared to ignore racism. Presented by Kavita Puri.

Find out more here. 

Socrates: Genius Of The Ancient World
BBC Four
Wednesday 12th August, 9.00pm

Bettany Hughes profiles the Greek philosopher, whose life and work has long been a source of fascination for her. It’s the story of a maverick who constantly questioned the society in which he lived, and was sentenced to death for his troubles.

Find out more here. 

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(Credit: BBC)

Coast 
BBC Two
Thursday 13th August, 8.00pm

Caves and coves is the theme of the final episode in the current series of Coast. Expect plenty of history as Nick Crane sees Jersey caves that once provided shelter for Neanderthals and Ian McMillan sets out to discover if there’s any truth in the tale of Scottish cannibal Sawney Bean. 

Find out more here. 

Pick of the Week…

Who Do You Think You Are?
BBC One
Thursday 13th August, 9.00pm

The genealogy series returns and, because Bake Off is also back, Paul Hollywood is the first celebrity to trace his family tree. Hollywood’s research largely centres on his grandfather Norman Harman, who fought as an anti-aircraft gunner in Tunisia and at the battle of Anzio.

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Find out more here.