Incarnations: India In 50 Lives
Friday 4th March, 9.00pm
This week’s omnibus edition of the biographical history series features such figures as Thanthai Periyar, an anti-Brahmin activist and rationalist. The weekday episodes continue on Monday 7 March (1.45pm). Also listen out for Museum Of Lost Objects (weekdays, 12.04pm), the series about lost ancient objects and sites in Iraq and Syria.
Archive On 4: A Brief History Of Disobedience
Saturday 5th March, 8.00pm
The latest entry in US satirist Joe Queenan’s Brief History strand finds him exploring the idea of not doing what you’re told. Expect recordings from the archives featuring such nay-saying souls as Gandhi, Martin Luther and the women of Greenham Common, plus advice on how to be usefully disobedient in day-to-day life.
Sunday Feature: The Venice Ghetto
Sunday 6th March, 6.45pm
Marking the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the Jewish ghetto in Venice, Jerry Brotton travels to the watery city. He discovers that the ghetto, the first of its kind in the world, was in many ways more a place of refuge than isolation. Plus, what does the idea of a “ghetto” mean to us today?
Sunday 6th March, 9.00pm
With Downton Abbey no more, Julian Fellowes has turned his attention to adapting Anthony Trollope’s novel for a three-part drama. It’s the tale of penniless Mary, who falls for estate heir Frank Gresham, a match that could lead to financial ruin. Tom Hollander, as Mary’s uncle Dr Thorne, heads the cast.
The Return Of Flying Scotsman
Monday 7th March, 8.30pm
It’s taken a decade and cost £4m, but the Flying Scotsman – the first steam locomotive to be officially authenticated as having reached 100mph – has been restored to her former glory. This train buff’s dream of a documentary follows the engine’s recent journey from London King’s Cross to the National Railway Museum in York.
The Renaissance Unchained
Monday 7th March, 9.00pm
Waldemar Januszczak’s excellent series concludes with the late Renaissance. Much of the art of the era, he contends, was dark and strange – and paintings certainly don’t get much weirder or more disturbing than Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, which Januszczak explores in detail.
The Renaissance Unchained. (BBC/ZCZ films/Matt Conway)
Back In Time For The Weekend
Tuesday 8th March, 8.00pm
The Ashby Hawkins conclude their time-travelling odyssey by looking forward rather than back. What might our leisure time hold in the future? The family also reflects on what they’ve learnt from experiencing life in the past.
Billy The Kid: New Evidence
Tuesday 8th March, 9.00pm
In 2014, Wild West memorabilia collector Randy Guijarro bought a 19th-century “tintype” photograph that he thinks shows Billy the Kid and his gang, the Regulators. Kevin Costner narrates a documentary that follows Guijarro as he tries to prove his claim, and make himself a fortune in the process.
Pick of the week
The Secret History Of My Family
Thursday 10th March, 8.00pm
In a new series that offers a historical perspective on social mobility, Joseph Bullman – the filmmaker behind The Secret History Of Our Streets – traces the descendants of some of those who lived in working-class Victorian Britain. He begins with the story of the pickpocketing Gadbury sisters, raised in the criminal underworld of 1830s Shoreditch.
Descendants of the Gadbury sisters at a family reunion, in The Secret History of My Family. (BBC/Richard Wilson)
Digging For Britain
Thursday 10th March, 9.00pm
The series charting work at British archaeological sites returns. In the first of four episodes, presenters Alice Roberts and Matt Williams focus on the west of Britain where, among other highlights, they learn about evidence of strange Iron Age animal rituals in Dorset.