sat 24/06/2017

BBC

The best TV to watch this week

Channel-rich but time-poor? We sift the schedules for you.Friday 23 JuneVersailles, BBC Two – final episode of Series 2, with Louis XIV (George Blagden) arresting, torturing and burning his opponents to tighten his grip on the throne. The...

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10 Questions for The Radiophonic Workshop's Paddy Kingsland

Formed in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneered groundbreaking innovation in music making, using anything and everything to create new textures and tones to satisfy eager TV producers looking for otherwordly...

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DVD: Marc Isaacs - Two Films

There’s a nice pairing to these two character-led documentary films, as reflections on concepts of partnership presented from different ends of the spectrum of innocence and experience. Treating innocence, Someday My Prince Will Come (2005) is the...

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Best of 2016: TV

If there's one big question hanging over the television industry, it's "how long can the old broadcast networks survive in the new era of subscription and downloading services?" No doubt there will be a variety of answers, with different hybrid...

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Kanneh-Mason, Fantasia Orchestra, Fetherstonhaugh, St Gabriel's Pimlico

Sheku Kanneh-Mason isn't just BBC Young Musician 2016 - he's the year's top player in my books, a master at any level. Despite a contract with Decca, starting with the Shostakovich First Cello Concerto he played in the competition finale, he looks...

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Louis Theroux: Savile, BBC Two

The procedure of introductions in Louis Theroux: Savile seemed somehow more elaborate than usual. Knocking on the door of those he was about to talk to for what might have been dubbed “Savile Revisited”, Louis Theroux was unusually careful about his...

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Oasis in Their Own Words, BBC iPlayer

Trying to pip the release of Mat Whitecross’s documentary Supersonic to the post, this brief hack through the BBC’s archive throws together a galloping overview of Oasis’s rise and fall, narrated by their own interviews and quotes. Arguably Oasis...

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Blu-ray: Women in Love

Women in Love was Ken Russell’s first cinema film to directly reflect his work in television. He had directed The Billion Dollar Brain (1967), but that was an adaptation of a Len Deighton book. French Dressing (1964) was a few steps removed from a...

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The wisdom and wit of Carla Lane

Carla Lane, who has died at the age of 87, was the first from Liverpool. Before Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell, long before Jimmy McGovern, hers was the loudest Liverpudlian voice on television portraying ordinary working people's lives. From The...

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DVD: Penda’s Fen

Penda’s Fen has so many constituent parts it could burst its seams. Almost-18 schoolboy Stephen Franklin is struggling with determining the nature of his sexuality. His school is about regimentation and promotes the army with drill, uniforms and...

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David Attenborough's Zoo Quest in Colour, BBC Four

What larks! The first run of Zoo Quest – itself the first of the wildlife programmes – started 62 years ago, in 1954. It was thought it had all been filmed in black and white, on small 16mm cameras, but in fact a condition imposed by the BBC was to...

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DVD: Culloden / The War Game

The most radical of the directors who forged a “cinema of resistance” at the BBC in the 1960s, Peter Watkins completed two groundbreaking docudramas there – Culloden (1964) and The War Game (1965) – before the suppression of the second prompted his...

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