This weeks pick highlights the devastation wrought on the culture and freedoms of the people of Basra in recent months.
Other highlights include an exploration of the expansion of the purview of the sex industry in the Far East and an analysis of predictions made by British sci-fi writers as to the future political and social development of society.
Pick of the Week
Monday 17 December - 8.30 - 9pm - BBC1 - Panorama - Basra - The Legacy
This edition examines how Basra has changed; once a cosmopolitan city, now women here are murdered for wearing bright clothes and being the wrong kind of Muslim can lead to torture or murder.
Monday 17 December - 9 - 11.10pm - Film4 - Pan's Labyrinth
Guillermo del Toro's highly-acclaimed fantasy horror previews here on Freeview, telling the story of young Ofelia, whose innocence and imaginative powers are pitted against the cruelties and excesses of life under Franco in Spain in 1944. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Tuesday 18 December - 10 - 11.05pm - Channel 4 - My Boyfriend, the Sex Tourist - 1/2
In this two-part documentary, concluding on Wednesday, film-maker Monica Garnsey investigates the parts of the world where prostitution has become a mainstream career choice for women. In this first part, Venezuelan men visit for the "real girlfriend experience" and in parts of Thailand, prostitution has replaced rice as the main driving force of the economy.
Wednesday 19 December - 10 - 11.05pm - Channel 4 - My Boyfriend, the Sex Tourist - 2/2
Part two purports to tell the story of working in the sex industry in Thailand from the perspective of the working girls. Whether it is as promoting themselves as prospective brides online or walking the streets, many women view selling themselves to foreign men as a viable career choice and, it is to be hoped, as a passport to a better life.
Wednesday 19 December - 11.20pm - 12.20am - BBC2 - The Martians and Us - Trouble in Paradise
Iain M. Banks and Margaret Atwood contribute here to an examination of the way British sci-fi has produced utopian and dystopian visions of the future, many elements of which have turned out to be subsequently accurate, such as some aspects of Huxley's "Brave New World" and of course Orwell's "1984".
Thursday 20 December - 11.20pm - 12.20am - BBC2 - The Martians and Us -
The End of the World As We Know It.
Doris Lessing is one of the contributors in this discussion of British sci-fi writers' interest in the nature of catastrophe and why tales like "Survivors" are seen to reflect the nightmares of a country whose empire is sinking.