A major theme this week is analysis of countries in the East with documentaries on the Middle East, China and Kosovo/Serbia.
There is also a rich wealth of political programming across the spectrum featuring topics as localised as that of certain UK councils moving to fortnightly rubbish collection to issues of far wider-reaching global concern such as extraordinary rendition and the untrammelled greed of pharmaceutical companies
Sat 19 May - 7.05-9.10pm - Channel 4 - Battle for the Holy Land: Jerusalem
Paddy Ashdown optimistically hopes to begin the process of brokering peace in the Middle East by resolving the status of this historic city.
Mon 21 May - 8-9pm - Channel 4 - Battle for the Holy Land: Love Thy Neighbour
On the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War, Rod Liddle journeys through the West Bank meeting with and interviewing a range of people with very differing views on the makeup of, and role, of the state of Israel.
Mon 21 May - 9-10pm - Channel 5 - Paul Merton in China - 1/4
This otherwise unprepossessing sounding relatively anodyne documentary has made the cut into the Guide this week purely because in this first edition Paul visits one of China's last remaining Communist communes and it will be of interest to see how this is represented.
Pick of the Week :rb:
Mon 21 May - 9-10pm - BBC2 - Power to the People - 2/3- The Battle for Trafalgar Square
This edition of the stuntist documentary series sounds very moving; Tim Samuels gathers a "Platoon of Abandoned Soldiers" to tell their stories of the shocking neglect they endured when returning home from war seriously injured. The platoon then invades Trafalgar Square to erect a statue honouring forgotten service personnel - whilst hardly intellectually stimulating, for highlighting this extremely important issue in an accessible way, this documentary makes Pick of the Week.
Tue 22 May - 9-10pm - BBC3 - Filthy Rich and Homeless - 1/4
Five wealthy volunteers attempt to fend for themselves on the streets of London for several days. Tokenistic? Certainly - but early reviews suggest there is some enjoyment here to be had in watching people who previously had disparaging views on the homeless experience, on however reduced a scale, just some of the deprivations and humiliations inherent in being at the bottom of the pile in a largely uncaring and ignorant society.
Wed 23 May - 9-10pm - More4 - Dying for Drugs
Report on how far pharmaceutical companies will go in order to get their highly profitable drugs approved.
Thu 24 May - 7-7.30pm - BBC2 - This World: Race Hate in Louisiana
Reporter Tom Mangold attempts to uncover the truth behind allegations that racism still exists in the Deep South.
Thu 24 May - 9-10pm - BBC2 - Mystery Flights
A This World special in which "extraordinary rendition" is investigated - the process by which terror suspects in America and Britain are flown abroad for torture and sentencing before kangaroo courts.
Thu 24 May - 9-10pm - Channel 4 - Dispatches: Bin Wars
Dispatches investigates the topic de jour for todays middle classes and asks if the move to fortnightly rubbish collections in many councils is indeed engendering threats to human health.
Fri 25 May - 7-8pm- BBC1 - Crash: One Fatal Day on the Roads
One child pedestrian is killed or seriously injured on UK roads every 30 minutes. This is becoming a major campaigning issue in which many parents are questioning the role of the justice system in placing what they feel is such a small price on a childs life. This is a frequently debated hot topic on these boards.
Fri 25 May - 7.35-8pm - Channel 4 - Unreported World -7/10
A report on the tensions remaining between the Serb and Albanian peoples as the UN prepares to grant Kosovo independence from Serbia.