TV Times - 19 - 25 July 2008

This week's pick is a documentary on the removal of ethnic Germans from their Czech homes in 1945, shown in homage to veteran BBC foreign correspondent Charles Wheeler who recently died.

Other highlights include an investigation into the hypocrisy of the governments position on green issues, the history of the impact of oil on the Scottish economy since 1975, and an exploration of possible genetic and environmental factors in determining sexual orientation.

Monday 21 July - 8.30 - 9pm - BBC1 - Panorama - Friends in High Places
This edition examines the hypocrisy of the governments position on environmental pollution. Whilst adopting a hectoring stance towards the general public on green issues, encouraging individuals to take more personal responsibility for reducing their "carbon footprint", the team discover its support for a third runway at Heathrow, claiming it has used misleading scientific evidence regarding air and noise pollution.

Pick of the Week red n black star
Tuesday 22 July - 9.30 - 10.10pm - BBC4 - Charles Wheeler - a Shadow over Europe
Long-serving BBC foreign correspondent Charles Wheeler died earlier this month at the age of 85. To mark this, BBC2 show a tribute to his work earlier in the evening and broadcast two of his most-renowned documentaries on BBC4, one on the impact of Kennedy's death, followed by this "Timeshift" edition, examining how millions of ethnic Germans were driven from their Czech homes in 1945. Setting the standard for calm, clear, concise reporting Wheeler reported on many of the most globally influential events of the 1960's and 1970's such as Martin Luther King's assassination and Watergate. He covered the Dalai Lama's flight from Tibet and in the 1990's was still at work reporting from Kuwait in the first Gulf War and from Iraq on the plight of the Kurds. Having worked extensively on both Panorama and Newsnight in addition, Wheeler was nonetheless critical of the BBC when he deemed it necessary, such as critiquing the early attempts at providing rolling news on News 24.

Wednesday 23 July - 11pm - Midnight - BBC4 - Truth, Lies, Oil and Scotland
Hayley Millar here studies the role of "black gold" in the economy and politics of Scotland since the pumping ashore of the first barrel of oil in 1975, finding it to be at the heart of the country's economic development.

Thursday 24 July - 9 - 10pm - BBC1 - John Barrowman: The Making of Me
This three part "science-lite" series features three celebrities who undergo various tests and procedures in an attempt to ascertain if their particular trait or skill under examination is primarily a result of either genetic or environmental influences - vis a vis, apropos - a re-examination of the "nature vs nurture" debate. In this first episode, John Barrowman challenges friends, family, psychologists and geneticists to explain why he is gay. He believes he was born gay and some of the tests he undergoes to prove, or disprove, this notion include map-reading tests, a brain scan, a DNA evaluation and an assessment of his reaction to pornography. Whilst, of course, and perhaps thankfully, definitive answers prove not to be forthcoming, perhaps the programme's greatest contribution will be to discuss homosexuality in this context. As Barrowman says: "If you're a parent with a gay child, watch it. If you're a gay child and you haven't spoken to your parents, watch it. If you're straight and you don't like gay people, well, watch it because it might change your perception."

Friday 25 July - 11.20pm - 1.35am - BBC1 - The Rainmaker
This modern courtroom classic is directed by Coppola based on Grisham's novel and tells the story of how a young and naive lawyer and a cynical ambulance-chaser team up to expose a medical insurance company's policy of not paying out legitimate insurance claims, leading to the deaths of poor people who struggled to set aside money to pay the insurance in the first place. The film's strength lies in its low key and non-sensationalist style and its ability to focus on character development rather than numerous plot twists.

Posted By

Lone Wolf
Jul 20 2008 03:36

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