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ERA’s Top TV Picks 9th – 15th February 2019

Welcome back to our picks of the week! There’s such a wide variety of programmes coming up in the next seven days across a lot of subjects – from Catering to Japanese, from Computer Science to Agriculture. We’ve got you covered!

Saturday 9th February

  • Jane Eyre 
    BBC 2, 2pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine star in this 1943 film adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel.
  • Mulan 
    Channel 5, 5:25pm – Recommended for… History
    I know what you’re thinking – Disney for teaching? Well, hear me out. Mulan could act as a great gateway to learning more about Chinese history and the attitudes towards women during the Northern Wei dynasty.
  • David Bowie: Finding Fame 
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Music
    He may now be remembered as a music icon, but it wasn’t always that way. The final part of this documentary goes back and looks at the early stages in David Bowie’s career, about how David Jones became David Bowie, and how he in turn became Ziggy Stardust. There’s even some never-before-seen footage of Ziggy that is bound to interest plenty of students.
  • Drain the Oceans: Egypt’s Lost Wonders
    Channel 5, 9pm – Recommended for… Ancient History
    There are many ideas about the afterlife in cultures across the world, but out of them all, the ancient Egyptians seemed particularly obsessed. By why is that? Some artifacts that were discovered underneath the Nile might help to answer that question.

Sunday 10th February

  • Masters of the Pacific Coast: the Tribes of the American Northwest 
    BBC 4, 7pm – Recommended for… History and American Studies
    This documentary on a rarely-covered topic on British television sees Dr Jago Cooper investigate how American Northwest culture and traditions survived the invasion of European culture and the oppression that came with it.
  • Discovering… The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – Benjamin Britton 
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Music
    Benjamin Britten’s composition has inspired many young people to take up classical music over the years, now Katie Durham considers why, exactly, it has been such a success. Includes performance of the piece by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
  • The Final Frontier? A Horizon Guide to the Universe
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Physics and Astronomy
    Going through footage from the Horizon archive, Dallas Campbell looks into how our views of the universe have changed after various scientific breakthroughs.
  • The Secret Life of Sue Townsend (Aged 68 ¾) 
    BBC 4, 11:30pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    The much-beloved author of the Adrian Mole series talks about her life and how, despite her lack of any formal qualifications, she became a huge literary success.

Monday 11th February

  • Masterchef 
    BBC 1, 9pm – Recommended for… Catering
    The popular cooking show returns for another series. Who will impress judges John Torode and Greg Wallace and who will crumble under the pressure? A great example to show the working environment in a professional kitchen as well as how to evaluate your own work.
  • Inside Europe: Ten Years of Turmoil
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Politics and Economics
    The final part of this series focuses on the migrant crisis that Europe has faced over the past few years and how different European leaders have suggested that the situation be organised.
  • A Very British History 
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    The first part of this documentary series with writer Damian Le Bas charts the lives and history of Romany Gypsies in the UK, and how their culture and lifestyle has been altered by changing laws and restrictions over the years.
  • The Making of Me
    Channel 4, 10pm – Recommended for… PSHE
    This series follows three people in various stages in the process of changing gender and how the change affects both their personal and professional lives.

Tuesday 12th February

  • British History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley 
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… History
    Following up on her latest series about America’s greatest fibs, Lucy Worsely returns to investigate the truth and lies behind what we know about the War of the Roses.
  • The Great British Sewing Bee
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Fashion Design, Art and Design, and Design Technology
    After two years, the show returns with new host, Joe Lycett, as a group of sewing enthusiasts set about competing to make the best outfits possible with their given briefs.
  • James May’s Big Ideas 
    BBC 4, 10:30pm – Recommended for… Computer Science, Engineering, and Sociology
    James May debates whether or not a world populated entirely by robots could ever really happen. In the process, he visits Japan and the US, discovering some astonishing technological advances in robotics.
  • Inside the Real Saudi Arabia: Why I Had to Leave
    BBC 1, 10:45pm – Recommended for… Law, Geography, Religious Studies, and Sociology
    Fashion stylist Basma Khalifa returns to Saudi Arabia, her birthplace that she has not visited since she was three years old, to try and understand more about the lifestyle of the women living there.

Wednesday 13th February

  • Bend It Like Beckham 
    Film4, 6:45pm – Recommended for… Religious Studies and Sport
    This uplifting coming-of-age film follows Jess (Parminder Nagra) as she takes up football, challenging her parents’ orthodox Sikh traditions.
  • The Farming Life 
    BBC 2, 8pm – Recommended for… Agriculture
    The newest series of the programme follows half a dozen farming families in Scotland and Northern Ireland as they go about their daily lives.

Thursday 14th February

  • Too Old to Drive? Tonight
    ITV, 7:30pm – Recommended for… Health & Social Care and PSHE
    It’s a subject of much controversy, but here Ginny Buckley questions whether or not there should be an upper age limit on driving. With more than 100,000 elderly people over the age of 90 still on our roads today, should they be forced to stop driving at a certain age to prevent them from becoming a risk to themselves and to others, or would introducing a law like this restrict their freedom?
  • Ex-Machina
    Film4, 11:25pm – Recommended for… Film Studies and Computer Science
    This is a great chance to catch popular the popular AI-based sci-fi film, which appears on a few Film Studies specifications.

Friday 15th February

  • Flat Pack Pop: Sweden’s Music Miracle 
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Music and Geography
    James Ballardie and guests take a look at Swedish music’s rise in popularity over the years, and how it has helped launch some very successful careers.
  • Monty Don’s Japanese Gardens 
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Geography, Japanese, and Gardening
    Monty Don visits some of Japan’s most famous gardens in the springtime. During his visits, he learns more about traditional tea ceremonies and flower arranging.
  • Nightcrawler
    BBC 2, 11:05pm – Recommended for… Journalism
    This creepy thriller stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a freelance photographer who goes out at night to take photos of crimes being committed to sell to the local news. His plan works out, but he soon finds that there is a thin line between observing crime and being a part of it.
  • Attack the Block
    Film4, 11:35pm – Recommended for… Film Studies
    A great example of British film-making, director Joe Cornish brings a dark sci-fi flick starring John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker as they try to defend their tower block in South London from an alien invasion.