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ERA’s Top TV Picks 24th – 30th November 2018

Welcome to our weekly round-up of some of the best TV broadcasts for teaching coming your way this week! There’s a good range of subjects covered on TV this week, from politics to physics, from music to childcare.

Saturday 24th November

  • John and Yoko: Above Us Only Sky
    Channel 4, 8:30pm – Recommended for… Music
    This one-off documentary tells the story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s collaboration and the making of his album, Imagine.
  • Evita: The Making of a Superstar
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Music and Drama
    To celebrate popular musical Evita‘s 40th birthday, Suzy Klein goes behind the scenes into the show’s history, talks with its actors, and investigates its origins.

Sunday 25th November

  • Doctor Who 
    BBC 1, 6:30pm – Recommended for… History and Sociology
    This week’s episode sees the Doctor and co. visit Lancashire in the 17th century, where a sinister witch trial is taking place.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
    Channel 5, 9pm – Recommended for… Film Studies
    This latest installment in the Mad Max franchise takes a more feminist approach. Furiosa (Charlize Theron) goes on a dangerous chase across a deserted world after saving a group of women who had been forced into marriage, dragging Max (Tom Hardy) and fanatical worshipper, Nux (Nicholas Hoult) along with her. Seeing as the original Mad Max film is on the OCR specification for A Level, this could be an excellent point of comparison.

Monday 26th November

  • Japan: Earth’s Enchanted Islands
    BBC 2, 3:45pm – Recommended for… Geography, Biology, and Zoology
    This documentary explores Honshu’s more mountainous areas and its wildlife – including fireflies, monkeys, and… cow demons?
  • Babies: Their Wonderful World
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Childcare, Health and Social Care
    In this three-part series, Dr Guddi Singh presents the findings from a study of over 200 babies, and what it tells us about their lives and development. This first episode focuses on the first two years of life, how early on a baby’s temperament can be ascertained, and the impact of technology on growth.
  • The Treasures of Ancient Rome
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Ancient History and Art History
    Presenter Alastair Sooke looks into why the lifelike portraits from this period were cast in marble, bronze and paint. He also investigates the role of art in establishing Emperor Augustus’ rule.

Tuesday 27th November

  • Egyptian Tomb Hunting
    Channel 5, 9pm – Recommended for… Ancient History, Archaeology
    Follow Tony Robinson as he visits well-known Egyptian burial sites in Giza and Luxor, as well as going along with a team to help uncover new tombs.
  • The Martian
    Film4, 9pm – Recommended for… Film Studies, Physics
    Based on Andy Weir’s best-selling novel, this sci-fi flick follows astronaut, Mark (Matt Damon), as he struggles to survive on Mars when his team accidentally leave him behind. It’s a good marker or the evolution of the genre over the years, and Weir’s in-depth research on the scientific aspect is sure to spark debate about its viability.
  • Out of Their Skin
    ITV4, 10pm – Recommended for – Sport and Sociology
    The first episode of this two-part documentary (the second of which airs the day after, on 28th Nov) follows Ian Wright as he discusses the rise in number of black football players and the enduring racism and other challenges that they face.

Wednesday 28th November

  • Death and Nightingales
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    Set in 19th Century Rural Ireland, Beth (Charlene McKenna) lives with her drunken and troubled stepfather (Matthew Rhys), but believes that she can find an escape in the form of her neighbour Liam (Jamie Dornan). The story, adapted from Eugene McCabe’s novel, takes place over three episodes, during which only 24 hours pass.
  • Nature’s Wonderlands: Islands of Evolution
    BBC 4, 11pm – Recommended for… Geography
    Hawaii is the focus of this episode, where Richard Fortey looks into its colonisation and change.

Thursday 29th November

  • Horizon: Can We Make a Star on Earth?
    BBC 4, 11pm – Recommended for… Physics
    Well-loved professor, Brian Cox, talks nuclear fusion and what our quest for tomorrow’s energy could possibly look like.

Friday 30th November

  • Stevie Wonder: A Musical History
    BBC 4, 10pm – Recommended for… Music
    Collecting a selection of his hits and performances, fans and peers of the great musician discuss his life, legacy, and the challenges that she had to overcome to get to where he was.
  • Ministry of Justice
    Channel 4, 11:05 – Recommended for… Law, Politics, Media Studies
    This brand-new comedy series looking at the world of crime and ASBOs and the attempts of this fictional version of the Ministry to deal with it might make for a refreshing resource on policies and how they work in the system.
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