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ERA’s Top TV Picks 26th January – 1st February 2019

Welcome back to our weekly recommendations for TV broadcasts for you in the coming week. As January comes to a close, we’ve got a wide variety of programmes, but notably there are quite a few resources for biology and/or medicine!

Saturday 26th January

  • The Diary of Anne Frank
    BBC 2, 11:45am – Recommended for… History
    This film visualises the story of Anne Frank and her family after the Nazi occupation of Holland, based on the accounts that Anne wrote in her diary. Powerful and extremely important, this film could be helpful to help teach students about the effects of the Nazi persecution of Jewish people.
  • The Great Fire of London: Hour by Hour
    Channel 5,  8:30pm – Recommended for… History
    An interesting look into what the Great Fire of London would have looked like and how it spread through the streets from its estimated roots in a bakery in Pudding Lane.
  • Anthony Gormley: How Art Began 
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Art, History, and Art History
    Sculptor Antony Gormley travels across the world to visit caves that give an insight into the origins of art and how these styles vary in different locations.
  • Son of Saul
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    This film may be a bit too distressing for younger audiences, but the moving story of Saul, a Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz who is forced to assist the Nazis to run the camp’s gas chambers, is an important piece of film-making that could really help in the teaching of World War II for GCSE/A Level history.

Sunday 27th January

  • Cadbury’s: Britain’s Favourite Chocolate
    Channel 5, 6pm – Recommended for… Catering and Business Studies
    Established almost 200 years ago, Cadbury’s chocolate had become somewhat of a British institution. But how did it come to be so popular, and how has it maintained its renown for so long? This documentary investigates.
  • Me Before You 
    Channel 5, 9pm – Recommended for… Nursing
    This tear-jerker starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin tells the story of a care worker named Lou, who is taken on as a carer for a recently-paralyzed ex-banker. This could be useful for providing some understanding how having a disability can affect people.
  • Speechless
    BBC 4, 10pm – Recommended for… PSHE, Nursing, and Medicine
    This short film by Richard Alwyn follows stroke survivors who struggle to speak after the event, despite retaining their normal thought patterns.
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas 
    BBC 2, 10:30pm – Recommended for… History and English
    An important story and popular English literature choice at KS3 level, this heartbreaking adaptation of John Boyne’s novel is a good way to visualise what happens on the page. The story itself is about a young boy named Bruno (Asa Buttersfield), the son of a Nazi officer in charge of a concentration camp, who makes friends with a Jewish prisoner named Shmeul (Jack Scanlon). The two talk through the fence to the camp, with Bruno not at all aware of the horrors that are going on inside.

Monday 28th January

  • Steph and Dom: Can Cannabis Save Our Son?
    Channel 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Medicine, Biology, and Pharmacology
    Steph and Dom Parker are a well-loved, happy-go-lucky couple from Gogglebox. However, things are not always easy for the pair, with their son Max suffering from a form of epilepsy that causes him to have over a hundred seizures per day. None of the medication that he has been given so far has been effective, and so the family explores the idea that medical cannabis oil might be able to save his life.
  • Walt Disney
    BBC 4, 10pm – Recommended for… Business Studies, Sociology, and Art & Design
    Walt Disney is a rather controversial figure – on the one hand, he fought against the odds and founded one of the most successful and inspirational film studios in the world. However, on the other hand, he has also been accused on multiple occasions of racism and anti-Semitism. This documentary explores both sides of this well-known figure as well as looking into the history of Walt Disney film studios.

Tuesday 29th January

  • Winterwatch 
    BBC 2, 8pm – Recommended for… Biology and Zoology
    Nature enthusiasts, rejoice! Over the next four days, the series exploring wildlife in the winter returns with hosts Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Gillian Burke, and Iolo Williams.

Wednesday 30th January

  • The Truth About Antibiotics 
    BBC 1, 8pm – Recommended for… Biology, PSHE, Pharmacology, Medicine
    Presenter Angela Rippon talks to doctors about the decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics and investigates how scientists are trying to fight infections should our current antibiotics fail us.
  • Bullets, Boots and Bandages: How to Really Win at War 
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… History
    This different war-based documentary focuses on the triumphs and losses of war from the position of those planning strategy behind the curtains.
  • Phil Spencer’s History of Britain in 100 Homes 
    More4, 9pm – Recommended for… History and Architecture
    Britain has some fantastic historical architecture to offer, which is what presenter Phil Spencer is trying to showcase in this new documentary.
  • Pure
    Channel 4, 10pm – Recommended for… Medicine and PSHE
    Super important to raising mental health awareness for older students, this comedy drama tells the story of marnie, a young woman who suffers from a type of OCD known as Pure O. In a desperate attempt to escape from her intrusive thoughts, Marnie travels to London to seek help.
  • Castles: Britain’s Fortified History
    BBC 4, 11pm – Recommended for… History
    Another building-based historical drama, this time with Sam Willis as he takes a look into Britain’s castles and their roles in major battles over the centuries.

Thursday 31st January

  • Your Body, Your Stress: Tonight
    ITV, 7:30pm – Recommended for… Biology and Medicine
    ITV science editor Tom Clarke  investigates the impact that stress is having on our physical and mental health, given the rise in stress-related medical complaints over the past few years.
  • The Imitation Game 
    More4, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    This award-winning spy drama tells the true-life story of Alan Turing (played here by Benedict Cumberbatch), who cracked the Germans’ Enigma Code during the Second World War.

Friday 1st February

  • Grand Tours of Scotland’s Lochs 
    BBC 2, 7pm – Recommended for… Geography
    Paul Murton travels around Scotland, visiting some of its beautiful lochs and the surrounding areas.
  • Classic Albums: American Pie – Don McLean
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Music
    Singer Don McLean discusses his 1971 album, American Pie and the shifting cultural landscape that surrounded it.