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ERA’s Top TV Picks 5th – 11th October 2019

Welcome back to our TV Picks of the Week! There are a few programmes for psychology and engineering available this week, as well as plenty for subjects such as history.

Saturday 5th October

  • Cheetahs: Growing Up Fast 
    BBC4, 7pm – Recommended for… Biology and Zoology
    Cameraman Kim Wolhuter is the mind behind this Natural World film, which follows a cheetah mother in the wild as she brings up her cubs. We get to see as they grow up from being adorable babies to fully-formed predators that will succeed in their natural habitat.
  • Britain’s Most Historic Towns
    Channel 4, 7pm – Recommended for… History and Geography
    The second series of Professor Alice Roberts’ exploration of historic Britain sees her heading over to Dover to find out more about the town that acted as the country’s front line against the Nazis
  • History of the Emirates
    National Geographic, 8pm – Recommended for… History, Biology, and Geography
    Jeremy Irons narrates this visually stunning documentary about human life in what is now known as the Emirates around 125,000 years ago. This one should be a treat for multiple subjects!

Sunday 6th October

  • Thomas Cook: the Rise and Fall of Britain’s Oldest Travel Agent
    Channel 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Business Studies and Economics
    It’s been one of the most shocking developments of the past few weeks, with thousands of Thomas Cook employees being left unemployed overnight and hundreds of passengers stranded abroad after the travel agent announced that it had gone bankrupt. But what chain of events led to this collapse? That’s what one of the questions that this documentary asks, along with recapping the company’s past successes.
  • Britain’s Greatest Generation
    BBC4, 10pm – Recommended for… History
    Reading this title, you may be asking yourself – which generation is this? Well, according to this programme, it’s the people who are now in their 90s and 100s. Here, we hear from a number of people from this generation, as they recount their experiences of war, recession, and patriotism.

Monday 7th October

  • Ian Hislop’s Fake News: a True Story
    BBC4, 9pm – Recommended for… History, Sociology, and Politics
    Fake news seems like a fairly recent phenomenon, but it seems that it actually dates back to around 1835. Here, Ian Hislop investigates the history of fake news, meeting with those who purvey it today, and the effect that it’s having on our society.
  • Horizon: a Week Without Lying – the Honesty Experiment 
    BBC4, 10pm – Recommended for… Psychology and Biology
    The first of two really interesting Horizon programmes this week sees a group of scientists analyzing the effect of telling lies on our mental state and considering what it would be like to live in a world where we were unable to lie.

Tuesday 8th October

  • Live Gymnastics 
    BBC2, 1:30pm – Recommended for… P.E.
    Perfect for those lessons where the weather or teacher absence has left pupils without any sport to do, this showcase of brilliant gymnastics is sure to help inspire those interested in it!

Wednesday 9th October

  • The Channel Tunnel: Life on the Inside 
    BBC2, 7:30pm – Recommended for… Engineering and Politics
    As the Channel Tunnel’s 25th anniversary approaches, this documentary focuses in on the construction and maintenance of the tunnel, as well as addressing a number of issues concerning Brexit.
  • Castles: Britain’s Fortified History 
    BBC4, 8pm – Recommended for… History and Architecture
    Historian Sam Willis kicks off this three-part series on British castles by exploring their humble beginnings in the Norman times and tracking the evolution of the constructions so that they acted as weapons as well as sanctuaries.
  • Catching Britain’s Killers: the Crimes that Changed Us
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… History and Forensics
    Be warned, this programme may contain some upsetting scenes. In this first episode of the series about the crimes that triggered the evolution of police investigation and interrogation, the focus is on the murders of teenagers Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann in the 1980s, which brought about developments in DNA analysis.
  • Francesco’s Venice
    BBC4, 11:30pm – Recommended for… History, Engineering, and Architecture
    Francesco da Mosto finds out more about the clever construction of Venice and how it protected its inhabitants from both invasion and drowning.

Thursday 10th October

  • Horizon: the Truth about Personality 
    BBC4, 11:30pm – Recommended for… Psychology and Neuroscience
    Here’s the second Horizon programme promised this week – this time, we’re finding out more about what shapes our personalities and how easily this can be changed. Presenter Michael Mosely tries a few techniques to make him less worried about things, but as to whether it works, we’ll just have to tune in and find out.

Friday 11th October

  • The Name of the Rose
    BBC2, 9pm – Recommended for… English Literature, Italian, and History
    This eight-part adaptation of Umberto Eco’s novel may be perfect for anyone studying the text or Italian history at a HE level. Apparently, it delves deeper into the story of friar William of Baskerville as he is pulled into a murder investigation in a 14th-century monastery than the 1986 film adaptation, so it might be worth keeping an eye on.