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

Welcome back to our top picks of TV broadcasts for teaching and learning coming your way this week! History and geography take the spotlight this week, though we’ve got plenty for everyone else too.

Saturday 9th March

  • Japan’s Tsunami: Caught on Camera 
    More4, 9pm – Recommended for… Geography and Geology
    The first part of this double-bill of documentaries shows the massive impact that the 2011 tsunami had on Japan.
  • The Martian 
    Channel 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Physics and Biology
    Adapted from Andy Weir’s novel, this science-fiction pays a lot of attention to scientific detail. Want to know how to grow potatoes on Mars and survive on limited oxygen? This film has the answers.
  • Japan’s Tsunami: How it Happened
    More4, 9pm – Recommeded for… Geography and Geology
    Following on from earlier’s broadcast on the Japan tsunami, this documentary explains how the earthquake and following tsunami occurred.
  • Noah 
    BBC 2, 11:10pm – Recommended for… Religious Studies
    A more recent adaptation of the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark, starring Russell Crowe as the eponymous Noah and Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Logan Lerman as his family.
  • Sam Warburton: Full Contact
    BCB 1m 11:45pm – Recommended for… P. E.
    Many fans were saddened when Wales’ Sam Warburton had to retire due to injury, but he left a legacy behind that will inspire many rugby players to come. This documentary explores the highs and lows of his career, talking to the man himself as well  as peers such as Warren Gatland and George North.

Sunday 10th March

  • A Knight’s Tale 
    Channel 5, 1:50pm – Recommended for… English Literature and History
    This (very) loose adaptation of Chaucer’s iconic story casts Heath Ledger as William Thatcher, a squire who creates for himself a new life pretending to be a knight. The film is really entertaining and could easily be used to introduce the concept of knights and the rules that come with the position.
  • James May’s Big Trouble in Model Britain 
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Business Studies and Design Technology
    We all had a train set when we were younger, right? Not so much nowadays, as Hornby Hobbies boss Simon Kohler is quickly finding out. Presenter James May tags along for the ride as the company tries to revamp its image to become more appealing to modern consumers.

Monday 11th March

  • My Life: If I Go Blind
    CBBC, 5:30pm – Recommended for… PSHE, English, and Biology
    This week’s episode of My Life meets Alexa, a girl with a degenerative eye condition that may cause her to go blind. This episode follows her story, as she tries to read as much as possible before this happens and meets her favourite author, Jaqueline Wilson.
  • A Stitch in Time
    BBC 4, 7:30pm – Recommended for… Fashion Design and History
    Amber Buchart’s documentary about fashion and culture across different periods in history begins with the exploration of Charles II and his lifestyle.
  • Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Geography
    Dr George McGavin presents a one-off documentary following the oak tree and how it adapts to weather changes all year around.

Tuesday 12th March

  • The World’s Most Photographed: Audrey Hepburn 
    BBC 2, 6am – Recommended for… Art & Design, Photography, and Media Studies
    The latest episode in this series explores the life of Audrey Hepburn and how photographs manipulated the truth, in doing so creating a image of the actress that was not necessarily true-to-life.
  • The Art of Japanese Life
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… Geography, Japanese, and Religious Studies
    In the first of this three-part series, Dr James Fox traces the roots of Japanese culture back to the country’s natural environment and religions.
  • World War Two: a Timewatch Guide
    BBC 4, 10pm – Recommended for… History
    Professor Saul David investigates how the image of the Second World War has changed over the years, due to both media representation and new information that has come to light.

Wednesday 13th February

  • Critical Condition 
    Channel 5, 9pm – Recommended for… Medicine
    This documentary shifts its focus away from patients and families to the doctors and nurses working at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. During the course of the programme, they deal with a stoke patient and a man with terrible head pain, among other conditions.
  • The Woman in Black
    Film4, 11:15pm – Recommended for… English Literature
    With the book appearing on many English Literature syllabi, this well-made film adaptation starring Daniel Radcliffe in the title role is a great way to help students to visualise the story.

Thursday 14th March

  • Good Morning Dagenham
    BBC 1, 11am – Recommended for… Business Studies
    Larry Lamb is the host for this new series following traders in open markets. Given that high-street stores are struggling, what hope do these small-size traders have? That’s what Lamb is hoping to uncover.
  • The Crusades
    BBC 4, 8pm – Recommended for… History
    This could be a real gem for those studying the Crusades, because not only does it go over established historical facts, it factors in newly uncovered evidence from both Christian and Islamic perspectives.
  • Britain’s Tudor Britain: a Night at Hampton Court 
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… History
    The re-creation of Edward VI’s christening gives Lucy Worsley and David Starkey the chance to discuss the magnitude of the event and the effort that went into it. Food, religion, art, architecture – it’s all discussed here.
  • Blackadder II
    BBC 4, 10pm – Recommended for… History and Drama
    Ah, the ever-popular resource for history teachers everywhere. The second season is set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (Miranda Richardson), and sees Lord Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) up to his usual scheming, with some great historical referencing.
  • Ali 
    ITV4, 10:25pm – Recommended for… Sport Science
    Will Smith stars in this biopic about legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, which takes place over the course of ten years. Showing the ups and downs of Ali’s career, this could be really useful for showing students the importance of endurance.

Friday 15th March

  • Australia: Earth’s Magical Kingdom 
    BBC 2, 9pm – Recommended for… Geography
    We’ve had nature documentaries from all parts of the world over the last few months, but barely any of them touch on Australia. Sure, their infamous spiders don’t do much for their reputation, but there is so much more to Australian wildlife than just koalas and kangaroos. It definitely looks like it’ll be worth a watch.
  • Showbands: How Ireland Learnt to Party
    BBC 4, 9pm – Recommended for… Music
    One-off documentary following the rise and fall of Irish showbands between the 1960s and 1980s – what made them so popular, and what was it that made this popularity wane? Ardal O’Hanlon investigates.