среда, 4 июня 2008 г.

Whats on TV

The Supersizers Go...

BBC Two, 9pm

The self-consciously wacky humour in this historical food series can feel as tepid and adulterated with dodgy ingredients as a helping of Victorian street food. This week, having been stuffed into a tight corset, Sue Perkins pretends to faint several times, throwing herself to the floor during starchy dinners, while Giles Coren gets himself knocked down while boxing. The food-as-social history is fascinating though and includes the insipid broth at an East End soup kitchen and dreadful curries at the Oriental Club. The obligatory repulsive dish of the week? A wholeboiled calf's head.

The Culture Show. BBC Two, 10pm

With its easygoing tone and complete indifference to the height of artistic brows, The Culture Show has always been a counterweight to more solemn offerings such as Imagine or The South Bank Show.

It returns with the co-presenters, Geordie rock-chick Lauren Laverne and film buff Mark Kermode, whose haircut is a cultural event in its own right. This first plate of tasters includes a set visit as Ricky Gervais directs his first film in America, Andrew Graham-Dixon analysing Gustav Klimt in Vienna, and there is music from Sparks - all reprised with extras in The Culture Show Uncut on Friday.

Imagine. BBC One, 10.35pm

With his unique combination of neurological brilliance and literary flair, Oliver Sacks has been captivating readers of his engrossing case studies since 1970, and was even portrayed by Robin Williams in the film of his Awakenings. Alan Yentob explores the world of his latest work, Musicophilia: Tales of Music on the Brain, in a series of interviews with extraordinary people. Matt's acute Tourette's syndrome can be controlled by drumming. Blind since birth and severely autistic, Derek from Surrey can reproduce complex piano music after one hearing. Tony from upstate New York became a brilliant pianist almost overnight after being struck by lightning. Sacks recalls his family life back in London, while speculating on these mind-boggling mental phenomena.

Absolute Zero. BBC Two, 11.20pm

BBC Four may get tiny ratings, but it is a constant source of illuminating and surprising documentaries. Transferred to BBC Two, this excellent two-parter began their Science You Can't See Season telling the story of cold, how we learnt to understand and use it and how taming it helped to shape modern civilisation.

For instance, did you know that air-conditioning was first demonstrated in 1620 in the Great Hall of Westminster? Or that it made the building of New York's skyscrapers possible almost 300 years later? In part two, bearded boffins race to be the first to reach "absolute zero".

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