Television: pick of the week

Storyville: Robots Are Us BBC4 Thursday, July 11, 9-10.30pm

Pierre-Henri Salfati's documentary, which has won an Emmy award, considers a deeply rooted post-industrial obsession: the fear that machines are going to take over the world.

This is not necessarily science fiction: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a project on evolutionary robotics which assumes few limits to the power of the machine. The film looks back over the history of the Golem story - the Golem being an artificial being in human form brought to life by magic - and asks whether the worldwide web is not even more dangerous than this mythical creature. A thought to take on the beach this summer.

Mummy Road Show Channel 4 Fridays, from July 5, 8-8.30pm

Professors Ron Beckett and Jerry Conlogue have decided to spend their summer wandering around the world looking at mummified bodies.

Travelling from the mountains of central Italy to the deserts of northern Chile, they apply the techniques of bio-anthropology to discover what such remains can tell us about life, illness and death in different places and times - a sort of international "Meet the Ancestors". Last week, in the first programme of the series, they came across an Italian of around 1800 and winced at the discovery that the poor fellow had a huge kidney stone. Too late to operate, alas.

Sir Gadabout CITV Weekdays, from Monday, July 8, 4.30-5pm

The matiere de Bretagne gets a new twist in the tales of Sir Gadabout, the worst knight in the land, who sits at the round table with Sir Tificate, Sir Prano, Sir Real (who has a bit of a Daliesque moustache) and Sir Lancelot (the one who's too-clever-by-half).

Spoiling the fun are the evil Sir Rancid and his nanny, while Merlin looks after the technology and Princess Elenora, being a girlie, is allowed to drop the handkerchief to start the tournament. Carry On, Fairie Queene.

The 50s and 60s in Living Colour ITV Time TBC

The discovery that there is a lot of little-known archive footage in colour from the Fifties and Sixties has not prevented the commentary to this month's three-part ITV documentary from adopting a fairly black-and-white view of the period: all the old cliches are here, in Part One's survey of a youth scene peopled by teddy boys, beatniks, mods and rockers.

Those Fifties males, we learn, were only after one thing - and Fifties girls were making sure they didn't get it. Then, in "Home Sweet Home", we discover a few forgotten facts about the postwar domestic scene; while in Part Three, with the focus on our passion for cars, we get a chance to consider why no politician in his right mind wants to be transport secretary (except perhaps Stephen Byers).

The commentary is not Simon Schama, but the interviewees have one or two interesting things to say and the archive footage well worth showing your Year 9 history class. There is a book (The Fifties and Sixties: A Lifestyle Revolution by Miriam Akhtar and Steve Humphries from Boxtree, pound;18.99) to accompany the series which is a bit more informative and no less colourful.

Details of school programming will return in the autumn term

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