Pick of the week;Television

29th January 1999 at 00:00
Three hundred and fifty years ago tomorrow, King Charles 1 was executed at Whitehall. His trial, and the events leading up to it are the subject of a drama-documentary on Radio 4, Justice or Murder: The Death of Charles I.

The programme begins with the Putney Debates, which took place in Putney Church in late October 1647, while the carnage of the Civil War was in temporary abeyance. Members of Cromwell's New Model Army - generals and footsoldiers alike - had gathered to air demands for social reform. On the wish-list was male suffrage, religious tolerance and that familiar hot potato - reform of the monarchy and abolition of the House of Lords.

Subsequently arraigned for high treason after a last-ditch deal with the Scots failed to turn the war in his favour, Charles refused to acknowledge the legality of the court. His accusers persisted with their demands for a confession and when they didn't get it, guilt was assumed and sentence passed.

The programme is based on transcripts of the Putney Debates, as well as other authentic material including the King's private cor-respondence and first-hand accounts of his imprisonment.

There are discussions on the nature of language and historical context and the principal parts are played by Derek Jacobi, Timothy West, Anton Lesser and Bernard Hepton.

Justice or Murder: The Death of Charles I Radio 4 Saturday, January 30 2.30-4pm

SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT

The end of a century, the beginning of a new millennium, all a blink in the eye of time itself. Eureka! Channel 4's much-lauded discovery series for 7-11 year-olds, this term tackles time.

Three youngsters find themselves in the bowels of the Greenwich Observatory ("will they be able to mend my watch?") while doing some research for a millennium project. Opening a door marked "all the time in the world" they find themselves caught in a kind of tardis, inhabited by the eccentric Father Time - "my friends call me Justin".

Using a special lever he can slow time down, or stop it all together. All very entertaining, especially when the contents of a cup of tea spill over in a great, slow-motion tsunami. Further programmes will look at sundials and clocks, measure-ment, and keeping time. Resources, including teachers' guides, activity book, and video are available from Channel 4 Schools, tel: 01926 436446.

Eureka! About Time Channel 4 Tuesdays 9.30-9.45am rpt Fridays 9.30

BEST OF THE REST Sticking with the time theme, The History Channel brings us Century, a 13-hour series narrated by ex-time lord Tom Baker, which explores major issues of the past 100 years such as revolutions and political upheaval as well as cultural phenomena.

Century The History Channel Daily from February 1 to 21 at 8pm

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