Robin Buss's pick of the week

7th May 2004 at 01:00
Blue Dragon. C4 Tuesday, Wednesday, May 11-26, 5.10-5.25am

The Blue Dragon emerges from an egg in the forest and is christened Cinders, because of her hot breath. Her friends try to find out what dragons like - while the wicked grey wolf wonders about his own dinner:

"More food for Cinders is more dragon for me," he says. But I guess the wolf will go without his lunch, while Cinders and her friends will survive to help their audience of five to seven-year-olds answer some fundamental questions about life, such as how our bodies grow and how babies arrive.

This jolly animated series of entertaining and thought-provoking stories begins with six episodes in May, followed by a further four next month.

World of Difference

C4 May 13, 14 and 17, 10.20-10.50am

Three groups of young people, in London, Berkhamsted and Harrogate, have won a Channlel 4 competition to spend pound;10,000 on projects overseas.

The series follows them to an HIV awareness scheme in The Gambia, a girls'

school in Cambodia and a village in Bolivia, where they learn about the countries, meet the people and make a video on the projects with which they are involved.

The resulting documentaries are informative and often touching as they follow their subjects' experience in discovering what life is like for their counterparts in the developing world (which, in the case of one boy, means getting back to his African roots).

Alexander the Great: A Murder Investigation

Discovery Channel Sunday, May 9, 8-9pm

It may seem a bit late to call in Scotland Yard: Alexander died in 323bc.

But foul play has long been suspected and Commander John Grieve thinks that modern forensic methods, plus mind maps, can throw light on the matter.

There are motives and suspects, and accounts of the victim's symptoms suggest poisoning. Commander Grieve sifts the evidence, suggests that Alexander might have benefited from a visit to Alcoholics Anonymous and arrives at an interesting conclusion. Along the way, we learn a lot about the Macedonian general and his impact on world history.

London: Fire and Destiny

BBC2 Friday, May 7, 9-10pm

London's biographer is much in evidence in this three-part series, popping up to lead us through the back streets and byways of his native city. In part one, he recalls some notable fires from which London has been resurrected: the burning of Londinium by Boudicca, the Great Fire of 1666, and the Luftwaffe efforts of 1940. Like a living creature, Ackroyd claims, London has reconstituted itself after these disasters: Christopher Wren complained that his designs to introduce a more elegant and rational street plan came to nothing because Londoners insisted on rebuilding along the lines of the ancient streets; and the grandiose post-war glass and concrete, Ackroyd finds, is now being pulled down, to allow the lines of the medieval street plan to emerge again around Paternoster Square. Though not, perhaps, of immediate use in the classroom, this is a series that might none the less stimulate interesting work in history, geography and English.

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