Television: pick of the week

29th November 2002 at 00:00
Off Limits: Looking After the Penneys C4 Friday November 29 9.30-10.45am The Penneys are the family in this three-part mini-soap on personal finance for 11 to 16-year-olds. We meet them first on Scott's birthday, as the post arrives with cards and letters, some containing the sort of present you can fold and put in your wallet. He also gets a mobile phone. Scott's financial needs are relatively simple, especially compared with those of his older sister - a university student who has had to take out a loan. Should she do as her mother wishes and finish her degree, or take Grandma's advice and get a job? The stories are enjoyable to watch and raise a variety of questions about money and economic systems, but teachers would be well advised to read the programme notes (available on the C4 website) for advice on how they can best be used in the classroom.

Scene BBC2 Tuesday December 3, Wednesday December 4 and Thursday December 5 2-4am

This week's BBC2 slot for recording overnight is devoted to dramas from "Scene", the excellent series for PSHE. It starts with one of the most compelling, a version of Junk - Melvin Burgess's three-part story about a group of heroin addicts. This is followed by Choices, a short drama on racist violence. On Wednesday, we have Stone Cold, a three-parter on homelessness, followed by Looking for Tat, in which a girl hunts for a missing friend. Finally, on Thursday, Berlie Doherty's Dear Nobody shows how the lives of two teenagers are changed by an unwanted pregnancy is followed by Alison, a film about sexual stereotypes. These are hard-hitting dramas about disturbing subjects, designed to make their viewers think before they act.

Cast and Crew: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner BBC4 November 309.15-11.35pm

Cast and Crew, on BBC4, consists of the screening of a film, preceded by an introduction highlighting the main themes, and followed by interviews with some of those involved. Tonight's feature, Tony Richardson's 1962 adaptation of Alan Sillitoe's novella The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, is particularly relevant to schools. Tom Courtenay stars as the borstal boy in revolt against society, who has a talent for cross-country running. Should he win the big race for the honour of his team, or should he revolt against the system? The themes of anger and rebellion take on a particular significance when the film is seen in its historical context, so there is material here for English and history as well as citizenship - not to mention PE.

Moses BBC1 Sundays from December 1 8-9pm

A tele-biography, but thankfully not one of those Great Britons that the BBC has been celebrating recently. Instead, Jeremy Bowen introduces us to a major figure in three of the world's religions, and examines the historical evidence for his life and times. Computer graphics and dramatic reconstructions help to tell the story of the prophet.

On the Brink Discovery Civilisation Tuesday December 3 8-9pm

This two-part programme, on the history of the nuclear arms race, recalls incidents - starting with the Cuban missile crisis - in which the world came close to the outbreak of nuclear war. The bomb was supposed to be keeping democracy safe, because of the threat of mutual destruction, but most of us never realised how often the deterrent nearly failed, and how near to the brink we came. Not reassuring, but instructive.

For full schedules: www.channel4.co.uklearningmainprogrammesautumn2002.cfmwww.bbc.co.ukscho olswhatsontvindex.shtmlwww.historychannel.comclassroomindex.html

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