Television: Pick of the week

19th September 2003 at 01:00
When the Romans Came to Wales. C4 Tuesdays, September 23 to October 14, 9.45-10am.

A revealing excursion into Roman Wales under the guidance of presenter David Petersen and his unfortunate dog, Rasp, who has to spend much of the time tied to a stile in case he dares foul some delicate archaeological site.

Each episode in this four-parter for seven to 11-year-olds is divided into three sections. The first takes the story of an imaginary family of the Celtic tribe, the Silures, from the 1st century BC onwards, and follows it through three or four generations, from conquest to resistance and finally assimilation, with reconstructions at places where the events might have occurred. The next section examines archaeological evidence on which the story is based, then students are encouraged to do their own research.

Shakespeare ShortsThe Globe Theatre. BBC2 September 23, 2-4am.

English is the subject of the week in the BBC secondary school slot for overnight recording, starting with key scenes from four Shakespeare plays: Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night. They can be developed in various ways for pre-GCSE pupils. This is followed by a short film evoking the world of the Globe Theatre in Shakespeare's day. Later, we have five Macbeth Shorts (September 24) and extracts from Arthur Miller's four best-known plays, in Miller Shorts (September 25).

Black Flash. BBC4 Sunday, September 21, 8-9.10pm.

BBC4 kicks off a season on football this Sunday with Black Flash, the story of non-white athletes in the game. On June 21, 2002, when Darius Vassell came on as substitute in a World Cup match, black players outnumbered white for the first time in the England side. There is exceptional archive footage here and in Football and Fascism (September 23, 8.30-9.30pm), which tells how Hitler, Mussolini and Franco used football for political ends.

Also this week, there are profiles of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (September 29, 8.30-9pm) and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (September 26, 8.30-9), and next week the season includes The Cup, a film about the efforts of two boys at a Tibetan monastery to get a satellite dish in time for the World Cup.

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