TV and radio

28th September 2001 at 01:00
Pick of the week

Life BC

Channel 4

From Friday, September 28, 8-8.30pm

The computer has added a new dimension to reconstructions of the past. This new four-parter takes advantage to summon up images of the ancient Near East, starting with Mesopotamia, the "land between the rivers". Here, 55 centuries ago, the Neolithic revolution got into its stride as a society producing a surplus of food made time for remarkable advances in the arts of civilisation: architecture, engineering, writing and maths.

Best for schools

AS Guru: Study Skills, General Studies


Sunday, September 30, 3-5am; Monday, October 1, 2-4am

AS Guru is a multimedia service involving television, books and a website designed to smooth the transition to A-level. The first of these three programmes is about study skills, followed by two on general studies covering arts, science, maths, social studies and technology. Its website reinforces the films' work on religion and morality, art, film genres, mathematical graphs and more.

Off Limits: Parenting Stories

Channel 4

October 4, 10.25-10.50am

The final part in the three-part series giving parents of the future an idea of what life is like for parents of the present. We follow a selection of mothers and fathers (including single parents) as they prepare for the birth of their babies, try to get inside the mind of the toddler and experience life as members of a growing family. All in all, the prospect of having children is not made too awesome, even for the target audience of 14 to 19-year-olds who have hardly ceased being children themselves. All three programmes will shortly be available on video.

Best for kids

Oscar Charlie


Wednesdays, 4.35-5pm

Paul Smith's comedy-drama for children stars David Swift and Eddie Cooper as grandad Oscar and grandson Charlie, an odd pair of sleuths working for British Intelligence. At first, Charlie thinks his grandad's absent-mindedness marks the onset of senility, until he finds out that Grandad has a secret life as a top agent in the security services. From that point Charlie becomes his partner in some dangerous missions. Viewers may unravel the carefully encrypted message: kids, those oldies are not as mad as they seem.

Best on radio

Making Tracks

Radio 3

Daily, from September 24, 3.40-4pm

This latest series of the BBC's well-loved music programme, hosted by Blue Peter presenters Liz Barker, Simon Thomas and Matt Baker, encourages children and adults to make music - from classical, jazz, folk and the Javanese gamelan, to animal noises and acoustic instruments.

A website linked to the series features the animated character Polly Phonic:

Full educational programme schedules can be found online at co.ukprogrammesautumn2001.cfm

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