Robin Buss's pick of the week
The First Black Britons Mary Seacole: A Hidden History BBC2, Friday, October 28, 2-6am
Two new programmes for Black History Month, both designed for 11 to 16-year-olds and both with a military background. We begin with the story of the West India Regiment: first recruited in 1795 to fight against France, this black regiment went on to see service throughout the 19th century, when two of its soldiers won the Victoria Cross, then during the First World War, before being disbanded in 1927. The second programme is a biography of Mary Seacole, the "black Florence Nightingale", nurse and heroine of the Crimean War.
Nazi Germany The Cold War BBC2, WednesdayThursday, October 2627, 2-4am
Occupying the graveyard shift on successive nights are these mini-series for 14 to 16-year-olds on two of the sexier subjects of modern history.
Neither can be understood without context: Nazism grew out of the aftermath of the First World War, and the early part of the evening on October 26 is devoted to five 20-minute films for 11 to 14-year-olds about that conflict, from its origins to the peace of 1918, then a short film on the reason why it all went wrong, called "Make Germany Pay". Well, we all paid. Nazi Germany records Hitler's rise to power and the opposition to Nazism. On the following night, The Cold War is preceded (2-4am) by an adaptation of the recent BBC4 series Days that Shook the World, in which the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima are retold as drama-documentary. The Cold War is a five-parter on the struggle between East and West, focusing on events in Berlin and Hungary, the arms race, the Cuban missile crisis and the end of the USSR.
Don't Make Me Angry C4, Monday-Thursday, October 31-November 3, 9.30-9.55am We return from half-term to this four-part PSHE series for edgy 14 to 19-year-olds. Losing your temper can have devastating consequences, but celebrities on the screen, the football pitch and elsewhere don't always set the best example. The two boys and two girls in this series illustrate something else: while boys tend to turn their aggression outwards in violence towards others, girls are more likely to harm themselves.
Tales from Europe BBC Radio 4, Fridays, November 4-December 2, 4.05-4.20am Seven to nine-year-olds coming back from half-term have a chance to listen to Josie Lawrence reading Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. Persephone and King Arthur, told by Helen Mirren and John Hurt respectively, are among those that feature later in the series.