TV & radio: what to tune in to next week (1–7 July 2017)

Can't decide which shows to watch or listen to next week? Here are 10 programmes you won't want to miss...
This year’s Reith Lectures are given by historical writer Hilary Mantel. (BBC/Ri

 

Melvyn Bragg on TV: The Box that Changed the World 
BBC Two 
Saturday 1 July, 8.00pm
 
Melvyn Bragg and expert guests (including David Olusoga, Michael Grade and Abi Morgan) consider the enormous impact that TV has had on our lives since 1953, when the coronation did so much to popularise the medium. Subjects under discussion include the way British identity has been portrayed on screen plus TV’s challenges to authority.
 
 

Melvyn Bragg on TV: The Box that Changed the World. (BBC/Storyvault TV)
 
Archive on 4 – The Thirty Year Itch 
Radio 4
Saturday 1 July, 8.00pm
 
The 2008 crash challenged the economic liberalism that had previously dominated politics. Ever since, there’s been a sense that British politicians are looking around for a new big idea. To examine what the future may hold, Phil Tinline looks back at another time when something similar happened: the 1970s breakdown of the Keynesian consensus.
 
 
Dunkirk: The New Evidence 
Channel 4
Sunday 2 July, 8.00pm
 
One of the recurring narratives of the Dunkirk evacuation is that British troops and sailors were let down by the RAF. Rather, this documentary, based on newly released MoD files, suggests that the German air bombardment would have been a lot worse if it weren’t for the efforts of British fighter pilots.
 
 
Poldark 
BBC One
Sunday 2 July, 9.00pm
 
Oh, that George Warleggan is a rotter. He confirms this fact when, in his new position as magistrate, he has to deal with starving villagers raiding a grain ship. Meanwhile, Ross has a plan to mitigate the local famine and to help out Dwight, plus Demelza goes into labour.
 
 

Poldark. (BBC/Mammoth Screen/Robert Viglasky)
 
Cold War: Stories from the Big Freeze 
Radio 4
Monday 3 July, 1.45pm
 
The weekday series looking at turning points during the Cold War returns. The first of 15 new episodes focuses on the fall of the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, in 1964. Subsequent shows deal with the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Prague spring, the Vietnam War and the 1973 coup in Chile.
 
 
Ripper Street 
BBC Two 
Monday 3 July, 9.00pm
 
As the final series of the atmospheric period crime drama continues, Augustus Dove tries to hide his brother in Hackney Marshes – at least until Reid is dealt with. But can Nathaniel control his own violent urges and stay away from trouble?
 
 

Ripper Street. (BBC/Tiger Aspect Productions Limited & Lookout Point Limited 2016/Bernard Walsh)
 
The Essay: New Generation Thinkers 
Radio 3
Monday 3 July, 10.45pm
 
The first of five new weekday lectures from rising stars of academia finds Corin Throsby considering attitudes to breastfeeding over the past 200 years. Other subjects this week include the history of fasting and a fake news scandal from the 17th century.
 
 
The Reith Lectures 2017 
Radio 4
Tuesday 4 July, 9.00am
 
Hilary Mantel’s theme this week is “resurrection”; the job of taking history out of the archive and bringing it to life in a character. “The historian will always wonder why you left certain things out, while the literary critic will wonder why you left them in,” she notes of this process. 
 
 
Making History 
Radio 4
Tuesday 4 July, 3.30pm
 
The history magazine show continues with an episode that finds poet Sugar Brown charting how US troops in the UK were segregated by race during the Second World War. Plus China’s 21st-century equivalent to the Silk Road and a guide to historic Bordeaux. Presented by Helen Castor.
 
 
Who Do You Think You Are? 
BBC One
Thursday 6 July, 9.00pm
 
The genealogy series returns. The first of 10 new episodes features actor Charles Dance (AKA Game of Thrones’ Tywin Lannister). While he’s made his name playing aristocrats, his mother, we learn, was an under house parlour maid. Meanwhile Dance knows next to nothing about his father, who died when he was four. 
 
 
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