Barry Murphy once more trawls the TV and radio guides (so you don’t have to) to find anything worth tuning into this week. All listings are for UK terrestrial TV, Freeview and national radio, with the shows running from Friday 24th August to Thursday 30th August.
Highlights of the week
British Film Forever. Saturday 25th August. BBC 2. 9.15pm
Magic, Murder & Monsters: the Story of Horror & Fantasy (5/7) – Its another bumper week of cult Britsh sci-fi/fantasy films this week, with rare screenings of The Damned (1963) (Monday 27th) – a sci-fi biker flick starring Oliver Reed as head of a Hells Angels gang (!) and The Sorcerers (1967) (Thursday 30th) – a groovy mind control story set in swinging London. This weeks episode of the Beeb’s documentary series exploring British films looks at the British cinema’s forays into the gothic world of spine-chillers and fantasy including Dracula, Hammer horror, The Plague of the Zombies, The Wicker Man, Brazil, Witchfinder General and The Innocents. Featuring contributions from Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Simon Pegg, Terry Gilliam, Rupert Grint and John Landis. Plus recollections from some of Britain’s cult screen horror stars including Ingrid Pitt and Barbara Shelley.
The Record Producers. Monday 27th August. BBC Radio 2. 7.00pm
Richard Allison and producer Steve Levine return with their occasional series devoted to the works of studio greats. They continue with formidable Motown songwriting/producing trio Holland/Dozier/Holland – Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland – whose contributions to the Motown repertoire include Reach Out I’ll Be There, Can I Get a Witness, This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You) and nearly every 60s classic by the Supremes. Plus a look at their pioneering studio techniques.
Friday 24th August
The Champions – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
The team investigate an underwater mystery when an entire crew of a nuclear submarine are found dead.
Long John Baldry: in the Shadow of the Blues – BBC 4. 9.50pm – 10.40pm
Profile of British singer John William Baldry, whose enthusiasm inspired the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. He also discovered Rod Stewart and Elton John.
Tales of the Unexpected – ITV 3. 11.00pm – 12.05am
Double bill of the series. In the first, a man is helped to realise his dreams of conducting an orchestra. In the second, a well-dressed old man sells his umbrella.
Saturday 25th August
Film: The Quatermass Xperiment (1961) – BBC 2. 2.00pm – 3.20pm
Sci-fi thriller starring Brian Donlevy. A rocket returns to Earth with only one of the three astronauts still on board. When a fungus is discovered growing on his hand, the sole survivor is put in isolation.
Film: Dr Who and the Daleks (1965) – BBC 2. 3.20pm – 4.40pm
Sci-fi adventure starring Peter Cushing. An accident in the Tardis results in the Doctor and his companions being transported to a strange planet.
British Film Forever (5/7) – BBC 2. 9.15pm – 10.45pm
Film: Witchfinder General (1968) – BBC 2. 10.45pm – 12.10am
Horror starring Vincent Price. In 1645, with England torn apart by civil war, witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins roams the country torturing and executing those suspected of witchcraft.
Film: Assault on Precinct 13 (1796) – BBC 1. 12.20am – 1.50am (Sun am)
Cult thriller from director John Carpenter. In the Los Angeles ghetto of Anderson, six young gang members are shot dead by police. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Bishop is given the job of caretaking the last few hours of the local police station. But when he gives refuge to a man on the run, a nightmare siege begins.
Sounds of the 60s – BBC Radio 2. 8.00am – 10.00am
Brian Matthew spins two hours of hits, B -sides and album tracks.
The Funk and Soul Show – BBC Radio 6. 6.00pm – 9.00pm
3 hours of funk, soul and blues.
Sunday 26th August
Quatermass – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
John Mills stars as the retired professor who battles sinister forces threatening Earth. The team set a trap for the malevolent alien force but it’s put in jeopardy.
Film: Night of the Living Dead (1990) – ITV 4. 10.00pm – 11.50pm
Tom Savini’s remake starring Tony Todd and Patricia Tallman. Flesh-eating zombies besiege a group of people trapped in a remote farmhouse.
Classic Serial: To Sir with Love (1/2) – BBC Radio 4. 3.00pm – 4.00pm
Rick Braithwaite is a handsome ex-RAF pilot who gets a job as a teacher in a radical school in postwar London’s East End. The students are tough, foul-mouthed and angry but he inspires them as they inspire him. By ER Braithwaite, dramatised by Roy Williams.
Monday 27th August
Film: Planet of the Apes (1967) – Channel 4. 1.25pm – 3.30pm
Classic sci-fi adventure starring Charlton Heston. Four astronauts crash-land in the wilderness of an alien planet, a place where evolution has taken a strange turn – apes are the dominant species and man is the beast. What are the chances of survival in this hostile world?
Life on Mars (7/8): Series two. BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm
Sam and the rest of the unit get to work in an effort to prove Gene’s innocence when he becomes a suspect in a murder case.
Film: Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) – BBC 1. 10.25pm – 12Midnight
Dumb-but-funny comedy. Ron Burgundy is the top newsreader at a 1970s San Diego TV station. But when his position comes under threat with the arrival of ambitious reporter Veronica Corningstone, male chauvinist Burgundy is torn between defending his job and his attraction to the newcomer.
Film: Chinatown (1974) – Five. 11.05pm – 1.35am
Roman Rolanski’s Oscar-winning thriller starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. When private eye J J Gittes is brought in to investigate the husband of a rich LA socialite, he stumbles into a web of deceit and murder involving the city’s water supply, and uncovers a terrible secret from the past.
Film: The Damned (1963) – BBC 2. 11.30pm – 1.05am
Sci-fi thriller starring Oliver Reed. While seeking refuge from a violent biker gang at a nearby base, an American tourist finds a group of mysterious children with a deadly secret. Currently unavailable on DVD.
The Record Producers – BBC Radio 2. 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Tuesday 28th August
TV Film: Martin and Lewis (2002) – Five. 1.40pm – 3.40pm
Biographical comedy drama charting Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis’s partnership, starring Jeremy Northam and Sean Hayes.
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Jean and Jeff accompany Marty’s aunt on a visit to Monte Carlo – where her good fortune at roulette attracts the wrong sort of attention.
Film: Porridge (1979) – Film4. 7.15pm – 9.00pm
Comedy based on the popular BBC series starring Ronnie Barker. Detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure, Fletcher becomes an unwilling accomplice to an escape attempt during a football match.
The Burger and the King – UKTV History. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
A humorous history of Elvis Presley’s life and Formidable appetite.
The Professionals – ITV 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
The duo investigate a crime network run by a country squire in his stately home.
Life on Mars – (8/8) series two – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm
A private meeting with Morgan leads to revelations that turn Sam’s world upside down – and offers him a chance to go home.
Film: The Gorgon (1964) – BBC 2. 11.20pm – 12.40am
Horror starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. A professor investigates a spate of murders where the victims have been turned to stone.
I Was Peter Seller’s Personal Assistant – BBC Radio 4. 11.30am – 12 Mid-day
Andrew McGibbon looks at great performers through the perspective of someone who worked for them. Tricia Hammond was Peter Sellers’s PA in 1975, when his career took an upward turn with the release of The Return of the Pink Panther. She tells of psychic numerology, fundamental self-doubt, and high-speed impressions.
Wednesday 29th August
When the Levees Broke – a Requiem in Four Acts – BBC 4. 8.00pm – 12.20am
A chance to watch in one sitting the two acts of Spike Lee’s epic documentary following the people of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The film follows residents – initially with little support from the recovery effort – as they struggle to survive in the scorching temperatures that accompanied the flooding which devastated much of the city in August 2005. The films also paint a compelling portrait of a community that has gone through hell. Amid the destruction, the people of New Orleans buoyed by their resilience and cultural legacy, assess the legacy of the disaster.
Film: Brazil (1985) – BBC 2. 11.20pm – 1.35am
Orwellian science-fiction fantasy starring Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro and Katherine Helmond. Sam Lowry’s flights of fantasy take him away from the drab reality of his job. Then a mistake plummets Sam into a nightmare world of storm troopers, terrorists and torturers.
Mark Lamarr’s Alternative 60s – BBC Radio 2. 10.00pm – 11.00pm
Mark Lamarr continues his new series showcasing obscure 1960s recordings from rock, pop, and psych to folk, soul, R&B and garage. His special guests are Jon Boden and Paul Sartin from the 11-piece English folk act Bellowhead, who combine traditional and modern sounds.
Thursday 30th August
Film: The Cincinnati Kid (1965) – Channel 4. 1.35pm – 3.30pm
Gritty drama starring Steve McQueen, Edward G Robinson and Ann-Margret. "The Kid" is an ambitious young poker player. While in New Orleans, he is challenged to a game by Lancey Howard, a man known as the best in the land.
The Champions – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
The team investigates when a top Pentagon official is found dead in Wales.
UFO – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Straker faces a heart-breaking choice between protecting the Earth and saving his son Johnny, who will die without the aid of medication.
Film: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) – Film4. 11.40pm – 1.20am
Expansive science-fiction sequel starring Roddy McDowall. The planet’s ape population plans a revolt against their human masters. The most violent of the Apes series, the comparisons to the civil rights movement and America’s campus riots of the late 1960s are evident here.
Film: The Sorcerers (1967) – BBC 2. 12.05am – 1.25am (Fri am)
Cult science-fiction horror starring Boris Karloff. Set in swinging London, a well-meaning professor discovers a way of controlling another person’s mind through hypnotism.
Krazy Kat – BBC Radio 4. 11.30am – 12Mid-day
Quentin Blake presents a portrait of one of the most influential cartoon strips of the 20th century: Krazy Kat and its creator George Herriman – the first black cartoonist in print.
Seven More Days That Rocked the World – BBC Radio 2. 11.00pm – 11.30pm
Stuart Maconie recalls critical moments in popular music. He journeys back to two particularly disturbing and gruesome events in August 1969, when members of Charles Manson’s clan – the so-called " Family" – murdered Roman Polanski’s pregnant actress wife Sharon Tate and several guests at her home near Beverley Hills. Two more murders followed the next evening. A frustrated rock star, Manson claimed he’d received messages from songs on the 1968 double LP, The Beatles,. The motiveless deaths triggered a further atrophying of America’s innocence and optimistic spirit.