Categories / Film and TV

Retro TV W/C 12th March 2010


Barry Murphy returns once more to trawl the TV and radio guides (so you don't have to), finding anything worth tuning into this week. All listings are for UK terrestrial TV, Freeview and national radio, with the shows running from Friday 12th March to Thursday 18th March 2010.

Highlight of the week

Julien Temple's new film Requiem for Detroit? (BBC 2. Saturday 13th, 8pm) is a vivid evocation of an apocalyptic vision: a slow-motion Katrina that has had many more victims. Detroit was once America's fourth largest city. Built by the car for the car, with its groundbreaking suburbs, freeways and shopping centres, it was the embodiment of the American dream. But its intense race riots brought the army into the city. With violent union struggles against the fierce resistance of Henry Ford and the Big Three, it was also the scene of American nightmares.

Now it is truly a dystopic post-industrial city, in which 40 per cent of the land in the centre is returning to prairie. Greenery grows up through abandoned office blocks, houses and collapsing car plants, and swallows up street lights. Police stations and post offices have been left with papers on the desks like the Marie Celeste. There is no more rush hour on what were the first freeways in America. Crime, vandalism, arson and dog fighting are the main activities in once the largest building in North America.  But it's also a source of hope. Streets are being turned to art. Farming is coming back to the centre of the city. Young people are flocking to help. The burgeoning urban agricultural movement is the fastest growing movement in the US. Detroit leads the way again but in a very different direction.

Friday 12th March


The Professionals – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Mercenaries and guerrillas wage war in Britain.

Blues Britannia: Can White Men Play the Blues? – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.30pm (Repeated 12.30am)
Documentary charting the British love of the musical genre over a 20-year period from the 1950s. Contributors including Keith Richards, Paul Jones, John  Mayall and Bill Wyman study the inspiration of American artists such as Muddy Waters, how young white audiences came to love the music, and the increasing international dominance of UK-based performers as the 1970s dawned.

Blues at the BBC – BBC 4. 10.30pm – 11.30pm
Archive footage of blues performances from the past 50 years. Featuring famous songs by Son House, The Kinks, BB King, John Lee Hooker and Eric Clapton, plus lesser known tracks by Freddie King, Delaney and Bonnie and Long John Baldrey.

Sidekick Stories – BBC 4. 11.30pm – 12.30am (Repeated 2.00am)
A tribute to the hidden talents of television's longest-suffering assistants. Includes contributions by Andrew Sachs, Tony Robinson, Matthew Corbett and Debbie McGee.

Film: I Don't Want to Be Born (1975) – BBC 2. 2.00am – 3.30am
Horror starring Joan Collins and Donald Pleasence. An ex-stripper offends a dwarf who curses her unborn child. The worst 70's Brit horror ever made?

Saturday 13th March


The Sweeney – ITV 4. 6.55pm – 8.00pm
A dangerous gang of robbers start taking hostages.

Minder – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Arthur and Terry help an indian newsagent.

Requiem for Detroit? – BBC 2. 8.00pm – 9.15pm
Powered by the car industry and designed for a life based around road travel, Detroit was once the embodiment of the American dream. But director Julien Temple's film paints avery different picture, showing how it has now turned into a dystopian post-industrial city that is the stuff of nightmares. However, with the freeways no longer troubled by a rush hour, plants are swallowing up once-thriving areas and the land in the city centre is increasingly turning back to prairie. Will Detroit's future turn out to be in farming as the urban agricultural movement rushes to its aid?

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet – ITV 4. 9.00pm – 11.10pm
Double bill of the classic comedy. Bomber's daughter runs away.

Motor City's Burning: Detroit from Motown to the Stooges – BBC 2. 10.40pm – 11.40pm
The city's influence on music in the 1960s, from the success of Motown to the garage rock scene, which paved the way for punk. Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Martha Reeves contribute.

Film: Easy Rider (1969) – Five USA – 11.00pm – 1.00am
Cult road movie starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.

Motown: a Culture Show Special – BBC 2. 1.10am – 1.55am
Marking the 50th anniversary of Motown Records.


Sounds of the 60s – BBC Radio 2. 8.00am – 10.00am
Brian Matthew spins two hours of hits, B -sides and album tracks.

Ali: When Cassius Met the Beatles – BBC Radio 4. 10.30am – 11.00am
Miami 1964: two iconic 20th-century cultural forces came face to face. John Wilson gathers eyewitness accounts of this unique encounter between the king of the ring and the Fab Four, with photographer Harry Benson, writer Robert Lipsyte and fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco.

The Funk and Soul Show – BBC 6 Music. 7.00pm – 10.00pm
3 hours of funk, soul and blues presented by Craig Charles.

Sunday 14th March


Film: The Best of Benny Hill (1974) – ITV 1. 12.30pm – 2.10pm
Golden moments from Benny Hill's early 1970s TV comedy shows are bought together in this compilation film.

The Sweeney – ITV 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm
The team investigates a multi-million-pound scam.

Mad Men (8/13) – BBC 4. 11.00pm – 11.45pm (Repeated 2.05am)
Series three. Souvenir. Don takes Betty with him on a business trip, and Pete helps out a neighbour's au pair.

Blur at Glastonbury 2009 – BBC 2. 12.35am – 1.20am
Highlights of the band's festival performance.

Rise Up: Reggae Star – BBC 4. 1.05am – 2.05am
Documentary following three aspiring reggae musicians in Jamaica as they fight to rise up out of obscurity, attempting to forge a successful career for themselves in a society abundantly rich in talent but poor in opportunity.

Monday 15th March


The Sweeney – ITV 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm
A policeman is shot.

Film: The Black Windmill (1974) – ITV 4. 11.00pm – 1.15am
Spy thriller starring Michael Caine. While on a secret mission, agent John Tarrant learns that his son has been kidnapped but is then suspected of treachery when the ransom is received.

Newswipe with Charlie Brooker – BBC 2. 11.20pm – 11.50pm
Terrestrial repeat of the most recent series. The acid-tongued TV critic takes a caustic look at the way that celebrities are covered in the media.

Tuesday 16th March


Minder – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Arthur's mini cab firm is besieged by violent assaults and he drafts Terry in to help sort it out.

True Stories: Cocaine Cowboys – More4. 10.00pm – 12.35am
New. An insight into the demand for cocaine in Miami in the 1970s and 80s, looking at how Colombian drug lords joined forces with Cuban and American gangsters, and telling the stories of three people who were the key to maintaining the drugs trade at this time.

Film: The Black Windmill (1974) – ITV 4. 10.05pm – 12.20am
Spy thriller starring Michael Caine. While on a secret mission, agent John Tarrant learns that his son has been kidnapped but is then suspected of treachery when the ransom is received.

Mad Men (7/13) – BBC 2. 11.20pm – 12.10am
Series three. Seven Twenty Three. Don secures the Hilton deal, but is unsettled when Connie insists he sign a contract. Elsewhere, Betty's neighbours coax her into meeting Henry Francis once more.


Behind the Brel: the Story of a Musical Genius (1/3) – BBC Radio 2. 11.30pm – 12Midnight
New series. Marc Almond explores the life and music of dramatic Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel, who died of lung cancer in 1978, aged 49, and who remains a cult rather than mainstream figure partly because he wrote and sang only in French.

Wednesday 17th March


Minder – ITV 4. 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Arthur's mini cab firm is besieged by violent assaults and he drafts Terry in to help sort it out.

Mad Men (9/13) – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 10.45pm
Series three. Wee Small Hours. Conrad Hilton becomes demanding in his dealings with Don, who is shocked by the hotel magnate's response to his idea for a new campaign. A client becomes hostile towards Sal.

The Man Who Shot the 60s – BBC 4. 12.45am – 1.45am
Brian Duffy was one of the greatest photographers of his generation. Along with David Bailey and Terence Donovan he defined the image of the 1960s and was as famous as the stars he photographed. Then suddenly in the 1970s he disappeared from view and burned all his negatives. With the first ever exhibition of his work due, Duffy has agreed to be filmed to talk about his life, his work and why he made it all go up in flames.

Thursday 18th March


Film: Kes (1969) – ITV 3. 11.05pm – 1.15am< br />Poignant drama starring David Bradley. Billy Casper's life gains a sense of purpose when he finds a kestrel's nest from which he takes a fledgeling to raise as a pet.

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