o Dispatches (C4) 8. 15—9pm. Tonight marks the start ofyet another innovation from Channel Four. turning upside down the normal procedure for making a documentary series. Dispatches. instead of being made by one company or team extends the commissioning concept behind C4's science programme. Equinox. Different groups have been commisioned by editor David Lloyd for each programme with the aim of drawing on their particular strengths. Part of the aim is to ensure topicality — so the programme subjects won't be known until a few days before transmission.
0 Paul Daniels: Live at Hallowe'en (BBCl)9.3()—l().1()pm. Bythe pricking of my thumbs something tacky this way comes.
0 Is There Anybody There? (C4) 8.30—10pm. Nicholas Humphreys examines the evidence behind the world‘s little mysteries — spoon-bending to UFOs.
0 Review (BBC2) 5.50—6.30pm. Unbelievably. though it has become a publishing institution. the most important of rock magazines is only twenty years old this month. Tom Wolfe joins Rolling Stone's only editor. Jann Wenner. in looking back on the magazine that helped to create a new form ofjournalism. The
programme also looks at the London Hayward Gallery‘s exhibition of major British artists commissioned to produce work to coincide with an exhibition of Mexican mural artist Diego Rivera. which includes a painting by Ken Currie.
o Spitting Image (Scottish) 10—1().3()pm. Interesting to look back now to those early days when Spitting Image was thought to be just about the least funny series on television. Gradually the wonderful over-the-top puppets have been married to some appropriately vicious writing.
0 The Trumpet of a Prophecy(C4) 9.15—10.25pm. Paul Foot presents a dramatised account of the poet Shelley‘s life and makes a case for him being a radical with a message still relevant today.
o The Day the Earth Stood Still (BBC2) 6—7.3(lpm. A new season ofscience fiction films begins tonight with Robert Wisc’s moral fable about a giant Robot bringing an unacceptable message of peace.
0 Scottish Assembly (Scottish) 10.30—1 1 .3()pm. Continuing the examination the Tories‘ plans for Scotland — with Education being the subject for the representative 100‘s vote.
o The Courage to Fail (BBC2)
8. 10—9pm. Just when you had thought the BBC had stopped turning people inside out on TV medical shows comes this history of surgery techniques.
o A PeriectSpy (BBC2) 9.25—10.25pm. The latest adaptation ofone ofJohn Le Carré’s delicately intriguing books. No Smiley this time. but Le Carre’ seems to be a natural writer for television adaptation. It looks set to join Fortunes of War as another BBC autumn must. (Repeated Mondays at 10.40pm on BBC2.)
0 Damon and Debbie (C4) 10-1 1pm. This is a new concept in soap operas we are told. A bubble. Damon Grant a Brookside regular trying to get out. Instead he has spun or floated offin to his own little three-part mini series.
0 40 Minutes (BBC2) 9.30—10. 10pm. Return of the usually excellent documentary series with what could be a fascinating account ofwhat makes two petty thieves live a life of crime — much of which is spent behind bars.
o A Simple Man (BBC2) 9.5(i-l().50pm. First showing ofa new ballet performed by Northern Ballet Theatre and specially commissioned for television to celebrate the centenary ofpainter L.S. Lowry’s birth. The music is by Carl Davis. the choreography by Gillian Lynne.
o Aly Bain and Friends (Scottish) 1().3()pm-1 l . 15am. Shetland fiddle player Aly Bain from the Riverside club in Glasgow.
Arthur Miller. author ofAll My Sons. Death of a Salesman. and The Crucible and former husband of Marilyn Monroe has a premiere on R3 this week with a long forgotten and never performed play The Golden Years. R3. Fri 6. 7.50pm, written when he was 24. Its theme is what Miller calls the ‘rape and destruction‘ of an ancient culture. that ofthe Aztecs by the invading Spaniards and the Conquistador Cortez. The play traces the relationship between the Aztec King Montezuma and Cortez but. written in 1939/40. is full of modern resonances. alluding to the threat of Hitler in Europe just as The Crucible echoed the McCarthy witch hunts in America in the Fifties. With Ronald Pickup as Montezuma. John Shrapnel as Cortez and Hannah Gordon as Marina. his Indian woman.
Kaleidoscope comes to Glasgow on Friday 30 to look at the work ofthe young socialist artist. Ken Currie who recently completed a vast eight panelled mural at the People‘s Palace depicting the history of the Labour movement in Scotland. ‘It was no sweat’ says Currie cheerfully ofthe mammoth undertaking with no suggestion of false modesty. His latest commission is for the Hayward Gallery in London and he and nine
other British artists have been asked
to produce work on a monumental theme to accompany the gallery‘s major retrospective of the Mexican muralist Rivera. an acknowledged inﬂuence on Currie. An excellent draughtsman and unshakably committed to the power and importance of political art. Currie is arguably the most interesting of the new generation of Scottish artists to emerge in the 811s. Kaleidoscope R4. Fri 30. 9.45pm (repeated Mon 2 Nov).
A fine all-Irish cast star in Ave Maria a first play by novelist Jane Rawlinson. commissioned by R Scotland and produced in Dublin by Stewart Conn. senior drama producer at R Scotland. Working back from the death of Maria. a local girl at the altar of the village church. the play makes an excellent job of getting inside the hearts and minds of a small Catholic community in South West Ireland. R4/R Scotland. Thurs 5 Nov. 3pm.
Susan Fleetwood is the reader in another fine play from Radio Scotland Grandfather was a Soldier by Marilyn Bowering whose much acclaimed play Anyone can See I Love You based on the Life of Marilyn Monroe. was heard last year. Broadcast on R3. 7 Nov. 21.30pm the day before Remembrance Sunday its subject. like Wildred Owen‘s. is ‘war and the pity ofwar‘. It is a finely written. deeply moving and poetic piece based on the author‘s own experience of her grandfather coming home having served with the Canadian Corps in the First World War and being too shocked. gasst and damaged to be able to recount his experience. The play traces a young man's pilgrimage to Flanders to see where his grandfather fought and seeping through the now ﬂourishing landscape is the unassuaged memory of horror. death. rats and killing by twisting a bayonet in the body ofan enemy ‘like stirring a cake‘. Produced by Patrick Rayner in Edinburgh and first heard in 1983.
Sir Walter Scott is hardly the most fashionable of 19th century authors. but The File on Sir Walter R Scotland, Tues 3 Nov. 8.55pm. argues the case for his impressive and wide-ranging inﬂuence. spawning even the Western. Former BBC Radio producer Dr Marinell Ash examines the evidence. Produced by Bruce Young in Edinburgh.
40 The List 30 Oct — 12 Nov