and Money. and more. But are they miming? (Aren‘t they always?)
I Everybody’s Equal (Scottish) 7-7.30pm. A new quiz hosted by Chris Tarrant. where the contestants are the audience. and they compete by selecting answers to multiple-choice questions.
I Octopus - Power of the Mafia (C4)
9. 15—10. 15pm. After the success ofthe repeat showing ofthe first series. in its English language version. here'sthe second series ofone lone cop’s stand against the Mafia. to be followed immediater by the third.
I Inside Story (BBC) ) 9.3(i-1t).2()pm. A report on the trial which was itself something of a test case in the use ofTV cameras in courts — the murder ofan illegally-adopted abused child in a
middle-class New York family. TV schedules were cleared to make way for the three-month trial which was devoured by the viewers. Is this what we want here'.’ IThe Session ((‘4) 1 l.45pm—12.45am. The first performance together ofThe I’ogues and The Dubliners. with the added bonus of Joe Strummer doing some old (‘lash songs Pogues-style.
I Europeans (BBCZ) 8.30—9pm. Not quite [)0 They Mean L’s.' or Floyd on TV. but the first of a collection ofextracts from European TV on different themes. reflecting how Europeans see themselves in relation to them.
I Film on Four Take Two: The Chain((‘4) 9—10.5(lpm. Seven couples in London move house on the same day. in a progression reminiscent of La Ronda. with a good British cast headed by Warren Mitchell as the foreman. Made lain Johnstone of the Sunday Times ‘laugh with more abandon than I have done since the Germans visited Fawlty Towers‘. Phew! I Underthe Sun (BB(‘2)9.3()—1t).3tipm. Film of the Mangbetu people onaire. showing for the first time their ceremonies. including a summoning ofthe forest spirits after ingesting a hallucinogenic root and the connection in their society between iron smeltingand cannibalism.
I In Verse (Scottish) 2.25—2.35am. Hayden Murphy. an Irish poet living in Edinburgh. reads from some of his work.
I God’s Frontiersman (C4) 8—9pm. Final programme in the series. entitled ‘From Rebellion to Loyalism‘. traces the ideas of liberty which floated back to Ireland from America and inspired the nationalist movement.
I Comic Asides: I, Lovett(BB(‘2) $9.3(lpm. Guesting with Norman are Geoffrey Ilughes (in voice only). Dicken Ashworth. Nick Revell. Arnold Brown. Russell Hunter and Magnus Magnusson. See feature.
WHDEVER WHATEVER WHENEVER WHEREVER
Try Turning To
32 The List 2 — 15 June 1989
DIALOGUE WITH DEATH
Michael lgnatiefl’s first television play takes as its basis an encounter in Edinburgh between the diarist James Boswell and the philosopher David Hume in 1776. ‘l’ve extrapolated,’ says lgnatieli, ‘perhaps a bit wildly, from a couple of pages that Boswell left in his diary.‘ This is familiar ground to lgnatieli, who has published two academic books on the Scottish Enlightenment, but a play required a different approach.
‘The problem was not to write a little historical lecture,’ he explains. ‘The thing was to make a dramatic piece that would work and hold your attention if you didn’t know who the hell Hume or Boswell was.’
The project was suggested and later directed by Jonathan Miller, who read about the encounter in Ignatieft’s book The Needs 0f Strangers. ‘He came to me and said, “you know, that would make an amazingly good TV play," and I said, “well, my bluff's been called," so I did it.‘
Funding was supplied by the British Film Institute, and the play was taped at BBC Scotland‘s Glasgow studios. ‘Jonathan is a wonderful person to work with and BBC Glasgow might just be the best shop for studio drama anywhere around. It was fun working with the guys who edited Tutti Frutti, for example. You thought you were working with the top team.
I Endless Love (BBC1)9.40—1 1. 10pm. Franco Zeffirelli made this in 1981 with Brooke Shields in the starring role — what went wrong? Melodramatic and sappy.
I Something forthe Weekend ( BBC!) 7.35prn-ts‘.fl5pm. New fast-moving sketch show with broad appeal. performed by young talent including (‘aroline Leddie (founder member ofThe Millies).James (iaddis (half ofThe Sean Connery Brotherhood) and Mike Doyle
(Opportunily Knacks winner). Mixed bag.
in other words.
I U840 Play the Blues ((4) 9—1 1pm. The title. of course. refers not to their styleof music but the colours worn by
Birmingham City. whose ground they play
in a triumphant homecoming aftera loll-date world tour. Special guest Robert Palmer.
I Put ifThere (BBCI) 10.20—1 l . lflpm. Paul McCartney and band play through Macca‘s truly Godlike new [.P. Experts predict that not a single major crime will be committed by any teenager in the country for the duration ofthis programme.
iv? .' it
David Hintoul an
‘l‘m a tremendous believer in the possibility of studio-based, low-cost TV drama. There’s no reason why television has to imitate the silver screen. Television can do wonderful work at rather low cost in the studio and we ought to do more writing in that vein.’
Although the play embraces many themes, the crux is that Hume is a resolute atheist about to face death. ‘Boswell goes to see him to see whether an atheist can die without Christian consolation, and Hume sets out to prove that he can. To get heavy about it,’ says lgnatieli, ‘secularism is now this kind of boring indifference towards religion. It used to be a very grand and rather noble idea, that you weren‘t going to die with a lot of phoney hot water bottles.
‘Boswell was a great man too. People don't appreciate what a genius he was. They always think of him as a callow, vulgar, second-rate journalist, but he was a kind of late 20th-century man in a curious way. He had this passion to get down ordinary people's speech and his diaries are among the most vivid records we have of any departed people in anytime and place. Without Boswell,’ he concludes, ‘l’d be nowhere.’ (Andrew Burnet)
Dialogue In The Dark, Sun 4, 8.45pm, BBCZ.
I The Roseanne Barr Show((‘4)
I lpm—12.f)5am. The Greatest Living American Female takes a break from her consistently fine sitcom to perform a one-woman show before a live audience.
I By the Seals of Their Pants ( ( ‘4)
7. 15—8. 15pm. Documentary on (‘anadian pilots who fly perilous routes to isolated communities. Includes first full interview with one pilot who survived a crash only by chewing on his dead companion. ( 'I’lrar's enough cannibalism — lid )
I We Are Seven (Scottish) 7.45-8.45pm. First part of a full-blooded Welsh historical romance with lots ofrogering and a high illegitimacy count.
I Mastermind 1989 Final (BBCI) 8.40—9.2(lpm. Black seat brown trousers time.
I Three of a Kind (BBCZ ) 8.55—9.4(lpm. No not that Three ofa Kind. this one has Jeremy Isaacs and three (‘hief(‘onstables. Each week Isaacs brings together three people who do the same job but have differing views. What's the final prog going to be like - Isaacs. Wogan and James Whale?
I The Manageress (C4) 9—10pm. (‘herie Lunghi stars in this major six-part drama of a woman who takes over a footballclub. Channel 4's big bid for promotion.
I Spitting Image (Scottish)9.3()— lt). Illpm. New series. and with Labour‘s new policy review offering multiple targets for devastating put-downs— will the scriptwriters be up to it'.’
I Tales of Sherwood Forest (Scottish)
If). Ill—l 1.10pm. An Alan I’later script in which a Bogart freak opens up a version of Rick‘s (‘afe in Sherwood Forest.
I There is a Happy Land ((‘4)
12. Ill—12.40am. Another repeat. but a worthwhile one. John McGrath adapted this for TV from his own 7:84 production. Music and stories. with folk group ()ssian playing a substantial part. First ofthree.
I Rules of Engagement (ScottishW— lflpm. A thriller set on the eve of the I lolocaust. A marine in search ofthe truth uncoversa can of worms.
I The Cardiff Singer of the World ( BBCZ) 7.20—8. lflpm. Definitely soundslike the weirdest event of the week until it‘s gently explained to you that every two years the singers of 29 nations crowd into (‘ardiff and slug it out to see who‘s the best.and then they show it five nights runningon BBCZ. This sort of stuff makes acid-gobbling cannibals sound tame.
I Horizon ( [38(2) 8. lit—9pm. The science programme interviews ('live Sinclair about his successes (okay. that takes usup to 8. l l ) and his failures(full fifty-minute slot).
I Licence to Kill Premiere (Scottish) ll).35—-l I . lllpm. Not being a committed Royal-watcher. the appeal ofthese televised premieres is quite beyond me. All you get to see is people getting oulof cars. embarassingly pissed Hollywood actresses with plunging necklines whose names only the presenter seems to remember. and the same clip of the film you've seen ten times already. Still. I'm told the movie's pretty good.
I Dirty Dishes (Scottish)
ll.l()pm- 12. lllam. A drama in which a dodgy pizzeria owner finds he's got a hundred bookings for one eveningand has to persuade his illegal immigrant chefto do a double shift. Shades ofl'awlfy
I The Late Shift ((11) 1145-2452111]. Footage of Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers. and an excellent reminisce over the (‘hicago blues scene called Maxwell Street [1’ l («is .
I The Thrower Report ( BBCI)
7.40—8. lflpm. New series in which Debbie Thrower investigates a different scientific topic each week. Other than that. it's pretty quiet tonight.
I Kay's Originals (Scottish) 10.35—1 1.05. Billy Kay in conversation with two famous I’aisleyites. playwright/artist John Byrne and folk singer [)anny Kyle. about life.art and. . . yes. Paisley.
I Film on Four Take Two: The Companyof Wolves((‘4) 9—10.50an NeiIJordan‘s ambitious I984 adaptation of Angela ('arter's work maybe over-reaches itselfin the amount of symbolism it tries to load onto the narrative. It‘s still a good-looking and very atmospheric movie.
I The Late ShOW(BB(‘2) l 1.15-1 1.55pm. The last of the run is a Batman special. which will probably focus on the movie. and hopefully do its subject greater service than the usual ‘Gee.’ Bang! Whizzl‘TV treatment.