I Maid Marian and Her Merry Men ( BBC!) 4.35—5pm. Tony (Baldrick) Robinson wrote and stars in this drastically revised version of the Robin Hood legend.
I Victoria Wood (BBCl ) 8.3(l—9pm. Vic stretches herself. as seems to be the accustomed way these days. in the new format ofsix self-contained half-hour comedy plays.
I Smith and Jones (BBCI )9.3t)—1()pm. Though they've dropped the ‘Alas' and moved over to BBC] . we are promised more of the same — as if they‘d drop the head to heads!
I Forty Minutes ( BBCZ) 9.3(l—Iflpm. What they want to know. in a programme called Best Friends is. Can men have the intimate and emotional friendships that women can?
I Bingo, Bridesmaids and Braces (C4)
10—1 1.50pm. The third in a seriesof documentaries on growing tip in Australia which centred on three girls as theygrcw up. from the age of 1-1. This programme captures them at 26 and shows how they’ve changed.
I The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand de BargoS(BBC2)1().1()—l().3()pm.Whois Ferdinand dc Bargos'.’ A very elusive writer. and just as much a mystery when you meet him. according to the makers of this series. lcan't work out what’s happening here at all. and shall be forced to tune in to findout.
I NB (Scottish) 10.35—1I.()5pm.What's best in central Scotland. in artsand entertainment.
I Scottish Books (Scottish)
1 1.05—1 1 .35pm. Jenny Brown looks at Claire Bevan‘s Mightier Than the Sword. Dorothy Dunnctt's Race ()f.S'corpimi.s' and Stephen Woods The A tildA/liance.
‘s, I Sumo (C4) 11.5flpm—12.2()am. Lovers of wobbly fleshy wrestlers with short lifespans. look no further. Introducing sumo onto British screens was one ofC4's canniest moves. and it‘s gripping(pun intended) stuff.
I Children in Need (BBC1)7pm—1.35am. This year's Children in .‘V’eed telethon will try to beat last year's total of £175 million. and spends much of its six hours looking back over previous Children in .Veeds.
I Public Eye (BBCZ) 8—8.3(lpm. Since it‘s now 20 years since Rupert Murdoch took ov or The Sun. Public Eye investigates the style of tabloid journalism pioneered by the paper.
I The Travel Show Guides ( BBCZ) 8.3(l—9pm. The first of this season's programmes reﬂects on the shift in recent years away fron package holidays towards
more independent trips.
I The Art of Pleasing People (C4) 8—8.3(lpm. A repeat. but a worthwhile one. asking the question. What can the blockbuster film/booklrccord. art print tell us about the people who made it and the people who consume it'.’ First prog ofsix.
I Walkie Talkie (C4) 8.30—9pm. See panel.
I 1992 and All That (C4) 7—8pm. The year 1992 is far from being the end of a long road — the European Community is debating how the continent will develop throughout the l99fls. Sheena McDonald and colleagues examine what could be in store.
I The Last Days ofthe Tsar— Music From Imperial Russia (BBCZ) 7.4(t—9pm. Thc first of four programmes tells ofthe life and work of Mussorgsky.
I Parrot Sketch Not Included (BBCI)
9. 15—1030an A tribute to Monty Python. now 20 years old. Includes new footage of the team made just before (iraham Chapman‘s untimely death.
I The Chronicles of Narnia (BBCl)
5.45—6. 15pm. Now looking like it could be a long-running and successful series. these episodes adapt Prince ( ‘aspian and The Voyage () f the Dawn Treader. with new characters. a dragon and a centaur.
I Equinox (C4) 7—8pm. In a programme entitled faster than a Speeding Bullet. Equinox examines the technology and economics of supersonic and hypersonic travel.
I The Natural World (BBCZ) 7. lS—tiitipm. The first of two programmes about the wildlife and people of the Amazon.
I Rhythms of the World ( BBCZ)
8.55—10. 15pm. The third series. and the first of 14 programmes. returning to address some of the issues raised in the explosion of world music. This film looks at six South African groups. but the filmmaker. Jimi Matthews. had his passport revoked and could not come to Britain for post-production.
I Roadhouse 66(BBCZ)10.15—11.45pm. This week's Young Guns American movie features Willem Dafoe and Judge Reinhold.
I The South Bank Show (Scottish)
10.35-1 1.35pm. Tonight. an extended interview with Barry llumphries. better known as Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.
I The Scottish Religious Debate (Scottish) 11.35pm—12.35am. The programme examines the differences that keep Christians apart. with particular reference to The Blue and the Green. currently runningon Scottish.
I The Stunt Man (Scottish) 12.35—3am. Pursucd by the police. a young man eagerly joins a film set in the place ofa stunt man who has just been killed by an involved stunt. Peter O‘Toole. well-cast as the megalomaniac director. seems to have the same in store for him. Flamboyant and fun movie. made in 1978.
I Behind the Beat (BBCZ) 6.40—7. 10pm. Ziggy Marley caught live at the Town and Country Club.
IThe Big Sleep (BBCt) 10.10—1 1.50pm. Slotted into the Murder ()ne series. one of director Michael (Death Wish) Winner's better offerings. a remake placing Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in London.
I News From Home—Twilight City (C4) llpm—midnight. A love story about the city and its undesirables. made by the Black Audio Film Collective.
I Rajiv Gandhi (C4) midnight— 1 am. In the week of the Indian elections. a portrait of the current leader.
I The State Opening of Parliament (BBCI) 10.45am—noon. A deathly boring occasion. of course. but a good place to mention that today marks the first day of cameras in the Commons (head and shoulders only. for Christ's sake. and a shot of the rivetineg active Speaker when things get out of hand). and that every
morn. noon and night this week. BBC2 will be carrying a package ofprogrammcs on Parliament.
I The Parliament Programme (C4)
2. 15—430an Yes. C4 gets in on the act too. and a nation wonders: just howdull can an afternoon of nothing but head and shoulders shots get'.’
I Indian Opposition (C4) 12. 15—1 . 15am. More bloody politics. so if you have to choose an evening this week to go tothc pub. it better be tonight. Profiles ofthe leading opposition candidates.
I DlWhD (BBCI ) 7.35—8pm. A new three-part adventure has the Docjoined by comedy duo l lale and Pace (urgh).
I Viewpoint ’89 (Scottish) 10.35—1 1 .35pm. ‘Can polar bears tread water'." In other words. what will happen to food chains and shelter if global warming continues? I Hallway to Paradise (C4)
11.55pm— 12.55am. The first ofa new series of the excellent northern-based arts and popular culture show. ifthat isn't ghettoising it too much. Tonight: Texas. Christ Moore. Bruce Morton. the secret life of Judy (iarland and a profile ofDavid Ilayman.
I Gunfight at the OK Corral (Scottish)
1—3. 15am. Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas in the flawed but watchable western.
I The State of Europe (BBC2)8—8.3()pm. Investigating the links between some of Iiurope‘s most precious habitats and the corridors of power in Brussels.
I Forty Minutes: The Heart of the Angel (BBCZ) 930—10. 10pm. Forty-eight hours in the life ofthe overburdened Angel tube station in London. which has hardly altered in fill) years and gets pretty rough (especially if you work there).
I True Stories: Love Across the Wall (C4) 10—] lpm. More than a million gather fora rally in East Berlin. but one young man skulks alone. thinking ofthe woman he has met from West Germany. Shot unofficially.
I NB (Scottish) 10.35—1 1 .(l5pm. Sec Thurs If).
I Blood on the Screens (C4) llpm-~midnight. County Nat West lost hundreds of millions in international finance. This programme tells how. and shows the ruthless life in the City in front ofthe green screen.
I Dllthe Page (Scottish) 1 1.05—1 1.35pm. An interview with Eric McCormack. a Scot who settled in Canada and wrote Paradise More]. set in the fictional townof Muirhead and belonging loosely to the ‘magical realism' school.
I Captain Kronos-Vampire Hunter (Scottish) 12.20—2am. Cult trashy horror epic.
‘There always seems to be some sort of festival going on in Glasgow these days,’ said Kaleidoscope's Paul Allen, sounding for all the world as though he’d rather be in Lithuania. Despite presenter ennui, the Radio 4 half-hour arts programme caught the excitement of Glasgow’s Soviet spread, New Beginnings, and the significance of the arts to the subdued nations of Scotland and Lithuania.
‘I feel humble and ashamed,‘ said Glasgow University’s Douglas Gifford, contemplating the seriousness of the Lithuanian artists. He for one has had enough of ‘Scofs Wha Havers’ and
spurious nationalism. Joyce McMil;1 burning with enthusiasm for a bit of rough Chekhov, sent out a plea for equivalent inventiveness and
originality from Scottish directors, and Allen put in his tuppenceworth by
noting amongst the Baltic crew the absence of ‘the folky-ism and parochialism which sometimes infects Scottish artists.‘
Radio Scotland can usually be relied upon for a good helping of parochialism, and Tuesday Review served it up luke warm as usual. Floating in a thin broth of comment, the mixed veg of the Scottish arts is tasted or swallowed whole, but rarely chewed and digested. New Beginnings was introduced by three of its organisers who contrived to make the cream of Soviet culture sound worthy and dull. Not a snatch of music nor an aural glimpse of a gallery broke the monotony. A brief interview with Eimuntas Nekrosius, daring young director of Lithuanian State Theatre, communicated no sense of either the man or his work. Art climbed back into the box marked Do Not Open Until You Are Dver Forty and slammed the lid.
The mania for listings which hit Scotland’s print media last year has its broadcasting counterpart in Tuesday Review's manic scuffle to cover as much of the arts scene as possible. Like a camper with a recalcitrant flysheet in a high wind, the Tuesday Review team jump on everything that moves. An exhibition of album covers in Aberdeen - worth a mention surely? A major Arts Council report on reading - give it a minute and a half. Congenitally frightened of going out on a limb, the programme shirks its responsibility to decide what is important and interesting. It is not an arts programme, it is a what‘s on guide.
Most people turn off Tuesday Review before the long interview, but it was worth hanging on this time to hear George Wylie sounding off like a squeaky hinge on all manner of topics. A straight talker of the circuitous school, Wylie has little time for preciousness about art. Asked what he thought of Glasgow’s approaching year of culture, he replied ‘When I think of culture I think of growth on cheese.’ Behind the wisecracks there is solid good sense. Even a skilled fromagier can’t induce culture on an unwilling host.
No money is the problem which faces Radio Scotland’s Features and Documentaries department, but a tight budget may inspire creativity up to a point. The new series International Relations is, I suspect, a taste of what can be done with £20 and a tape-recorder. It is an interesting idea to find out what it is like to be married to a foreigner, and the garrulous Roberta Doyle and her husband Cemal thurk seemed more than willing to share their experiences with Joe Farrell despite his intrusive, social-worker style of interviewing. Somehow, however, we never got onto difficult subjects like racism, or problems more real than how they might bring up any children they might have in the future. Perhaps the next three programmes will get to grips. (Julie Morrice)
70 The List 1()— 23 November 1989