REVIEW A Change Of Sex BBCZ, Tue 20 Jul
Over ten mrllron vrewers have been followrng the story of transsexual Julra Grant (formerly George Roberts) over the past two decades rn award- wrnnrng drrector/producer Davch Pearson’s documentary serres, A Orange Of Sex
The beeb rs rewrndrng twenty years to repeat the frrst three eprsocles prror to broadcastrng the new eprsode, all of whrc'h hrghlrghts the relatrvely tolerant clrmate of the late 90s rn comparrson to the supposedly lrberated 70s Frne, no doubt, to exerclse clothrng rrghts rn the days of flares and shaggy harr rf you were rrch and famous ‘ Davch Bowre, Marc Bolan, etc Not so easy rf you were a workrng-class boy from Fleetwood, Lancashrre, \Jvorkrng rn an NHS hosprtal krtchen
Thrs frrst rnstalrnent, 'George And Julra’ (frrst shown rn I979), rr'rtroduced vrewers to a 24-year-old man hellbent on changrng both hrs lrfe and hrs sex, Later eprsodes revolved around the thorny rssues of vagrnal c‘onstructron
REVIEW What Shall We Do With
The Moon? Channel 4, Mon 19 Jul
Lunar tunes: What Shall We Do With The Moon?
Just rn case you’ve been lrvrng on somewhere lrke Mars lately, rt’s 30 whole years srnce Nerl Armstrong took one small step for hrmself and a slrghtly larger one for the future of humanrty. Or at least, that's the way rt looked at the trme when the 70s appeared to hold unrmagrnable opportunrtres for the human race.
But when the race to get on the moon was won by the Amerrcans, helprng them to come out of the huff they had been rn Srnce those pesky Reds penetrated space frrst, trme seemed to stay strll and the antrcrpated
A K ‘45? Operation petticoat: A Change Of Sex
surgery, later drffrcultres caused by sarcl surgery and the rnerest glrrnpse of a happy ever after endrng.
In 'George And Julra', George Grant proves hrrnself to be a very brave young man Allowrng Pearson's camera full access to hrs lrfe from shopprng trrps to buyrng dresses to confrontrng hrs employer wrth the desrre to wear them rn the workplace — George rs never less than completely candrd. Perhaps George's candeur rs derrved from berng able to speak freely about what he calls ’hrs docrble srnc’e the age of frfteen’. Certarnly, there's no encouragement to do that from hrs extraordrnarrly unsyrnpathetrc psychratrrst. It's thrs frgure of authorrty whose face we never see that George must convrnce to greenlrght hrs sex change operatron
Eprsocle one ends wrth an rnc.reasrngly desperate George absc'ondrng to Brrghton, agarnst the wrll of hrs psychratrrst, to complete phase one and have breast rrnplants frtted Although we know what's comrng next, George's story strll makes for rrvetrng vrewmg, twenty years on llvlrles Frelder)
progress farled to materralrse. At long last, as thrs specral Equinox broadcast set out to show, we may now be ready to take the plunge and get some of our own lrfe-forms up there before another specres gets a snrff of the man rn the moon's potentral and attempts the grandest act of ga'z'trmprng to date.
Though, rt would appear that rt rs not for the glory of advancrng crvrlrsatron that colonres wrll be burlt on the moon, but for the means to lrne some very large pockets as government agencres pass the bucks onto prrvate enterprrse, Some of the partrCrpants rn What Shal/ We Do Wrth The Moon? were posrtrvely slobberrng over the prospects of constructrng a new Hong Kong or Las Vegas lwrthout Chrrs Patten or the reams of frurt machrnes, you WOuch hope).
And as we speak, the boffrn eggheads are constructrng a breed of robototrons to work, rest and play for a trral perrod before we send rn the clones. There was the usual trrppy footage of outer space and soundtrack of ambrent noodly-doodlrngs offset by the manracally bulgrng eyes of the entrepreneurs as they spoke of therr desrre to start prrntrng moon money.
By now, you wrll probably be srck to the backteeth of all thrs lunar talk and no one wrll grve too many flyrng frgs untrl prctures of chrmps playrng gravrtatronal baseball are beamed back to earth. (Brran Donaldson)
Love in Leeds Channel 4,Wed 21 Jul
Tracre wants a lover Sam has one, but she's hot happy wrth hrs taste rn trousers Chrrstrne has a blrncl date \‘.’Illl a younger man What gualrfres these people to be on TV? Flagrant exhrbrtronrsrn and low productron values, that's what
So many of these tawdry real lrfe exposes are berng churned out that gualrty control, drgnrty, and any semblance of artrstry has been unceremonrously Jettrsoned The women featured here are resoluter unchar'rsmatrc and embarrassmeg camera-aware, and the events that befall them less than absorbrng
Berng rnvrtecl rnto these lrves rs about as appealrng as berng harassed by drunk people on a tram The query that remarned as the credrts rolled was not whether the trro would frnd love, but what thrs documentary was clorng one button away from rts sprr‘rtual home on Channel 5 Hey, TV execs' Real people are borrngl Brrng back glamour and pretence and lavrsh budgetsl (Hannah lvchrll)
Tested To Destruction Scottish, starts Mon 26 Jul, 9an.
The Carol Vorderman carnpargn for world clornrnatron c‘ontrnues unabated Swdch the telly on erght trmes of ten and you are lrkely to see Brrtarn’s most famous statrstrcran bearnrng out of your set, on anythrng from darry product ads to Channel 4's flagshrp game show to some Info Tech programme at the ungocllrest of hours.
She’s back agarn wrth thrs frve-parl serres lookrng at the rrgorous research that goes on when constructrng anythrng from Jumbo Jets to baked beans. Spectacular experrments are undertaken to ensure that the rtems we encounter rn our darly lrves have been moulded to perfectron. Thrs usually rnvolves acts of smashrng, crashrng, burnrng, bangrng, blastrng and explodrng all rn the rnterests of sc rence and safety
’We wrote off two cars durrng the testrng,’ recalls Vorderman. Whrch JUSI goes to show that rt's not all ’one from the top, two from the bottom and the rest from anywhere else' rn Carol's krngclom. (Brran Donaldson)
PREVIEW Far Out: Occult War Channel 4, Sun 25 Jul, 9pm.
In trmes of great sufferrng people wrll look for anythrng to ease therr parn, and durrng World War II many turned to the sprrrt world for comfort. The servrces of medrums, sprrrtualrsts and wrtches were all rn huge demand as sons, fathers, husbands and brothers were lost rn battle and even more krlled durrng the Blrtz and threatened rnvasron of 1940.
Thrs, the second of the three-part Far Out serres, speaks to sprrrtualrsts from all over the COuntry whose war effort went from contactrng loved ones on the other srde IO burldrng psychrc force frelcls agarnst Nazr rnvasron.
Whatever comfort therr talents rnrght have been, thrs drd not stop the Government revrvrng archarc wrtchcraft laws and arrestrng many sprrrtualrsts. The anecdotal rntervrews wrth some, now as old as 97, tell frrst hand of the strarn put 0n those wrth communrcatrve powers and rust how much therr servrces really were rn demand. (Mark Robertson)
Four play: Love In Leeds
Banging on: Tested To Destruction
Table dancing: Far Out
22 Jul—S Aug I999 THE “ST 109