BBC TWO - Autumn highlights 2005
Introduction - BBC TWO coup unites Dylan and Scorsese
In a coup for BBC TWO, the famously private Bob Dylan and
the acclaimed film director Martin Scorsese unite for
a special Arena documentary
this autumn on Dylan's early life and work from his key creative years
of 1961-66: No Direction Home - Bob
Directed by Dylan's 'great fan', Scorsese, the two films feature new
interviews with Dylan and previously unseen footage.
For the first time ever, BBC TWO and PBS, the public service broadcaster
in America, will simultaneously transmit the programmes on the same
days (26 and 27 September), creating a transatlantic event.
Says Roly Keating, Controller of BBC TWO: "Bringing Dylan and
Scorsese together for this remarkable documentary on Dylan's early life
and the songs that changed a generation is a remarkable coup for BBC
TWO and marks the pinnacle of Arena's 30 years on the channel.
"Bob Dylan is famously private and Martin Scorsese is greatly
in demand as one of the most successful film directors in the world,
so it was a huge undertaking for the Arena team and their partners on
this project. But the result is as awesome as you would expect from
this fusion of great talent.
"These films headline a season that reflects global contemporary
life in all its diversity. There's danger and adventure in Beyond
Boundaries, which rewrites the rules of 'disability'
programming as a group of 11 people with different physical disabilities
push themselves to the edge of endurance on a journey across Central
America; and in The Russian Godfathers,
which gains chilling access to the billionaires who are fighting for
control of their country.
"As ever, there's huge scale and ambition on BBC TWO.
is a stunning dramatic re-telling of the birth of the Roman Empire,
while Space Race fuses
drama with revelatory new research to tell the truth about America and
Russia's race to land the first man on the moon. And in The
Slavery Business we take an unflinching look at Britain's
role in the slave trade.
"Helena Bonham-Carter makes a
welcome return to BBC TWO drama as the mother of autistic children in
Magnificent 7; Rob
Brydon stars as a hapless astronomer in Supernova;
and Joanna Lumley gives a simply dazzling performance
in the poignant comedy drama series, Sensitive
In Nicaragua, 11 intrepid adventurers set out to
survive an arduous trek from the Atlantic Mosquito Coast to the Pacific.
The last Westerner to attempt this route was Christopher Columbus in
1492, but he had a galleon and then only made it half-way.
It would be a remarkable feat for anyone, but these
travellers have an additional obstacle to overcome - they all have a
follows the drive, passion and drama behind this amazing adventure.
Betrayal, corruption and extreme wealth - they could
be the makings of an intriguing drama. But they are, in fact, the themes
of BBC TWO's extraordinary investigation into who really runs Russia.
From the makers of the award-winning National Trust,
The Russian Godfathers
examines the fierce battle between President Putin and seven of the
world's richest men for control of their nation.
Venturing to the remote North Ossetian town of Beslan
less than a year after terrorists seized School Number One, BBC TWO
presents a powerful documentary, Children
In their own words, child survivors recount the horrific
event and the desperate weeks that followed. The film is a sensitive
exploration of how the children of Beslan have survived the atrocities.
the focus is closer to home as BBC TWO gains access to one of Britain's
most vibrant, but hidden, communities.
This documentary series follows three generations of
Chinese settlers, examining the changes taking place within their community,
their relationships with their adopted country and their hopes and fears
for the future.
History dramatically retold
is BBC TWO drama on an epic scale. After eight years of war, Julius
Caesar (Ciaran Hinds) returns to a world of intrigue
Co-produced with HBO, this powerful saga charts the
end of the republic and the birth of an empire, seen through the eyes
of two foot-soldiers.
tells the remarkable story behind America and the Soviet Union's race
to land the first men on the moon and claim world domination. This major
drama-documentary series brings to life the struggles of the two scientists
whose job it was to bring this dream to fruition.
In a television first, the BBC unites America and Russia
in their first ever co-production.
The Slavery Business
is a season revealing the different aspects of Britain's role in the
slave trade. It includes a drama about Henry Lascelles, one of the most
successful slave traders of the 18th century, titled
How To Make A Million From Slavery, and two drama-documentaries,
Sugar Dynasty and
Breaking The Chains.
Turning the spotlight on remarkable stories that reflect
our diverse nation, Magnificent 7
is contemporary BBC TWO drama at its best.
Helena Bonham-Carter plays Maggi, mother to seven children:
three 'normal' girls and four boys who are each, in one form or another,
Inspired by the real-life Jackson family who featured
in the recent BBC TWO documentary, My
Family And Autism, this is an uplifting story of the
struggles, tears, laughter and moments of magic that this extraordinary
household experiences over the course of a year.
Joanna Lumley returns to BBC TWO this autumn with a
major new comedy drama, Sensitive Skin.
Davina (Lumley) and Al Jackson (played by Denis Lawson)
are a successful couple in their sixties, living in metropolitan London
and struggling with sexual temptation, professional jealousy and their
fear of the future.
Fun and adventure
is an inventive new comedy starring Rob Brydon as a
hapless British astronomer seeking a glorious new life in the Australian
However, it seems that black holes, cosmic stardust
and primal gases are far simpler to deal with than the age-old mysteries
of love, life and the universe.
In The Hairy Bikers'
Cookbook, Dave Myers and Si
King are on a mission to travel the world for food that others
dare not eat. With their zest for adventure and fun, they travel on
motorbikes - and anything else they can get their hands on - tasting
the culinary delights of the area as they go.
Making Slough Happy
is an unusual social experiment that asks whether a group of experts
really can make people happier.
In recent years, experts have been turning
their attention to the study of happiness: what is it, when do people
experience it and how can we generate more of it in our communities
This series observes five 'happiness experts' as they
put this ground-breaking research into practice with a group of volunteers
from Slough, combining their theoretical knowledge with a hands-on approach.
And in another, quite different, social experiment,
two Christian youth workers from Harrow set out to prove that young
people could be happier if they abstained from sex.
In No Sex Please,
We're Teenagers Rachel Gardner and Dan Burke set up
the 'Romance Academy' and recruit 12 teenagers who agree to swap casual
sex for old-fashioned courting rituals.
This observational documentary
series also follows the teenagers as they visit their American peers
in Florida who have taken the Silver Ring pledge, vowing to abstain
from sex before marriage.
Other highlights on BBC TWO this autumn include:
The Secret Of Drawing,
a major series in which Andrew Graham-Dixon goes on
a journey of discovery to tell the forgotten story of a neglected but
a series in which scientist Kathy Sykes attempts to
unravel the truth behind the world's most ancient medicines and their
Girls And Boys: Sex
And British Pop, an alternative history of pop - exploring
the way music has helped inspire a revolution in British attitudes to
sex and sexuality.
At Work With The
Armstrongs, an observational documentary series following
the unorthodox and sometimes ruthless business antics that are par for
the course at U-Fit, Coventry's third biggest double glazing company.
a new comedy satirising the frenetic
on-screen world of rolling television news, from the
team behind Radio 4's The Sunday Format.