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29 October 2014
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BBC TWO Autumn
Arena: No Direction Home - Bob Dylan

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 Dylan.


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.

Rome 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 Skin."


Diverse world


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 physical disability.


Beyond Boundaries 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 of Beslan.


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.


In Chinatown, 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


Rome is BBC TWO drama on an epic scale. After eight years of war, Julius Caesar (Ciaran Hinds) returns to a world of intrigue and conspiracy.


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.


Space Race 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.


Contemporary drama


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, autistic.


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


Supernova is an inventive new comedy starring Rob Brydon as a hapless British astronomer seeking a glorious new life in the Australian Outback.


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.


Social experiments


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 and lives?


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


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 magical art.


Alternative Medicine, a series in which scientist Kathy Sykes attempts to unravel the truth behind the world's most ancient medicines and their effectiveness.


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.


Broken News, a new comedy satirising the frenetic

on-screen world of rolling television news, from the team behind Radio 4's The Sunday Format.

The Armstrongs The Armstrongs



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