|BBC ONE Unplaced Week 44
Claire Foy as the youthful
Tom Courtenay, Matthew Macfadyen, Bill Paterson, Freema Agyeman, Maxine Peake, Judi Parfitt, Emma Pierson and Claire Foy star in Andrew Davies's brand-new adaptation of Charles Dickens's novel, Little Dorrit. The story begins as Arthur Clennam makes his way home to London after spending 15 years in China.
In quarantine, in Marseilles, he meets Pet Meagles and her parents, also returning to England, and strikes up a friendship with hope of romance. But Arthur isn't the only one of the party hoping for a fresh start. Pet's companion, Tattycoram, is increasingly unhappy with her lot and, when she meets the mysterious Miss Wade, she sees the chance to escape.
Back home in London, Arthur is surprised to find a young woman, Amy Dorrit, working for his stern and forbidding mother. Mrs Clennam is a woman not ordinarily given to charity and Arthur immediately scents a mystery. Perhaps it has something to do with his father's dying words: "Your mother, Arthur. Put it right!" And so he sets himself the task of tracing whatever connection there may be between his father's guilt and this young woman.
Arthur's quest takes him to the Marshalsea prison for debt, where Amy lives with her father, William Dorrit – Mr Dorrit is a long-term debtor who hasn't been outside the prison walls for more than 20 years. Amy, his youngest child, is his help and support, looking after father, brother, uncle and sister, cheerfully and with the best of grace. Arthur's arrival in her life begins a story that will see the Dorrits's fortunes rise and fall along with those of a rich cross-section of London society. Landlords and rent collectors, plasterers, bankers, turnkeys, prisoners, gentlemen and paupers, wastrels and dancing girls, engineers, artists, dowagers and butlers and the most charismatic French villain since Napoleon all trip in and out of the story as Arthur and Amy walk the rocky road to love.
Arthur Clennam is played by Matthew Macfadyen, Pet Meagles by Georgia King, Tattycoram by Freema Agyeman, Miss Wade by Maxine Peacock, Amy Dorrit by Claire Foy, Mrs Clennam by Judi Parfitt and William Dorrit by Tom Courtenay.
Little Dorrit also stars James Fleet as Frederick Dorrit, Bill Paterson as Mr Meagles, Janine Duvitski as Mrs Meagles, Emma Pierson as Fanny Dorrit, Arthur Darvill as Tip and Russell Tovey as John Chivery.
Arthur strikes up a tentative friendship with Amy Dorrit, resolving to help her in any way he can, as Andrew Davies's adaptation of Charles Dickens's novel continues. He remains suspicious that his family might have been involved in Amy's father's downfall, and that this is what was on his own father's conscience when he died. If he can prove it, he can help put an end to the Dorrit family's longstanding woes, for good.
Though his mother remains cold and distant, one person delighted to see Arthur again is his childhood sweetheart, Flora Casby, who immediately sets about winning back his affections. However, Arthur's mind is still on the pretty Pet Meagles, whom he met on his journey back to England. He's therefore pleased when a chance meeting with Pet's father, Mr Meagles, results in an invitation to spend the weekend at the family home in Twickenham.
Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away in France, the sinister and cold-blooded murderer Rigaud, who is seemingly unconnected with the story so far, becomes reacquainted with his old cellmate, Cavalletto, who unwittingly plants the thought in Rigaud's mind about the idea of coming to England.
Arthur is played by Matthew Macfadyen, Amy Dorrit by Claire Foy, Flora Casby by Ruth Jones, Pet Meagles by Georgia King and Mr Meagles by Bill Paterson.
Spooks (l to r): Hermione Norris as Ros Myers,
Rupert Penry-Jones as Adam Carter, Peter Firth as
Harry Pearce and Richard Armitage as Lucas North
The world is still facing the threat of Islamist terrorism and, with Russia also emerging as a new super power, MI5's Section D faces even more frightening and deadly challenges, as the critically acclaimed spy drama returns for a gripping new series.
Six months on from their terrifying ordeal at the hands of the Red Backs, Adam is back on the Grid, but there is no sign of Jo.
Brushing off his recent torture, Adam is already leading the team on a major terrorist threat. A British soldier, Private Andy Sullivan, has been kidnapped by al-Qaeda and they are threatening to kill him unless all Remembrance Sunday services are cancelled.
There's also a new Spook on the block when a secret assignation between MI5 and the Russian intelligence services (the FSB) brings Harry's old protégé, Lucas North, back into the fold after eight years languishing in a Russian prison. Harry is thrilled to have him back, but does Lucas have the necessary skills to rejoin MI5 at the top level? And, more importantly, whose side is he really on?
Harry's opposite number at the FSB, Arkady Kachimov, reveals they have discovered the identity of the MI5 officer Harry posted to Russia on a secret mission – none other than Ros Myers. In the knowledge that the FSB are onto her, the prodigal daughter of Harry's team begins her dangerous journey back to Britain.
Things get worse for the team when they learn from Ros's Russian intelligence that al-Qaeda is planning to detonate a bomb during a Remembrance Service, and the bomber is supported by the Chechens with links to Russia. With thousands of civilians at risk, can the team locate the car bomb and rescue Private Sullivan before it is too late? When Adam takes matters into his own hands, the team hold their breath as his race against the clock becomes a desperate fight for survival.
Adam Carter is played by Rupert Penry-Jones, Jo Portman by Miranda Raison, Private Sullivan by Ian Virgo, Harry Pearce by Peter Firth, Lucas North by Richard Armitage, Arkady Kachimov by Stuart Wilson and Ros Myers by Hermione Norris.
| Spooks Ep 2/8
Tuesday 28 October
9.00-10.00pm BBC ONE
(Schedule addition Friday 10 October)
The Spooks are reeling at the devastation caused by the explosion and Harry vows revenge on the man he believes is responsible – the chief of the Russian intelligence services (FSB), Arkady Kachimov – as the critically acclaimed spy drama continues. But, when the British government refuse to support him, Harry realises he must have concrete proof to back up his belief that the Russians are trying to destroy Britain.
Ros coordinates the investigation and targets powerful Russian oil tycoon Beletsky – a man with connections high up within the FSB. She blackmails him to uncover the Russians’ next move, but Beletsky can only confirm he’s been told to shut down his company’s servers at a specific time.
Meanwhile, Lucas is desperate to work back on the Grid, but Harry orders him to stay away – concerned about the relationship Lucas forged with Kachimov during his years of incarceration. It seems Harry is right to be cautious when Lucas secretly meets with his Russian handler – none other than his ex-wife, Elizabeta.
Back at MI5, Harry’s fears about the Russians are confirmed when a rogue submarine planning to attack Britain’s communications is discovered in British waters. If the attack goes ahead, it will bring Britain to its knees – causing financial and social chaos. The team must get the submarine’s locations and secret codes from the Russians, but Lucas is the only person who can infiltrate FSB. Can Harry trust Lucas, or is he acting as a double agent?
Harry Pearce is played by Peter Firth, Arkady Kachimov by Stuart Wilson, Ros Myers by Hermione Norris, Beletsky by Georg Nikoloff, Lucas North by Richard Armitage and Elizabeta Starkova by Paloma Baeza.
| A Sikh's Journey Home
Monday 27 October
11.50pm-12.20am BBC ONE
To celebrate Diwali, A Sikh's Journey Home follows a year in the life of the Mankoo family, who originate from Kenya but have lived in London for the past 30 years.
Dari is a London Underground train driver and takes people to their destinations, ensuring their safety and comfort, and Tina is a teacher and a successful IT specialist. Prabhjot, meanwhile, studies nursing in Birmingham and Kiran is finishing college but can't make up her mind whether to become a lawyer or a doctor.
It's the family's mutual dream to venture on the life-changing journey to India. Dari wants to show his daughters India – the country of his roots. He wants to take his wife and children to places which are important to every Sikh. It's meant to be a lesson for his daughters as they enter adulthood – a chance for them to learn about the country of their ancestors and see what real poverty is, so a tube train driver's daughters can appreciate their place in the world.
But fate has other plans in store. Family problems and an offer of a lucrative job for Tina in Australia make them decide to emigrate. And so the journey home is replaced by the journey of life.
This personal story of the Mankoos epitomises the problems confronting thousands of families struggling with the clash of cultures, religions, generations and genders in the 21st century.
|BBC TWO Unplaced Week 44
Bee Gee Robin Gibb will help
mark the 30th anniversary of
Saturday Night Fever
Edith Bowman and Mark Radcliffe return to present coverage of Saturday night's BBC Electric Proms performances.
Edith takes viewers back to the era of disco as she introduces a special gathering from the Roundhouse to mark the 30th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever topping the charts in the UK.
Bee Gee Robin Gibb, meanwhile, performs alongside a star-studded cast including Ronan Keating and Stephen Gateley, Sam Sparro, Sharleen Spiteri and Gabriella Cilmi – accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Anne Dudley, the Academy award-winning English orchestra composer, is the show's musical director.
In Liverpool, it's all about indie-rock, as Mark is at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to introduce headliners Razorlight. The band make their return after being away in the Inner Hebrides writing their third album, Slipway Fires, which offers a heavy rock vibe. Tonight, Razorlight preview their new material and Johnny Borrell will undoubtedly get the crowd singing along as they also run through their hits.
Oasis are the BBC Electric Proms' final headliners,
mixing classic tracks with cuts from their new
album, Dig Out Your Soul
Edith Bowman presents the finale of the Electric Proms 2008 from The Roundhouse, in London. Closing the festival is one of Britain's greatest rock 'n' roll bands: Oasis. Noel and Liam Gallagher and the band are back and they promise to deliver a night of classic Oasis anthems plus songs from their new album, Dig Out Your Soul, with special accompaniment from the Crouch End Festival Chorus.
| Prescott – The Class System And Me Ep 1/2
Monday 27 October
9.00-10.00pm BBC TWO
A working class background:
Pauline and John Prescott
Former cruise ship steward and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott takes viewers on a very personal exploration of the current state of the British class system, investigating the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the rich and the poor, whilst grappling with political apathy, middle-class syntax snobbery and the wealth gap in modern Britain, in this new, two-part series.
With "celebrity" a career option and increased immigration a reality, what does Britain's class system look like after 11 years of New Labour? In this thought-provoking series, John embarks on a journey to answer this question, meeting British people of all classes along the way.
In today's opener, John begins his assessment of the class system with his wife, Pauline, at home in Hull, where they candidly discuss their background, life in the limelight, class and how it has shaped who they are. Viewers get an intimate view of family life at Prescott Towers, a ringside seat at his local supermarket's bash for his 70th birthday and join John and Pauline for a spot of croquet in the garden.
John's journey across the UK then begins, where he has lunch with a Lord, learns about the term "chav", mingles with the chattering classes at the Hay On Wye Literary Festival and visits the Henley Regatta – where he challenges the self-confessed "upper-middle classes" in his own inimitable way.
Prescott – The Class System And Me also contains autobiographical material – some illustrated – with previously unaired personal family archive dating from the Fifties.