Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment

Saturday 25 June 2022

The Silk Road (episodes 1-3) from 4.55pm PBS America

Dr. Sam Willis starts in Venice and explores how its Renaissance architecture and art have been shaped by the east and by thousands of exchanges along the Silk Road. From Venice Sam travels to China’s ancient capital, Xian. Here, Sam’s story takes him back in time to reveal the tale of an emperor who was so desperate for horses to help protect his borders that he struck one of the most significant trade deals in human history – he wanted war horses, and in return, he gave the most precious material in the world, silk. From this single deal, a network of trading paths was carved out across thousands of miles by merchants, traders, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers. It is known to us today as the Silk Road.

The Queen and the Russian spy 7pm C4

The story of Anthony Blunt, art expert, courtier, and Soviet spy.

Sunday 26 June 2022

Queen Victoria – My Musical Britain 7pm BBC 4

To celebrate Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday, Dr. Lucy Worsley explores the character and legacy of the famous monarch in a way that has never been attempted before – through music.

Murder in the Alps 9pm C4 (1/3)

The true-crime tale of the killing of a British family in the French Alps. Ten years on and still unsolved, was it a crime of passion, family feud, or political hit? Will the truth ever come out?

American Reckoning 9.10pm PBS America

An investigation into an unsolved killing in Mississippi in 1967.

Monday 27 June 2022

Building Britain’s Biggest Nuclear Power Station 8.30pm BBC4

Documentary series going behind the scenes to capture the action at the construction site of Hinkley Point C, Britain’s controversial new nuclear power station.

A Very British Deterrent 9pm

A Very British Deterrent tells the story of the remarkable events, eye-watering costs, power relationships, and secret deals done half a century ago to secure Britain’s very first submarine-launched nuclear missiles.

Sherwood (5/6) 9pm BBC1

As the manhunt closes in on Scott and Andy’s location, the search for the spy cop turns the clock back to 1984 to reveal their identity and the events of that fateful night.

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Manchester Ballads 2.30pm BBC Radio 4 Extra

Folk singer Eliza Carthy explores the history and legacy of Manchester’s 19th-century ‘broadside ballads’.

From Ukraine to Israel 9.05am BBC World Service

Tensions in Israel between Ukrainian and Russian Jews.

Storyville: Citizen Ashe 10pm BBC4

A Storyville documentary that tells the story of sports legend and social activist Arthur Ashe, who in 1975 became the first black man to win Wimbledon.

Wednesday 29 June 2022

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution (4/5) 9pm BBC 4

An in-depth examination of Margaret Thatcher, her rise to power, and the changes brought forth by her years in leadership. Told without narration, the story uses archive film and the testimonies of those who knew her personally, and most of all, politically.

Thursday 30 June 2022

The Undeclared War 9pm C4 (full series available on All 4 from the 30th).

A leading team of analysts buried in the heart of GCHQ (the UK’s version of the NSA) secretly works to ward off a foreign cyber-attack on the country’s electoral system.

Friday 1 July 2022

McCarthy 7.25 PBS America

The rise and fall of Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin Senator who would test the limits of American decency and democracy.

British Planes That Won The War WIth Rob Bell (3/4) 9pm Channel 5

The presenter reveals how the Lancaster bomber played a crucial role in the outcome of the Second World War. For the first time, Allied forces could take the fight to the enemy. The design for the new Lancaster bomber represented a major capability breakthrough for the Allies. Its four powerful Merlin engines allowed it to carry the largest bombs used by the RAF.

Selections by Pat Harrington and Henry Falconer


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