Culture Vulture: our guide to the week’s entertainment (27 August – 2 September 2022)

Saturday 27 August 2022

The Doors: When You’re Strange 9.10pm Sky Arts

Documentary voiced by Johnny Depp looking at the late 60s and early 70s rock band The Doors, including rare exclusive footage.


The Earl of Rosebury, Rudyard Kipling, Edith Wharton, and others pay tribute to the King of Belgium in a book published in December 1914.

Sunday 28 August 2022

The Satanic Verses: 30 Years On 9.40pm BBC4

It’s been 30 years since The Satanic Verses was first published, and the BBC is marking the anniversary with a documentary that explores the novel’s turbulent history. The Satanic Verses caused a sensation when it was released, due to its controversial portrayal of Islam. The book was denounced by many Muslims as blasphemous, and in some countries, it was even banned. The author, Salman Rushdie, received death threats, and he was forced to go into hiding for several years. Only recently he was the subject of a vicious attack. Despite the backlash, The Satanic Verses remains one of the most important novels of the 20th century. It is a complex and provocative work that challenges assumptions about religion and identity. The BBC4 documentary will include interviews with Salman Rushdie, as well as insights from other writers and thinkers who have been affected by the novel.

Monday 29 August 2022

University Challenge at 60 9pm BBC 2

60 years on since University Challenge first appeared on British television, this documentary tells the stories behind its most memorable players.

America After 9/11 2 9.35pm PBS America

How 9/11 ushered in an era of fear, mistrust, and division in America. The compromises and consequences for American democracy – from the terror attacks, through four presidencies, wars abroad, and ultimately insurrection at home.

New Generation Thinkers (6/10) 10.45pm BBC RADIO 3 ALL EPISODES AVAILABLE ON BBC SOUNDS

Every year, BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) hold a nationwide search for academics, with game-changing ideas that will resonate with a wide audience. These New Generation Thinkers represent some of the brightest minds in the country and their research has the potential to redefine our understanding of everything from our history to the way we speak.

In this episode, Majed Akhter explores how large dam projects continue to form reservoirs of hope for a sustainable future. But what are the dangers of this dam fever?

Tuesday 30 August 2022

The Queen 8pm ITV

The Queen is a 2006 historical drama starring Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen. The film follows the events of Princess Diana’s death in 1997 and the royal family’s response. Mirren portrays Queen Elizabeth II, while Sheen portrays Tony Blair, the Prime Minister at the time. The film was generally well-received by critics, with many praising Mirren’s performance. It was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won Best Actress for Mirren. If you’re looking for a film that explores the British monarchy, The Queen is worth a watch.

Days That Shook the BBC 9pm BBC1

Pandemic 1918 9pm BBC RADIO 4 Earlier episodes available on BBC Sounds

New Generation Thinkers (7/10) 10.45pm BBC RADIO 3

In the past, when people often carried facial scars, were we more tolerant of difference or more judgemental? Emily Cock looks at portraits and medical texts.

Wednesday 31 August 2022

New Generation Thinkers 10.45pm (8/10) BBC RADIO 3

Brendan McGeever looks at anti-Semitism, from Russian pogroms to the heated debates around anti-Semitism today.

Thursday 1 September 2022

The V&A Presents Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser 8pm Sky Arts 8pm

See the Counter Culture review here

New Generation Thinkers (9/10) 10.45pm BBC RADIO 3

Dina Rezk from the University of Reading looks at politics and the role of humour as she profiles Bassem Youssef, ‘the Jon Stewart of Egyptian satire’.

Bully, Coward, Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn 1.50 Sky Documentaries

The Story of Roy Cohn is a documentary that explores the life and career of one of America’s most controversial figures. Roy Cohn was a lawyer and political operative who rose to prominence during the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. Cohn helped to lead the charge against alleged communists and “subversives” in government, resulting in the blacklisting and firing of many people. He was later instrumental in the election of Ronald Reagan and served as a close advisor to Donald Trump. The film examines how Cohn’s aggressive tactics and willingness to bend the rules made him both respected and reviled. It also looks at how his personal demons led to his downfall. The Story of Roy Cohn is a fascinating and disturbing look at one of America’s most complex personalities.

Friday 2 September 2022

Have I Got News For Boris: A Special Tribute 9.30pm BBC1

We don’t expect the Have I Got News For You team to go easy on Boris in this special as he leaves office.

A show dedicated to the outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Jack Dee hosts, with journalist Janet Street-Porter and comedian Phil Wang joining regular team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop on the panel. Should be fun given that Boris used to appear on the panel and there are axes to grind.

New Generation Thinkers (10/10) 10.45pm BBC RADIO 3

What does our attitude towards people escaping from prison tell us about the ethics of punishment and whether incarceration is the right approach?

Released on Now/Sky Cinema on Demand

Belfast is available from 2 September 2022

In the late 1960s Belfast nine-year-old Protestant lad Buddy pursues friendships across the religious divide as he tiptoes through the Troubles. See the Counter Culture review here

And on Prime Video…

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Prime Video episodes releasing weekly from Friday 2 September 2022

We are being spoilt. No sooner than House of the Dragon is released than another fantasy spectacular appears – The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. It’s an eight-part spin-off series from The Lord of the Rings based on the books of JRR Tolkien.

The Rings Of Power is set during the Second Age of Middle Earth, 3000 years before the Third Age, the era covered in The Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies directed by Peter Jackson.

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world of Middle-earth, the Rings of Power are magical rings that were created by the Dark Lord Sauron. There are nine for mortal humans, seven for the Dwarves, and three for the Elves. The rings were distributed to those who would use them to battle Sauron and his forces in the War of the Ring. The One Ring, which was created by Sauron, is the most powerful of all the rings and is used to control the other rings. The Nine Rings give their users power over men, while the Seven Rings give their users power over dwarves. The Three Rings are invisible to mortal eyes and give their users power over elves.

The “One Ring to rule them all” is a source of great power, and it is this power that Sauron desires above all else. The Ring is also a source of great danger, as it has the potential to corrupt or reveal the true nature of anyone who tries to use its power for their own ends. The Ring is a complex symbol in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, representing both the corrupting influence or revealing nature of power and the hope for freedom and redemption.

Still time at the Edinburgh Fringe!

Till the 28 August, you can still catch Exodus. See our review here Till 29 August you can see 1902. See our review here

Selections by Henry Falconer and Patrick Harrington


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