Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The best documentaries and TV programmes of 2009

Pinar Sevinclidir:
The Lost World of Tibet (BBC4)
' A wonderful documentary that brought rarely seen colour films of Tibet from the BFI archives to our front rooms. The film was produced by the BBC and presented by Dan Cruickshank. The archive footage was shot before the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 and provides glimpses of the daily lives of Tibetans and the Dalai Lama as a child. Seeing the footage is interesting in itself, but what made this film even more enjoyable was having the 74-year-old Dalai Lama watching himself on his laptop and bursting into laughter whenever he saw his six-year-old self on the screen.'

Andy Patterson:
'A fascinating documentary on the history of milk production in the UK. Weird but true.'

Sheila Corr:
The Devil’s Whore (Channel 4)
'Our fictional heroine ‘whores’ her way across the great divide of the English Civil War in this lively four-part drama which manages to shed considerable light on the period, showing us how close the two sides often were. That at times it can be hard to tell a roundhead from a cavalier is actually a tribute to the accuracy of costume research.'

Paul Lay:
A History of Christianity (BBC4)
'Diarmaid MacCulloch’s reassuringly traditional, authoritative and impishly told account of Christianity’s ‘first’ 3,000 years.'

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