(Shown-last Sunday on BBC1)
The Royal Institution
Annual Christmas Lectures to Young People
4: Candles from the Sun
Earliest man had only one way of using plants as a source of energy - by eating them. The dominance of man over animals dates from the discovery of fire - chemically speaking just a more spectacular way of doing the same thing as eating; namely, unlocking stored solar energy.- Today we depend almost as much on fuel as on food for our survival.
Sir George Porter explores the magic of the process of burning with a variety of fuels that ' turn night into day and winter into summer'.
Michael Charlton , Charles Wheeler with Richard Kershaw
Newsreader Angela Rippon
Lawrence Durrell 's Greece
'The Greece that I knew as a young and aggressive poet has changed. Nevertheless I feel there might be some point in trying to recollect and perhaps recreate a little bit of the Greece which is not finished yet and gone for good, and whose ghost still rises up to afflict me from time to time.
'I would like to recall those golden years and to throw open the many-coloured background of Greece's own history so that the landscape may be evoked before the eyes of the viewer who is not free to touch with his own hands or to feel the beauty of Greece.'
LAWRENCE DURRELL , author of The Alexandria Quartet, takes us on a journey through Corfu, Hydra, Crete and Rhodes. He has often said that words alone cannot express the true nature of Greek landscape and village life. In this film, Durrell pushes aside the debris of the present and guides us through the Greece where his unique personal vision was crystallized.
The look of the thing was spectacular, and Durrell on tour proved to be drily funny and unpompous. (GUARDIAN) Durrell is a poet, and his talk has a magic all of its own. (THE TIMES)
Film editor SIMON ROSE
Producer PETER ADAM
A series of six plays by FREDERIC RAPHAEL 6: A Double Life
1976: Adam Morris , now a rich and successful writer, has more than his share of the 'glittering prizes'. He is happily married, with two children. Despite all this, Adam is still not satisfied, and he attempts to come to terms with his material success by leading ' a double life'.
This uniquely sophisticated serial
Glittering Prizes was immensely enjoyable, it was witty, it was intelligent and it was funny (FINANCIAL TIMES) The dialogue is sharp and the acting is superb (NEW YORK TIMES) The dialogue is magnificent ... apparently casual, yet polished and balanced to a hair. (DAILY MAIL) Producer MARK shivas
Director ROBERT KNIGHTS
A fortnightly look at the big screen at home and abroad: news, views and interviews presented by Gavin Millar
' I think vulgarity is in the hands of the beholder ' - the voice and raunchiness belong unmistakably to Mel Brooks , the man who gave you, in Blazing Saddles, an explosive requiem to the Baked Bean. In The Producers, ' Springtime for Hitler' had already recorded a triumphant new low of bad taste. Brooks followed these films with Young Frankenstein, in which the monster Puts On The Ritz; and in his new production Silent Movie (shortly on release), an electrocardiogram doubles as a vigorous electronic ping-pong game.
In London for the launch of Silent
Movie, which has broken all financial records in the USA by grossing $34-million so far, MEL BROOKS talks to GAVIN MILLAR about his personal brand of anarchy: ' Very good comedy is saying what's in your mind, what you know to be true, but do not do. In my films we do those things.'
DAVID CHESHIRE and GAVIN MILLAR
Julian Glover reads
A Burning by J. C. HALL