True tales of Vikings, murderers and Victorians will color the screen on BBC2 this fall. Jane Root, controller of BBC2, has opted to stick with a solid lineup of docs (and dramas), a formula that apparently works. Root notes that BBC2 was the only terrestrial channel to gain audience this year, against a backdrop of an 18% increase in multi-channel viewing.
Two of the major factual offerings are Blood Of The Vikings and Mind Of A Murderer. For Vikings, a 4 x 50-minute series, the BBC and University College London conducted a science experiment to test the bloodline links between modern-day British citizens and the ancient Nordic invaders. Julian Richards is presenting. Murderer, 2 x 55 minutes or 1 x 60 minutes, takes a scientific approach to killers and what makes them tick, using real-life murder cases.
Other programs on the fall slate include David Hockney-Secret Knowledge, a 75-minute special exploring the U.K. painter’s theory that artists used cameras 400 years before the birth of photography; Battlefields, 4 x 50 minutes about the ordeals faced by ordinary servicemen in four major military campaigns; and the self-explanatory What The Victorians Did For Us, an 8 x 30 minute series.