BBC2 announces fall lineup

In the remaining days before the Beeb's digital channels debut, BBC2 is holding fast to its role as the primary purveyor of docs.
August 23, 2001

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.

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