In Search of Science iPlayer (first episode available until 27 August)
This Brian Cox fronted series was first shown but unfortunately missed back in 2013. Yes it’s all about scientific wonders, but as it deals with the history of British science pioneers there are fewer gorgeous desert sunsets and less opportunity for attractive lens flare than in most of his TV shows. The fascinating stories highlighted here show how science and public perception have often been at odds with each other. It was just Darwin and his monkeys offending public sensibility. The lesson here for all is the importance of proper public engagement – sharing knowledge and showing the benefits of new scientific breakthroughs to assuage any misgivings about strange and startling discoveries. Science needs good PR, and that’s just as true now with the outcry over GM crops as it was with Professor Giovanni Aldini whose research on corpses inspired Frankenstein.
Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing iPlayer (for 11 months!)
An absolute gem of a show that has captivated people who don’t much care for Paul Whitehouse, Bob Mortimer or fishing, and people who love all three. Two great mates meet for a spot of fishing, some big life conversations (about Paul and Bob’s heart health, having both had serious operations for heart conditions) and plenty of mucking about on the rivers of the UK. In the way it balances falling-over on your arse comedy, the unspoken complexities of male friendship and gut-wrenching emotions on the subject of life and death it’s like all the best parts of The Detectorists and a kinder, gentler version of The Trip. It’s pretty much perfect. It would be a shocker if Series 2 wasn’t immediately commissioned.
Poldark Series 4 iPlayer (all 8 episodes available until the end of August)
Catch up on Poldark, quick before the Beeb pull it off iPlayer ahead of their DVD sales (really, is that even a thing anymore?). We’re deep in series 4 of this traditional Cornish pasty – one part costume drama, one part soap opera, all covered in a golden pastoral pastry. No, it’s not as fresh or as fun as it once was, but it is very good Sunday evening telly, and looks and sounds absolutely beautiful as always. Now were seeing the next generation of Elizabeth’s and Ross’s families grow up how much longer can the Poldark and Warleggan family feud continue? Winston Graham wrote 12 novels, so who knows?!