British TV Network Channel 4 has released the details of their slate of programming for the Spring and Summer. We thought it would be fun to pick what we think will be our favorites.
The House the 50s Built (May)
In the build-up to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, brand new four part series The House The 50s Built takes the opportunity to celebrate the science behind the inventions and innovations that transformed the way we lived and made 1950s Britain modern.
With spring’s cultural calendar full of jubilee festivities and Britain’s increasing passion for all things vintage – from cars and décor to fashion and food – Channel 4 offers an exciting and unique take on the national event – a chance to delve into the real imagination and genius that made the 50s a decade of technological of breakthroughs.
Engineer and showman Brendan Walker sets out to discover the ingenuity and life-changing technology behind the inventions that took drab, black and white post-war Britain and launched it, under its new young Queen Elizabeth 2nd, into a Technicolour-drenched world of the future.
Brendan will learn from practical, hands-on experience exactly what it took to bring about the 50s revolution by reconstructing a house. Each programme focuses on a room and fast-forwards it through the 1950s, showcasing how progress in the home triggered a tsunami of social change. Brendan experiments with everything from how to make a Formica kitchen and how to use atomic bomb know-how to make a non-stick pan, to how to turn a vat of chemicals into comfortable lingerie that changed women’s lives.
The Churchills with David Starkey (Summer)
In this brand new television series, Dr David Starkey tells the story of the two greatest war leaders in British history, both of whom were called Churchill.
Everyone knows Winston Churchill led Britain and her Allies in their struggle against Hitler; less well-known is John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, who led Britain and her Allies against an earlier would-be dictator of Europe, the Sun King, Louis XIV of France.
John Churchill was Winston’s ancestor, but he was more than that: he was his inspiration and he was his subject. Winston was a writer and historian before he was Prime Minister, and perhaps his greatest work is his massive, million-word biography of John Churchill,Marlborough: His Life and Times, published in four volumes between 1933 and 1938.
As David Starkey argues, it was the ten years he spent working on Marlborough that turned Winston from a politician into a statesman-prophet, and prepared him for the immense task of leading the nation against Nazi Germany.
Marlborough is a work of history that changed history, a book about a great war-leader which helped to make an even greater war-leader in a bigger, bloodier war.
Gabriel Byrne stars as Tom Dawkins, the reluctant hero at the heart of this contemporary conspiracy thriller, who finds himself thrust into the spotlight of front-line politics when he least expects it and risks everything by taking on the might of the Establishment.
Douglas Hodge, Gina McKee, Charles Dance, Rupert Graves and Ruth Negga also star in the four-part drama written by Robert Jones (Lennon Naked) and directed by Ed Fraiman (The Philanthropist), which is inspired by Chris Mullin’s novel A Very British Coup.
A devastating industrial accident on Teesside leaves several people dead and raises awkward questions about the safety procedures of the US petrochemical company involved. As a man who has a profound belief in transparency and open government, Dawkins will have to tackle vested interests, financial and military, both domestic and international, in his pursuit to uncover the truth and get justice for the families affected by the disaster. Along the way, he will struggle to keep his party onside and the electorate behind him, as he also weathers damaging revelations about his personal life. And as the investigation into the Teesside disaster proceeds, Dawkins becomes aware of the Establishment’s secret ties to the petrochemical company and comes to realise that there are bigger powers at play behind the scenes.