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TV picks: Wonders of Life | Moving On | Top of the Pops 1978

  • by AIDAN SMITH
 

YOU might have thought the omnipresent, boffiny Brian Cox would have vacated the small screen while oor ain thespy Brian Cox treated us to one of his occasional telly turns, the comedy Bob Servant Independent.

PICK OF THE WEEK Wonders Of Life, BBC2, Sunday, 9pm

BEST DRAMA Moving On, BBC1, Monday, 2.15pm

BEST MUSIC Top Of The Pops: 1978, BBC4, Thursday, 7.30pm

But, no, here he is again, just a couple of weeks after the astronomy-fest Stargazing Live. You can understand this when the question he’s trying to answer is: “What is life?” In this new five-parter Cox will be examining “the underlying machinery that powers life”. He begins with the story of the humble dragonfly – “a beautiful piece of engineering, but is that all it is?” Then the polo-shirted, satchel-swinging doc is off to the Philippines and a remote mountain village where they believe that the dead walk among the living. “How did life begin in the first place?” Lots of questions and Coxy’s our man for the answers.

Three separate arguments – between a couple who can’t sell their house, another husband and wife, a cabbie and his passenger – end abruptly with a road death. “If there’s anything we can do, anything at all,” says Matthew Kelly to the grieving widow. But a shrine grows, and keeps growing. How will his house shift now? First of a series of standalone daytime dramas.

Staggering ever onwards from the Jimmy Savile scandal, the great Top Of The Pops archaeological dig disinters another edition from 35 poptastic years ago with Tony Blackburn – or Timmy Bannockburn as John Peel used to call him – hosting Brotherhood of Man (did punk ever happen?), Smokie (well, did it?), Althea & Donna and Scott Fitzgerald & Yvonne Keeley.

 

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