Friday, March 10, 8.30-9.35pm
The Private Life of a Masterpiece: The Great Wave
Katsushika Hokusai's woodblock painting, The Great Wave, depicts human vulnerability in the face of nature. It shows three fragile cargo boats about to be swamped by a giant wave.
Hokusai was 70 when he created The Great Wave, possibly the most famous Far Eastern artistic image.
He had retired some time ago, but was ruined by a grandson who gambled away all his money. Homeless and destitute, Hokusai resumed work and created The Great Wave as part of his celebrated sketch-book, Thirty Six Views of Mount Fuji.
He was operating in a low-status but popular art market, with no idea that his image would have a profound influence on eastern art. It would be endlessly reproduced, borrowed and adapted around the world nearly two centuries later.
Saturday, Mar 11, 3.30-4.25pm
Massive Nature: The Edge
A terrifying ordeal awaits thousands of young Adeli penguins. They have been nesting in Antarctica all summer, but at the end of the breeding season, it's time to leave the colony for adult life in the open ocean.
But as they congregate at the water's edge, they are about to take the most dangerous leap of their lives; a predatory leopard seal lurks menacingly offshore. Who goes first and where they enter
the water will have fatal repercussions for some, but provide a window of opportunity for others.
As the numbers build behind the frontline of penguins, the pressure to jump increases. How can an individual escape to the open sea and avoid the jaws of a giant leopard seal?
Whether a penguin lives or dies depends on a chain of preceding events and a strategy which will divide the weak from the strong.
Sunday, Mar 12, 5.30-6pm
Combat Club is an action-packed series that examines the history and practice of fighting sports and martial arts. Six children with different skills receive training at an elite academy in the English countryside.
Top instructors train the 'Combat Club' members in disciplines as diverse and exciting as 18th century boxing, sumo, capoeira and even Viking wrestling.
By looking at each fighting sport's historical roots and evolution, and by emphasising the self-discipline and commitment involved in learning them, this series encourages young viewers to channel their energies positively and introduces them to aspects of history in a fun way.
Combat Club is about children learning new skills, as well as having fun, and perhaps achieving more than they ever thought they could.
Monday, March 13, 8-9pm
So What Do You Do All Day?
Eddie Jordan's story is a rags-to-riches affair. He first had a go at car racing but found he was better at raising money than driving. So, he started his own team. It was a hand-to-mouth existence. But his wife, Marie, who once represented Ireland at basketball, stuck by him. They have four children.
Now he's rich but his team - next to the likes of Ferrari - is very poor. Eddie's job is straightforward - raise the money to keep his team in business.
Despite hardly ever winning a race, Eddie's rock 'n' roll brand of Formula One attracts millions of dollars in sponsorship every year. What charms does he possess that keep his team going while others fall by the wayside? The programme covers a day in the life of the motor-racing boss, from breakfast to bedtime.
Tuesday, Mar 14, 10.05-11pm
Tales From The Tomb: Egypt's Warrior King
He was ancient Egypt's greatest warrior-king. A courageous commander, master tactician and undefeated in battle.
He was Thutmosis III - known to present-day Egyptologists as the 'Napoleon of Egypt'.
But, how was this pharaoh able to conquer so many of his enemies? With the help of new evidence and forensic analysis, we can finally reveal the secrets of his military genius and the inner demons that drove him.
In this episode we'll explore the factors that helped Thutmosis III to excel as a warrior. We'll follow his military campaigns on the sand-swept battlefields. And, with the help of modern-day archaeologists, we'll put his ancient weaponry to the test.
Wednesday, March 15, 5.30-6pm
Science In Focus: Faraday's Famous Inventions
Unlocking the secrets of the universe is a slow, painstaking business. But occasionally an inspired individual makes sense out of the confusion and comes up with a theory or invention that changes the world and our understanding of how it works.
Michael Faraday was an uneducated young man who emerged as one of Britain's greatest scientists.
His early experiments with electricity led to the invention of the electric motor and generator. The programme ends with a dramatic demonstration of the 'Faraday suit' used by linesmen working for the National Grid. The suit is donned by the presenter and 400,000 volts are sent through him, proving that it works effectively.
Thursday, Mar 16, 8-9pm
I Am The Violin
The ageing Ida Haendel never attained the fame of her contemporaries Isaac Stern and Yehudi Menuhin, though her talent is just as great.
From the moment she picked up her sister's violin at the age of three, her life has been dominated by music. Guided by her father, she made his dream come true. He had yearned to become a great violinist himself, but was prevented by his own father.
Although Haendel never married and now lives alone with her little dog in Miami, there was one man 'who had everything' - the famous conductor Sergiu Celibidache - but her love was not returned. The end of her career may be in sight, but she still plays concerts all over the world.
When her Stradivarius produces the wrong tone, she tells the instrument maker that she is afraid the audience will blame it on her old age.
'I know people are waiting for flaws,' she says. But her music still moves people to tears.