Critics' Choice

Article excerpt


IT'S the last weekend of this year's tremendously exciting championship and the stage is set for an epic showdown between Wales and Ireland in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. Both teams have been on scintillating form this year, but can Declan Kidney's men crown the tournament with a first Grand Slam win since 1948? Welsh coach Warren Gatland has initiated a war of words in the last few days, so putting one over their old boss should be all the sweeter for Brian O'Driscoll and co.


THIS fascinating series comes to an end tonight, finishing with a look at the actual value of photography in a world where items such as

TIMEWATCH: WWI ACES FALLING, 8pm, BBC2 camera phones have given virtually everybody access to the necessary technology, and have forced professionals and artists to revert back to 19th Century methods..

THE enduring image of aerial combat in World War I is of a kind of chivalrous airborne jousting between 'knights of the sky'. The reality, as this excellent edition of Timewatch makes clear, was very different. Aerial combat was a PICK OF THE DAY desperate, appallingly high-risk venture. On the front line in 1917, the life expectancy of a pilot was 11 days. Even the training was shockingly dangerous: of the 14,000 deaths of British pilots in the war, more than 8,000 were in training accidents.

This film focuses on two British air 'aces', Major James McCudden, VC, and Major Edward Mannock, VC, both of whom notched up huge tallies of enemy planes - but at great cost to their nerves, particularly in the case of Mannock (pictured), who became tortured by fear and anxiety. …