Fri­day 15 Marc Bolan: Cos­mic Dancer 9pm, BBC Four

Sunday Herald Life - - TV & RADIO -

SEPTEM­BER 16 is the 40th an­niver­sary of the death of Marc Bolan, who was only 29 when the fa­tal car ac­ci­dent oc­curred. This doc­u­men­tary isn’t de­fin­i­tive, but it’s de­cent enough – de­spite the du­bi­ous de­ci­sion to open with a re­con­struc­tion of the crash for the ben­e­fit of the hard-of-think­ing. Per­haps be­cause he bowed out so early, and didn’t ride and ring the changes with the same savvy, su­per­hu­man ca­pa­bil­ity, Bolan is now al­most seen as a John The Bap­tist fig­ure for the com­ing of David Bowie. But, as the great ar­chive footage here makes clear, he was al­ways his own rev­o­lu­tion­ary, from the Mod Hob­bit of the 1960s, to the elec­tric booga­loo war­rior who rein­vented the thrill of 1950s rock’n’roll for the early-1970s. Told in Bolan’s words, nar­rated from his di­aries, the pro­file also ben­e­fits from new in­ter­views with the right peo­ple, in­clud­ing pro­ducer Tony Vis­conti, man­ager Si­mon Napier-Bell, older brother Harry Feld and pals like Steve Har­ley. To stick him back in a pi­geon­hole, it’s fol­lowed by the com­pi­la­tion Glam Rock At The BBC (11pm).

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