Civilisations 9pm, BBC Two
AGRAND, old-school arts documentary based on the grandest and oldestschool of them all, Kenneth Clark’s landmark 1969 series, Civilisation, the visionary BBC production that brought the cultural wonders of the world into living rooms in living colour (if they could afford a colour telly). Clark’s original remains a truly great show, but also a truly snooty one, with little interest in artists, composers or thinkers who weren’t male, European, and long dead. This new nine-part series is part remake, part sequel, and part extension of and answer to that. Rather than Clark’s “personal view,” several presenters offer individual essays, beginning tonight with Simon Schama, who explores the formative roles art, imagination and the creative spirit have played in the forging of humanity, beginning 80,000 years ago with the first known marks made on the walls of South African caves. Mary Beard and David Olusoga present other episodes – the entire thing will be ready to binge on via iPlayer after tonight’s broadcast. While you’re on there, the original Civilisation remains available, too.