Television choice

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The Independent Culture
The Middle Ages is the place to be today. Cadfael (8.30pm ITV) has a feature-length mystery for Derek Jacobi's 12th-century sleuthing monk, the creation of Ellis Peters, who died earlier this year. Brother Cadfael investigates when a nun is raped, murdered and encased in a block of ice. Despite the best efforts of the heritage industry, the British countryside was not deemed suitably medieval, so Hungary stands in for Shropshire. Quite what this says for three decades of socialist state planning is a different matter.

Screen Two: The Hour of the Pig (10pm BBC2) is supposed to be set in medieval Abbeville in Flanders, although the countryside looks distinctly Midi. Leslie Megahy's enjoyable film, which has already had a brief cinematic run, looks at the historical practice of trying animals in courts of law as if they were human. Not convinced? Then I'll just say two words: Colin Firth. Ol' Darcy-breeches plays an idealistic Parisian lawyer who has to defend a pig charged with murder.

The cultural highlights of the day are choreographer Mark Morris's adaptation of Henry Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas (3.15pm C4), a performance combining opera and dance. But if you like your dance pure, then there's a rare chance to catch the extraordinary French dancer Sylvie Guillem, in the imaginatively titled Sylvie Guillem (7.35pm BBC2). The point of this three- part series, which continues tomorrow, is for Guillem and a guest choreographer to try and make dance more televisual. In the first and best of the three, the Swedish choreographer Mats Ek helps Guillem explore the relationship between man and woman.

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