TODAY'S TELEVISION

Gerard Gilbert recommends Planet Islam Sun 7.10pm BBC2
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The Independent Culture
The traditional route for aspiring British rock acts begins with an encouraging review by the NME, followed by A&R-men packed gigs at some trendy Camden club and then, after a chart-busting album or two, a headlining set at Glastonbury and sell-out week at Wembley. Once you've made it in Britain, of course, America beckons. Chances are, though, that America will spit you back out again.

Bush have done it all the wrong way round. This band of Londoners pack sports arenas across the Mid-West with their brand of angsty power rock, sell twice as many records in the States as Oasis, and yet you probably won't have heard of them. Their thoughtful, hard-working lead singer, Gavin Rossdale, may be the stuff of headlines anywhere between Maine and Minnesota, but as far as the British press is concerned, he is less than the dust on Noel and Patsy's front-door mat.

Now, according to this week's The Works (Sun BBC2), Bush couldn't care less what the Times or Hello! think or report, but the one thing that they desperately seem to crave is recognition from the NME - and by extension, rootsy critical recognition in this country. To that end, they have recently done a tour of Britain - a sell-out tour, as it happened, that produced a hit single and a Top Five album. And after all those sweaty, gut-busting gigs in Nottingham, Penzance and Aberdeen, what does the NME have to say? "Bush, bless them, are quite clearly three years adrift musically and spiritually from London in February 1997". It would probably just have been easier for Bush to simply buy the NME and close it down.

The enlightening The Dynasty: the Nehru-Gandhi Story (Sat BBC2) continues with the story of Jawaharlal Nehru's prime ministership - the tricky politics of unalignment, the assassination of Nehru's mentor, Gandhi, and, of course, the terrible price of Partition. The biggest human migration in history, 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims crossed paths in late 1947, often murderously, as Pakistan was painfully born in the former Muslim heartlands of northern India.

According to the first part of Planet Islam (Sun BBC2), a different sort of partition, this time between Christians and Muslims, is currently happening all over urban France. Traditional racial intolerance of France's five million Muslim citizens has been exacerbated since the Paris Metro bombings of July 1995 - and now any woman wearing a Muslim headscarf or any young North African with a beard is a suspected terrorist. Phil Rees's forceful film looks at how Khaled Kelkal, the young Lyonnais bombing suspect shot dead by police, has become a martyr among young French Muslims. Meanwhile, the National Front vote keeps going up and up.

If you fancy, instead, the escape of a well-made, straightforward police procedural, then the imported mini-series Innocent Victims (Sat BBC1) fits the bill snugly. This follows the true story of the wrongful conviction (and sentencing to death) of a young army sergeant for a rape and triple homicide in South Carolina in 1985. The first part of Game of War (Sun C4) goes back even further, to the Crimean War and the Battle of Balaclava, which is re-fought in the studio by competing sets of war-gamers, refereed by Angela Rippon. Two senior military figures, abiding by the rules laid down in a Ministry of Defence tactics manual (rule one, deny everything) come up with the strategy. The outcome, however, is decided by the roll of a two dice.

War-war may always be better than jaw-jaw, to paraphrase Churchill, but four-four is better still.

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