Television choices: Fresh insights into teenagers from a lads' mag veteran in Porn on the Brain

 

TV pick of the week: Porn on the Brain

Monday 10pm Channel 4

Martin Daubney resigned as editor of lads magazine Loaded on becoming a father and has been on a "porn vacation" ever since. Now, confused by headlines about what internet pornography is doing to teenagers, he returns to the field – this time as researcher. Joining the first ever scientific experiment on the effect of porn on the brain, Daubney is shocked by the results, as well as by the macabre and misogynist nature of the images easily available online – meeting a remarkably candid teenage addict who breaks off the interview to go and masturbate. Daubney discovers that one fifth of teenage boys are dependent on pornography in order to have real sex. Is the solution, he wonders, tighter censorship or greater openness?

Atlantis

Saturday 8.25pm BBC1

If this seems similar to Merlin – with Greek myths replacing Arthurian legends – it may be because two of the three writers also penned Merlin. The third is Howard Overman, who created Misfits and scripted this opener in which a modern-day diver Jason (Jack Donnelly) washes up in the lost city. Mark Addy and Juliet Stevenson co-star.

The Story of the Jews

Sunday 9pm BBC2

Simon Schama's series concludes with a fair-minded history of the creation of the state of Israel and how it is busy building a huge wall to separate/guard itself from the Palestinians. Not all Jews are inward-looking now – and, scarily, one religious settler whom Schama meets would like to expand Israel to its biblical borders, as far afield as Iraq and Syria.

House of Surrogates

Tuesday 9pm & 2.30am BBC4

Dr Nayna Patel is a pioneer of commercial surrogacy in India, and her IVF clinic, in a small rural town in Gujarat, has become a mecca for childless Western couples looking for surrogate mothers. Critics call it a "baby-making factory" and accuse Patel of exploitation, while Patel describes herself as a "feminist". Judge for yourself.

The Culture Show: Jon Ronson Meets Malcolm Gladwell – Beware the Underdog

wednesday 10pm bbc2

Ronson chats to The Tipping Point author in his New York home about his latest book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. In it Gladwell argues that drawbacks such as being dyslexic, losing a parent in childhood or being shot at can be turned into advantages. Then again...

Pain, Pus & Poison: the Search for Modern Medicines

Thursday 9pm & 3am BBC4

How scientists exploited the natural world to make medicines, beginning by investigating the challenges they faced trying to create a drug that would alleviate pain. But what actually causes physical discomfort? And how did the discovery of morphine lead to 200 years of scientific breakthroughs? Michael Mosley presents.

Orangutans: the Great Ape Escape – Natural World

Friday 9pm BBC2

I doubt there will be a cuter shot on television this year than the one here of orphaned baby orangutans being ferried by wheelbarrow at their sanctuary in Borneo. This winning Natural World film follows the sanctuary's attempt to start introducing the apes to the wild after a lifetime of care and twice daily deliveries of fresh fruit.

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