Today's pick: Icemen

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Icemen (9.30pm BBC2) A history of Arctic exploration, and this opener, like the recent Aviators, is unexpectedly absorbing. It tells of the race to the North Pole between Americans Robert Peary and his former friend, Frederick Cook, a battle which enthralled the world in the years just prior to the Great War (500,000 people greeted Cook when he disembarked at Copenhagen). Peary was the sort of stoical obsessive who discovered that, "much to his annoyance", eight of his toes were frozen solid and had to be amputated. He was also a showman who brought six Eskimos to New York, where they died of flu, but not before 30,000 people had paid $25-a-head to see them. He claimed to have reached the Pole in 1909, just pipped by Cook. But Cook's claims were soon in dispute. Which, if either, had really been there?

Several Careful Owners (10.20pm BBC2) If you've come late to this programme, it's a small gem of a series which is based on a similar idea to The House Detectives. Instead of the previous owners of a house, it's the former owners of a particular car - this week, a 1951 Humber Pullman Estate - who are traced. A fruit-and-veg salesman and a publican are among those who have put just 28,000 miles on the clock.

Women and Men: Stories of Seduction (10pm C4) Directors Frederic Raphael, Ken Russell and Tony Richardson adapt tales of seduction by, respectively, Mary McCarthy, Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway in this 1990 made-for-cable venture. The best of the compendium is the Richardson/Hemingway segment, with writer James Woods suggesting that his girlfriend (Melanie Griffith) has an abortion. Elizabeth McGovern, Peter Weller and Molly Ringwald star in the other two.

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