BBC to explore alien life

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The Independent Online
THE WILDS of Scotland will be invaded by space aliens in a small screen version of Independence Day somewhat different from the one Scottish nationalists fantasise about.

Invasion: Earth, a six-part sci-fi adventure thriller which pitches a small band of soldiers and scientists into an interplanetary conflict, is the one part of the BBC's pounds 278m spring and summer television schedule certain to appeal to channel zappers who like watching fellow earthlings being zapped.

What extra-terrestrials would make of the rest of the offerings on Auntie's terrestrial channels is open to wild speculation.

Anna Friel and Joely Richardson star in Stephen Poliakoff's The Tribe, the story of a mysterious urban commune whose members seek refuge from a violent world - this one - in a magical and sexual lifestyle.

There are also lashings of sex in Close Relations, a five-part drama which plunges a family into chaos after the man of the household recuperates from a heart attack by falling for a black nurse 25 years his senior. This forces his wife and three daughters to confront their own fantasies.

At least none of them have to tie a mediaeval instrument of torture around their heads, the grotesque fate that befalls several characters in The Scold's Bridle, a two-part adaptation of Minette Walters' powerful crime novel about abuse, revenge and blackmail.

The current fad for fly-on-the-wall documentaries continues with Lakesiders, an eight-parter on the huge Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock, Essex following " the incorrigible Essex girls and boys who live, work and play in this cathedral to consumerism".

The human body will be explored in what the BBC is hailing as a landmark documentary series. Spearheading the voyage will be Professor Robert Winston, Britain's leading fertility expert. The producers are so proud of their amazing new techniques that they have also made a one-off film entitled The Making of the Human Body.

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