BBC TwoNewsnight Review
Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 17:46 UK

Friday, 4 July, 2008

Martha Kearney
This week's Newsnight Review - BBC Two, 2300BST - is presented by Martha Kearney.

John Mullan | Kate Mosse | Sarah Churchwell




The Booker

Next week one of six novels will be crowned "The Best of the Booker", a special award to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prize.

Since the first Booker prize in 1968 it has grown into one of the most illustrious awards in the literary calendar, launching the careers of numerous novelists.

Our panellist John Mullan was one of the judges responsible for drawing up the shortlist of six, and will give us a potted guide to each one. All but one of the books deals with post-colonialism - The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer, J M Coetzee's Disgrace, Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, The Siege of Krishnapur by J G Farrell, Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, and The Ghost Road by Pat Barker.

The final winner will be chosen by a public vote taking place on the 5 July as part of the London Literature Festival.

You can vote for your favourite book on the Booker website and tell us which book you think deserves to win and why on our blog. Or you can ask John Mullan why he didn't put your favourite Booker winner on the shortlist.



The Visitor

This independent, low-budget critique of the US immigration system became a surprise box office hit in the States.

Written and directed by Tom McCarthy, (The Station Agent), The Visitor tells the story of Walter Vale, a middle-aged and recently widowed economics lecturer.

While visiting New York for an academic conference, he discovers two illegal immigrants, Arab musician Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and his girlfriend Zainab (Danai Gurira), squatting in his apartment.

Walter takes pity on the pair and guided by Tarek, starts to learn to drum. After a skirmish on the Manhattan subway, Tarek is incarcerated and threatened with deportation - and Walter takes up his case.

Will our panel agree with the American critics?


BBC One, Tuesday 8 July, 9pm


Bonekickers has been billed as Time Team meets CSI and the Da Vinci Code.

From the excavation of murdered 18th century slaves to the possible discovery of the True Cross, the drama explores the world of forensic archaeology and tries to unravel the mysteries of the past.

Actress Julia Graham leads the team as Professor Gillian MacWilde, while Hugh Bonneville plays Professor Gregory 'Dolly' Parton.

The series was created by the team behind Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars, and has archaeology professor Mark Horton on board as a consultant. He insists all the plots are entirely feasible.

Our panellist Kate Mosse has written fiction which combines past and present - what will she make of it.


Hammersmith Apollo until 2nd August

Newsnight Review assembles a panel of children to get their opinions on High School Musical.

What started out as a low budget made-for-TV movie on the Disney Channel has become an international 'tweenie' phenomenon.

There have been two feature films already High School Musical 1 and 2, with a third due in October.

And now a new stage musical version has opened in London. It tells the much loved story of chemistry whiz and "brainiac" Gabriella (Claire-Marie Hall), and basketball playing "jock" Troy (Mark Evans), who break out of their cliques and audition for the lead roles in the High School Musical.

We've recruited a special panel of actors and dancers to review this item - all of them 12 or under !

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