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CRITIC'S CHOICE; Sam takes herself off the case.

Silent Witness

BBC1, 9.10pm

IRISH beauty Amanda Burton is back on our screens this week for another dose of colder-than-ice drama Silent Witness.

Amanda plays Professor Sam Ryan in the latest of the BBC's Crime Doubles, with guest star Prunella Scales making an appearance.

Burton is having great success these days - on and off the screen.

At the age of 44, she was voted in a TV magazine's top half-dozen sexiest women on British TV.

Listed alongside 26-year-old Denise Van Outen and 25-year-old Claire Goose, it seems these days age is becoming less of a barrier in Amanda's profession.

She believes a lot of women admire her for the strong roles she plays.

But she still finds it quite funny that she's so highly thought of - especially by members of her own sex. "I don't really know why other women admire me," she says.

"Maybe they are attracted by what they see as my independence and success. I play professional women who are happy with their lives and who are not emotionally needy.

"If they are, they don't push that on to other people, they can sort out their own lives and they don't depend on a man."

Amanda's home life may be a picture of domestic bliss - husband Sven Arnstein, a celebrity photographer, and daughters Phoebe, 12, and Brid 10, sharing it with her - but she's not a stranger to scandal.

In tonight's episode of this new double bill school headmaster Lloyd Dupen (Matthew Marsh) finds his wife Helen dead upstairs after he hears a gunshot.

The police conclude that it is suicide. As ever, things aren't as simple as they first appear. Expert advice is needed - and this comes in the form of professor Sam Ryan.

When she is called in to advise, Sam is unconvinced about the suicide theory, and has doubts about the actual time of death.

Only an immediate special autopsy will reveal the truth.

But Sam's proposal is blocked by DI Mike Toner (Philip Jackson) and the coroner, and the usually cucumber cool Sam takes herself off the case in a fit of annoyance.

What can be the cause of her erratic behaviour?

Science And The Swastika

Ch4, 9.00pm

THIS programme charts how German doctors betrayed the principles of their profession - to care for the sick.

In a few short years doctors became the willing perpetrators of a racial cleansing policy that would enable them to maim, kill and experiment on human beings.

The doctors carried out these abominable crimes against humanity following the Nazi ideal of a "master race".

Like geneticists today, eugenics proposed that science should attack bad genes.

One of the first laws Hitler introduced gave doctors the power to forcibly sterilise anyone deemed to have a hereditary condition.

Around 350,000 ordinary Germans were victims of this sterilisation campaign.

And it was all done in the name of improving the nation's health.

But German doctors didn't stop at sterilising their patients.

The world's very first gas chambers were built in secret locations around Germany and Austria in 1939/40.

They were used to murder more than 70,000 disabled people.

It is estimated that another 200,000 were starved to death or given lethal injections in hospitals.

This is the story of the science behind these incredible atrocities.

Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps

BBC2, 9.30pm

LOUISE (Kathryn Drysdale) tells Janet (Sheridan Smith) that being well educated makes you more demure and sophisticated, so Janet decides to enrol as a student.

Meanwhile Gaz (Will Mellor) is convinced that his sexual allure has declined since he started going out with Donna, so he drags Jonny to the local nightclub to see if he still has what it takes in the chat-up department.

The girls, however, prefer Jonny's hard-to-get attitude and flock around vying for his attention.


ITV, 8.30pm

IT'S all change at Luton Airport - Jane Boulton, for so long the scourge of stroppy passengers, has had enough.

She's crossing to "the other side" spending the day trying out life as a plane despatcher. Meanwhile, back at check-in - Jane's usual stomping ground - temperatures are rising.

There's been a crash down the road, and new girl Helen Skeggs is under fire from passengers who've now missed their flights.

Also on today's programme, meet Diana Pellett, a passenger who's so scared of flying she hasn't stepped on a plane for 30 years.

Desperate to visit Australian relatives, she goes for therapy and books herself on a trial flight to Malaga.

But when she gets to Luton, will her nerve hold?

Over at the Luton sales desk, Katrina Leeder's getting her hands dirty. A wallet's been discovered down a plane toilet and no-one's too sure how long it's been down there.

Finally there are more trying times for Leanne Cheung in Liverpool.

A Belfast passenger, Wilma Morrison, has missed her flight to Ireland where she wants to sort out the custody of her son.

At the sales desk, emotionally exhausted, Wilma's frustration boils over into anger and Leanne's on the receiving end yet again.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:TV Preview
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 17, 2001
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