An average evening of British television. Seeking respite from the sitcoms and soap operas, you turn to the main BBC channel, where there is a documentary about blindness in India and new methods of curing it. A serious subject: properly handled, an interesting and moving one. The only trouble is that there are a pair of narrators, two actors who can normally be seen in a popular comedy series. They lard the commentary with specimens of their humor; to set the tone, they start off with a series of jokes about Indian lavatories. But then the title of the program should have been enough to warn one—Back Passage to India. E. M. Forster would not, I think, have been amused.

Perhaps the only noteworthy thing about this item is that nobody in the year 2000 thinks it worthy of note. It is all in a day’s work.

But let us leave such disagreeable matters and turn to the ...


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