Thursday 5 December Material World Quentin Cooper talks to Dr Bradley Edwards who is developing a 'space elevator', which, using basic physics, will transport people, satellites and rockets into space at a fraction of the present cost. I'm afraid I couldn't make head or tail of exactly how this will be achieved, readers, but within 15 years it could enable weekend trips to the moon, which, as we all know is made of cheese. As to what type of cheese, I'm afraid you'll have to ask the Clangers.
BBC Radio 4, 4.30pm Friday Building The Impossible Roman War Machine Each week Caroline Baillie, a materials scientist at the UK Centre For Materials Education, and structural engineer Chris Wise attempt to recreate an engineering feat from the past.
This week, a rock-hurling catapult.
Many thanks to the good eggs that are Tim Harris and Liezel Tipper for alerting Foresight to this series, which, alas, is already one programme in. For this, I kneel at the altar of your forgiveness.
BBC2, 9pm Sunday Scrapheap Challenge Last year's champions the Catalysts (which included civil engineer Tom Betts as I recall) take on the 2002 winners, the Barley Pickers. The challenge is to build a contraption strong enough to fling cars through the air. Babtie director, tall buildings expert, IStructE past president and visiting professor of engineering design at UMIST Manchester, John Roberts, is the judge. Busy man is John.
Channel 4, 6.35pm The Fiendish Plot Of Dr Fu Manchu Nayland Smith attempts to foil a dastardly plan to bring London to a standstill by via countless roadworks and the introduction of a charging scheme for vehicles entering the capital.
Can he discover the sinister mastermind behind the chaos?
Channel 5, 2.55pm Monday The Voynich Manuscript In the 1920s a mysterious manuscript, written in code and containing bizarre drawings and charts, was touted by Polish book dealer, Wilfried Voynich, as a valuable mediaeval document.
Scientists and scholars have tried to crack the code but with differing results, and many believe it to be a hoax. Enter the strange, surreal world of the Voynich Manuscipt and discover what today's cryptographers and experts make of it. Betcha one of those gobbledegook specialists who write mission statements for local councils could make sense of it.
BBC Four, 9pm Wednesday Time Flyers Offa's Dyke was built in the Dark Ages as a boundary between England and Wales. In places the Dyke was more than 2m high and 20m wide but a missing stretch at Welshpool has puzzled experts. An archaeological team go in search of the reasons for this absent section.