The Daily Telegraph has marked the 40th anniversary of BBC’s award-winning arts documentary series Arena by selecting what it regards as its 10 best programs. Among the Telegraph’s top 10, no. 4 is the 1987 production entitled “The Waugh Trilogy”:
With Granada’s Brideshead a barely faded memory, Nicholas Shakespeare’s three-parter took its structural cue from the Sword of Honour novels to unravel a life which followed the time-worn trajectory from goggle-eyed innocent to harrumphing curmudgeon.
The selection, by Jasper Rees, also names at no. 5 a 1989 one-off production entitled “The Other Graham Greene.” The notoriously TV-shy Greene agreed to participate but not to appear on film. Arena also did a three-part program on Greene as well as a five-part series on George Orwell and a single program on Anthony Powell, but these did not make Rees’s final cut.