SATURDAY Children of the Gods (ITV, 10 pm). John and Helen Vine are looking forward to their daughter Emma coming home to spend a few days with them. But when Emma arrives she reveals that she has joined a religious commune — a decision to which her parents violently object.
It is their attempts to extricate her from her new way of life that form the basis for this topical play by Roy Kendall.
Emma (Janet Maw) says she learned about the commune from an American selling candles in London's Oxford Street, and now that she has found God, she feels that there is a purpose to her life. Her parents (Mary Peach and Peier Jefferey) are totally mystified, and even more disapproving when they hear that she has sold her car and the money from it has gone to the commune.
Inevitably, the situation develops into a row and Emma leaves to return to the commune. The Vines go to the Rev David Thompson (Roy Marsden) to see if he can do anything. He suggests that they kidnap Emma and have her "de-programmed". However, she would need to be talked out of the commune's brainwashing by someone special. So the Vines arrange to have Emma's former toy-friend Judd (John Washbrook) flown in from America. But will he succeed or just push Emma further away from her parents? SUNDAY Simple Faith (BBC 2, 3.40 pm). David Winter discusses the image and the role of the Church today with Dr Donald Coggan, the Archbishop of Canterbury (see above).
Songs of Praise (BBC 1, 6.40 pm). Congregations from seven local churches gather in St Bride's Church, Old Trafford, Manchester, for an Epiphany Songs of Praise, celebrating the 12th day after Christmas and the journey of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem. Geoffrey Wheeler talks to some of the people for whom Britain is the end of their journey.
Everyman (BBC I, 10.35 pm). The Rev William Sloane Collin is no ordinary minister — he has been a CIA officer training agents to parachute into Russia, has twice been arrested for civil disobedience and twice divorced.
Much to his surprise, he has been invited to America's most prestigious Protestant pulpit — Riverside, Manhattan. Peter France talks to him.
TUESDAY Man Alive (BBC 2, 9.30 pm). Considers the alternatives to the contraceptive pill. This year half a million women in Britain stopped taking the Pill. Jenny Conway and Harold Williamson talk to gynaecologists and women about their experiences and ask: "If not the pill, what else?".
A professor reveals a sophisticated method acceptable to Catholics and a growing number of women who reject any artificial methods.
THURSDAY Andre Previn's Music Night (BBC 1, 10.15 pm). Returns for a new season. This first programme is devoted to Mendelssohn's music.