Lost among all the Beatles hoopla this fall was this incredibly entertaining documentary about how the Beatles helped destroy communism. Airing Monday on The Passionate Eye, How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin (10 p.m., CBC News Network) highlights a phenomenon little known in the West. The doc was made and narrated by Leslie Woodhead, the man who shot the first short film of the Fab Four back in 1962 in Liverpool's Cavern Club. "It wasn't easy to be a Beatles fan in the Soviet Union," Woodhead says in the film. He's not kidding. The band may have been banned as capitalist pollution, but Beatles fans stopped at nothing. Getting arrested and having their long hair shaved off was just an inconvenience. In the doc, Woodhead reveals bootleg copies of I Feel Fine were recorded onto old chest X-rays, the only vinyl available. These floppy "records" were easily hidden, though it meant looking at a stranger's lungs circling on the turntable. Communist broadcast equipment, available in every community, was often vandalized to make homemade guitars as Beatles tribute bands sprung up and held illicit concerts. Today, the influence of the Beatles remains strong, and we meet many Russians still in their thrall, from one man who's built a Beatles shrine to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who wears the goofiest of smiles as he recalls his own childhood love for the group. How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin repeats Saturday, Jan. 8, at 10 p.m. on CBC News Network.
Come Dine With Me (weeknights, 8 p.m., on W): Imagine creating what you think is the perfect dinner party, but all your guests do is carp about the food, the decor and your social skills. In this British reality show, five amateur foodies cook for each other and compare the results all week long - the winner takes home £1,000 ($1,693). The losers are simply humiliated on camera. Who's hungry now?
The Story of Maths (Tuesdays, 10 p.m., on TVO) And for something completely different, a four-part series about the beauty of numbers and how mathematics shaped civilization. Oxford prof Marcus du Sautoy is a charismatic host who somehow manages to make a dry topic like the history of math come alive.