Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. History’s Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world. The Incredible March – Mao turns defeat into victory and Chinese communism is born. Mao Tse – tung, the leader of China’s Communist First Front Army flees the forces of his arch enemy, the Nationalist leader Chiang Kai Shek. Mao and his one hundred thousand strong peasant army battle against the Nationalists and nature itself, fleeing over 6000 miles through 12 provinces over 18 mountain ranges and across 24 rivers in an epic test of human endurance.
Follow the rise to glory of Genghis Kahn, the 13th century Mongol leader whose empire covered four times the area conquered by Alexander the Great. Combining the savagery of a real-life Conan the Barbarian with the sheer tactical genius of Napoleon, Genghis brought his armies from the outermost reaches of eastern Asia to the edge of Europe, uniting the disparate Mongol tribes along the way and establishing an empire that would last until the 17th century. From his humble beginning as an orphaned child in the wilderness to his deathbed plea to his sons to expand his empire to the ends of the earth, learn how Genghis rose to power and maintained his stranglehold on the Asian continent – through a mix of diplomacy, military acumen and brutality.
In The Ascent of Money Niall Ferguson traces the evolution of money and demonstrates that financial history is the essential back story behind all history. By learning how societies have continually created and survived financial crises, we can find solid solutions to today’s worldwide economic emergency. As he traverses historic financial hot spots around the world, Ferguson illuminates fundamental economic concepts and speaks with leading experts in the financial world. Episode 6 Chimerica – Niall Ferguson investigates the globalisation of the Western economy and the uncertain balance between the important component countries of China and the US. In examining the last time globalisation took hold, before World War One, he finds a notable reversal, namely that today money is pouring into the English speaking economies from the developing world, rather than out.
The Forbidden City in Beijing was an ancient palace whose very name inspired awe and fear. Until the 20th century the Forbidden City was one of the most secret places on earth. In the past people who trespassed paid with their lives but today the price of an entrance ticket is cheaper and 8 million visitors a year walk where once only emperors trod. Episode 1 Secrets – It was truly a “forbidden” city. For centuries access was denied to all but the emperor, his family and his most senior officials and servants. A swift and painful execution faced anyone who trespassed on its sacred precincts. With unprecedented access our cameras enter the heart of the palace to provide stunning images of its magnificent buildings and reveal the secrets of those who lived there.
The First Emperor The Man Who Made China follows the rise and fall of Chin Shi Huang, China’s legendary first emperor. The Discovery Channel was allowed unprecedented access to Emperor Chin’s underground burial complex that spans over seven square miles. The team employs cutting edge technology such as ground penetrating radar combined with CGI to illustrate the design and layout of the largest unopened tomb in the world.
Documentary series about the hopes and dreams of a group of children at three schools in rural China, it takes as its subject one small town in rural Anhui, and focuses on their lives during the course of a single academic year. The schools are schools like many thousands of others across this vast nation, but through the individual stories of hardship, joy and success, an extraordinary portrait emerges, not just of a group of children and a town, but of a side of the Chinese nation seldom seen. Episode 1 The Year of the Golden Pig – The children and teachers of the rural town of Xiuning are about to welcome you into their lives, and reveal a place full of vitality, challenges and great humour. Chinese School discovers just what makes Chinese people tick, what they dream of and what gets a laugh. This is China as the Chinese know it and as the West has never seen it.
The Forbidden City in Beijing was an ancient palace whose very name inspired awe and fear. Until the 20th century the Forbidden City was one of the most secret places on earth. In the past people who trespassed paid with their lives but today the price of an entrance ticket is cheaper and 8 million visitors a year walk where once only emperors trod. Episode 2 Survival – Focuses on the time of the last Emperor Pu Yi and the restoration of the Forbidden City during the 20th century. With the emperor gone, there was no guarantee the Forbidden City would survive. As the 600th anniversery of its construction approaches an ambitious restoration project is attempting to turn back the clock and return the palace to its former glory. The renovation has solved some old mysteries and uncovered some new ones.
Long ago in the age of dinosaurs, a volcano in eastern China erupted and buried a host of strange creatures in ash, creating exquisite fossils that preserved a big surprise many dinosaurs were covered in feathers. In this documentary investigate the most bizarre of these feathered dinosaurs, which has rekindled a fierce, decades long debate over the origin of bird flight. Dubbed Microraptor, the crow sized fossil is one of the smallest dinosaurs ever found and one of the most controversial, challenging conventional theories and assumptions about the evolution of flight. This documentary commissions a “flight ready” wind tunnel model of Microraptor complete with feathers and articulating joints. Tantalizingly, Microraptor is the unexpected missing link that has reignited the debate and, with the help of this documentary’s model and wind tunnel tests, just might settle the issue, or at the very least deepen our understanding of the long ago era when the ancestors of birds first took to the air.
Documentary series about the hopes and dreams of a group of children at three schools in rural China, it takes as its subject one small town in rural Anhui, and focuses on their lives during the course of a single academic year. The schools are schools like many thousands of others across this vast nation, but through the individual stories of hardship, joy and success, an extraordinary portrait emerges, not just of a group of children and a town, but of a side of the Chinese nation seldom seen. Episode 4 Olympic Fever – It’s Autumn, it’s time for the students to hit the sports field. For the deputy head teacher of Haiyang Middle school sports day is a mammoth undertaking, while School Radio DJ Zha Yujie sees it as the highlight of the year. At Ping Min primary school they’re holding their first ever sports day as always, there are lessons to be learned all round.
As the world approaches the 21st century, this new series hosted by Michael Woods and produced in 1991, reminds us that other nations and cultures prospered for hundreds or even thousands of years. Now all that remains is the legacy of their civilizations, present and influential in our own. Shot on location on four continents, Legacy takes a different viewpoint from other series that concentrate primarily on the the Western view of history. Visiting China, India, Egypt, the Middle East, Greece and Meso-America, this series traces the rise of both Asian and western civilization. China The Mandate of Heaven – Many breakthroughs on which the modern world is based were discovered in China long ago: iron-casting, gunpowder, even printing. When introduced to Europe, these things changed Western civilization. This episode presents the synthesis of East and West.
Documentary series about the hopes and dreams of a group of children at three schools in rural China, it takes as its subject one small town in rural Anhui, and focuses on their lives during the course of a single academic year. The schools are schools like many thousands of others across this vast nation, but through the individual stories of hardship, joy and success, an extraordinary portrait emerges, not just of a group of children and a town, but of a side of the Chinese nation seldom seen. Episode 5 Loved Ones – It’s a month of preparations for spring festival. It is also a popular time for weddings and several teachers from Xiuning Middle School get hitched. School radio broadcaster Zha Yujie goes to Beijing to study broadcasting. More often than not, it is the only time in the year when the family can be together. But this year the people of Anhui and southern china are faced with the worst weather in 50 years and the treasured promise of seeing their parents again begins to look less than certain.
Winding roughly 6,700 kilometers through undulating mountains, grasslands, and desert, its vastness seems beyond the realm of human possibility. A wonder of the ancient world, the Great Wall of China is one of mankind’s most massive building achievements. Yet contrary to popular belief, there is no single wall of China, but rather a series of walls built for different reasons at different times. Modern Marvels series embarks on a journey of discovery, investigating the mysterious history surrounding this cultural marvel. Historians and modern engineers discuss the planning, construction, and function of various segments while extensive location footage illuminates the stunning majesty of its architecture. Legend claims that the wall is a wellspring of warfare, madness, and death, can this be true? From ancient China onwards, this documentary explores the incredible history of The Great Wall of China.
Declassified takes viewers inside vaults and archives around the world to reveal the untold stories of modern history. With the fall of the Iron Curtain and the advent of market economies worldwide, new footage and materials are flooding out of formerly secret organizations like East Germany’s Stasi, the Kremlin, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and state television in Korea. Declassified reveals the stories behind the previously unseen footage with modern graphics, editing, story telling, relentless, fast cut montage and a rock beat. Episode Tiananmen Square – It started out as China’s answer to Woodstock, but it ended like Kent State. Here, using unseen footage and declassified diplomatic sources, we present a previously shrouded story of the battles and deaths of hundreds of young Chinese students in June 1989, martyrs for democracy at Tiananmen Square, and the imprisonment of many others. Watch the birth and death of a movement, and learn how the demonstrators changed China forever.
Natural World is a classic wildlife series which tells in depth stories of incredible animals, featuring award winning photography in some of the most extraordinary places in the world. Episode Pandas of The Sleeping Dragon – Wolong Shan, in Sichuan province is China’s main panda reserve, which is home to giant and red pandas and giant salamanders, as well as golden monkeys. Focuses on the predicament of the giant panda and on the lessser known red panda. The giant panda’s digestive system is more suited to meat eating yet, because it feeds almost exclusively on bamboo, which has a low nutritional value, the animal must feed virtually around the clock to survive. Other animals that live in the forests include parrot bills, bamboo rats, golden monkeys, tufted deer, wild dogs, golden pheasants and the takin, a distant relative of the musk ox. The giant salamander, known as the water dragon, the world’s largest amphibian is also to be found in the area.
In China, there exists an astonishing place. A burial ground to rival Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. In 221 B.C., China’s first Emperor united warring kingdoms into a nation that still exists today. To memorialise this achievement, he bankrupted the national treasury and oppressed thousands of workers to build one of the world’s biggest mortuary complexes. China’s second dynasty, the Han, inherited the daunting challenge of building larger tombs to command respect and establish their right to rule without running the nation into the ground. Although no Han emperor’s tomb has been opened, the tombs of lesser Han aristocrats have revealed astonishing things and at least one corpse so amazingly well preserved some believe Han tomb builders knew how to “engineer immortality”.
Beijing is one of the world’s great cities and it was made capital of China by a great man. That man was Kublai Khan. Kublai declared himself Great Khan, supreme ruler of the Mongol empire in 1260. But his main interest was in China where he reigned until 1294 and founded the Yuan dynasty. He was the first significant non-Chinese ruler to rule over the entire Chinese empire. Kublai was the grandson of a the legendary Mongol warlord Genghis Khan. Like his grandfather Kublai crushed his enemies with brute force yet he ruled his own lands peacefully, setting up governments, creating systems of taxation, and promoting culture and commerce. He made Beijing the capital of the biggest empire the world had ever seen. But his greatest achievement was the unification of China it survives to this day. Although he reined over 700 years ago his story is one that has great significance because he ruled a great multi-cultural society and he presided over a global economy, it was globalization in the middle ages.
For 27 years Mao Tse Tung held absolute power. This is the first full account of his life ever shown on television. This documentary shows the torment, beatings and killings of Mao’s cultural revolution and the terror and famine that preceded it and killed tens of millions. For the first time Mao’s intimates speak out including, his granddaughter, his doctor, his valet, his english teacher, his bodyguard and commrades of his early days in the communist party. Together they provide the keys, not only to China’s past, but to an understanding of China today. Hosted by Philip Short, BBC correspondent and author of Mao: A Life. The first half of the documentary covers the course of the Chinese revolution up to the Cultural Revolution. The second half covers the Cultural Revolution to Mao’s death.
Each half hour episode looks at a major fighting people or force and charts the reasons for their rise to dominance and subsequent fall. The show explores the motivations of ancient soldiers, as well as how they lived, fought, trained, died, and changed the world. It also uses battle re-enactments and computer graphics to demonstrate military strategy. This series from the Discovery Channel is especially good for the lesser known groups of warriors. Episode 17 Shaolin Monks – The Shaolin pattern their martial arts on animal motion. In the year 621 China was ruled by chaos. Warlord fought warlord, no one was safe, not even the emperor. His estates were seized, his subjects murdered, and his son taken hostage. A peasant found the princes imperial seal and took it to a monastery nearby. The monks resolved to find the wicked warlord and rescue the emperors son. For despite their peaceful manner, they knew a hundred ways to kill a man. They were the shaolin masters of the deadly art of kung fu.
They were skilful administrators, the first global players who guaranteed the uninterrupted exchange of goods and ideas between the Orient and the West for nearly 200 years. They were also far-sighted, bringing merchants, traders and settlers with extensive agricultural know-how to their lands. Only after the collapse of Mongol influence in the mid-14th century did routes to the Far East become unsafe. Episode1 The Empire of Genghis Khan – This program focuses on the life of Genghis Khan how he was raised, how he united the Mongols and how he conquered lands ranging from northern China to the fringes of Europe.
In the series, nova crews attempt to ferret out long forgotten secrets of early architects and engineers. How did they design and erect the medieval war machines known as trebuchets? Egyptian obelisks? The Easter Island stone monoliths called moais? Roman baths? The rainbow bridges of ancient China? China Bridge – The ancient Chinese relied on bamboo, one of nature’s most versatile building materials, to lash together their famous rainbow bridges. In this section, learn more about this amazing plant and about China’s most noteworthy inventions, including paper money, gunpowder, and the compass. Also, play an interactive game that challenges you to use the right bridge type to span a span.
How did an Indian Buddhist shrine influence a Japanese pagoda? How are Italian pigs and cowry shells related to porcelain? These intriguing questions are investigated in Artifacts, a series that explores the origins and hidden connections among the art and artifacts of the great cultures and belief systems across Asia to understand the impact of calligraphy, porcelain, architecture, metallurgy, wood block printing and silk on Asian history and on the history of the world in general. Episode 1 A Brush with Wisdom – Enter the hidden world of Chinese painting. In China, they say to understand painting you need to understand calligraphy – the art of writing Chinese characters with a brush.
They were skilful administrators, the first global players who guaranteed the uninterrupted exchange of goods and ideas between the Orient and the West for nearly 200 years. They were also far-sighted, bringing merchants, traders and settlers with extensive agricultural know-how to their lands. Only after the collapse of Mongol influence in the mid-14th century did routes to the Far East become unsafe. Episode 2 The Heritage of Genghis Khan – This program starts in 1254 AD and follows the heirs of Genghis Khan and their way of life seen through the eyes of the Flemish Franciscan monk William Rubruck.
Time Life’s Lost Civilizations combines cutting edge digital effects technology (for 1995) with powerful dramatization. Dazzling spectacles re-create rituals and events, original location cinematography in 25 countries. Computer graphics make lost worlds live again! Episode 5 China Dynasties Of Power – Witness the glory of ancient China’s greatest rulers and the secrets of their giant tombs. Learn the ruthless military tactics and weapons technology of these all powerful rulers and discover how the building of the Great Wall would unify that nation.
How did an Indian Buddhist shrine influence a Japanese pagoda? How are Italian pigs and cowry shells related to porcelain? Why did the ferocious warriors of Mongolia wear silk underwear? These intriguing questions are investigated in Artifacts, a series that explores the origins and hidden connections among the art and artifacts of the great cultures and belief systems across Asia to understand the impact of calligraphy, porcelain, architecture, metallurgy, wood block printing and silk on Asian history and on the history of the world in general. Episode 2 Sacred Spaces – Chinese buildings evolved from simple shelters into complex, magnificent structures with great, swooping roofs, stately columns, and rich detail. And to start this story at the beginning, we have to leap back two millennia, to when the brilliant tyrant Qin Shihuang becomes the first emperor of a unified China.
Using CGI and fossil evidence, Evolutions demonstrates nature’s survival of the fittest in action. This three part series illuminates unique and bizarre evolutionary journeys that have brought forth some of the world’s most impressive animals. Evolutions Last Living Dinosaur Leading scientists use cutting edge CGI to trace the extraordinary evolutionary path of the turkey, starting with one of the first dinosaurs.