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.