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.
At midday on August 15, 1962, in the depths of the Cold War, a depressed US Army private, James “Joe” Dresnok bolted across the most heavily fortified border on earth, directly through a minefield, and into another world. One of four American defectors who crossed over to the hard line communist North during the 1960s, Dresnok has lived in the North Korean capital Pyongyang ever since, and has not been seen by the outside world for 44 years. Now, the American defector’s astonishing story is being told for the first time. It is a story of betrayal, kidnappings and the alleged “breeding” of spies in the most secretive nation on the planet.
Certain landmarks have captured the imagination and awe of modern architects and engineers around the world as they work to solve the mystery of how their ancient forebears were able to construct such beautiful, timeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode Angkor Wat – Experts estimate workers must transport at least 300 blocks of 3 – 5 tonnes of sandstone. Situated deep in the Cambodian jungle, the majestic temple of Angkor Wat – designed to honour the Hindu god Vishnu – took over 30 years to build.
The ultimate success or failure of many of the battles of World War II boiled down to men and machines locked in a fight to the death. Special regiments, squadrons and naval services, together with clandestine forces and formations, gave the vast, overall fighting forces of World War II an extra edge in the most pivotal battles. Gladiators of World War II examines the establishment and background of the greatest fighting forces of the Second World War. Each program examines a different unit, dissecting its command structure, military objectives, battle formations and its success or failure in applying its tactics and strategy to each of the major theatres in which it fought. Episode The Anzacs – The Australian and New Zealand forces built on the reputation they had earned during World War 1 for being among the finest fighting troops in the world. Australian troops earned the nickname the Rats of Tobruk for their defence of the Libyan port during Rommel’s long but ultimately abortive siege of it. New Zealanders fought the length of North Africa and Italy. In the Far East, after suffering disaster in Malaya, Australians became the first Allied ground forces to drive back the Japanese during the grim battles on the Kokoda Trail in the mountainous jungle of New Guinea.
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.
They were the dreaded forces on the fringes of civilization, the bloodthirsty warriors who defied the Roman legions and terrorized the people of Europe. They were the Barbarians, and their names still evoke images of cruelty and chaos. But what do we really know of these legendary warriors? From the frigid North Sea to the Russian steppes, this ambitious series tells the fascinating stories of the most fabled groups of fighters in history, tracing 1,000 years of conquest and adventure through inspired scholarship and some of the most extensive reenactments ever filmed. Huns Huns probes the truth behind the mysterious warriors who were led by man whose name remains synonymous with bloodshed and destruction Attila.
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. Crisis in Korea – Details the repercussions of the communist invasion in the Far East. Determined to halt communist activity, General Douglas MacArthur aimed to wage atomic war on China. In the nick of time, President Harry Truman terminated MacArthur’s position, along with the threat of World War III. In doing so, Truman also kicked off the difficult period known as the Cold War.
The world is an unequal and unjust place, in which some are born into wealth and some into hunger and misery. To explore why the young Swedish writer Johan Norberg takes the viewers on a journey to Taiwan, Vietnam, Kenya and Brussels to see the impact of globalisation, and the consequences of its absence. It makes the case that the problem in the world is not too much capitalism, globalisation and multinationals, but too little. Does globalisation create a race to the bottom, or to the top? “Globalisation is good” tells a tale of two countries that were equally poor 50 years ago, Taiwan and Kenya. Today Taiwan is 20 times richer than Kenya. We meet the farmers and entrepreneurs that could develop Taiwan because it introduced a market economy and integrated into global trade. And we meet the Kenyan farmers and slum dwellers that are still desperately poor, because Kenya shut its door to globalisation.
They were the dreaded forces on the fringes of civilization, the bloodthirsty warriors who defied the Roman legions and terrorized the people of Europe. They were the Barbarians, and their names still evoke images of cruelty and chaos. But what do we really know of these legendary warriors? From the frigid North Sea to the Russian steppes, this ambitious series tells the fascinating stories of the most fabled groups of fighters in history, tracing 1,000 years of conquest and adventure through inspired scholarship and some of the most extensive reenactments ever filmed. Mongols Mongols rides with Genghis Khan and his descendants as they sweep from Asia to the heart of modern Germany in a frenzy of expansion.
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 Battle of Vietnam – 1968 A.D. Walter Cronkite and the media question a victory and the war in Vietnam is lost. During the Tet truce for Chinese New Year, January 31st 1968, the Vietcong carry out a surprise attack on America’s Embassy in Vietnam’s capital, Saigon.
700 years ago the world was dominated by one superpower the Mongol Empire. Only one conquest still eluded their leader, Khubilai Khan – the mystical islands of Japan. To seal his place in history, he constructed the biggest invasion force the world has ever seen – a fleet of more than 4,400 ships. But at this pivotal moment in world-history the fleet vanished without a trace What force destroyed the Mongol armada? Was it the legendary Japanese samurai? Human error? Or a natural disaster of catastrophic proportions? Now a Japanese marine archaeologist believes he has found the Mongol fleet. With an array of the latest marine forensic technology, he is revealing chilling new insights into the events of that fateful day. Can science finally solve the mystery of the Lost Fleet of Khubilai Khan?
North Vietnamese communist politician, prime minister 1954-55, and president 1954-69. Having trained in Moscow shortly after the Russian Revolution, he headed the communist Vietminh from 1941 and fought against the French during the Indochina War 1946-54, becoming president and prime minister of the republic at the armistice. Aided by the communist bloc, he did much to develop industrial potential. He relinquished the premiership in 1955, but continued as president. In the years before his death, Ho successfully led his country’s fight against US, aided South Vietnam in the Vietnam War 1954-75.
Michael Wood goes in search of four of the world’s most famous myths. These gripping adventures take the viewer to some of the most extraordinary places on earth, exploring stories that have captivated the world for thousands of years. The Search for Shangri-La – Wood’s search for Shangri-La takes him on a thrilling trek through India, Nepal and Tibet. The tale of the magical hidden valley of Shangri-La was popularized in the 1930s by James Hilton in his novel, Lost Horizon. But, the story of a lost kingdom behind the Himalayas free from war and suffering is descended from a much older Indian myth. When Europeans first caught wind of the tale back in the 16th Century, they set about trying to discover it. To find the truth behind the legend, Michael follows their track on foot through the Maoist controlled lands of Western Nepal and then on into Tibet. On the way he visits Mount Kailash
60 years after the Korean War, Jackie Bird investigates why one of the biggest conflicts of the 20th century has slipped from public memory. The war, in which thousands of young Scottish national servicemen fought, caused more British deaths than the Afghan, Iraq and Falklands wars combined. Jackie Bird discovers her own personal connection to the conflict and traces what happened to one of its forgotten victims. She also travels to Korea with some of the surviving Scottish veterans, on an emotional journey to reclaim their past. Although their numbers are dwindling with the passage of time, many of the Korean War veterans still have to come to terms with a war the rest of the country has largely forgotten.
Angkor Wat, one of the wonders of the ancient world rises from the Cambodian jungle. The magnificent temples and gigantic reservoirs built by the Khmer empire have long mystified scientists. What was the purpose behind the vast water system? 25 years of war and killing fields isolated Angkor from the outside world. Archaeologists are turning to a technological breakthrough to solve the mysteries of the ancients. Astonishing views from the space shuttle high tech radar are giving scientists a revolutionary new look at Angkor and changing old ideas about the mysterious temples. Who where the Khmer? How did they eek a living out of this harsh realm. How did they manage to create a city of such splendor and scale.
Jungles are the world’s powerhouses, the most vital habitats on the planet. They only cover 6% of the Earth, but they contain more than half of its plant and animal species living in a complex web of relationships. Without jungles, the planet would grind to a halt. The jungles of the world are all very different. Charlotte takes a close look at the animals inhabiting the jungles, highlighting how they have adapted to survive the challenging conditions. Episode 1 Canopyworld – In the first episode of Jungle, get up close and explore the forest canopy. The high frontier of the forest canopy is one of the least known and least seen habitats on Earth, but it has the greatest concentration of life on the planet. In the jungles of Borneo where the trees are the tallest, Charlotte discovers what it’s like to live 200 feet above the ground in a complex three dimensional world, where one slip could be fatal!
North Koreans flee to China, forced to live in miserable conditions and are vulnerable to being sent back to hard labour camps, some commit suicide, others are easy targets. Reporter Oliver Steeds reports on the plight of thousands of North Korean women who have been forced into prostitution or sold as brides after fleeing persecution and starvation in one of the world’s most secretive and repressive regimes.
They attack their victims with great strength and speed, using even chemical weapons. To avoid their enemies they can run over the water, throw him blood or poison or just become one with their environment and disappear. They attract their mate giving an extraordinary show of colors and movements and they have superhero abilities as they fly and use X-rays to see. Today’s reptiles are as deadly as dinosaurs, as beautiful as birds and as tender as mammals. Their look is so ancient that it is hard to believe that these animals are true! Episode 1 Ruling Reptiles – The extinction of the dinosaurs left a power vacuum. Enter the dragons: powerful modern reptiles which still dominate large areas of our planet. Ruling Reptiles goes in search of the modern reptiles that have inherited the dominant role.
Mysteries of Asia, produced for The Learning Channel, explores historical fact and theory surrounding some of the oldest structures in Asia. New footage of the areas under examination is complemented by film clips and animated maps, narrated by Michael Bell. Episode Jewels in the Jungle – The ancient Khmer temples of Cambodia, much of whose history is undocumented. This program examines the unusual mix of Hindu and Buddhist religious figures among the temples and gates built by the Khmer, and examines the walled city of Angkor in some detail. Cambodia’s bloody recent history under Pol Pot is also discussed, and the program celebrates the survival of the ancient dances of Angkor, the only remaining cultural link to the distant past.
1979 British television documentary written and presented by the Australian journalist John Pilger. The film recounts the bombing of Cambodia by the United States in 1970 during the Vietnam War, the subsequent brutality and genocide that occurred when Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge militia took over, the poverty and suffering of the people, and the limited aid since given by the West. Viewers were so moved by the plight of the people that they donated 45 million to the station in aid. President Nixon and Mr. Kissinger unleashed 100,000 tons of bombs, the equivalent of 5 Hiroshimas. John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia .
They attack their victims with great strength and speed, using even chemical weapons. To avoid their enemies they can run over the water, throw him blood or poison or just become one with their environment and disappear. They attract their mate giving an extraordinary show of colors and movements and they have superhero abilities as they fly and use X-rays to see. Today’s reptiles are as deadly as dinosaurs, as beautiful as birds and as tender as mammals. Their look is so ancient that it is hard to believe that these animals are true! Episode 2 Smart Reptiles – The second programme focuses on the amazing natural technology that makes reptiles such a successful group. Are reptiles the biotechnology wizards of the animal world? If you count sprinting on water, shooting blood from the eyes, spitting poison at their enemies, navigating by magnetic fields, converting ribs into a hangglider, or communicating emotions in colour then, yes, they are!
Series in which intrepid presenter Kate Humble follows the ancient frankincense trade route of Arabia across the amazing modern world of the Middle East. Kate’s journey along the 2,000 mile trail that first connected the Arab world with the West takes her on a quest that’s steeped in history, searing with desert heat, and full of characters and adventure. For 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, frankincense was more valuable than gold. Its sweet smelling aromatic smoke was treasured by Pharaohs and Caesars, and their insatiable demand for frankincense created a trade route from the southern coast of Oman to the Holy Lands. Vast camel caravans carried thousands of tonnes of frankincense over tribal lands – known today as Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Israel and Palestine.
Since the invasion of Tibet over 50 years ago, China has systematically destroyed the Tibetan culture. One of the most profound losses is the tradition of the great master yogis. The entire system which supported these fascinating mind masters has been inexorably eliminated. In order to record these mystical practitioners for posterity, the filmmakers were given permission to film heretofore secret demonstrations and to conduct interviews on subject matter rarely discussed. This profound historical, spiritual and educational film will someday be the last remnant of these amazing practitioners.
They attack their victims with great strength and speed, using even chemical weapons. To avoid their enemies they can run over the water, throw him blood or poison or just become one with their environment and disappear. They attract their mate giving an extraordinary show of colors and movements and they have superhero abilities as they fly and use X-rays to see. Today’s reptiles are as deadly as dinosaurs, as beautiful as birds and as tender as mammals. Their look is so ancient that it is hard to believe that these animals are true! Episode 3 Future Reptiles – Alligators on golf courses, geckos in hotels, chameleons in the garden and pampered pet pythons, reptiles are invading our space! So what will the future role for these living cousins of the dinosaurs be? Will reptiles give us better biotechnology and medicines?