From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century, A History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England’s past. Hosted by Simon Schama, this series discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse British history. Epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island “at the edge of the world” into the greatest empire on earth. Episode 3 Dynasty – The story of Henry II, who built one of the greatest empires in the medieval world, only to see it torn down by members of his own family. Infamous for inciting the murder of Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, Henry has rarely been recognised for his achievements, which included the laying of the foundations for today’s legal system.
Ancient Aliens explores the controversial theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US, first hand accounts and theories surrounding this age old debate. Did intelligent beings from outer space visit Earth thousands of years ago? Episode 5 The Return – There is evidence that suggests we experienced 20th century alien contact. For decades, some people have been searching for the sounds of extraterrestrial intelligence, while others have been sending messages out into deep space. What would happen if aliens answered or came calling? What happens if they return?
This is the 6 episode BBC docudrama with voiceover, not the 13 episode History channel documentary with recreations. The rise and fall of Ancient Rome through six key turning points. Factually accurate and based on extensive historical research, it reveals how the greed, lust and ambition of men like Caesar, Nero and Constantine shaped the Roman Empire. CGI is mixed with compelling drama and spectacular live-action battles. Episode 1 Caesar – Risked everything to tear down the government he served and bring revolution to Rome. In Greece, Caesar is forced to retreat inland by Pompey but is victorious when the Senators force Pompey into the Battle of Pharsalus. Caesar overturns the Republic and has himself made dictator for life (essentially the first emperor), only to be assassinated by rivals just four years into his rule.
Andrew Graham-Dixon concludes his exploration of German art by investigating the dark and difficult times of the 20th century. Dominating the landscape is the figure of Adolf Hitler-failed artist, would-be architect and obsessed with the aesthetics of his 1,000 year Reich. After the war the shadow of the Third Reich persisted, Germany remained divided and traumatised. How would artists deal with a past that everybody wanted to forget? From the age of the Bauhaus to the post-war painters and the conceptual artist Joseph Beuys is a long strange journey, but the signs are there that art has a place at the heart of the new reunited Germany.
Battlefield Britain is about famous battles in the history of Great Britain. From Boudicca’s destructive rebellion against the Romans to the incredible feats of The Few who saw off the Luftwaffe, these battles all had wide reaching consequences and implications for the future of the British isles. Presented by father and son team Peter and Dan Snow. Peter explains the battleplans, Dan the perspective of the common soldier, sailors and airmen. The episodes also featured interviews with soldiers from both sides, re-enactments of the battles and computer generated scenes with bird eye views and blocks to show troop movement. Episode 8 Their Finest Hour, The Battle Of Britain – The final installment looks to the skies for the Battle of Britain and the RAF’s struggle to prevent a Nazi invasion in the darkest days of World War II when Britain stood alone.
They were built by the ancients in the time before Christ to a scale that is unbelievable. They dared their creators to push engineering to new heights which still astound us today. Architecture and sculpture continue to stand in the shadow of their genius. Now by revealing the secrets of the past we can unlock the mysteries of their construction which earn them the highest distinction as the seven wonders of the ancient world. Episode 1 Artemis, Mausoleum and Zeus – Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – The first cranes were used to construct the world’s largest marble temple. It was supported by a forest of fluted columns, 60 feet high. How were the ancients able to achieve such detail while working on an such enormous scale? Mausoleum at Halicarnassus – The most extraordinary building every constructed, it stood the height of a 14 story building, and was covered with statues it has left the word mausoleum. Its style has been copied all over the world from Washington D.C. to the shrine of remembrance in Melbourne, Australia. Statue of Zeus at Olympia – The sculpture who created it used a secret recipe to shape the ivory. But how did he achieve such realism? The originality of it’s design has inspired artists and sculptors to copy it throughout the centuries.
The Spanish conquest of the Americas in the sixteenth century was one of the most cataclysmic events in history. Spanish expeditions had to endure the most unbelievable hardships to open up the lands of the New World. Few stories, if any, in history match these for sheer drama, endurance and distance covered. Michael Woods travels in the footsteps of the Spanish adventures. The Conquest of the Incas – Fancisco Pizarro hoped to find great riches in the land of the Inca when he set off on his third voyage to the new world in 1527. Learn how Pizarro ransomed the life of a king for a room full of gold and silver. Through letter and drawings from the 16th century and film from modern day south America, discover this remarkable story of greed, faith, dishonor and valor.
Decoding the Past is a series that “decodes” the past by looking for unusual, paranormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Prophecies Of Isreal – The Tanakh of the Jews is an acronym that identifies the Hebrew Bible equivalent to the Old Testament to Christians. Within the 24 books of the Tanakh (or Mikra as it was called during the period of its recording) are astounding predictions of the future. Many of the prophets who authored or appeared in the scriptures prophesied about the fate of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Examine the prophecies and chronicle the birth death recent resurrection and possible future of Israel.
Egypt is the title of a BBC television drama serial about various archaeological discoveries taking place in that country’s history, with the occasional “flashback” scene involving actors portraying the ancient Egyptians themselves. Episode 1 The Search for Tutankhamun – In 1905 Lord Carnarvon arrives in Luxor to convalesce after a road accident and is shown an artifact bearing the cartouche of the mysterious Tutankhamun. An inspired Carnarvon employs Carter. The tomb is finally unearthed. When the tomb is opened in the presence of Carnarvon and his daughter it is revealed to be the only unplundered pharaoh’s tomb in the valley.
A major 14 part television series in which art historian Tim Marlow takes a fresh look at the most important artworks of some of the greatest artists in history. Shot on location in over 50 galleries, museums, churches and palaces throughout Europe and the United States, this series is a comprehensive survey of the history of Western art. Both intelligent and informative, the series aims to provide an uncomplicated and accessible analysis of the works and artists featured including Giotto, Michelangelo and Raphael
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 Great Wall of China – 221 B.C. To seal off his empire from marauders, Chin commanded the building of the Great Wall. Three hundred thousand were employed, and thousands, especially the scholars, died and were buried within the wall. Called “the world’s longest graveyard”, it was his greatest accomplishment and his greatest tragedy.
Hitler’s Henchmen and Hitler’s Warriors paints portraits of the men who consolidated Hitler’s reign and turned his plans into action. They wove the complicities and plots without which Hitler could have never perpetrated the crime of the century. They helped to sway the judges and the bureaucrats, the armed forces and the police, the students and their teachers to the regime’s ways of thinking. What kind of people were they? What inspired them to serve a corrupt administration with such enthusiasm and devotion? How did their careers unfold and their fates end?
Homer wrote his epic, The Iliad, in 700 BC 500 years after the Trojan Wars were supposed to have taken place. Did the Trojan war ever happen,or was the city destroyed by natural causes? It’s fascinated poets, painters and Hollywood directors for over 2,500 years. Join Michael Wood as he combs the cradle of civilization from Greece to Turkey and points beyond Germany, Ireland and England in search of archaeological evidence that may validate the fantastic battles immortalized in The Iliad From Schliemann’s initial cavalier bulldozing of the mound at Hisarlik, to Homer’s epics, the Hittite Empire, and the role of slave women, Wood journeys back and forth across the Aegean and elsewhere to illuminate the dawn of Western literature, myth, and history. Empire of the Hittites – Decisive documental evidence from the Hittites. Recurrent conflicts with the Mycenaeans.
Professor Aubrey Manning embarks on a series of journeys in which he tries to solve mysteries hidden in the landscape of the British Isles. Unpicking clues in the geology, natural history, and archaeology, Aubrey reveals how the land has come to look the way it does. Episode 4 Secrets of the Flood – Aubrey is in the Solent, off the south coast of England. It’s known that people once lived in a landscape that is now covered by the sea but how did this area become flooded? In this episode Aubrey investigates a mystery that has puzzled experts for centuries.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Episode 3 Tunnels – the word evokes mystery, adventure and claustrophobia. They make mountains manageable, connect our cities and can even bring together continents. But every tunnel is an enclosed space – a very dangerous place to be if something goes wrong. This episode looks at how recent catastrophes at the Channel Tunnel, Mont Blanc and Gotthard Tunnels of Europe spawned a revolution in tunnel building technology that is still evolving today. From failsafe evacuation systems through fireproof concrete and radical new approaches to tunnel design itself this programme will see how new tunnel projects are using high tech to keep alive if the worst happens. At the core of the programme is the cutting-edge Marmaray Tunnel in Turkey – this US 4 billion project will connect Europe and Asia with a dual bore rail tunnel running under the Bosphorous Straits. But there is a problem, the Anatolian Fault Line lies 11 miles from the site.
After thousands of years of debate and question this series explores many of the greatest tales of Scripture. Filmed on location throughout the Holy Land and utilizing modern scientific techniques and newly found archaeological discoveries Mysteries of the Bible reveals surprising facts and theories behind the legendary figures and fabled stories of the Bible. Episode Cain and Abel A Murder Mystery – Their story is one of the most chilling in the Bible: a tale of cold blooded murder between the world’s first brothers. But while Genesis records the identity of Abel’s killer, the world’s first death remains, in essence, a mystery. What compelled Cain to kill his only brother? And what of the strange paradoxes in the scripture: Cain’s fear of strangers in an unpopulated world and the sudden appearance of a future wife?
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.
The birth of the fighter plane between 1914 and 1918, tracing how the development of aircraft technology during the pressure cooker of war changed what was an eccentric folly into a deadly weapon. The documentary explores the brave new world of dogfights, aerial reconnaissance and bombing missions, as British pioneers such as Geoffrey de Havilland competed to outdo Anton Fokker, the Dutchman whose planes helped Germany dominate the skies. The story is rounded out with experiments and demonstrations using the Vintage Aviators, film-maker Peter Jackson’s fleet of replica First World War aircraft.
Russia’s War Blood Upon The Snow – 10 Part Series detailing WWII from Rusia’s viewpoint. A compelling story of dictatorship, bloody battles, and endless courage as the Soviet people combat not only Hitler and the Germany Army, but their own leader as well. Hosted by former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, this 10 hour program features never before seen Russian images, once – secret documents, and leading Russian historians to explore Russia from 1924 through 1953. Episode 8 False Dawn – 1944 is the year of victories. After a 900 – day siege, the Soviets finally liberate Leningrad. The Red Army pushes westward and beings to retake the territories occupied by the Germans for so long. Once again Stalin has plans for the people who suffer under the occupation.
The idea that an event of cataclysmic proportions shrouded the Earth’s atmosphere, darkening the sky and plunging its inhabitants into a massive crisis, is familiar to anyone who’s read about the dinosaurs. But what if a similar event happened to humans? And what if recorded history around the world indicates a precise time when this disaster struck? This fascinating documentary tackles the premise that scribes in civilizations as far apart as Ireland and China all recorded a darkening of the sky and a drop in temperatures about the year A.D. 535. Episode 2 How The World Changed – 535 A.D. has come and gone the world has been hit by a catastrophe. Now comes bizarre weather, the sun is darkened, skies are turbulent, rain is red and snow falls yellow. There is frost and famine. Seasons are blurred. In some places great drought destroys the land. In others floods bring chaos. The world will never be the same. The theory belongs to David Keys. With dogged detective work he has pieced together the story of an ancient catastrophe.
Buckle on your armor and pick up your lute. Legendary Monty Python star and medieval scholar Terry Jones opens your eyes to the truths behind nine medieval characters you thought you knew. Through a lively mix of humor and research, you’ll see beyond Renaissance myths and time worn stereotypes. The Peasant – The stereotype of the medieval peasant is a toothless, filthy, ignorant wretch, a slave to his feudal lord and master. Terry Jones discovers a very different reality. They had more holidays than us, very often their houses were bigger, they frequently ate better and arguably had more influence in the corridors of power. The average peasant was, in fact, pretty intelligent.
To produce one of the world’s great masterpieces is impressive. To create three is truly astonishing, but this is exactly what Michelangelo did five hundred years ago. With his own hands he designed and created, the David, the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, and the dome of St Peter’s. Episode 1 – Michelangelo’s path to success was plagued with difficulties. Trace the troubled origins of his genius, from boyhood beatings from his father, to fights with fellow artists. His father’s feeling that his obsession with art would bring disgrace to the family failed to deter the young, determined Michelangelo. The tempestuous young Michelangelo made a name for himself. Aged 26, he took on the seemingly impossible challenge of sculpting a colossal statue of the biblical hero, David, and design a structure to transport the sculpture, which weighed several tons, across the uneven roads without the giant crashing to the ground. It was no mean feat even by today’s standards. To illustrate the technical skills that Michelangelo displayed, the programme enlists engineer Nick McLean to follow in Michelangelo’s footsteps.
First broadcast in 1964, The Great War was the definitive film account of the world shattering events of World War I (1914 – 1918) a landmark history series widely regarded as a documentary masterpiece. 26 Episodes. The main narrator was Michael Redgrave. It was a co-production involving the resources of the Imperial War Museum, the BBC, CBC and ABC. The series, unparalleled at the time for its depth of research, range of source material and historical accuracy – all presented in a sequence of clear narratives – is now considered one of the finest achievements of BBC documentary. With few exceptions, successive blocks of episodes are devoted to each year of the war episodes 1 – 6 to 1914, 7 – 10 to 1915, 11 – 14 to 1916, 15 – 19 to 1917, 20 – 23 and 26 to 1918.
This series of programs consists of 16 episodes which profile 16 evil men and women throughout history who have used their power to torture, kill, maim and eradicate millions of people. llse Koch – The B*tch of Buchenwald was the wife of Karl Koch, commandant of the concentration camps Buchenwald from 1937 to 1941, and Majdanek from 1941 to 1943. Drunk on the absolute power rendered by her husband, she revelled in torture and obscenity.
The presented by Bettany Hughes chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most extreme civilizations the world has ever seen, one founded on discipline, sacrifice and frugality where the onus was on the collective and the goal was to create the perfect state and the perfect warrior. Hughes reveals the secrets and complexities of everyday Spartan life. There was bitter rivalry between Sparta and Athens, two cities with totally opposed views of the “good life”. By setting out to create a perfect society protected by perfect warriors, Sparta made an enemy of change. A collapsing birth rate, too few warriors, rebellious slaves and outdated attitudes to weaponry and warfare combined to sow the seeds of Sparta’s destruction. Episode 1 – Th the arrival of the Dorian settlers into the Eurotas valley, and the dark age culture of Menelaus and his wife Helen of Troy. Once established, the Spartans expand westward, enslaving the entire population and becoming the dominant power in Laconia. Lycurgus transforms the Spartan constitution into a militarized state. The training of Spartan youths is explained, from their enrollment in the Agoge system right through to their attainment of citizenship. The class structure of the Lacedaemonian state (Helots, Perioeci, and the soldier-citizens themselves) is also covered. The episode ends with the battle of Thermopylae.