From the dawn of civilization to the 20th centuryA 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 1 Beginnings – Covering the period 3100 BC – 1000 AD starts in the stone age village of Skara BraeOrkney. Over the next four thousand years Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Danes, and Christian missionaries arrive, fight, settle and leave their mark on what will become the nations of Britain.
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 beautifultimeless and revolutionary structures with none of the machines and materials available to modern engineers. Episode Colosseum – Greatest amphitheater of the ancient world embodies the genius of Roman engineering, but is much more-a powerful tool of control over the population and a reason for the proclamation of the Roman greatness in the world.
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 criseswe 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 3 Blowing Bubbles – Why do stock markets produce bubbles and busts? Professor Ferguson goes back to the origins of the joint stock company in Amsterdam and Paris. He draws telling parallels between the current stock market crash and the 18th century Mississippi Bubble of Scottish financier John Law and the 2001 Enron bankruptcy. He shows why humans have a herd instinct when it comes to investment, and why no one can accurately predict when the bulls might stampede.
Graphic images contained in this program. Blood for the Gods is the Discovery Channel documentary series that looks at rituals of death and self mutilation throughout history. From fertility sacrifices to death ritualsthese acts of mutilation and death were committed to gain favor with their gods. Through re-enactments, expert analysis and computer graphics, we see the stories behind the bloody acts, and learn why these cultures committed them. Episode 3 Human Sacrifice – For many cultures, human sacrifice was the only thing that would calm an angry, irrational and bloodthirsty god. From the sacrifice of Isaac in the Bible, to the terrifying Viking rite call The Blood Eagle the gods often commanded blood for favors.
Documentary which reassesses the importance of the Crimean War which paved the way for modern warfare and was a urning point for Europe. Using lettersdiaries, photographs and paintings the programme focuses on the men and women involved, telling the story in their words. Part 1 The Reason Why The first programme looks at the reasons behind the war, and why Britain allied itself against Imperial Russia.
Technology journalist John Heileman presents the story of the Internet revolution and its culturalcommercial, and social impact to our lives. In fighting. Backstabbing. An epic battle with billions of dollars at stake. Witness the backroom clashes that sparked a cultural and commercial revolution in Download The True Story of the Internet. From the founders of eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, Netscape, Goggle and other powerbrokers, experience amazing stories of how the Internet took control of our lives in 10 short years. These pioneers tell how they went from geeky nerds to 21st century visionaries in the time it takes most people to get their first promotion.
An intimate look at the traditions associated with New Orleans music and the preservation of those traditions through the work of local musicians and educators who mentor young talent. narrated by actor Wendell Pierceis an intimate look at the traditions associated with New Orleans’ music and the preservation of those traditions through the work of local musicians and educators who mentor young talent; museum curators who care for musical treasures; historians and archivists who research and document the stories; activists working to protect, heal and inspire the many musicians whose livelihoods were taken away by Katrina. All are committed to the preservation of the rich musical heritage of New Orleans, as well as the future of New Orleans music. The living museum is a manifestation of participation proclaims Ellis Marsalis.
Never has a generation been so completely taken over by a totalitarian state as it was the case in Hitler’s Third Reich at the age of 10 children joined the Jungvolk movementat 14 they joined the Hitler Youth, and at 18 they joined the party, the Wehrmacht, the SA, or the SS. This 5 part documentary by Guido Knopp and the ZDF Contemporary History Department is the first comprehensive film portrayal of the young people in the Third Reich.
Series detailing the lives of 12 significant English rulers between 1066 and the present day. Dr. Nigel Spivey takes the viewer through the agesdescribing the political intrigue, lust, battles and bloodshed that make up the histories of monarchs. In a thousand years, the British monarchy has evolved from divinely appointed warrior kings to benign political figureheads. He pieces together the incidents, battles and motivations that shaped British lives. Episode 2 Henry the Second, 1154 – 1189 – The son of a French duke and English princess, the Plantagenet princeling who learned his statecraft and the arts of war in 17 years of bloody in-fighting with his cousin Stephen before succeeding to the throne. During this time he had become a battle-hardened leader, but also a distrustful and power-hungry regent, a weakness that would be his undoing. With the help of Thomas Beckett he restored the rule of law in chaotic England, but made the mistake of appointing his high minded friend Archbishop of Canterbury, only to find him a stubborn defender of ecclesiastical independence rather than an obedient ally.
Using real footage mixed with dramatic reconstructionssurvivors of man-eating bear attacks talk through their gut-wrenching encounters, while experts analyze bear behavior and explain the reasons why one of the world’s most formidable predators is turning on us. Along with Maneaters: Bears, four additional features of terrifying bear scares from Human Prey and Stranger Among Bears combine to caution viewers of the life-threatening situations that can arise when man meets bear. See examples of human behavior that may put us at risk. Learn how to react when faced with these unexpected dangers. And witness the miracle of survival against all odds. Maneaters: Bears takes the viewer up close and personal as father and daughter hikers are savagely attacked, a camper nearly loses his hand, and a gardener is lucky to survive an ambush in her own front garden.
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 Abraham One Man One God – His covenant with God led to the birth of a nation and in the ultimate test of devotionhe was asked to sacrifice his son. Abraham’s unwavering faith made him one of the holiest men in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Yet for all his renown, is there evidence that such a man existed? 1500 cuneiform tablets discovered within the ancient city of Ebla hold clues that might unlock the mystery surrounding this epic figure. Join esteemed scholars on a journey of discovery and revelation that leads from the lands of Mesopotamia and Canaan to Jerusalem’s most sacred sites.
Napoleon tells the story of the emperor who was also soldier lover and statesman a towering historical figure riddled with contradictions. The mini series is framed by the grand sweep of history woven from intimate accounts of and by the man himself a story of ambition pride conquest and eventually exile and loss. Episode 4 The End – describes Napoleons downfall including the invasion and subsequent retreat from Russia and his final battles in which all of Europe is arrayed against him. Exiled to Elba he returns to France after just ten months only to be defeated for the last time at Waterloo. Napoleon spends his final days exiled on an island far out in the Atlantic where he writes his memoirs and reinvents his legend.
For over a thousand yearsRome was the center of the known world. One of the most glorious empires in history, she brought to her subjects a common language, shared culture, and for some wealth beyond imagination. But nothing lasts forever. War, barbarian attacks, and moral decay eventually took their toll and the empire slowly began to crumble. This six part series presents the complete history of Rome, from its primitive beginnings, to the height of its glory to its eventual decline, as well as its legacies today. Filmed in 10 countries, Rome Power and Glory combines location footage of ancient monuments, detailed reenactments, period art and writings, and insights from scholars and public figures to bring the ancient world to life. Narrated by Peter Coyote and originally shown on TLC network. Episode 2 Legions of Conquest – A look at the Roman Empire at its height, when its borders stretched from Scotland to the Sahara, and how the qualities that fueled its rise would ultimately lead to its demise.
Stardate presents and examines the most intriguing planetsasteroids, stars and astrological phenomena in precise detail with the help of scientists and experts. This award winning series is a reliable source for information and trivia about the galaxy and is used in some astronomy classes. Some of the programs funded by the US government and produced with NASA, give the viewers a better grasp on the concepts of space. Episode Stardate: Mysteries of Venus – As the Venus Express spacecraft approaches its destination this documentary examines this most intriguing of planets and help find the answers to why a planet the same size, age and of similar composition to Earth has become our almost exact opposite. Why is it so hot? Could Venus’s runaway greenhouse effect one day happen on Earth? Why does the entire surface of the planet seem to have been resurfaced in one go? And do the opaque clouds which surround Venus host an even greater mystery: alien life? Presenter Adam Hart-Davis reports from a tense mission control in Germany as the spacecraft is manouvered into orbit.
Three part series that goes exploring the world’s oil producing regionsbeyond the familiar territory of the Middle East. Unlike other documentaries that are full of gloomy predictions of perishable reserves of oil. Bill Cran’s series takes the view that there are ample supplies of oil, the problem is that most of it lies in the wrong places. Requiring the first world to deal with nasty governments or destroying the wilderness. But the relationship between oil companies, consumers and those who live where the oil is extracted is changing very rapidly. It is becoming possible for native populations to obstruct oil companies. The series concludes there are no easy answers. Episode 2 The Pipeline – Charts an international consortium’s efforts to build a pipeline stretching from the Caspian Sea to Turkey, crossing three countries and five war zones. The 1.6 billion project would revitalise the Western oil supply, but the route through Baku, Azerbaijan, the unstable Panski Gorge region of Georgia, and Turkey would need the protection of troops, an unthinkable prospect for many of the interested parties.
First broadcast in 1964The 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 torturekill, maim and eradicate millions of people. A discovery channel/UK channel five series, this is actually a collection of independently produced one off documentaries that were packaged into a series. The list of Most Evil/Women is based on books by Miranda Twiss. Rasputin – He was an uneducated peasant who gained a reputation as a faith healer. His strange behavior and incredible influence over the imperial family made him notorious and his death made him a legend. Gregory Rasputin dominated the final years of imperial Russia. The mysterious monk who enjoyed the favour of the Czar was rumoured to be a Holy Devil, who preached the word of God but practiced every form of corruption.
Controversial historian Professor Niall Ferguson argues that in the last century there were not in fact two World Wars and a Cold Warbut a single Hundred Years’ War. It was not nationalism that powered the conflicts of the century, but empires. It was not ideologies of class or the advent of socialism driving the century, but race. Ultimately, ethnic conflict underpinned 20th century violence. Finally, it was not the west that triumphed as the century progressed, in fact, power slowly and steadily migrated towards the new empires of the East. Episode 5 The Icebox – How during the Cold War, World War Three actually took place. With the US and the Soviet Union unable to engage in battle with each other directly for fear of the nuclear consequences, Third World nations ended up serving as proxies for the superpowers, causing carnage to rival World War One.
This is where it all beganAdam Hart-Davis first foray, directly inspired by the Monty Python sequence from The Life of Brian where the People’s Front of Judea discuss “What have the Romans done for us?” into how the foundations of modern society were laid by the surprising cultural and technological achievements of the Roman empires. This is the first series of “What The … Did For Us” hosted by Adam Hart-Davis. Episode 1 The Life of Luxury – After hundreds of years of occupation many generations of people in Britain had grown up surrounded by Roman cultureand after a long period of stability that culture was showing visible signs of wealth, success and good living. This 2,000 year old Great Roman Temple enclosing a natural spring is one of Bath’s foremost visitor attractions. The site of a celtish shrine to the Roman goddess, Sulis Minerva, it boasts a beautifully preserved bath, temple and pump room. A well-preserved cavalry fort, complete with a bath house and which features an impressive museum. Original artifacts are on display. Cooking implements, demonstrated by food historian and chef Sally Grainger, were used to create 3 course Roman meals.
World War II In HD Colour is a 13 episode television documentary series recounting the major events of World War II narrated by Robert Powell. The series combines both original and colourised footage. With the very latest satellite delivered terrain mapping and state of the art graphics this story can now be told with access to information which was not previously available to other older series. Conventional wisdom has recently changed as more and more secrets have been revealed particularly in the last five to ten years as documentsfiles and photographs have been released. Code breaking revelations, and newly released government papers on both sides of the Atlantic have added a very insightful new dimension to the understanding of this the worlds’ greatest ever conflict.
The slave trade was abolished over years ago but one form of slavery continued well into the 20th century. The so-called coolies comprised over one million Indians who migrated to all corners of the British Empire to carry out indentured labour. It is a chapter in colonial history that implicates figures at the very highest level of the British establishment and has defined the demographic shape of the modern world. In this filmwhich combines historical evidence and archive material, descendants of the coolies look into their past and trace the last surviving witnesses.
Chronicles the final days of Adolf Hitler’s life and an account of how he died. Uses information gathered from the Soviet intelligence operation codenamed Operation Myth which describes how his body was found and identified after his suicide. Also re-enactments of interrogations and responses of Germans by Soviet Intelligence taken from transcripts.
This revealing film uses newly discovered letters written by Prince Eddy himself to explore whether his early death saved Britain from a monsteror cheated the nation of a good king. For the first time, Eddy’s own words serve in his defence in a fresh investigation of the remarkable kind Britain never had.
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.
In 1986 a group of Romanian scientists working near the Black Sea stumbled upon one of the most amazing discoveries of this centuryone that would revolutionize our understanding of what life is and where it came from. Geologist and cave explorer, Christian Lascu, was inspecting a series of six test wells at a site where the government was planning on building a power station, the first five bore holes yielded nothing unusual and the sixth looked equally unpromising at first. The workers were inside and said they found a small hole. The geologist dug and realized there was a cave there. His task was to explore the well and insure that the limestone bedrock would support the foundations of the power station. The strong sulphurous smell at the bottom drew him on into the unknown, he reached a small sulforous lake and saw many small animals. He knew immediately this cavern was unique, where had these bizarre animals come from and how could they survive in this hostile environment deep underground?
From the dawn of civilization to the 20th centuryA 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 13 Victoria and Her Sisters – The changing role of women in the Victorian eralooking at the work of novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, whose fiction highlighted the plight of needy factory workers. ground breaking efforts of doctor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, health campaigner Mary Seacole and political activists Harriet Stuart Mill and Annie Besant.
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 soldiersas 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 10 The Knights Templar – The Knights Templar crusade to take back the Holy Land. A thousand years after Christ was crucified the holiest site in Christendom was seized and defiled. The pope beseeched all Christians to unite in a great crusade. Go forward boldly as knights of Christ. Hurrying swiftly to defend the church His call was headed by a new order of knights who pledged their lives to retake the holy land. Warrior monks fighting for God and betrayed in the end by their own church.
They were the dreaded forces on the fringes of civilizationthe 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. Episode Vikings – Sails with the Norsemen from Arabia to the New World, stopping off for a bit of pillaging along the way. This is the U.K. narrator, not U.S.A. version.
Presented by Marc Morris an excitingeye opening tour around Britain exploring the age of the medieval castle. Covering a period of six hundred years of British history, Marc charts the evolution of the medieval castle, from the primitive earth and timber motte and bailey castles to the formidable stone structures which still dominate the land today. Episode 3 – Historian Marc Morris explores how King Edward I’s relationship with a master builder led to the creation of some of the most famous castles in Britainincluding Caernarfon, Caerphilly and Harlech, fortresses used by the king as a formidable weapon to consolidate his conquests of Wales and its native dynasties.
Decoding the Past is a series that decodes the past by looking for unusualparanormal, and mysterious things written about throughout history that may give clues as to what will happen in the future. Mysteries of the Garden of Eden – Representing the paradise lost to man because of his sins, the Garden of Eden’s location has remained lost, but new evidence suggests the mystery is coming closer to being solved.
In 1570 BCRome was no more than a soggy marsh and the Acropolis was just an empty rock, but Egypt was already 1,000 years old, awaiting its New Kingdom, an empire forged by conquest and remembered for eons. The sophisticated, civilized society that we call the New Kingdom was led by a remarkable succession of kings. Between them, they liberated their country, conquered their neighbors and built. Episode 1 The Warrior Pharaohs – In 1560 BC, Egypt was divided into two. Its very existence was threatened from both north and south. But one family was determined to restore Egypt to its former glory. One by one, the King of Thebes and his two sons, Kamose and Ahmose, fought the Hyksos, who occupied northern Egypt.
Pamela Churchill Harriman was Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law and confidanteand with his knowledge conducted a series of affairs in wartime London, picking up the pillow talk of diplomats and generals. Churchill’s Girl includes interviews with key people in her life, including her son, brother, son-in-law and stepdaughter, Peter Duchin and Brooke Hayward Duchin and the granddaughter of her husband Averell Harriman, Alida Morgan. The programme is interspersed with archive illustrating her wedding to Randolph Churchill, travels with Winston, campaigning with Bill Clinton, as ambassadress to France, and of her state funeral in Washington’s National Cathedral.
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 bureaucratsthe armed forces and the police, the scientists and the industrialists, 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? These documentaries by Guiddo Knopp and ZDF looks at the high ranking officers who aided the dictator in his war of aggression and managers who turned his plans into reality.
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 geologynatural history, and archaeology, Aubrey reveals how the land has come to look the way it does. Episode 2 Figures In The Chalk – Aubrey travels to the Chalk Hills of England to unravel the origins of the enigmatic chalk figures such as the Long Man of Wilmington and the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset. The age of these chalk figures has never been fully established and Aubrey, alongside a team of archaeologists from Reading University, come up with a remarkable new discovery.
Megastructures: Built from Disaster explores how accidents throughout the world have influenced the evolution of modern structural engineering. Skyscrapers Episode 6 – The titans of city architecture for over a centuryskyscrapers dominate urban landscapes throughout the world. No other building design so readily accommodates the voracious need for space in urban centres, but there can be a high price for this solution to overcrowded city life. Within such high and crowded structures, the consequences of engineering errors can be catastrophic.
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. The acclaimed A and E series Mysteries of the Bible provide a wealth of astonishing discoveries and unforgettable revelations. Episode Love and Sex in the Hebrew Bible – On the sixth day of Creation God pronounced the sexual union between husband and wife very good. The Hebrew Bible is rich in stories of love and marriageas well as rape, prostitution, adultery, and polygamy.
This series follows local man Francis Campbell in his role as the UK’s ambassador to the Vatican. Delving beneath the ceremonial dutieswe get an unique glimpse into the real life of a diplomat operating within the hidden world of the Vatican. Episode 2 – In this episode, ahead of the G8 summit, cameras follow Francis deep into the Vatican for high level meetings.
Science fiction isn’t just for the movies! Cyborgsshape shifting, the colonization of space and tons more really are possible. Dr. Kaku investigates the likelihood of popular sci-fi beliefs and ideas that currently seem beyond the realm of possibility, and shows us that these technologies could materialize sooner than we think. Featuring the latest research and most recent technologies, this series takes a look at things such as Lightsabers, Star Ships, Death Stars, and Warp Drives. Discover the science and realities behind these and other notions from the sci-fi world that are pushing the boundaries of technology and human ingenuity. Impossible? That’s what we said decades ago about man walking on the moon. Episode 2 How to Travel to a Parallel Universe – Dr. Kaku explores the idea of parallel universes.
The life story of a remarkable language. Melvyn Bragg and a host of experts explore the vibrant 1,500 year history of the English language. How did it grow from a relatively insignificant Germanic dialect to become the premier language of culture, commerce, and diplomacy around the globe? The answer involves bloody conquest, political intrigue, and plenty of creativity. Episode 1 Birth of a Language – The modern Frisian language is the closest sounding language to the English used approximately 2000 years ago, when the people from what is now the north of the Netherlands travelled to what would become England, and pushed the Celtic language, ancestor of modern Welsh, to the western side of the island. Words like blue can be recognised in the Frisian language. Bragg then discusses how English dialects in certain areas of the United Kingdom were heavily influenced by historical events such as the invasion of the Vikings in the east contributing words such as “sky” to the English language.
Charles Hazelwood looks at Mozart’s extraordinary life and music. The First Romantic – The third and final film in the series examines howtowards the end of his life, Mozart mastered the language of instrumental and orchestral writing and how both love and loss provoked in him an extraordinary burst of creativity. This was essentially crystallised in three ambitious works that changed the future course of music his last, great trilogy of symphonies – numbers 39, 40 and 41 – which he wrote in six short weeks.
It was perhaps the most spectacular flourishing of imagination and achievement in recorded history. In the Fourth and Fifth Centuries B.C.the Greeks built an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean from Asia to Spain. They laid the foundations of modern science, politics, warfare and philosophy, and architecture. This series, narrated by Liam Neeson, recounts the rise, glory, demise and legacy of the empire that marked the dawn of Western civilization. Told through the lives of heroes of ancient Greece. The latest advances in computer and television technology rebuild the Acropolis, recreate the Battle of Marathon and restore the grandeur of the Academy, where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle forged the foundation of Western thought. Episode 2 Golden Age – Recounts the Greeks’ heroic victory against the mighty Persian empire through the life of Themistocles, one of Athens’ greatest generals. The episode opens in 490 B.C. when tiny Athens prepares to safeguard its growing economy and infant democracy against an invasion by Persian armies of Darius the Great. When the Persians arrive for battle, the Greek courier Phidippides runs 140 miles to Sparta in two days to solicit help from its army, according the historian Herodotus. But Sparta, Athens’ rival, refuses to participate. The outnumbered Athenians, fighting to uphold their life of freedom, defeat the Persians and send them in humiliation back to Asia. But one Athenian, Themistocles, realizes Athens has not seen the last of the proud Persians.
The presented by Bettany Hughes chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most extreme civilizations the world has ever seenone 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 warriorsSparta 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 3 Alcibiades, an Athenian statesman defects to Sparta and becomes an adviser and strategist. He suggests that Sparta takes the war to Syracuse, in Sicily, and Athens suffers a major blow. The Spartan Lysander begins to rise in power, and eventually defeats the Athenian navy, blockades it, and finally ends the war by invading and subjugating Athens. Sparta becomes the dominant power in Greece but decadence and corruption follow then a drastic reduction in the number of Spartan citizens. These events lead to an irreversible decline in Sparta’s fortunes and war with Thebes and in 371 B.C., the end of Spartan pre-eminence after the battle of Leuctra.
Tory! Tory! Tory! is a 2006 BBC television documentary series on the history of the people and ideas that formed Thatcherism told through the eyes of those on the New Right. It was nominated for the best Historical Documentary at the Grierson Awards in 2006. The series was commissioned by the newly appointed Controller of BBC Four Janice Hadlow as a companion piece to the successful series Lefties. Episode 2 The Road to Power – This edition tells the story of a collection of mavericks and outsiders who set out to help Margaret Thatcher kick start a political revolution. The monetarist policies used to defeat inflation caused large-scale unemployment. Riots broke out across Britainthere was growing dissent even inside the government. How would Mrs Thatcher survive her plummeting popularity? Thatcher, not yet secure within her own party since her election to the leadership had surprised many people, appointed moderates to her cabinet. Thatcher’s close ally, Sir Keith Joseph, established the independent Centre for Policy Studies where John Hoskyns and Norman Strauss produced a strategic plan that called for a revolutionary free market government to tackle the problems caused by the trade unions. A revolt in Thatcher’s Cabinet prompted a reshuffle to oust opponents but her leadership seemed in doubt. However, her popularity and revolution were given a boost by the successful Falklands War and the improving economy.
What an unruly lot! Beheadingsmurder, divorce, rows with the Pope, civil war, fire and plague. The headline stories from the Tudor and Stuart years represent a roller-coaster ride through one of the most important periods of history in the development of modern Britain. Most know the bloody, battle filled history of the Tudor period, not many know the accomplishments of the period. Adam Hart-Davis travels through England in search of Tudor excellence in science, art, printing, exploration and more. Ranging from a shepherd’s discovery of graphite which led to the first pencil, to a fuller understanding of human anatomy once Henry VII legalized human dissection. Episode 4 War Machyne – Adam looks at the development of Tudor weapons of war, taking in unpleasant implements of torture, cryptography, and casts his own cannon out of pure iron and test fires it!
Allegedly made from the skins of 160 donkeysthe Codex Gigas is the world’s largest and most mysterious medieval manuscript. According to legend, the cursed text sprang from a doomed monk’s pact with the Devil. Experts attempt to uncover its secrets. For the first time ever, a team of scholars and scientists embark on a quest to unravel the secrets of the Codex Gigas, or Devil’s Bible. Enshrouded in mystery and steeped in dark history, superstition and fear has clouded this medieval manuscript for centuries. Evidence of Lucifer’s hand seems to pervade the tome, including darkened pages, magic spells, and a full page portrait of the Devil. Forensic document experts team up to investigate the ancient Codex safely locked away in Sweden’s National Library. With ultra-violet fluorescence imaging, hand writing analysis and a recreation of the text itself, they’ll attempt to uncover the truth of the Devil’s Bible.
When Christ was crucified 2,000 years ago a Roman guard thrust a spear in his side to see if he was still alive. In that moment a central tenet of Christian faith was realised Jesus was dead, he was thus able to be resurrected. Legend of the Holy Spear follows two investigators attempting to discover if any of them could have been present at the crucifixion. Scrutinizing each spear and closely analysing the stories and legends behind them, the film reveals astonishing clues as to their provenance. Amid tight security the ancient spearhead is undergoing the latest scientific testing. Can 21st century science reveal the truth behind the many myths of the Spear of Jesus?
A successful portrait photographer pretty much has to be a serial seducercharming each successive client into the belief that he (or she) only has eyes for them. But not all portrait photographers, one hopes, follow through quite so energetically as Antony Armstrong-Jones, cynosure of Swinging Sixties London and a byword among his friends for sexual appetite If it moves he’ll have it was one of the comments recalled in Snowdon and Margaret Inside a Royal Marriagean intriguingly candid account of the ill starred marriage between the Queen’s younger sister and the socialite photographer. Snowdon, the film made it clear, had top class credentials as a lover, charisma, looks, glamour and a sense of sexual adventure, but was hopelessly ill qualified to last the course as a husband. And, rather oddly, although it was almost entirely constructed from the memories of his friends and relatives, this film tilted the historical record back in Princess Margaret’s favour, suggesting (in contrast to most of the coverage at the time) that she was more the injured party than him.
A tsunami in the Bristol Channel could have caused the deaths of up to 2,000 people in one of Britain’s greatest natural disasters, experts have said. For centuries, it has been thought that the great flood of January 1607 was caused by high tides and severe storms. Two experts have argued a tsunami could have caused the devastation. Eyewitness accounts of the disaster, published in six different pamphlets of the time, told of huge and mighty hills of water advancing at a speed “faster than a greyhound can run” and only receding 10 days later. Dr Roger Mussonhead of seismic hazards at the British Geological Survey, said there were other examples of earthquakes in the area caused by an ancient fault off south west Ireland. One magnitude 4.5 earthquake was recorded there on 8 February 1980. “The idea of putting a large historical earthquake in this spot is not so fanciful he said. “We know from seismological evidencethat we have actually had an earthquake here, so there is a fault and it is moving, it is active. Other UK tsunamis include a 70 feet high wave that hit Scotland 7,000 years ago, following a massive landslip in Norway.
To mark the Papal visit to the UKa camera crew have spent a year filming a world that few have ever seen. With unprecedented access to the Vatican and the people who live and work there, this is a unique profile of the heart of the Catholic Church and the world’s smallest Sovereign State. Archivists reveal the Vatican’s secrets, including the signed testimony of Galileo recorded by the Inquisition. A Cardinal journeys deep below St Peter’s Basilica to inspect the site claimed to be tomb of the Saint himself, and curators share a private viewing of Michelangelo’s extraordinary decoration of the Sistine Chapel.