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.
A team of scientists joins forces with religious scholars to take a look at biblical tales of murder, miracles and mystery. The Bible is a repository for tales of miracles and divine interventions. But did any of the miraculous events described in this sacred book really happen as recorded? This remarkable series examines the great biblical stories and the passionate quests to understand them. This is the National Geographic Series. The Apocalypse – Is the Apocalypse at hand? Millions of Americans believe so, including scientists and members of Congress. Using the latest science, we examine the biblical prophecies of doom.
Based on the best selling book by Karen Armstrong, A History of God descents into the ancient roots of Abrahamic religions and analyses today’s three major monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This searching, profound comparative history of the three major monotheistic faiths fearlessly illuminates the sociopolitical ground in which religious ideas take root, blossom and mutate. Armstrong also acknowledges that the idea of a personal God can be dangerous, encouraging us to judge, condemn and marginalize others.
One of the world’s greatest authorities on the Middle Ages, Professor Robert Bartlett of St Andrew’s University, investigates the intellectual landscape of the medieval world. Belief – the supernatural comes under the spotlight. The medieval dead shared the world with the living the cult of the saints, encounters with the dead, and visions of the next world were all seen as proof of a two way traffic between this world and the next.
The series explores scientific inventions and discoveries made during the Stuart period from 1603 to 1714 and their implications even today. Episodes are grouped based on themes architecture and lifestyle, engineering and sciences, economics and politics, and discoveries with influence in science fiction. Episode 4 Newe Worldes – Inventions which allowed the Stuarts to explore new worlds. Dutch Zacharias Jantzen had made the first microscope, giving the Stuarts a window into an entirely new miniature world. The microscope revealed the existence of miniscule organisms and the diving bell equipped people to find out what lay beneath the sea, while the telescope brought the prospect of space travel and science fiction.
Documentary series about the brutal, bloody and dangerous history of surgery looks at how surgery dragged itself kicking and screaming out of the dark ages, transforming itself from butchery into a science. Presenter Michael Mosley recounts the history of surgery through its catastrophes and successes. Episode 3 Spare Parts – These days, transplant surgery saves thousands of lives every year and almost everything, from heart to eyes, can be replaced. But in the beginning, transplants killed rather than cured, because surgeons didn’t understand that they were taking on one of the most efficient killing systems we know of, the human immune system.
Science fiction isn’t just for the movies! Cyborgs, shape 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 1 Earth 2.0 – Dr. Kaku comes up with plans for the construction of Earth 2.0 (a second Earth).
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.
Documentary examining the medieval myth of the Philosopher’s Stone, a Holy Grail-type relic which supposedly held the key to alchemy and immortality. Many noted alchemists and adventurers searched obsessively for the artifact hoping to learn its powerful secrets, a quest which allegedly drove some to madness and others to celestial encounters. Today, the quest for the Philosopher’s Stone is merely thought of as a work of fiction from the pages of a Harry Potter novel. However, in the Middle Ages, the very real search for the Philosopher’s Stone was second only to that of the Holy Grail. This fascinating documentary unearths the astonishing events surrounding this legendary stone, and the alchemists and adventurers who stopped at nothing in their search for this tantalising quarry.
Searching for traces of a mysterious age. Could a sword with magical powers really have existed? Was there really a camelot? Who was King Arthur and the knights of the round table? Where was the legendary grail castle located? The first step in the journey for the holy grail brings us into the mysterious world of the celts. They came to europe from the east. With them they brought their culture, rituals and tradition of burying a prince with his belongings as a gift to the gods. The celts believed in resurrection of the dead. A relief on a bronze vessel from the 1st century B.C. shows a prince placing dead warriors into huge drinking vessels to bring them back to life. This documentary argues the celtic magic vessel as the origin of the medieval holy grail story.
Air-conditioning, refrigeration, and superconductivity are just some of the ways technology has put cold to use. But what is cold, how do you achieve it, and how cold can it get? This documentary series explores these and other facets of the frigid. It follows the quest for cold from the unlikely father of air-conditioning, the court magician of King James I of England in the 17th century, to today’s scientists pioneering super fast computing in the quantum chill. The program is based on the definitive book on cold: Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold by Tom Shachtman. Episode 2 The Race For Absolute Zero – picks up the story in the late 19th century, when researchers plunged cold science to new lows as they succeeded in reaching the forbidding realm at which oxygen and then nitrogen liquefy. Scottish chemist James Dewar and Dutch physicist Heike Onnes are featured. The race to the bottom of the temperature scale was as zealous as the contemporaneous race to the Earth’s poles. New techniques developed in the 1990s by Daniel Kleppner set the stage for a race to create an exotic form of matter called a Bose Einstein condensate, which only forms at temperatures vanishingly close to absolute zero.
One of the world’s greatest authorities on the Middle Ages, Professor Robert Bartlett of St Andrew’s University, investigates the intellectual landscape of the medieval world. Power – Professor Bartlett lays bare the brutal framework of the medieval class system. Inequality was a part of the natural order the life of serfs was little better than those of animals, while the knight’s code of chivalry was based more on caste solidarity than morality. The class you were born into determined who you were
What an unruly lot! Beheadings, murder, 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 1 Seeing the World – Before Tudor times the image people had of their world was, well, rather dark and mysterious, but that was about to change thanks to some incredible adventures and remarkable discoveries. Hart-Davis travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Tudor Age in art, optics and exploration. The lens was added to the camera obscura by Giambattista della Porta in Natural Magic leading to fine arts and the first cinema. Mainland North America was discovered by John Cabot and possibly named after his investor Richard Americ. The first atlas (flat map) was drawn by Gerardus Mercator using the Mercator projection demonstrated by Hart-Davis. The first British colony in America was founded by Sir Walter Raleigh at Roanoke opening the New World to the Tudors. The perspective glass invented by Leonard Digges and demonstrated by Hart-Davis may have been the first telescope.
Documentary series about the brutal, bloody and dangerous history of surgery looks at how surgery dragged itself kicking and screaming out of the dark ages, transforming itself from butchery into a science. Presenter Michael Mosley recounts the history of surgery through its catastrophes and successes. Episode 5 Bloody Beginnings – Presenter Michael Mosley finds out how the early days of surgery were dark and barbaric, when the surgeon’s knife was more likely to kill you than save you, and invasive medicine generally meant being bloodlet by leeches to within an inch of your life.
Hosted by Michael Wood this documentary looks at the worldwide Nazi search for archaeological and historical support for their beliefs in the Aryan (German) master race. The program outlines how the racialist theories of the SS were drawn from archaeology, myth and legend, as well as selected history. This program contains rare and previously unseen footage, including color film of the Nazi expedition to Antarctica, film of the Nazi expeditions across the world, from the Baltic to Venezuela, footage of the 1938 expedition to Tibet. The film conjures the eerie world that permeated the thoughts of key members of the Nazi leadership, especially Himmler, and shows how top scholars, some of them still alive, collaborated in this project.
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.
We are in the midst of the greatest era of space discovery. Twenty first century spacecraft and sophisticated imaging technology are venturing into uncharted territory every day, and much of the extraordinary phenomena are happening right in our own cosmic backyard. Episode 6 Ten Ways to Destroy the Earth – Don’t try this at home! In this episode, our experts cook up ten ways you could destroy the earth, including: swallowing it with a microscopic black hole; blowing it up with anti-matter; hurling it into the Sun, and switching off gravity. This is a fun way to explore the dangerous physics of the Universe and the properties of the planet we call home.
Tyrannosaurus Rex, it’s the scariest, meanest, most bewitching dinosaur of them all. Children are captivated by the sheer savagery of the teeth. Moviemakers made millions out of the terror it inspired. But could our picture of this monster be completely wrong? Was T. Rex in fact a slow lumbering creature, with hideously bad breath, that couldn’t get anywhere close to catching a Triceratops. Was it really a scavenger that lived off the scraps left by others? Was T. Rex, in fact, a wimp?
Ancient Discoveries is a documentary television series that focuses on ancient technologies. The show’s theme is that many inventions which are thought to be modern have ancient roots or in some cases may have been lost and then reinvented. Series 1 Episode 1 – Ancient Computer? – This episode investigates the Antikythera Mechanism, a computer like device that may have been used to calculate the movements of stars and planets. It also highlights ancient inventors Archimedes and Ctesibius.
The series follows historian and adventure seeker Ashley Cowie in his quest to crack the code on his hunt for the most powerful lost treasures in the world that are some of history’s greatest and most mysterious artifacts. After spending years studying some of the world’s most fascinating relics he is on the hunt to find where they are. Episode 6 Holy Grail – Ashley and his team go after one of the biggest legends of the Middle Ages, the Holy Grail, thought to be the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.
What an unruly lot! Beheadings, murder, 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 2 The Thinkynge Revolution – Hart-Davis travels around Britain to introduce the idea and inventions of the Tudor Age in science, literature and education. The first printing press, like the one recreated at St Bride Printing Library, was brought to England by William Paxton. The resulting printing revolution included William Tyndale’s English bible that lead to the standardisation of the English language. State education was founded by Henry VIII providing opportunities for Christopher Marlowe and William Harvey amongst others. Modern medicine began from the Swiss Alchemist Paracelsus’ belief that minerals and chemicals could be used to treat diseases. Observational science came of age when Thomas Diggs recorded the first observation of a supernova.
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 rituals, these 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 1 Fertility Sacrifices – This episode explores the truth behind ancient fertility sacrifices.
Space is presented by Sam Neill and takes the viewer on journeys across the universe. Unlike Carl Sagan’s 1980 series Cosmos, this series is astronomy for the Age of Anxiety, revealing with terrifying clarity and in graphic detail how fortunate humanity is to exist at all, and how it could all end at any moment as a result of space-bound monsters like rogue comets and asteroids or wandering black holes. Finally, the series finds cause for faint optimism with Star Trek-style speculations on the development of Ion-drive, terraforming new worlds and wormhole technology that might, just might, allow humanity to escape from a doomed Earth and seek refuge somewhere else in the galaxy. The series sheds light on both the secrets of the universe and, implicitly, the anxious state of western new millennial society. Episode 1 Star Stuff – covers the origins of life and how everything is produced by the process in which stars burn their fuel.