This series examines the eleven years which Thatcher spent as Prime Minister of the UK. Using interviews with former Cabinet Ministers and Thatcher herself, this series covers important events in Margaret Thatcher’s Premiership, from 1979 to 1990. Episode 3 Midnight in Moscow, Twilight in London – Even as Margaret Thatcher strode onto the world stage with Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, and the election campaign gathered pace, her colleagues began to feel disenchanted. As the economy worsened and problems with the poll tax began to loom, the prime minister found herself even more isolated behind the newly erected Downing Street security gates.
Robert Beckford explores the historical evidence for claims that Jesus had brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and nephews, as well as a deep friendship with Mary Magdalene. Beckford and many other theologians believe that Jesus did indeed have an extended family that survived some 300 years after his death. However, they have been airbrushed from history and excised from the Bible as the result of a power struggle in the early church. The idea that Jesus was a divine being is backed by the claim that his mother Mary was a virgin and that his birth was the miraculous work of God. There is evidence from the Gospels and other documents that Mary and Joseph had other children besides Jesus, and that he grew up in an ordinary Jewish family, surrounded by brothers and sisters. For most Christians Mary’s virginity is central to their faith, and many consider it heresy to suggest that Jesus was not her only child.
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 A collapsing birth rate, too few warriors, rebellious slaves and outdated attitudes to weaponry and warfare combined to sow the seeds of Sparta’s destruction.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.
When Adolf Hitler bought Eva Braun a movie camera, to film the people and parties which occurred at their expansive and heavily guarded Bavarian retreat, the technology to include synchronized sound had not yet been developed. So when soldiers discovered Hitler’s private home movies, in the Berlin bunker where the Nazi leader took his own life, the tantalizing clips they unearthed, featuring leading members of the SS in a more relaxed mode, remained silent for over 60 years. Now, leading edge lip reading software has enabled German experts to re-voice these films and provide us with a chilling insight into Hitlers private world.
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.
This series examines the eleven years which Thatcher spent as Prime Minister of the UK. Using interviews with former Cabinet Ministers and Thatcher herself, this series covers important events in Margaret Thatcher’s Premiership, from 1979 to 1990. Episode 4 Wielding the Knife – As the Conservative Party began to turn against her leadership, the Prime Minister showed no willingness to stand down. Although there was no clear successor, colleagues were beginning to view Thatcher as an electoral liability. She speaks of what she regarded as their disloyalty. “What hurts most of all is that this was treachery,” she says of her enforced resignation, “treachery with a smile on its face.” Naturally this charge is denied by her former colleagues.
In September 1943, the German army marched into Rome, beginning a 9 month battle for control of the “Eternal City”. It was the Allied aim to preserve the Holy City’s sacred institutions and treasures. So the staggering human cost before the city’s military conquest is nearly incomprehensible. The special is based on the book The Battle for Rome, its author Robert Katz was subject to five penal proceedings over the years for his contention that fear of Communism produced a Faustian pact between the Vatican and the occupying Germans. The research draws on interviews with participants inside the city, and also on previously secret documents from Italian, German, Vatican, OSS and CIA archives. We hear from ordinary Roman citizens, informants, opportunists, spies, double agents, and Germans who risked death in efforts to save Jews. We see Rome as the hotbed of assassination, intrigue, treason, and bravery that it was as we look unflinchingly at unresolved controversies.
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 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.
The trouble in Salem began during the cold, dark Massachusetts winter, in January of 1692. Eight young girls began to take ill, begining with 9 year old Elizabeth Parris. The girls suffered from delirium, violent convulsions, incomprehensible speech, trance like states, and odd skin sensations. The worried villagers searched desperately for an explanation. Their conclusion, the girls were under a spell, bewitched, and, worse yet, by members of their own pious community. And then the finger pointing began. In the centuries since, scholars and historians have struggled as well to explain the madness that overtook Salem. Was it sexual repression, dietary deficiency, mass hysteria? Or, could a simple fungus have been to blame? This episode is titled Bewitched or Witches Curse.
They are responsible for some 60 million deaths. They ruled their countries with iron fists, squashing all dissent and directing government sponsored programs of terror against their own citizens. Drawing on the latest findings and expert analysis from leading psychologists and historians, Hitler and Stalin Roots of Evil examines the 20th century’s worst villains. Interpreting the latest evidence and theories in the hopes of illuminating the personal, emotional and mental underpinnings of their actions. In relaying its disturbing yet illuminating account, the program utilizes such elements as rare archival footage, incisive analysis from historians and psychologists, and much more.
The generation of Nazis who fought during World War 2 is almost gone, their lives, their actions, and their crimes soon to be consigned to history forever. This sense of urgency, and of time running out, underpins this documentary series about surviving war criminals living in the 21st century. It’s the last chance to tell these stories, to speak to these men, to enter their worlds, and uncover the impact their existence has had on others. Episode 1 The Hunt for Doctor Death – In the autumn of 1941, a young Austrian doctor called Aribert Heim was assigned to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. In just six weeks, he murdered hundreds of inmates by carrying out horrific and needless experiments. He evaded capture and has never answered for his crimes, but now 60 years on and with Heim well into his 90s, fresh evidence has emerged suggesting that he might still be alive. This film follows Dr Efraim Zuroff in his international manhunt for one of the world’s most wanted Nazi war criminals.
This is a modern detective story and it’s the story of a clue the world once knew but then forgot about or covered up. That clue is the key to the most notorious mystery in the history of crime. For more than 30 years it lay neglected a dusty sheet of paper buried in an old book shop. But now it’s the start of a trail that leads straight to the forgotten prime suspect in the white chapel murders of 1888. The victorian police had a vital clue, but it has been left until now for a suffolk police constable to discover. The story of Jack the ripper, has always been the stuff of melodrama, shrouded in fog and folklore, the ripper story is infested with bogus theories and suspects. Cutting through the fiction, this documentary attempts to focus on the forensic facts.
A new season of four programmes, Toffs and Crims , explores the affinity between the upper echelons of society and the criminal underclass. Episode 1 The Princess and the Gangster – Focuses on Princess Margaret’s association with one of London’s most notorious and violent criminals, John Bindon. A chance meeting in Mustique started a chain of events that included rumours of compromising photographs, secret meetings at Kensington Palace and a High Court murder trial.
The Queen of Sheba is one of the most alluring names in history, synonymous with the exotic and erotic, but until now her real story has remained elusive. Who was she? Did she have a child by King Solomon of Israel? And how did her nation grow so powerful, only to vanish beneath the sands of time? Produced to accompany a major British Museum exhibition, the film gained exclusive access to the excavation of the Queen of Sheba’s temple in the arid heartland of Yemen, to unveil the enigmatic riddle of this mysterious queen.
The generation of Nazis who fought during World War 2 is almost gone, their lives, their actions, and their crimes soon to be consigned to history forever. This sense of urgency, and of time running out, underpins this documentary series about surviving war criminals living in the 21st century. It’s the last chance to tell these stories, to speak to these men, to enter their worlds, and uncover the impact their existence has had on others. Episode 2 Most Wanted – The journey of two young filmmakers who gain access, for the very first time, to some of the most wanted Nazi war criminals still alive in an attempt to discover how their wartime actions have shaped their lives forever.
Actor and writer Rupert Everett takes a revealing and witty journey, retracing the steps of one of his great heroes the infamous author, Victorian explorer and sexual adventurer, Sir Richard Burton. Labelled “Dirty Dick”, in part for his translations of the Kama Sutra and The Arabian Nights, to others Burton was a pioneer, bringing new cultural ideas of sex and religion from the East to the West.
John Rhys-Davies hosts this 1991 series that explores various archeological subjects and their link to stories of the past. The show explores the efforts of archaeologists and the methods they use to discover the answers to these mysteries. Episode Searching for the Neanderthal – They roamed Europe’s bleak grasslands braving cave bears mammoths and the freezing winters of the ice age and then they vanished. Their disapearance has stirred debate and speculation for over a century, still the mistery lingers. For untold generations the neanderthals had europe to themselves. Then a new modern type of human began developing and spreading from Africa. Why did neanderthals as a group die out and why did modern humans become the only form of humans that around?
A new season of four programmes, Toffs and Crims , explores the affinity between the upper echelons of society and the criminal underclass. Episode 2 The Gangster and the Pervert Peer – Toffs and Crims explores the affinity between the upper echelons of society and the criminal underclass, looks at how political influence was at the heart of the notorious Kray twins’ success. They rose from small time racketeers to become the most powerful criminal organisation that London had ever seen, and The Gangster and the Pervert Peer unpicks how they built their empire. For a while fear, violence and extortion played a major part, another secret to their success was a relationship with a prominent Tory peer.
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.
The Amish A People Of Preservation. No one can speak for the old order Amish but themselves, and they have seldom chosen to do so. They have no interest in self-promotion. There life is their testimony. This documentary describes the daily life of Amish and interviews people who have been raised Amish but are now living a more “worldly” life. Interesting and well done documentary including some surprises such as the description of Amish communities living in Florida.
The generation of Nazis who fought during World War 2 is almost gone, their lives, their actions, and their crimes soon to be consigned to history forever. This sense of urgency, and of time running out, underpins this documentary series about surviving war criminals living in the 21st century. It’s the last chance to tell these stories, to speak to these men, to enter their worlds, and uncover the impact their existence has had on others. Episode 3 Children of the Master Race – Children of the Master Race looks at the Nazis’ secret breeding programme called Lebensborn, and how the surviving children have lived their lives in the knowledge that they were bred to rule the world.
As the Nazi Reich staggers toward final extinction desperate resistance continues amidst the rubble of Berlin. Hitler had sent his armies marching and ravaging over a continent and beyond. Throughout all that vast sphere of conflict there was one band of fighting men who were everywhere known. In their brief but extraordinary existence they won a unique reputation for daring elan and unfailing professionalism in combat. Yet if their courage was beyond dispute, so too was the fear and loathing which they elicited, even eventually among their own people, and in the regular soldiers alongside whom they fought. In the long period of decline and retreat, despite repeatedly sustaining appalling casualties their discipline remained unbroken, their fighting ardour unimpaired, almost to the very end, and for all their high undoubted bravery they bear a reputation forever shrouded with infamy.
CSI based documentary series, which uncovered the tragic history of Britain’s young murderers, including the horrific cases of Jamie Bulger & Mary Bell. On 25 May 1968, the day before her 11th birthday, Mary Bell strangled four-year-old Martin Brown in a derelict house. On 31 July 1968, the pair took part in the death, again by strangling, of three-year-old Brian Howe, on wasteland in the same Scotswood area. As the girls were so young and their testimonies contradicted each other, the precise details of what happened has never been entirely clear.
Who Do You Think You Are? is a British genealogy documentary series. In each episode, a celebrity traces their family tree. Episode Boris Johnson – He compares himself to a jar of honey found on a supermarket shelf, “the product of many countries”. He thinks he is part Jewish, part French, part English, part American, part pterodactyl and, unpredictably, part Turkish. He knows that his grandfather, “Johnny”, was the son of a Turkish journalist and politician who was ultimately kidnapped and lynched in the early 1920s, but knows little about his life, reputation and the circumstances of his death. He learns more about the political climate of his great-grandfather’s era in Turkey and discovers personal details about his life and death. Returning to western Europe, Boris sets off in search of the truth about Granny Butter’s background, and follows an intriguing family trail that leads him to a surprising conclusion.