Historian Michael Wood returns to his first great lovethe Anglo-Saxon world, to reveal the origins of our literary heritage. Focusing on Beowulf and drawing on other Anglo-Saxon classics, he traces the birth of English poetry back to the Dark Ages. traveling across the British Isles from East Anglia to Scotland and with the help of Nobel prize winning poet Seamus Heaney, actor Julian Glover, local historians and enthusiasts, he brings the story and language of this iconic poem to life.
American film actress Rita Hayworth is best known for her stunning explosive sexual charisma on screen in films throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Trained as a dancershe hit stardom as an actress with her appearance in The Strawberry Blonde (1941). She is best known for her performance in Charles Vidor’s Gilda (1946). Her career ended with Ralph Nelson’s The Wrath of God (1972). Hayworth died of Alzheimer’s disease on May 14, 1987.
Born in 1905John was the youngest of George V’s children. Diagnosed with epilepsy, he died in 1919 after a particularly severe seizure. Had he lived he would have been the present Queen’s uncle. The popular image of Prince John has since been one of a neglected child who was regarded as an embarrassment and shut away from public view, deprived of contact with his family. Using testimonies of individuals with direct personal connections to the prince, together with new research and photographs of the real Johnnythis documentary unravels some of the mysteries and misconceptions surrounding him, presenting a more complete story than has ever been told before.
Narrated by Richard Kiley. A&E Biography portrays a gorgeousdazzling man who was well loved, still friends with his ex-wives, possibly bisexual or at least dabbled in bisexuality (although no one ever really comes up with any evidence for that), and a man who died tragically at a young age and before the birth of his son. According to Terry Moore, Power wanted only two things in what had been a wonderful life, to have a son and to die in harness.
Scottish movie star Alan Cumming returns to his homeland to take a tour of the locations of some classic Scottish movies. He celebrates some of the weird and wonderful movies inspired by Scotland such as The Wicker Man, which was filmed in Dumfries and Galloway. Film experts and actors, including Peter Mullen and David Hayman, compare the blockbusters Braveheart and Rob Roy, while Edinburgh’s contribution to Scottish cinema is celebrated by the contrasting films The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Trainspotting. Director Bill Forsyth meets Cumming in Cumbernauld – the setting of Forsyth’s film Gregory’s Girl – and explains why the new town was such a fitting location for his enduringly popular film.
Lightsabers and Death Starspirate spaceships and bio-mechanical bad guys, the stuff of fictional galaxies far, far away, right? Well, not so fast. Many of the concepts introduced in the Star Wars saga can actually be examined scientifically, allowing us to separate the fact from fiction. Could a lightsaber actually store light to be wielded as a deadly weapon? How powerful would a creation like the Death Star have to be to destroy an entire planet? Can holographic messages really be stored and projected in a droid like R2-D2? Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, laser technology, engineering and astronomy and examines the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.
The story of Spartacus is epic in every way. The gladiator who lead a slave army to challenge the might of Rome. Even his admirers are larger than lifeKarl Marx called him the most splendid fellow in ancient history. For Kirk Douglas he was a slave dreaming of the end of slavery. Spartacus legend has a powerful popular appeal, as cinema quickly learned. It celebrates the individual struggling with overwhelming odds. Behind the myth is a real man, a slave turned gladiator who almost changed history. How can you seperate the man from the legend?
The story of Frankenstein has haunted us for almost 200 years a monster brought to life by a mad scientist in his secret laboratory. But is Mary Shelley’s book pure fiction after all? This programme uncovers facts and sheds light on a dark world of bizarre scientific experiments intended to unlock the secret of life.
Historian Hallie Rubenhold reveals the story behind the 18th century’s most infamous book Harris’s Listsa catalogue describing the talents and attributes of London’s prostitutes. Created by a pimp, a prostitute and a poet, the Lists became an instant bestseller – even though they contained lurid and often disturbing descriptions of the lives of the common courtesans. Rubenhold uses the details found within the Lists to produce a vivid depiction of the steamy underside of Georgian life.
Jurassic Park tells the story of billionaire John Hammond creating a theme park where the main attractions are dinosaurs. He invites Alan Grantan eminent palaeontologist, and other scientists to the island to share his vision. They are in awe of what he has achieved, but things go wrong when there is a security breach and the dinosaurs escape. The visitors become the hunted as the dinosaurs pick off the visitors one by one. Finally, the remaining four survivors make a desperate escape from the island via helicopter. This documentary reveals the science behind Jurassic Park is based on rigorous scientific research and that the key character at the centre of the film is inspired by a real life individual. The vision of how dinosaurs could be bought back to life has now been shown to be impossible. But this documentary will feature recent remarkable breakthroughs in biology that would allow dinosaurs to walk again. Using cutting edge evolutionary biology, scientists are getting closer to bringing the dinosaur back to life. With extensive location filming, expert interviews, forensic science and drama recon we bring the real story of Jurassic Park to life.
The Real Da Vinci Code ought to be the last word among plentiful video debates over the validity of startling claims in Dan Brown’s bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code. Produced by Britain’s Channel Four Television and broadcast on the Discovery Channel in the U.S.the irreverent but no-nonsense documentary systematically dismantles so called historical facts Brown embraced (not only in his story, but in interviews) to support the idea that the Holy Grail is actually the blood lineage of Jesus, carried by descendants of his child by Mary Magdalene. Hosted by Tony Robinson (Blackadder’s Baldrick), The Real Da Vinci Code hopscotches through France, Scotland, Israel, Italy, Spain, and America to investigate evidence that the major historical players in Brown’s alternative Grail legend, the heretical Cathars, the wealthy but persecuted Knights Templar, the secretive Priory of Sion, did the things Brown (and his research sources) said they did.
A departure from other documentaries that observe history as the actions of great men People’s Century considers the Century from the view of common people. Most persons interviewed were ordinary men and women who closely witnessed various events and they give personal accounts how developments in the Twentieth Century affected their lives. Episode 6 Great Escape 1927 – The cinema excites, inspires and influences people seeking escape from their usually dull lives. Hollywood booms in the 1920s, and its movies dominate European screens after the Second World War, bringing alluring images of America. Censorship is introduced after concerns are raised of cinema’s perceived affect on morals. Television will however cut short cinema’s future, in the west. Clips shown in this episode come from silent films (Salome, Raja Harishchandra, Cinderella, Son of the Sheik, Sherlock Jr. and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), musicals (Achut Kanya, Sing As We Go, Flying Down to Rio, The Stars Shine, On the Town, Chandralekha and Mother India), propaganda films (Earth, The Sea Hawk, Know Your Enemy: Japan, The Fall of Berlin and Luciano Serra pilota), and films with allegorical messages (Les Visiteurs du Soir, Ladri di biciclette and Meet Mr. Lucifer). The introductory scene shows audience observing the first sound film, The Jazz Singer.
Dan Brown’s latest blockbuster The Lost Symbol has Professor Robert Langdon on a frantic quest to solve impossible riddles, trying to save the life of the leading Freemason in Washington D.C. Brown is as keen as ever for readers to know that all the organisations in this novel exist all the, rituals, science artwork and monuments in this book are real. In this sequel to 2005’s programme The Real Da Vinci Code Tony Robinson sets off to find the truth behind these claims and the novel’s plot. On his journey Tony must grapple with a world of impenetrable symbols and untangle the Freemasons’ strange involvement in the creation of the USA. He criss-crosses the Atlantic as he digs deeper and deeper to answer key questions thrown up by this complex novel. Did the Freemasons create the United States of America for their own secret purposes? Did they encode strange symbols into the streets and structures of the nation’s capital? What could they have learnt from 17th century alchemists like Isaac Newton? Can Tony use the power of his mind to move objects? And are the Masons really still powerful today?
A look at the making of the Gladiator and the historical aspects presented within the film. Interviews with castcrew and historical professors about certain locations and characters that were in the movie. Originally aired on Discovery Channel as a promotion for the 2000 film. Interviews with cast, crew and historical professors tell us a little bit more about certain locations and characters than what was in the movie.
It is almost impossible to understand how 300 Spartans managed to hold off the million man Persian army for even a momentmuch less seven days. To a man they paid with their lives but their stunning Last Stand assured that their sacrifice would resonate throughout history. Relying on brilliant tactics, lifelong training, and unshakable allegiance, the doomed Spartans achieved the impossible. Transporting dramatizations and incisive graphics put you in the heat of the battle and show the lay of the land. The complications and strategies of the conflict are revealed through careful analysis, and critical moments are reconstructed to show exactly what happened.