Homo sapienspopulated the Earth only because we were successful in overwhelming two more advanced species: Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis, known today as Neanderthals. In the not too distant past, humans shared this planet with other species of hominid. This series tells how, against all the odds, Homo sapiens survived. Episode 1 Homo Erectus – Set 75,000 years ago in India, following a catastrophic super volcanic eruption which forced a showdown between our ancestors and a completely different species of human, Homo erectus, who up until that point had reigned supreme. Homo erectus was a successful, long lived species that migrated out of Africa. Possibly the first humans to live in hunter gatherer societies, they also used rafts to travel the oceans.
Monty Python’s Terry Jones invites you on an entertaining expedition through Roman history from an entirely different perspective – that of the Barbarians. Far from the uncivilized savages they have been believed to bemany of these non-Romans were not barbaric at all. They were, in fact, highly organized and intelligent societies that had no intentions of overthrowing Rome or its Empire. The Brainy Barbarians – Jones argues that the ancient Greeks and Persians were in reality far from the Roman view of them as effeminate and addicted to luxury. The Greeks valued science and mathematics, while the Persians had initially allowed multiculturalism among the different ethnic groups of its empire (until years of war with Rome).
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 2 Invasion – When the Roman army invaded Britain in force in the spring of A.D. 43they brought with them technology that must have astonished the native Celts. To begin with the Roman weapons were far better, they had good swords, spears, and several machines to throw missiles. Built on an archaeological site, this faithful reconstruction of a military complex includes a granary, ramparts and a museum of Roman artifacts. Pre-fabricated forts, such as the reconstruction at Lunt visited by Hart-Davis, secured the victory and exemplified their engineering skills.
The fog that blanketed LondonEngland, on December 5,1952, seemed quite ordinary at first. But over the next two days, the fog turned yellow and people began to die. By the end of the week 4,000 Londoners lay dead or dying. Evidence suppressed for fifty years put the final death toll at 12,000 victims. Killer Fog reveals how air pollution was the real cause of one of the worst natural disasters of the 20th century.
Documentary series about the hopes and dreams of a group of children at three schools in rural Chinait takes as its subject one small town in rural Anhui, and focuses on their lives during the course of a single academic year. The schools are schools like many thousands of others across this vast nation, but through the individual stories of hardship, joy and success, an extraordinary portrait emerges, not just of a group of children and a town, but of a side of the Chinese nation seldom seen. Episode 4 Olympic Fever – It’s Autumn, it’s time for the students to hit the sports field. For the deputy head teacher of Haiyang Middle school sports day is a mammoth undertaking, while School Radio DJ Zha Yujie sees it as the highlight of the year. At Ping Min primary school they’re holding their first ever sports day as always, there are lessons to be learned all round.
The Gutenberg Press was perhaps the most revolutionary machine ever invented. Stephen Fry discovers the lengths to which Gutenberg went to keep his project secret then helps to build a working model of the press and explores how print democratised knowledge by making the written word accessible to all. Stephen Fry investigates the story of one of the most important machines ever invented – the Gutenberg Press.
A three part series from the Discovery civilization channelall about the Tower of London. This is the story of the tower of London, past and present. With unique access to the tower, this series will unlock its private, as well as public life. Revealing the hidden history of well known stories, and uncovering forgotten tower secrets. More than anywhere else in Britain these building have stood at the heart of history for over 900 years. The truth of what happened here is still being discovered. From executions with block and axe, to spies shot in the first world war, it has prisoners as familiar is queen Elizabeth the first, and as recent as World War Two u-boat men. Episode 1 Fortress With unique access behind the walls and locked doors of the Tower of London, discover how it stayed at the cutting edge of military technology.
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. Episode 8 The Soviet Steamroller – After Hitler’s gamble in the East fails, the Soviet Union, with its vast resources and armies, starts to slowly push back and grow. Hitler is now on the defence on 2/3 of his fronts. The Red Army slowly pushed the Germans back out of Russia through Ukraine, Poland, the Balkans and Hungary. This was war on a monster scale, pitching armies of millions against each other. But it was also a war fought by small bands of partisans, men like Tito in Yugoslavia, leading guerrilla bands against Nazi forces.
For years parallel universes were a staple of the Twilight Zone. Science fiction writers loved to speculate on the possible other universes which might exist. In onethey said, Elvis Presley might still be alive or in another the British Empire might still be going strong. Serious scientists dismissed all this speculation as absurd. But now it seems the speculation wasn’t absurd enough. Parallel universes really do exist and they are much stranger than science fiction writers dared to imagine. By the time they had finished they’d come to the conclusion that our Universe is just one bubble among an infinite number of membranous bubbles. Now imagine what might happen if two such bubble universes touched. Neil Turok from Cambridge, Burt Ovrut from the University of Pennsylvania and Paul Steinhardt from Princeton believe that has happened. The result? A very big bang indeed and a new universe was born, our Universe.