Two thousand years ago, at the dawn of the first century, the world was ruled by Rome. Using the experiences, memories and writings of the people who lived through this remarkable age, The Roman Empire in the First Century A.D. brings to life the greatest empire the world has ever known. The program uses diaries, poems, private letters and public records to tell the stories of emperors and slaves, poets and plebeians who built the most sophisticated society the world had ever seen. Episode 3 Winds of Change – Claudius was Rome’s unlikely emperor. Despite his much ridiculed appearance, he had become a good ruler, passing visionary laws and conquering Britain. After the murder of his wife, Messalina, Claudius remarried, this time to his niece, Agrippina. Eager for power, she wasted no time removing her rivals and even convinced Claudius to make her own son, Nero, his heir. The only obstacle left now was Claudius himself.
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 documents, files 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.
Documentary which examines the history of the Third Reich through the jokes told by and about the Nazis and the fate that befell some of the joke tellers. At first this was tolerated and even encouraged – but as the war drew on jokes became a channel for subversive information and dissent, and by the end laughter out of turn was cracked down upon severely. Satire and jokes at Hitler’s expense were encouraged to some degree as he came into power but gradually anything deemed “subversive” was squeezed out and telling such jokes gradually became more and more dangerous. As the war started to turn back against German cities and civilians, where understandably there was a certain amount of gallows humour. Cabaret artiste, Werner Finck, was imprisoned in a concentration camp, but then released, while actor Fritz Muliar’s anti-Hitler jokes landed him in a penal battalion in Russia. Throughout the film the jokes are recreated by two German comedians. A bizarre but compelling examination of humour in the Third Reich. Director/Narrator: Rudolph Herzog (Son of Werner Herzog, documentary film maker). Also known as: Satirizontas to Hitler.
On October 3, 1993, an elite force of 120 American Delta units and Ranger infantry were dropped into Mogadishu, Somalia to abduct two lieutenants of the Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The mission was planned to take one hour. But when two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, it became a 15 hour ordeal that left a deep scar on America’s psyche. The author of the bestselling book, officials from the US and Somalia and combatants reveal what happened during the disastrous raid.
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 2 Galen, Doctor to the Gladiators – This episode discusses ancient medical devices and procedures, and profiles the Greek physician Galen, who practiced eye and brain surgery 2,000 years ahead of his time.
They were the dreaded forces on the fringes of civilization, the 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. Vandals Ranging far from their roots in Germany, these power hungry pagans swept through Spain, then across North Africa, and eventually to the gates of Rome itself.
Documentary which reassesses the importance of the Crimean War which paved the way for modern warfare and was a urning point for Europe. Using letters, diaries, photographs and paintings the programme focuses on the men and women involved, telling the story in their words. Part 2 The Valley of Death – This programme looks at the epic charge of the Light Brigade, when a misunderstood Order sent troops straight into the main Russian artillery during the Battle of Balaclava. It also looks at the later Battle of Inkerman and the work of Florence Nightingale.
On September 3rd 1939, 25 year old English aristocrat Unity Mitford walked into a Munich park and shot herself in the head. Distraught at the prospect of England declaring war on her beloved Fuhrer, Britain’s most notorious Nazi sympathiser seemed determined to make the ultimate act of fanatical devotion. Featuring original testimony and with the release of secret documents from the Home Office and MI5, this programme examines how this archetypal English aristocrat fell under Hitler’s spell and became one of his closest confidantes.
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 bureaucrats, the 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.
Winding roughly 6,700 kilometers through undulating mountains, grasslands, and desert, its vastness seems beyond the realm of human possibility. A wonder of the ancient world, the Great Wall of China is one of mankind’s most massive building achievements. Yet contrary to popular belief, there is no single wall of China, but rather a series of walls built for different reasons at different times. Modern Marvels series embarks on a journey of discovery, investigating the mysterious history surrounding this cultural marvel. Historians and modern engineers discuss the planning, construction, and function of various segments while extensive location footage illuminates the stunning majesty of its architecture. Legend claims that the wall is a wellspring of warfare, madness, and death, can this be true? From ancient China onwards, this documentary explores the incredible history of The Great Wall of China.
For over a thousand years, Rome 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
Series on Ancient Egypt. Cleopatra – Cleopatra has been depicted throughout history as a temptress who ruined two generals of Rome. Yet scholars now believe that the last pharaoh of Egypt in fact possessed great political ability and knowledge. Despite a lack of physical evidence of her reign, they are able to piece together the story of her rule during the dying days of Ancient Egypt.
This documentary tour de force on the world’s greatest battles and the fearless men who won them. The Conquerors examines 12 legendary figures that altered the course of history through military brilliance and sheer willpower. Diary entries, interviews with scholars and heart-stopping reenactments examine the strategies, weapons of conquest and the significance of each engagement in the annals of history. Hosted by decorated war veteran Captain Dale Dye. Episode Fremont Conqueror of California – Meet the larger than life personality who fomented the Bear Flag Rebellion and helped bring California into the Union. It was one of the most significant land grabs in history. Acting on what many believe to be secret orders from President Polk, John Charles Fremont fomented the Bear Flag Rebellion in June of 1846, which led to Mexico ceding the vast California territory to the United States. It was just one chapter in the full life of the man who mapped the Oregon Trail and became Arizona’s first governor. The Conquerors explores the tense relationship among Fremont, Commodore Robert Field Stockton and General Stephen Watts Kearney, who worked together to wrest California from Mexico. See how Fremont came to occupy the dominant place in this rivalry, and examine his accomplishments both during the Mexican War and in the years afterwards.
First broadcast in 1964, The 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.
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 Britain, there 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.
When an Allied photo reconnaissance plane flew over southern Poland in the summer of 1944, it took horrifying images of the Nazi’s most evil extermination camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers and the crematoria in which 12,000 people were being murdered daily are clearly visible. But the photos were not analyzed at the time, simply filed away. Using these photos as a unique starting point, we take a new look at the Holocaust and ask what the Allies knew about the extermination camp and when they found out.
The Scots have a reputation as brave, ferocious warriors. Despite a troubled history with England, history shows that more of Scotland’s young men sign up to fight for the crown than anywhere else in Britain. Rory Bremner, whose own father and great grandfather were distinguished Scottish soldiers, sets out to discover why rebel clansmen became loyal servants of the military establishment. His story takes him to Culloden, Crimea and northern France. As the sound of the pipes floats over Scottish military camps in Afghanistan he asks if, after 250 years, the Scottish soldier’s loyalty to Queen and country is running out?
In September 2004, on the last remaining site on the Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of the American Indian, inaugurating a new era in the education of all people about Native America. In conjunction with this event, and in response to popular demand 500 nations was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Episode 2 Mexico – Follow the dramatic and tragic history of the Mexican Indian nations from pre-Colombian times, through the period of European contact and colonization. Witness the rise and fall of the Toltecs and the growth of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec city of an empire.
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 soldiers, as 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 5 The Macedonians – Alexander the Great uses his father’s tactics to conquer the Persian Empire. From the day these warriors fought, war would never be the same. They would march farther than any soldiers before them and outfight every army they met. In one afternoon they would defeat the proudest civilization of their day. Led by the greatest general in history they would forge an empire larger than any yet seen and leave their footprints forever on the world.
This series explores famous battles. Each program takes an important battle telling its story and posing a puzzling central question about the battle that recent scientific research is helping to illuminate a contemporary journey of discovery and a compelling story from the past. Battlefield Detectives redefines the military documentary by utilizing every possible technique demonstrations, reenactments, advanced forensic and historical analysis, and more to clarify battles from the legendary to the obscure. Episode 4 Siege of Masada – The Roman siege of Masada in 70 A.D is recreated to separate fact from myth. The length and difficulty of the siege, which group of Jews were involved and whether they committed mass suicide are especially questioned.
Decisive Battles of the Ancient World presents the 13 defining points of ancient warfare moments that altered the course of history and shaped the modern world. It is a comprehensive account of the famed leaders that commanded victory and the brilliant military tactics that swayed destiny. The show used the game engine from Rome: Total War to present 3-D versions of the battles. Herman the German 9 A.D. Teutoburg Forest – The patrician leader Arminius, or Herman the German, was at the helm of one of the darkest ambushes in the history of Rome, dispelling the aura of invincibility that had long marched ahead of the vaunted legions.
Each turning point in history has behind it a story and a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. History’s Turning Points provides a fascinating and intriguing new perspective on the significant moments that have changed the world. The Shot That Started the Great War – 1914 A.D. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro – Hungarian empire arrived with his wife Sophie in the capital of Bosnia – Herzegovina, Sarajevo on June 28th 1914.
Homer wrote his epic, The Iliad, in 700 BC 500 years after the Trojan Wars were supposed to have taken place. Did the Trojan war ever happen,or was the city destroyed by natural causes? It’s fascinated poets, painters and Hollywood directors for over 2,500 years. Join Michael Wood as he combs the cradle of civilization from Greece to Turkey and points beyond Germany, Ireland and England in search of archaeological evidence that may validate the fantastic battles immortalized in The Iliad From Schliemann’s initial cavalier bulldozing of the mound at Hisarlik, to Homer’s epics, the Hittite Empire, and the role of slave women, Wood journeys back and forth across the Aegean and elsewhere to illuminate the dawn of Western literature, myth, and history. Episode 1 The Age of Heroes – The story of the Trojan War. The lost treasure of Troy. Account of Heinrich Schliemann’s life and research on Troy.
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 Archenemy The Philistines – Today the word is synonymous with the ignorant and the uncouth. Yet according to the Bible, the Philistines were the Israelites’ most cunning and ruthless enemies. Their constant battles are the cornerstones of history’s greatest tales: David and Goliath, Samson and Delilah, the theft of the Ark of the Covenant. But what truth lies behind the legends of the Philistines?