Battlefield Britain is about famous battles in the history of Great Britain. From Boudicca’s destructive rebellion against the Romans to the incredible feats of The Few who saw off the Luftwaffe, these battles all had wide reaching consequences and implications for the future of the British isles. Presented by father and son team Peter and Dan Snow. Peter explains the battleplans, Dan the perspective of the common soldier, sailors and airmen. The episodes also featured interviews with soldiers from both sides, re-enactments of the battles and computer generated scenes with bird eye views and blocks to show troop movement. Episode 1 Boudicca’s Rebellion Against The Romans – Find out what really happened when Boudicca stood up against the mighty Roman Empire in 60AD.
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 period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world’s most remarkable feats of engineering. Seven of the most notable are described here, each one proving that human creativity is as much alive in the modern world as it was in ancient times. Episode 4 The Sewer King – In the summer of 1858 London was in the grip of a crisis known as the Great Stink. The population had grown rapidly during the first half of the 19th century, yet there had been no provision for sanitation. Three epidemics of cholera had swept through the city, leaving over 30,000 people dead. And sewage was everywhere.
At the funeral of queen victoria in 1901 her eldest son, now King Edward VII, saluted the crowd from a splendid black horse. This is what he had been waiting for all his life, but what his mother had dreaded. Edward had been a king-in-waiting for almost 60 years denied a real job he sought rewards elsewhere. Once king he turned himself into a figure head surrounded by pomp and circumstance.
For the better part of a millennium, Windsor Castle has been at the heart of British history the awesome fortress, family home, treasure trove and burial ground for the Royal dynasty who went on to take its name. But there is another side to the Castle that tourists never see. It is the real Windsor, a beloved home not only to the Royal family but to more than 400 people who live and work there year round. Windsor Castle A Royal Year provides a fascinating, insider’s look at this grand landmark, where crown and community live and work side by side. Episode 3The Ranger – The Ranger for the 15,000 acre Great Park of Windsor Castle is none other than Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Like the Castle, the grounds have a pageantry of their own. And nothing is grander than a Royal Wedding, as Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles celebrate their nuptials.
Dr Saul David investigates the violent world of the medieval melee tournament. Forget the images of chivalric knights, well-dressed damsels and dropped handkerchiefs associated with the joust. The melee tournament was a brutal free-for-all with sharpened weapons, few rules and one undisputed champion, William Marshal. His story reveals a very different kind of tournament, one in which brute force ruled, handkerchiefs stayed in pockets and where money was more important than manners.
Presented by Marc Morris an exciting, eye opening tour around Britain exploring the age of the medieval castle. Covering a period of six hundred years of British history, Marc charts the evolution of the medieval castle, from the primitive earth and timber “motte and bailey” castles to the formidable stone structures which still dominate the land today. Episode 1 – Medieval historian Marc Morris travels the length of Britain to tell the story of the nation’s castles, consulting the Bayeux Tapestry and archaeological evidence to discover how they evolved over a 600 year period, and revealing that the traditional motte and bailey style constructions were actually of foreign invention, developed by William the Conqueror.
Series detailing the lives of 12 significant English rulers between 1066 and the present day. Dr. Nigel Spivey takes the viewer through the ages, describing the political intrigue, lust, battles and bloodshed that make up the histories of a millennium of monarchs. In a thousand years, the British monarchy has evolved from divinely appointed warrior kings to benign political figureheads. At the scenes of the decisive moments in British history, accompanied by dramatic reconstructions, he pieces together the incidents, battles and motivations that shaped our lives. Episode 10 George the Third, 1760 – 1820 – Explores the life of Britain’s longest reigning male monarch, George III, who created the position of Prime Minister in an effort to introduce consensus politics and a cabinet government to his subjects. In his day he was considered by many to be a wise and just ruler, although the Act of Union with Ireland caused more problems than it solved, but it is a cruel twist of fate that he is best remembered as a madman due to an inherited disease which struck him in old age.
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 Cromwell Conqueror of Ireland – Cromwell’s influence as a military commander and politician during the English Civil War dramatically altered the landscape of the British Isles. The massacre of nearly 3,500 people in Drogheda including civilians, prisoners, and Catholic priests has fuelled Irish-English strife for over three centuries. The Conquerors reveals why Cromwell felt justified in ordering the massacre and details the cunning precision and military mastery who effectively brought Ireland to its knees.
WWII was not just a military conflict. It was also a series of psychological battles waged by the four great leaders Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. In these mental duels, the “warlords” lied, schemed, charmed, flattered and cheated to win. Inter-weaving the leaders’ own words with personal recollections and private diaries, it reveals the four warlords as fascinating, flawed, and fully human. Episode 3 Churchill vs Stalin, June 1941 – June 1943 Churchill v Stalin examines the duel between the British and Russian leaders over what kind of Europe would emerge at the end of the war, a duel during which Roosevelt secretly intervened behind Churchill’s back to decide the outcome.
On April 25, 1953, the science journal Nature announced that James Watson and Francis Crick had discovered the double helix structure of DNA, the molecule that is fundamental to life. But absent from most accounts of their Nobel Prize winning work is the contribution made by a scientist, molecular biologist and crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, who would never know that Watson and Crick had seen a key piece of her data without her permission and that it would lead them to the double helix. Fifty years later, this documentary unravels the mystery behind the discovery of the double helix and investigates the seminal role that Rosalind Franklin and her remarkable X-ray photograph played in one of the greatest discoveries in the history of science.
For almost 1000 years Norman cathedrals and castles have dominated the British landscape, but this norman legacy has eclipsed another culture. The lost art of the people the Normans conquered, the art of the Anglo-Saxons. The discovery of these golden hordes would radically alter our interpretation of the Anglo-Saxons. They used materials and techniques that brought together the ideas and beliefs of Scandinavia, main land Europe and the middle east. The Anglo-Saxons developed a complex artistic language that combined both their pagan past and their Christian future. They created a world of codes and secret messages that revealed the inner workings of the Anglo-Saxon mind, much of which has remained hidden until now. This documentary explores the collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England and is presented by Dr. Nina Ramirez of Oxford University.
From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century, A History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England’s past. Hosted by Simon Schama, this series discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse British history. Epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island “at the edge of the world” into the greatest empire on earth. Episode 15 The Two Winstons – The lives of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who created the hero Winston Smith in his novel 1984. These men had a huge personal impact on the historian and touched many of the key events of the 20th century, including the World Wars and the Depression.
Pamela Churchill Harriman was Winston Churchill’s daughter-in-law and confidante, and with his knowledge conducted a series of affairs in wartime London, picking up the pillow talk of diplomats and generals. Churchill’s Girl includes interviews with key people in her life, including her son, brother, son-in-law and stepdaughter, Peter Duchin and Brooke Hayward Duchin and the granddaughter of he
This series follows local man Francis Campbell in his role as the UK’s ambassador to the Vatican. Delving beneath the ceremonial duties, we get an unique glimpse into the real life of a diplomat operating within the hidden world of the Vatican. Episode 2 – In this episode, ahead of the G8 summit, cameras follow Francis deep into the Vatican for high level meetings.
This fascinating six program series takes a searching look at the public and private lives of the British Royal Family. The six programs offer a revealing insight into the world’s most famous family, looking at how the monarchy works, how it has evolved over the centuries and the challenges it faces in the present and in the future. Pomp And Popularity – The Queen is still cheered wherever she goes emphasizing the remarkable survival of the monarchy in britain while other countries have either lost their kings and queens or made them insignificant. This series looks at the monarchy at a time when the very public problems in the private lives of the royal family has fueled a new debate about the monarchy’s place in british society. But whatever it’s difficulties today history shows that the monarchy has managed to survive even greater crisis in the past.
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.
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?
Battlefield Britain is about famous battles in the history of Great Britain. From Boudicca’s destructive rebellion against the Romans to the incredible feats of The Few who saw off the Luftwaffe, these battles all had wide reaching consequences and implications for the future of the British isles. Presented by father and son team Peter and Dan Snow. Peter explains the battleplans, Dan the perspective of the common soldier, sailors and airmen. The episodes also featured interviews with soldiers from both sides, re-enactments of the battles and computer generated scenes with bird eye views and blocks to show troop movement. Episode 2 The Battle of Hastings – Heralding the beginning of the Norman Conquest, the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when William the Conqueror faced King Harold on the south coast, was one of the bloodiest and most important battles ever fought on British soil.
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
The Suez crisis in the 1950s signaled the end of Britain’s history as a power that could act alone on the world stage. This series tells the story of Suez using dramatic reconstructions and interviews with participants and witnesses to the crisis. The Suez Canal in Egypt was a symbol of western dominance. France and Britain were the major shareholders in the company that ran the canal and British troops occupied its banks. When Gamal Abdul Nasser came to power in 1954, his main objective was to remove the British from Egypt. The British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, did not understand that the world had changed. Episode 1 Betrayal – Friends and intimates of both Nasser and Eden recall the events that put them on a collision path. For Eden, Nasser was a threat to peace in the Middle East. For Nasser, Eden was standing in the way of securing his country’s future. When Britain and America refused to help Nasser to finance his ambitious project to build the Aswan Dam, it was the last straw.
The history of Ireland and its impact on the wider world, from the earliest times right up to the present day, presented by Fergal Keane. He travels across three continents, tracing the events, the people and the influences that shaped modern Ireland. This series takes an outward looking approach to key developments in Ireland down through the centuries mirrored against events and changes in Europe and the rest of the world and challenges long held myths. The Age of Revolution – Fergal Keane explores the years between the Ulster Plantation and the Act of Union, an era that saw the country take centre stage in a much wider European conflict. He also draws attention to how 18th century Dublin experienced an intellectual, architectural and cultural boom, and material filmed in Europe tells the story of why the French Revolution resonated so well with Wolfe Tone and his fellow reformers.
Historian Hallie Rubenhold reveals the story behind the 18th century’s most infamous book Harris’s Lists, a 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.
From the dawn of civilization to the 20th century, A History of Britain re-animates familiar tales and illuminates overlooked aspects of England’s past. Hosted by Simon Schama it spotlights the epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island “at the edge of the world” into the greatest empire on earth, examining the impact of this extraordinary heritage on the modern nation. Episode 2 Conquest – The Battle of Hastings in 1066, which saw King Harold beaten after leading an army worn out from fighting his brother Tostig and a horde of Vikings, to confront William the Conqueror. The Saxon defeat led to 300 years of Norman rule and a country plagued by massacre and famine, but the rulers managed to keep an inventory of all land and possessions, better known as the Domesday Book.