Britain BC – seeks to change our view of the way British civilization had developed prior to Roman arrival and to restore some of the knowledge we have lost about our thriving, pre-Roman, purely British civilization. Dr. Francis Pryor’s mission is to show us how British civilization was flourishing long before the Roman Legions invaded our shores. Our history books tell us that the island was a land of wild savages speaking strange languages, performing barbaric rituals and with no real civilization of the population having taken place. Debunks this notion with some interesting archaeological finds, and shows us how an independent, civilised and deeply spiritual nation had been developing for over 10,000 years before the Romans took over.
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 9 Charles the Second, 1660 – 1685 – The flamboyant ruler who restored the monarchy after 12 austere years of Cromwell’s Protectorate. A patron of the arts, sciences and architecture, he oversaw many major developments in British culture despite the ravages of the plague and Great Fire of London. The father of countless children, he failed to produce a legitimate heir and was succeeded by his brother James II in 1685 after a dramatic deathbed conversion to Catholicism.
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.
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 2 Churchill vs Roosevelt, May 1940April 1942 An examination of the mental battles waged between 20th century leaders Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt during the first two years of their relationship. A duel of false promises, evasion and delusion ensued, which was far removed from the more familiar image of friendship and loyalty.
Photographer Jayne Fincher shares her experiences as part of Princess Diana’s press corps in this documentary. Fincher, who photographed Diana for 17 years, reveals behind the scenes insight into the media phenomenon surrounding the famous royal. Often called “the Most Photographed Woman in the World,” Diana was under the media’s constant glare, but who created her public image, the monarchy, the press, her devoted fans or Diana herself?
The Royal Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in November 1947 was a day of national celebration. But the young couple’s path to the altar had been strewn with controversy and difficulties. Behind the smiling faces and the colourful regalia lay a story of political machination, public hostility and court intrigue. This documentary captures the story of the princess from the moment when her love life became a matter of dynastic and political importance. It shows how Philip’s suitability was called into question. The stakes could not have been much higher the popularity and therefore the future of the monarchy itself.
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 13 Victoria and Her Sisters – The changing role of women in the Victorian era, looking at the work of novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, whose fiction highlighted the plight of needy factory workers. ground breaking efforts of doctor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, health campaigner Mary Seacole and political activists Harriet Stuart Mill and Annie Besant.
Luxury isn’t always a question of the expensive and beautiful for the rich and powerful, it’s always been much more and more important than that. The story of luxury is about an idea that touches on democracy and patriotism on social harmony and epic courage and even on the divine. Because it is so important there has always been more than one definition of what luxury actually is. One thing all can agree on is that luxury is a rare thing, it divides society into the haves and have nots. Host Cambridge University academic Dr Michael Scott asks the question “Do we love luxury or hate it or both?” He presents the view that the best way to understand today’s anxious response toward luxury is to think about how it operated in the past and to understand how that past continues to impact society today. Episode Luxury in the Middle Ages – follows the clash between luxury and Christianity which convulsed medieval Europe. Luxury was a roadblock on the road to heaven, so the church was quick to condemn the jewellery and gorgeous weapons of the early medieval world. Yet the church also had its own form of luxury, in the form of manuscripts designed to do the work of God through astonishment and display. And to some extent it worked, as by 1200 medieval boys’ toys like warhorses and tournaments were suffused with Christian ideas of chivalry and gentility. But trade growth brought new luxuries to Europe, condemned in turn by the church, like exotic spices from the East, spicy food led to spicy conduct and to the sin of lechery, said the preachers. But soon the Black Death paradoxically liberated luxury from the church by initiating a new world of relative luxury and consumerism, the luxury world we inhabit today.
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 1 – This episode sees Francis hear the Pope’s new year address to the diplomatic corps, and he also deals with news of a hastily arranged visit by the prime minister to the Vatican.
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.
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 3 The Organysed Isle – Britain becomes more organised under the Stuart dynasty. Moll Cutpurse was the world’s first highway(wo)man, preying on new lines of communication opened by travel by coach. This period sees the inception of public transport, street lighting, the fire brigade, the creation of Great Britain, the first banknotes, government bonds, and the Bank of England.
Born in 1905, John 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 “Johnny”, this documentary unravels some of the mysteries and misconceptions surrounding him, presenting a more complete story than has ever been told before.
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.